This will be my first subwoofer and would like some suggestions. I am a long time lurker, but first time poster. I would prefer to do it correctly the first time, so as not to be doing the constant upgrade (searching for that allusive audio nirvana). My true love is two channel music (Vandersteen 3A, Conrad Johnson Premier 12, vinyl, etc.). However, my significant other loves movies. I have put together a small budget system for movies (Marantz 1402 with Pioneer Andrew Jones SP-BS21 and SP-C21) that I think for the money is surprisingly good, and prioritizes quality sound. We do not watch many bass heavy, big Hollywood movies. For example the last ten movies we watched at home were Midnight in Paris, Black White + Gray, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Way, Far From Heaven, Macbeth, Runaway Bride, Broken Flowers, Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I give this list to illustrate that I am not looking for, nor really desire, room shaking base. I am searching for clean, tight, musical base. I am more interested in the soundtrack of a movie than the explosions (this is not to say those that enjoy the wall shaking are wrong; it is just a personal taste issue). I also listen to a lot of music on this system, but it is just streaming and background music, not critical listening.
Other issues I have are that the room already has a lot of furniture in it. Yes I could move everything around, but the look of the room is very important to her, so I have very few placement options (some things in a relationship are not worth the conversation). With the room layout as it is I am only going to purchase one subwoofer. I am fully aware of the benefits of multiple subwoofers, but at this time I will only be getting one (and it is highly unlikely a second one will be purchased, and certainly not in this house). Also, I strongly prefer to have the Subwoofer only 18 inches high, but realize that may not be feasible. If I do need to go over that height it will be by 4 inches maximum. The room that has the entertainment area is roughly 24403, the total open area is roughly 52003 (there is a room layout with dimensions below). It is impossible to give an exact number because of the cathedral ceiling. The room also has hardwood floors. I realize that trying to get a single subwoofer to pressurize a room this large will be near impossible. I also have a preference for a sealed subwoofer due to footprint, and personal sound preference (I do not want to go down the rabbit hole with regards to “can a person discern if a subwoofer is ported or sealed...” so I ask that you do not bring that specific question up in this thread). That being said I am open to exploring ported subwoofers, realizing in my situation the benefit may outweigh the cons. It will just be a hard sale.
My process began with thinking I would get the Klipsch RW-12d because I really wanted to be at $300, and it seemed as the general consensus for the best subwoofer at that price. After reading more about it (not very musical) I thought maybe I should up my budget to $500 and considered the Epic Legend. After seeing the thread on Epic I felt that it was not a wise purchase. Next I was up to the $750-$1000 price range and looked at the PSA XS15 and HSU VTF-15H. Not sure that those were going to fit the needs (output and WAF) I considered the PSA XS30 and ULS-15, but at this point the price for the subwoofer seemed absurd in relation to the rest of the system. I have read the lavish comments about Rythmik and SVS, but for some reason they just have not struck a note with me. I obviously want to keep the budget as low as I can (I recently quit my job and am now in law school), but I also do not want to buy something just to sale it in a few months because the purchase was unwise. I seem to be drawn to PSA and HSU, but I have not decided that is those are the only manufactures I will consider. I even looked at Funk, but that seems to be inappropriate in my situation.
So after all of this searching my questions are 1. Have I overlooked any subwoofer that would be a good fit? 2. What is the percentage of total system budget typically applied to subwoofer? 3. Any recommendations, and why you believe they are appropriate for my situation. Finally, to everyone who took the time to read this ridiculously long post and express your opinion I thank you!
Room Layout.docx 48k .docx file