Velodyne DD15 - worth repairing the plate amp?

The amp in my 2008 Velodyne DD15 is dead as a door nail. 

How good is this old marvel compared to today's offerings?

Worth investing another $500 (to have amp repaired, incl roundtrip shipping, tax, etc)? Or just use as passive sub?

How does it compete to modern subs, for example SBS SB-2000 or SB-3000 (both under $1k pre owned)?


Did not like them when new as I could always seem to localize them.   I DIY, but if I were to go looking to buy, SVS and REL come to mind.  


Years ago I had a Velodyne servo F-1800 servo and for the time it was fine. 90s.

I now have two older RELs (great, buy used) but also two SVS SB-2000 subs and one SB-3000 sub.  Look for sales; I think the SVS are very good and I'd probably take either over the repaired DD-15 (even though I have always liked Velo subs).

There are also some other great less-expensive brands out there that didn't exist (or were known about) years ago.

Man, the shipping alone would make me hesitant to have it repaired by another.  You may find a cheaper solution going with a modern plate amp from Madisound or Parts Express if you can find one that fits reasonably well.

erik_squires: only ship the very light (Class D) plate amp, 5 lb or so. 
musicaddict "take over the DD-15" based on quality INCLUDING price? Even the 12" SB-2000 (used they start around $750 or same 'value' as I assign to my repaird DD-15). 

other commenors: value/budget for decision making: $800 ($500 repair + $300 residual value). 13" SB-3000 start at $900 used. The 13.5" SV4000 starts $1,500

Also: ideally needs to move some air if I want to use in main system (VERY large volume room (3 story room, open to hallway, dining, foyer, hallway, kitchen), like my current Dayton UM18-22 18". Not sure if tiny 12" or 13" (SB-2000, SB-3000) have enough stroke, or they would be relegated to the normal room 2nd system. 



jasonbourne71 what to get 'more recent' that is better for under $800 (repaired value of DD-15)?

IMHO get NOTHING more recent and keep repairing your old one.

Getting new is taking too much chance on reliability while overhauling old one will give another life and keep going.


You can replace the plate amp yourself. Try google for a compatible replacement. I would imagine this would save you a few dollars.

I had the amp from my 2006 DD18 repaired just in the last few weeks.  I used "the amp man" who you can find on ebay.  I was somewhat surprised it could still be fixed but I had it back in about a week and couldn't be happier.  Total cost to me was around $400 including shipping.  I really don't think it gets much better than this if you're using it at true subwoofer range.  Plenty of output and the servo means no distortion.  I was eyeballing SVS before I decided to see if it could be fixed and I'm glad I got it fixed.  There's no way a 13 inch sub with half the surface area could compare.

Amp man directs you to a video showing how to remove the plate amp in the description.  Disconnecting is easy, take a few pictures before disconnecting the wires for when you're reconnecting.  No cutting or soldering required.  


Velodyne Subwoofer Repair Service DD Series (authorized service center) | eBay

I used a Hyped plate amp for my DIY subwoofer.  Liked it so much I replaced the plate amp in my B&W subwoofer with a second one 

If wanna go the cheap route buy a used crown xls amp for a couple hundred and run it directly to the woofer is what I did with my old Paradigm Servo15. This will have a crossover and probably sound pretty good. Maybe better ? I wouldn’t spend more than a couple hundred on it. I’m sure the hypex is fine too if you can find a fit for the box. I just sit the Crown on top of the sub.

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I have a SVS 2000 Pro and it’s great. I had a problem with the amp plate, called them and they shipped me a new one.  No fuss at all!   Oh, and app works well and  They always have specials too.

All the best.

Velodyne DD15 is a badass sub, I had a 12 and a 10 and they are subterranean and clean... that DD15 was like $2500-$3000 back then which is like $5000 today... I say fix it, there ain't no sub out now at $500 or even $1500 that can compare, that sub goes down to at least 16Hz with authority...

I say fix it, I just fixed the amp and redid the surround foam on a 10 year JL Audio Fathom 112 myself, thing sounds great and I picked it up broken for free from  a client 

If you used your Velodyne DD Auto EQ or manually adjusted any of its parameters than no, I don't believe there's a modern equivalent of that level of processing except for the completely redesigned 2011 DD Plus now from Velodyne Acoustics GmbH (Audio Reference) at nearly double their 2011 introductory prices. 

Playing the Sweep Tone CD through the sub and the speakers simultaneously as the DD digitally adjusts nine subwoofer based parameters within the eight discrete frequency bands. The results closely match the speakers analog low frequency output and the rooms monitored individual characteristics is quite unique. 

Velodyne California finally adopted the 'Subwoofer Crawl' with the Plus to locate the sub room position prior to running its setup features.



If you are using this Sub(DD 15)  in a H/T set-up, yes repair it. Otherwise move on to a REL for a Stereo system set-up.


Happy Listening!

I vote with Erik_S on doing some careful surgery....bypass the original dead amp, add a companion plate that could be housed separately....

That, of course, if you liked the Velo in the 1st place....?

Instead of boxing hassle + shipping costs + new plate + time involved, you could be good to go with a D mono sub amp......sooner...

Minimum moola, min mess, max magic mutant marvels....;)

Resale with no repair would be disappointing, esp. with that driver leaving your hands, and the replacement(s) an unknown ducats dent....

Your call, and good luck *S* could look into having Velo just sending a replacement plate and DIY the swap-out....  Screws 'n plugs 'n cables, oh my....glue for remount of woof, maybe...

It's def out of warranty.....and less overall hassle-factor...👍

Price of plate?  Maintains originality, but.....🤷‍♂️

Push a pencil or the pad, and see the figures.. ;)

Every Velodyne sub of that Era will fail.   I sent my Dad's plate Amp on his HGS 10 to EBC in NJ about 5 years ago and it's been great since.   

My HGS died,....   my brother has an HGS 15 that was never used before he got i5 and it works but it's just a matter of time. 

They are good subs and it's a reasonable cost to repair



mofojo Yup:

Option 1: Repair (invest $500), total value $800-$900

Option 2: that is my 2nd option. Actually have two Class D on hand. Connect directly to sub out of receiver. But then do NOT have the Velodyne 'feedback control', and not sure how much that contributes. "invest" $300. 

Option 3: sell DD-15 with defective amp as is (including Velodyne measuring microphone and rest of original acessories kit), going rate $300-400 or so. Replace with 'modern' sub $800 budget. 

oddiofyl I have quote from EBC; they would be the one I sent the amp to for repair if going that route.

Just not sure how good the DD-15 compared to others/modern in used condition and value range. 



asvjerry see 2nd option above, but no feedback control (and no auto on/off, and no crossover control beyond what receiver allows). 

Another plate with sufficient power: probably better to repair the existing for about $400 (shipping, taxes incl). Luckily, those class D are light. 

Converting to passive is super easy. Currently have the plate amp out, found one discolored area that likely is the culprit (incoming power module).

I'd definitely look into fixing it yourself.  Google is your friend.  You'll learn a ton and gain some appreciation for it, save some money, and salvage a worthy older piece from the scrap heap.  Win, win.  Some new subs may be better, but they won't come cheap, and won't be that much better if you set it up well.


asvjerry repair of original is probably cheaper than replacement plate amp of similar power.

Running as passive is super easy. I have plate amp out and found discolored area on incoming power board, likely culprit. 

I am running my Dayton UM18-22 with external plate amp in housing I made. 

External Class D power amp option is missing crossover frequency adjustment aside from what receiver offers, and no 'auto on/off'. 



jafant "If you are using this Sub(DD 15)  in a H/T set-up, yes repair it. Otherwise move on to a REL for a Stereo system set-up." What is a REL? 

I am currently using my 18" DAyton UM18-22 in sealed box with Lt1300 external plate amp in super large room (with B&W Nautilus 804 as fronts) for stereo, SACD and H/T. The Velodyne would either supplement (? not sure if possible and/or feasable to run 2 different subs) or be used in 2nd system (normal room size) for stereo and SACD.

dweller I have the plate amp out. Fuses good. Power on other side. Some discoloration on input power module (assumed culprit). No loose wires, speaker connected and works. Since fuses are good and no pop or any other noise when turning on, assume output stage of power supply (or auto on feature or similar) damaged. = no simple (enough for me) fix. Could take another closer look and probe for secondary power.... or put in box and ship to EBC.


jafant If a "REL" is another sub, what REL can I get for $800 that competes well with the DD-15 (in big room setup and/or normal room setup)?



fpomposo I have a hard time envisioning a competitive sub for say the budget to repair/retain the DD-15 ($800). I don't like the complexity (no adj crossover frequency aside from what receiver offers (often only 50Hz; I run B&W Nautilus 804 as 'small' front speakers, so 50Hz is ok but certainly not 80Hz that some receivers have as lowest) and inconvenience (no auto on/off) of running the DD-15 passive with standalone Class D (but have 2 on hand). 

Unfortuantely, I have never had the chance to listen to the DD-15 in current large room setup or even compare to my 18" Dayton drive by LT1300 amp. I probably should close up the Velodyno and run/test with Class D connected to receiver sub out, see how it does. If that is already any good, then I assume together with repaired plate amp and Velonyne control would be even better, and certainly worth the $400 or so repair. 

@kraftwerkturbo ,

If you are ready to buy a new sub then No, it makes no sense to repair the old one unless you think you can sell it for more than $500. 

The Velodyn is old Tech as are all the SVS and Rel subs. The very best designs use two drivers at opposite ends of the enclosure running in phase. Both cones move out at same time and in at the same time thus their Newtonian forces cancel helping to control resonance. These subs have much less distortion. This is called Balanced Force Design. KEF, Magico, and Martin Logan make balanced force subs. The best unit to replace your Velodyn is the Martin Logan Balance Force 212.

mijostyn interesting but irrelevant in this context. Push pull has been around long before the term balanced force has been coined. 


I have a Velodyne SPL 1000 that I purchased new in 2000 for $800, on sale from 1K. It has been in constant, moderate use all of those years in both 2 channel and HT applications. I know this sub was a step down from the DD series of the day, but it makes wonderful thump from a small footprint. If and when this sub poops out, I would first pull the amp and look for blown fuses or loose connections. If the amp is truly shot, I would buy a new plate amp from Parts Express or Madisound. The quality of the the driver and the build quality of the enclosure are both worth the addition of new amp. Note: I wouldn't spend more than $200 - $300 on the amp.


motown-l there is only one decent sub pate amp out there that is suitable to drive a large sub: Dayton Audio SPA1000 (1000W with DSP?. This is $600 (shipped/tax). I am not sure how much the ’smart’ electronics of the DD-15 amp contribute (and the microphone/measuring setup that came with) which I would loose going to a simple amp. Even the (too weak IMO) SPA500 costs $400 (lowest on ebay, same as DD-15 repair), but don’t know how it compares with Velodyne amp and if it has ’software’, feedback control, etc. It has DSP.



I have owned Velodyne HGS as well as the DD series. I also currently own SVS (1x SB 2000 Pro - 1x SB4000 - 2x SB 16 Ultras).

I run a 2 channel system now. The Velodyne is a much better sub than the 2000 - no question. Is it ‘Better’ than the SB16 Ultras? Sort of, and sort of not. They are a bit different.

That said, if you are using the DSP on the Velo, you should stop. I could only get that sub to sound right the old fashioned manual way.

Most others are correct. The plate amps on every single Velo I have had fried. Cost me $208 back then to repair from Velodyne. No clue what they charge now.

BTW - SB16’s are a lot more spendy then amp fix. They are very close in terms of SQ. Output though, the SB16’s kill it. They go about their business very different.

SQ on the DD series is excellent and integrate very well with higher end speakers.

IMO the only thing new that compares to the Velodyne’s would be Rythmik. They are also Servo Subs and have to be set up manually without DSP. Although I did eventually go with the SB 16’s for ease of use and there was only about a 1-2% difference in SQ - to my ears.

I vote repair as the DD is still a very, very good sub. They are also making subs again. May want to give them a ring. 

Lot's of talk on this!  IMO the Velo DD series is hard to beat without spending thousands, so I say fix the amp.  EBC Electronics in NJ does a fine job on them for a fair flat rate.  Since this is a servo controlled design, no off-the-shelf plate amp will do...all advice to go that route should be disregarded.  Turnaround time is the only drawback.

Buy a new servo controlled Rythmik subwoofer.  I have owned Velodynes in the past. 

@oddiofyl   Every Velodyne sub of that Era will fail.   I sent my Dad's plate Amp on his HGS 10 to EBC in NJ about 5 years ago and it's been great since.   

If this were the case I would expect far more original owner failure conformation. I replaced an M&K Volkswoofer with a Velodyne ULD-18 in 1983 followed by their F-1800 in 1995, HGS in 1998, DD in 2003 and two DD-12 Plus in 2011 still in service. My only service issue, Velodyne replaced $32 infrared receiver in my second owner out of warrantee Plus, minus the labor and threw in a new remote control for free.

@gotolondon2 ...if you are using the DSP on the Velo, you should stop. I could only get that sub to sound right the old fashioned manual way.

What did your dealer say about remedying this issue?

@kraftwerkturbo  FYI, REL are -6dB Sub-Bass Systems. They're extra low frequency output is rolled off to a point so as not to excite a rooms standing wave bass modes. 

DSP implementation varies greatly. 

I didn’t do anything other than set it up manually.

Also, just because you had no issues with the plate amps in the Velodyne’s doesn’t mean that isn’t a very common issue. That is the same reason I will not give money to JL Audio. Too many plate amp issues. I realize not everyone has an issue, but if you use these a lot, as I do, they will heat up and fry.

Just ‘Google’ it.

With subwoofers bigger is better with regard to longevity.  Small subs require huge excursions to do the lowest notes and that requires a lot of power and means there's a lot of pressure in the box.  These things both result in higher failure rates than with bigger subs.  Velodyne selling 10 inch, sealed subs that play flat to 20 hz is inherently problematic.  

I'm not at all bothered by my amp failure.  It's 17 years old, that's a pretty long time for electronics.  

@gotolondon2 What did your dealer say about remedying this issue?

I did resell all my Velodyne subwoofers with the introduction of each new model which would explain, as you say, ’just because.’ On the other hand my current Plus 12’s and the 10 Plus are over 22 years old.

I believe JL Audio has honored its warranty commitments and is said to have improved its failure rate.


@jon_5912 Velodyne selling 10 inch, sealed subs that play flat to 20 hz is inherently problematic.

The Velodyne DD-10 Plus in my home studio has had its presets set between +1 - +5dB between 38Hz - 15Hz for the past 22 years. The majority of my recording of Bass and Drum tracks using uncompressed assorted plugins and instrumental octave effects constantly being played back at monitoring levels, I must have become a fan boy.

Which model Velodyne failed on you? Was it beyond its warrantee?

I had some really old Velodynes- one was an 18" bottom firing coffin with a separate control box, another circa the mid 90's - was a front facing 15". While both were servo woofers, neither had any DSP. I used them for home theatre back in the day, not for hi-fi. Both worked when I gave them away- I was moving and didn't see the need to move them.

Replacing the plate amp from a third party won't necessarily deal w/ the servo part. And shipping costs are a huge factor these days. I bought a bunch of Rythmiks, very cost effective, that I use in my main system and in my downsized "home theatre" (over which I could play music if I wanted). Both use DSP. Really helps integrate the subs to the room. 

@m-db Mine was a DD18 made in 2006.  I'm not complaining about the failure.  It went 17 years with no problems and I got it fixed for not that much money.  
whart Those Class D plate amps with 'electronic' (can't think of the term) power supplies (without the huge/heavy transformers and coolers) are very light and cheap to ship. My LT1300 plate amp is 40 lbs, this one is maybe 5 lbs. 

I just picked up an Earthquake MiniMe DSP P12,  at $640 ($1300msrp) it was a great value and perfect for movies and non critical music , but my brother's HGS 15 walks all over it.  

Those big Velodyne have great pitch definition and really dig deep.  

CORRECTION: My Velodyne Plus subwoofers have been in my service for 12 years, not 22. Velodyne CA. Digital Drive Optimization technology may be over 20 years old beginning with the SMS-1. My apologies.

["On the other hand my current Plus 12’s and the 10 Plus are over 22 years old."  "set between +1 - +5dB between 38Hz - 15Hz for the past 22 years."] 

@kraftwerkturbo ,

It is not push pull kraft it is push push and totally relevant to this topic if you want the best performance. Take any subwoofer and play a bass heavy number at highish volume. Put your hand on the subwoofers enclosure. You will feel it vibrating, even if it is spiked to the floor. This is distortion. Ideally you should feel nothing. A sub like the Martin Logan will have 90% less vibration = less distortion. If you like distortion go with a single driver design, even s servo driven single driver design is going to have more distortion. 


mijostyn Yes, the single mass accel/decel of the driver's mass 'moves' the sub. But the push/push also causes movement (flexing the outside walls of the enclosure) in the same way. So also imperfect.

Not relevant, because this post is not about the best subwoofer design principle, but if the $400 repair of a DD-15 is a better investment and creates a better result compared to a similar budget ($800 total investement) other solutions. And how well a vintage 2008 DD-15 compares to sub $1000 new technology subs.