Allow us to introduce the Velodyne SPL series. These come with moulded front baffles that horn-load the woofers' output and a little window in the front. The Velodyne's neat grillehas a corresponding hole for infra red light to shine through, as this woofer comes complete with a test microphone and an infrared remote control system.
The unit itself just has up/down volume buttons on the back and a knob to set crossover point. The blue LED light on the front has a clumsy way of flashing at you, Morse-Code style, so you can read the volume level out of one hundred. This is silly - but the EQ curves you can preset are not.
The Jazz-Classical setting is Velodyne's reference and has a subsonic filter set at 15Hz and adds no EQ at all. The Movies setting has a 25Hz subsonic filter and adds 5dB of 35Hz as well as cranking the relative volume a tad. The R&B/Rock setting has 28Hz subsonic filter frequency and adds only 1dB of EQ and an extra decibel of relative level, but does it up at 55Hz.
The Games setting is pure middly thump and adds a 4dB lift and volume hike at 62Hz for frag bass thumpage. I tried them all and, obviously to anyone who knows me, went with the reference deepest subsonic filter and no EQ lift.
The self-EQ system is a hoot. I set up the microphone in the listening position, pressed the EQ button for three seconds and the sub went Bwoooouuupppp! twelve times to equalise itself to my room before I overlaid any of the presets. It works a treat as the sound is tight, rich and fat. And its controlled character is as melodic as any sub I've heard.
Velodyne is another specialist manufacturer which, like REL, concentrates on making products to harness low frequencies and it shows. The remote control is simple to use and the sub is undeniably gorgeous.
The Velodyne SPL-1200R doesn't quite have the authority of some of its rivals, but it has no problem with huge bass extensions, even happily handling the 15Hz test tone that I so adore using - which, incidentally, the wee BK did okay at, too.
It has phono inputs and outputs, as well as speaker lead jacks, but you can only use one or other. Plus there are sockets for a 12V trigger, and a remote 'eye' for an extra custom remote control system - additional tech that's very welcome. This is a 21st century bombastic bass-making beast.