While the idea of see-through speakers has been done before (usually bespoke for trade shows), only Velodyne has had the audacity to make a complete production item - an Acrylic version of the smallest (10in) of its Digital Drive (DD) subs. The result is probably the coolest AV product I have ever seen.
I fired up my current set of review speakers - a stupendous set of B&Ws - sans their subwoofer, feeling a bit guilty that Velodyne's DD-10 might be outclassed. To cut to the chase, it wasn't at all.
The translucent DD-10 has a serious slice of pure muscle, coupled to the single most sophisticated set of control electronics in the bass-making world.
I won't go into full detail regarding the many plugholes, the awesome control of phase, slope, subsonics and general EQ, and the video output to feed to a monitor - suffice to say, what the DD-10 offers is phenomenal.
The presets on the 35-button remote (the only control interface bar the volume on the back) work well for the impatient and the adjustment range means it'll work pretty much wherever you need to put it.
However, given that the key talking point about the Acrylic DD-10 is the peek-a-boo cabinet you'll want to sit it where you can see it. If see-thru isn't your thing, Velodyne will sell you a black gloss version for £1,900, or special order coloured ones (like the natty blue version, pictured right) for £2,100.
The good news is that the sub sounds supreme regardless of the finish. I used a variety of media and nothing phased it.
The most telling moment came with the Blade Runner: Final Cut release where Deckard chases the stripper replicant.
The sequence is vast and starts with big gunshots, played fast and dynamic, then there's lots of breaking glass and Vangelis synth stuff, and a throbbing heartbeat that ends up dominating.
While other subs often offer a wet splooge, the DD-10 lapped it up.Outrageous in all the right ways - a product that truly mixes high-end performance with stylish design.