Cool... here's my story.
A couple of decades back, give or take a few years, I was a serious audiophile. Then life (including a wife and kids) intervened, and listening to music became a much lower priority.
I just got an HD TV, and I decided to cobble together a more modern viewing/listening experience. I recently bought a refurb Marantz SR7005 AVR from acessories4less.com.
From my audiophile days, I have a pair of Acoustat 2+2 electrostatic loudspeakers, and a highly modified Hafler power amp to run them. I know these pieces can make good music.
Somewhere along the way, I picked up a Cambridge Soundworks center channel speaker and a Polk PSW50 subwoofer. I hooked everything up, using a pair of small JBL bookshelf speakers to make a 5.1 surround setup.
Well, the speaker setup wanted the sub at +8 dB, and at any kind of volume levels, it’s making a scraping sound. I can duplicate the sound by pressing in on the top of the cone, so I think the driver is torn.
I went back and set up the speakers again without the sub, and it sounds pretty good. But when I played the attack scene from “Pearl Harbor,” I could tell something was missing without the sub.
So here I am. Here’s my key information:
Budget: I guess my budget is $500 or so. I’m having a bit of buyer’s remorse about the $700 I spent for the receiver, though, so $300 would be better.
Size requirements: For those of you who don’t remember, the Acoustats are about 20 inches wide and 7 feet ten inches tall. Any subwoofer I can afford will be visually insignificant by comparison. Still, while I can probably make a 2-foot cube work, two boxes that size might result in a loss of conjugal privileges.
Room size: Pretty big. About 22 by 28 feet the way I measure, with the back six feet of the 28 open to downstairs. The vaulted ceilings probably average 12 feet tall, so I calculate over 6000 cubic feet.
Listening habits: mostly TV and movies these days. Trues to my audiophile days, though, I expect music to sound like music. The Acoustats reproduce transients very well, so I think the sub would need to be fast, too. I generally listen at moderate volume levels, never anything like in the movie theater. When I listen to music, I tend more toward chamber music and jazz rather than 130 dB rock concerts.
Thanks for lending your expertise!