HT newbie/dummy here.. I recently started setting up my HT system and currently have the following:
LCR - Ascend Sierra-1
Surrounds - Ascend HTM-200SE
Receiver - Onkyo RC-180
BD/DVD - PS3
However I am getting confused with the subwoofer choices. My room is 2800 cuft (24'x13'x9') with wooden flooring and not much treated apart from large area rug. The listening area is across the width and 3' right of center length-wise, and my listening is 70% movies/TV and 30% music. Music fidelity is definitely important and I do like that chest thumping, coach-shaking LFE, although not to the extent where everything shakes..
Now the hard part: ideal budget is $900 shipped, but as is typical, there can be some leeway..
After reading a lot of forums, I think, I have narrowed the choices to
1. Rythmik F12/F15
2. Hsu VTF-2 MK-3/VTF-3 MK-3/VTF-15H
3. Epik Empire
4. 2 Emotiva Ultra Sub 12
Here are my questions:
1. What is reference level for subwoofers? I listen to most movies/music at around ~60-65 db currently (75db/85db just too loud to listen to). So at my level, do I need to worry about 110-115 db sub output? If not, what level of sub output I need to worry about?
2. Although higher-price choices are clearly much better than lower choice ones, I really want something that I am going to use - meaning, even at limits, if 115 db output is not useful, do I even need VTF-15H? Or am I getting this wrong?
3. As I understand, sealed subs are cleaner and more accurate than ported ones, but have less output. So given my circumstances, should I go with Rythmik F15/Epik Empire (which might be somewhat equivalent to VTF-3.3 in terms of output)? Or 12" sealed sub would suffice (with an option of buying second in future, if needed)?
4. I also threw in 2 Emotiva Ultra 12s, since they seem to have clean output till 25-30 Hz, good form factor and might be better in overall sound balance. The flip side is, of course, that I can probably start with one higher-end 15" driver for now and buy another one later. The question is, how do 2 Emotiva ultra 12s compare against say 1 VTF-3.3 or 1 F15?
5. Related question is: if I buy 2 subs, should they be the same model or different ones are okay - both ported or both vented?
6. Do I need separate amp for any of these?
7. Lastly, anything I am missing in the choices?
Help much appreciated..