Thanks for the advice. Would a $500 sub bring more bass, or better quality bass?
In my old living room, I was satisfied with the level of bass that came out of the Polk. The living room was on the main floor of my house, 11x17, but with two wide open adjacent areas that added another 10x10 and 7x7. All with 9 foot ceilings. I got a decently satisfying rumble out of the Polk with that setup. It was loud enough that if I turned it any louder, my wife would tell me to turn it back down.
Then I moved the TV down to the basement, and bought the Denon and the Energy speakers (replacing an Onkyo HTS760 HTIB). The basement is 17x20 with 6.5 foot ceilings. The room is sound treated with double drywall, green glue, and whisperclips and hat track on the ceiling. The floor is hard tile. There are enough area rugs and couches to get rid of echoes and things. Ever since I moved the sub down there, I feel like I don't hear any bass except for significant events in movies like a car crash or gunshot. Watching TV, I feel like there isn't a lot of bass when a song comes on during a show. Overall, the sub feels nonexistent during most TiVo HD viewing (yes, the audio is going to the amp via HDMI) I could turn the volume all the way up, but like I said, I definitely hear the sub when watching a bluray and something big happens. Not all rhe time in a movie, just during the "big" things. The sub repeatedly made a crappy vibrating sound during a repeated low tone in a movie once, but I haven't heard it since.
When I ran Audyssey setup the first few times, Audyssey didn't even detect the sub. Then I turned the volume knob from 50% to about 80% and then it picked it up. It automatically set my front to crossover at 40hz. I could see that for a big set of full range speakers, but not for the 6 inchers in those. Am I correct in assuming that means that Audyssey thinks my sub can't handle the bass on its own and that my fronts need to help?
Anyway, one time I watched the movie "Super 8" and the train crash came on and my sub (in my opinion) performed pretty impressively. It was loud and I really felt the rumble.
So I guess I'm not looking for just sheer loudness, it's more that I'm looking for some consistency and good sound quality. I don't need to shake the entire house, but I do want to feel the movies and bring out the good sound quality of my current setup.