SC-IW Configuration and Installation Considerations
Today’s modern interiors and trendy designs are minimalist and unobtrusive. Décor, furniture and accessories are kept sleek and small with the focus on the room as a whole. Open interior designs are meant to flow and show off the expansiveness of the entire living area. Incorporation of high- end multi-media systems into the modern interior design often leads designers and home owners toward in-wall/in-ceiling based speaker systems for home theater. In-wall based speaker systems, although aesthetically pleasing have not been recognized for their performance attributes. Manufacturers have been working very hard to overcome the limitations of in-wall speaker systems and have recently made great strides in performance. Anyone that has experienced a decent multi-channel home theater system recognizes the importance of the subwoofer for reproducing the LFE channel; but, how do you incorporate a huge box subwoofer into a minimalist interior design? Well, the short answer is you don’t; unless you deviate from the overall design plan. In-wall subwoofers are a relatively new alternative that fit nicely into the minimalist interior design. However, due the installation criteria, we haven’t heard one that truly offered high end multi-channel performance. When we heard that Velodyne introduced a new in-wall subwoofer we were curious to see if this highly regarded subwoofer manufacturer could solve the performance deficiency problems associated with most in-wall subwoofers.
Velodyne’s SC-IW in-wall subwoofer is a radical
departure from previous in-wall subwoofer designs. The unique 2-piece sealed
enclosure design fits flush in a typical 2x4-16-inch on center studded wall.
The subwoofer’s high excursion (1-inch peak X-max) T shaped driver fires
vertically and the manufacturer claims performance characteristics rivaling
10-inch high end free standing woofers. Once installed and wired, the woofer
enclosure is covered with sheetrock. Only the small unobtrusive grill reveals
its location. The SC-IW is a passive subwoofer requiring separate amplification
and for this purpose Velodyne has the optional SC-1250 amplifier. The rack
mountable amplifier features 3000 watts of dynamic power/ 1250 watts RMS. Other
features include sophisticated DSP control, built in test tone generator,
7-band automatic room equalizer, 12-volt trigger, IR repeater jack, RS-232 port for remote systems, and
pre-programmed remote control. The amplifier can easily power two of the SC-IW
Configuration and Installation Considerations
Taking my room dimensions and floor plan into consideration and after receiving some very informative consultation from Velodyne, I decided to order two SC-IW subwoofers and one SC-1250 amplifier. My family room is not an uncommon layout but as described later in the review, it did pose some unexpected installation concerns. The size is about average with dimensions in feet of 12 wide x 24 long x 9 high or about 2592 CU^3. The primary listening position is about 12 feet back from the front wall. The front right side of the room is open to an adjacent room and the back of the room has a large floor to ceiling fireplace. My initial plan was to install the SC-IW subwoofers approximately 1/3-rd in from the sidewalls on the front wall. I currently have a Velodyne HGS-15X installed on the front wall about 1/3 in from the sidewall and have found this location to be optimal in my room for smooth low frequency performance.
Installing the SC-IW subwoofers in a new construction home after completion of framing and rough electrical is so easy even a Neanderthal could do it! Simply pick a suitable location, install the enclosure, pre-wire, finish and you’re done. Retro custom installations, homes that are already built, require meticulous planning and a high degree of installation knowledge. Pre-built homes can have hidden obstacles lurking in the wall, unraveling even the most thorough detailed plan provided by a professional custom installer. The bottom line with retro construction installations is if you don’t know what you are doing, leave it to a professional. The work can be daunting and even dangerous as you will find out in the next segment of this review.