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My Velodyne HGS-18 aka 'Godzilla' review:

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by tk2001, Jun 6, 2003.

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  1. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Well I'm sure this mighty sub needs no introduction so I'll spare everyone the details of this sub and cut straight to the chase.

    Before I owned this subwoofer, I had the privilege of hearing, sorry make that feeling for the first time what tight, accurate, non-distorted bass was suppose to be and sound like.

    To all the CHT-15 owners, the bass you are currently hearing/feeling is IMHO not that far off (by that I mean night and day) from a HGS-18. Which is why looking back now, I feel that the CHT-15 offers exceptionally good money for value.

    Does that mean I'm not impressed with my new HGS-18 (THX Ultra II ) subwoofer? Hell no, I'm nothing but impressed with what this animal is capable of.

    You know the trouser flapping, hair/furniture moving effect you get with the CHT-15 (you all know what I'm talking about you lucky CHT-15/ owners ), well now imagine that effect increase but now its as if there is tidal-wave of ultra low-frequencies filling and sweeping the whole room with a warmness to the air its pushing/vibrating that has never been felt before.

    On certain dvd movies like LOTR, the LFE output is so leathal (balrog walking?) that sometimes it feels as if the vortex to hell has just been opened, sucked you inside and then spat you back out again.

    The weird thing about this sub and especially considering how BIG this sub is, is that it is the most subtle but at the same time brutal sub I have ever heard. I not sure that the two words subtle/brutal goes well together but in this exceptional case it does.

    Noticable improvements over the CHT-15 are:

    Higher SPL output.

    Tighter and more accurate with no more than 1% distortion down to 15hz.

    Seems to shift much more 'air' than the CHT-15 hence a warmness to the trouser flapping, hear/furniture moving effect you feel around your whole body.

    Can undoubtedly extend much lower than the CHT-15: (at 16hz my old CHT-15 gave out 70dB at reference levels but the HGS-18 can churn out a massive 95dB making it a big 25dB difference )

    Blends in better with the overall speakers and does not make itself noticable in the slightest - which is how all subwoofers should be.

    Criticisms?

    Absolutely none at all, what more could I ask for. Its a complete beast with it comes to movies, never sounding over-powering but is able to bring out the details and transients that I never knew existed. For music, it completes the 15hz to 20khz frequency-range for my set-up but blends in so well that you'll actually think that my satelites were producing those low octaves and at no time does it ever sound slow.

    Conclusion, now I know why this sub has been crowned 'Best all-round comercial subwoofer in the world". I have heard it and it is sleeping in my living-room and I shouldn't think that I'll ever have to upgrade my sub again thank god.

    I'll leave you with a quote from how a happy SVS 20-39 PC-Plus owner in one of the US forums who regards the HGS-18 very highly:

    "IMHO, the Velo HGS-18 is one of a handful of reference standards by which all great subwoofers should be measured. I have heard it - it is amazing." - Edward J M
     
  2. tk2001

    tk2001
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    BTW, I would still love to hear how the Servo-15 or SVS subs sound. Anyone still interested in the 'Big Fight' between all the great subs?
     
  3. Spligsey

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    tk2001

    Congratulations on owning this beast of the low-end fraternity.
    I'm really glad that you finally managed to get yourself ownership of this unit.

    The sheer performance, quality & output of this sub is fantastic.
    I still remember the very 1st time i heard it!!!!

    Truely outstanding.

    Hope you enjoy it.

    Adzman....
     
  4. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    tk2001

    The 'SVS' V 'Paradigm' V 'REL' V 'M&K' has been mullered to death.

    My advice is to just enjoy your HGS-18

    Adzman
     
  5. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Thanks for those kind words Adzman :),

    As I'm sure being a once proud owner of one of these beast you can relate to everything I've discribed above :eek: .

    Better check up on the new owner of the HGS-18 you sold from time to time, just in making sure that Godzilla is being treated well and not being made to over abuse his powers in terrorising the neighbors :laugh: .
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    In view of the huge difference in price I should hope that he could hear a difference between his SVS and the HGS18.

    Please bear in mind that my SVS 20-39 PC Plus is costing me £750 and for the price of an HGS18 I have bought myself a subwoofer that is only marginally less effective and my wife a cheap car.
     
  7. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    TK did you have to?
    ...just when i'd started to reason myself out of one of the new DDs along comes a post like this.
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    Agree with Ian on this. How on earth can you compare a single SVS against a HGS?

    You could (I think) buy four CS-Ultra's and a amp for the RRP of the HGS-18. Which I think will outperform the HGS.
     
  9. Spligsey

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    You're a classy bloke Ian!

    Adzman
     
  10. DSM

    DSM
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    I am pleased for you , honestly. I am well pleased with my 2 x servo 15's which only cost me £810 for the pair, now where's the polyfilla!:devil:

    have fun with your new toy:smashin:

    Dave
     
  11. tk2001

    tk2001
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    LOL....

    When I was at uncle eric's to pick up my CHT-15 awhile back, I insisted in demoing the infamous HGS-18.

    He put on one of his DTS demo disc and chose Titan AE (The Ice Rings) to demonsrate the ruthless power of what the HGS-18 was capable of. Through-out the demo I was thinking to myself "what on earth has happened to the air around me and why is everything shaking" lol. :eek: :eek: :eek:

    When I got home to try the same scene on Titan AE on my new CHT-15, I was very shocked in how the CHT-15 offered very similar performance to the HGS-18. The only thing it lacked slightly compared to the HGS-18 was that the trouser flapping, hair/furniture moving effect was reduced and it wasn't moving nearly as much air but was still putting out very tight, clean bass.

    I knew from the day I heard the HGS-18 that I had to own one someday but was not prepared to pay over £2000 for it.

    Recently I searched the US forums to learn more about SVS subwoofers because according to alot of the reviews the PC-Plus and above ranges seemed to offer very similar performance level as the HGS-18.

    The more I researched, the more I wanted to get an SVS sub so I emailed Tom V from SVS and he offered nothing but helpful information regarding any issues/questions I had about his subs.
    Well, I eventually took the plunge and actually ordered an SVS 20-39 PC-Plus sub and had to wait a few days for the unit to be shipped.

    During the wait, I emailed encle eric telling him about my purchase in the SVS sub and you would never guess what.....

    He was going to sell his HGS-18 at the end of May for a good price and I was left in a very difficult situation.

    The predicament I was in was "should I buy the best subwoofer in the world or and SVS which offers nearly the same performance as the HGS-18. I knew that I had to make my mind up before SVS actually shipped my PC-Plus sub.

    I eventually emailed Tom V and ask for his recomendation on the situation and he pleasantly replied back with:

    "The HGS18 is sure to have the performance edge on the 20-39PC+. I’m not sure what the exchange rate is, but if you can afford the HGS18 (and it comes with a full warranty) , I doubt you’ll be sorry you got it." - Tom V. SVS

    I then emailed SVS to cancel my order and thanking them for their superb customer service and I got a reply from Tom V saying:

    "No problem at all..:)

    Be sure to let me know if you have any questions/problems getting the HGS18 set up in your listening room" - Tom V. SVS

    How good is that for customer service? :eek:

    I obviously brought uncle eric's HGS-18 of course but if he wasn't selling his at the time, I'd have a 20-39 PC-Plus in my living room now and could quite possibly have posted a similar review as the HGS-18, who knows.

    For now I'll follow everyones helpful advise and enjoy my new once in a life time purchase toy lol.

    Thanks for your possitive words fellow forum members :)
     
  12. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    My thoughts exactly:D They're all regarded as great subs in their class, by all accounts you have the best single unit of them all, so listen to it and enjoy!
     
  13. tan1415

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    When you invite SVS into the fight....
    You should talk about their PB4 subwoofer.

    A friend of mine is planning to buy this subwoofer.

    I think this sub comes into the same pricerange as the HGS 18.

    The 4 is because this enclosure has 4!!! ultra woofers in it. According to SVS it's like having 4 seperate CS ultra subwoofers.

    We know that 2 CS ultra combo gave HGS 18 a run for the money...I wonder how this PB 4 will compare.

    Anyway my friend wanted to buy the Nautilus Subwoofer...but I think this SVS would kick it's ass.
     
  14. nathan_silly

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    Or two SVS PB2-Plus at $1200 each? 2 x 12" drivers each, 900W amp.
     
  15. uncle eric

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    Or twenty Rel Quakes at £349 each.
     
  16. tk2001

    tk2001
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    tan1415,

    The B4-Plus does not have 4 ultra woofers but in fact 4 dB-12 drivers, the same driver powering the 'Plus' series as clearly indicated on their website.

    It would probably offer overall higher SPL output than the HGS-18 but whether it will sound as accurate remains to be seen.

    What ever the case, I'm sure it would offer great performance for the price and those who can afford it won't be disappointed.

    BTW, I just watched "Final Flight Of The Osiris" from 'Animatrix' and I must say that the soundtrack sounds amazing and is superbly mixed, easily bettering the first 'Matrix' movie. Damm, the LFE from the soundtrack can half shake my living-room :eek:
     
  17. tan1415

    tan1415
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    You're correct about that.

    I guess we are all waiting for such a competition to happen.
    A heavyweight subwoofer H2H competition.

    But a cross channel H2H of these big boys is not that likely.Due to WAF factor he's NOT going for the PB4.
     
  18. avanzato

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    Only half shake the room.

    You obviously need another HGS :D
     
  19. tk2001

    tk2001
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    Nice one lol :laugh:

    Physically, there is no longer any space in my living-room to place any more subwoofers let alone another big HGS. Not that I would another one. Or would I? :nono:
     
  20. nfordenfield

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    Am sure that 4 or more SVS will have more Air movement, but sound is not to be confused with this. Four cheap Alba cd systems do not sound better than a decent seperate system.

    I have never managed to get my HGS-18 to put a foot wrong and with Mark Ward's help, a pair of Servos 15 fell well short of what Godzilla can do.

    If Eric has sold "HIS" Godzilla, be afraid of what is next, sound to me like a Velo 18-10.

    Godzilla is the cleanest tightest sub for the money. AWESOME
     
  21. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I don't imagine that anyone would dispute that but what a number of people are now finding is that the SVS Tower of Power will provide 90% of the performance for only 33% of the costs
     
  22. Spligsey

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    I'm sure we've been here before.


    EDIT: surprised you have closed this off yet Ian?



    Adzman
     
  23. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I thought that it died a natural death a week ago. :(
     
  24. Steve Bate

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    I'm sure I said something along those lines 12 months ago when I got my SVS. The most important thing here is SVS very clean Bass exceptional value for money, Velo, probably slightly better and you pay for it.

    If I could afford a HGS 18 I'd buy one, I cant so the SVS is the next best choice on VFM stakes!!

    Steve
     
  25. uncle eric

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    Nathan,
    I'm in mourning and may break down at any moment :( :(
    Still, at least Godzilla has gone to a great home.

    Toms SVS subs are great value as are the Paradigms :smashin:
     
  26. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Isn't this the whole crux of this matter. All these subs are supreme performers to get much better you need to work on the room and not the sub, and I am not just talking about eq. A HGS18 in a poor room will sound horrible but in the right room it can sound awesome. Change your room for that better perfomance, not your sub! Now that makes the HGS18 look cheap, trust me, this is what I am doing :blush: I could have 20 HGS 18s ;)
     
  27. Smurfin

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    We're all just one happy, bass obsessed family:smashin: :clap:
     
  28. MuFu

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    I agree, it's superb!

    I was watching Osiris, alone in our uni house a few days ago. During the bit when she's swinging from pipe-to-pipe, I momentarily thought somebody had crept in through one of the upstairs windows and was wandering around! Some pretty low frequencies there, for sure... I can't imagine what it'd be like with an HGS-18. :eek:

    MuFu.
     
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