Subwoofers

Velodyne MiniVee Subwoofer

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In Use

Have you ever come across a cute-looking cat, said to yourself "what a nice little pussycat" and bent over to scratch its back, only to have the monster hiss at you, bear its fangs and then draw blood with its razor-sharp claws? My first reaction on seeing the MiniVee was "what a nice little subwoofer. " But once I fired it up, the Velodyne turned into a monster, putting out bass at a depth and volume I did not believe possible from such a small enclosure. Trite morals (don't judge a book by its cover, good things come in small packages) really don't do justice to the impact from this little dynamo.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's DVD-Audio of Brain Salad Surgery is long out-of-print and fetching big bucks on eBay, but I refuse to part with my copy because it sounds fantastic. Still You Turn Me On starts with a soft arpeggiated acoustic guitar, but the electric bass that comes in on the first chorus is wall-shakingly deep, especially with the right sub. The MiniVee handled the bass with such ease that I cranked up the bonus track, Lucky Man, just to hear Keith Emerson's subterranean Moog solo at the end of the song. The Velodyne didn't disappoint, pushing out a pressure wave that seemed to be coming from a much larger sub.

Switching to movies, Up is the latest in Pixar's seemingly endless string of great films that marry a real story with amazing visual effects and top-flight sound. Carl's house being torn from its foundation and dragged across the ground in multiple scenes gave the MiniVee a chance to show off its ability to convey not just loudness, but a sense of involvement with the visuals. I could sense what it was like to feel a house grinding across the dirt.

In fact, running through a variety of music and films, the consistent impression was that of an experience expected from a much larger and more expensive subwoofer than one that takes up barely a cubic foot space and lists for $699. I was really impressed.