Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 02-13-08, 03:21 PM
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Cool Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors

The DF-661ís were a part of Velodyneís first foray into full-range loudspeakers in the 1990's. There were some early difficulties in manufacturing and some compromises were made on the way toward the goal of ultra-low distortion and a small cabinet. Additionally, these were Ďmini-monitorsí Ė an accompanying subwoofer was a must. As a result, some reviewers liked them for their positive attributes while others panned the 661ís for their faults. In commentaries Iíve read on the Ďnet, a particular review with some negative comments in a major audio magazine was credited with Ďkillingí the marketability of the 661ís. Some change/upgrade was made by Velodyne, but there was no marketing recovery. After a few years in production, the 661ís were discontinued.

Nevertheless, Iím one who likes exceptional attributes for a bargain and am willing to work to bring an underdog with great potential up to a better performance. Over the years Iíve been fortunate to find some 661ís for a fraction of their original cost. Iím always looking for current owners whose taste in speakers is calling them on to something other than the 661ís so I can make an offer, but I digress . . .

I havenít found anyone on this forum who has heard these speakers, or at least written about them. Are there any current or former 661 owners, any DF-661 fans or opinions in the forum?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-15-09, 02:06 PM
DF-661 Joe
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Re: Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors

I have owned df-661's for about 10 years and have been in audio heaven ever since. I currently run 6 df-661's in my 7.1 setup.

By themselves they are crystal clear, but due to their size of course the low end needs help.
I remember reading a less than enthusiastic review (in Stereo Review I think). Luckily I had the good fortune to audition them for myself at Velodyne's Consumer Electronics Show booth in the mid 90's. I was sold right there and then. As for the reviewer who knows? Perhaps he was used to a touch of coloration (distortion) always being added to his music or used cd's that were "dumbed down" for the masses.

My set up pairs them up (and protects them) with Velodyne servo controlled subs.

The System's main sub is an HGS-18 18"
The Left and Right fronts have their own HGS-10 10".
The Center channel LD3 has an F-1000 10".
The Left and Right surrounds share an older but terrific ULD-12 12"
The Left and Right rears share an HGS-15 15"

There is no high, high enough or low, low enough that this set up doesn't handle with glorious precision.

Content matters, so whenever I want to impress, or need a mood lift, I just throw in a copy of Telarc's 1812 Overture or their Fantasy Adventure Album and wait for the smiles to appear. (Gotta give Queen's A Night at the Opera DVD-A props as well.)

post #3 of 6 Old 01-19-09, 11:57 AM
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Re: Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors

Itís a small joy to find someone equally enthusiastic about the 661ís. Iím running (protecting) mine with a pair of subs with processor crossover points at 100Hz.

I heard of an instance when someone let a friend use his system and, for whatever reason, the friend was attaching interconnects with an amplifier Ďoní. When the Ďhotí point of the unbalanced cable made contact before the shield, the momentary burst of 60Hz (in California, USA) at nearly full amplifier power caused the coil section to distort the aluminum cone and tear the cone suspension. Needless to say he wasnít able to find replacement or proper repair.

I saw a single 661 for sale on eBay recently, but I didnít bid because I thought the price too high after I noticed three things. The way the light reflected in the two cones was different Ė one coneís reflection appeared to mimic exactly the way light plays off the cones in the 661ís I have, the other did not. Both cones had the kind of surround the 661 woofer has, neither driver had the surround of a 661 mid-range driver. In one image of the rear of a driver, the construction only partially matched the way my drivers were made. All this made me think that one or more of the components were no longer original. If the price had stayed under $100USD, I may have bid just to have some replacement parts, but I wasnít going to gamble more without knowing exactly what was original and what was Ďimitationí.

Iíve been toying with the idea of converting to active crossovers, but have been reticent to connect directly between amplifier and driver simply because, even if everything is done perfectly at the beginning, some equipment failure down the road might leave a driver exposed to currents it was not designed to handle. With no exact replacement drivers available, that would end the life of a 661 Ė and Iím certainly spoiled on them. So if I implement an active crossover system, Iíll likely need a secondary system to provide near absolute protection to the drivers.

After listening to the reduced distortion of the 661ís for years, Iíve become mostly freed from the need for distortion as a clue to loudness. (One researcher let test subjects listen to different systems and found that people almost always set each system loud enough to reach a range of distortion, the actual SPL from each system varying widely. His conclusion was that people sought a level of distortion as a clue to loudness rather than seeking a similar SPL in each case.) Itís not my habit to listen at high levels, but every once in a while I can just keep increasing the volume and the clarity remains.

A down side comes when listening to other systems. A friend may demo his new system and ask, ďDoesnít that sound great?Ē Iíll want to answer, ďLots of Ďhashí in the mid-rangeĒ or something like that, but I donít. And I much prefer my home audio for movie viewing over almost every cinema Iíve visited.

Glad youíre enjoying your 661ís!
post #4 of 6 Old 09-07-11, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Palatine, IL, USA
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Re: Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors

Hi to David and Joe,

As I mentioned in my introductory post on this site, I have two pair of DF-661s. I bought my first pair shortly after Peter Aczel brought them to my attention in THE AUDIO CRITIC. I am as enthusiastic about them as you two are, and I would like ultimately to get to where Joe is, with a full set of seven.

I imagine that I might have a long wait to acquire more of these, possibly at "estate sales" after a satisfied owner like me shuffles off this mortal coil!
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-12-12, 05:59 PM
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Re: Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors

Just picked up a pair, they sound awesome! what electronics best suit these?
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-12-12, 06:42 PM
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Re: Velodyne DF-661 Mini-Monitors

concajoe wrote: View Post
Just picked up a pair, they sound awesome! what electronics best suit these?
Joe, I can't really answer, since I never tried them on anything other than what I had, which was low-distortion transistor amplifiers. These days, I run with a SONY digital receiver with 100 watts for each channel. I have, on very brief occasions, run them with an old MARANTZ receiver with only 35 watts per channel, but with as low distortion as anything, and I didn't hear any difference until I ran it into clipping. That sounds bad, and is dangerous, so I don't do it anymore.
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df661 , minimonitors , velodyne

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