Let's rephrase it. OP has to choose between the worst (middle of room) and worse. In this case I'd choose worse and make up for it by adding as many subs as my pocket allows.
BH, does that improve my situation at all?
From the photo, what you consider to be the HT may be 17.5, but the entire room is open going back to the bar area. So to the bass it's all one large room ending at the far rear wall. What you are calling your HT is not the only area we are looking at, we are looking at the entire open area because it all needs to be pressurized and the positioning of the subs has to take all of these boundaries into consideration.
Are we missing something in the photos?
And to add even more misery to my situation, there is another huge opening from the bar area to a pool table area. Pressurizing all three areas is futile...Had I known all the physics involved with subs, I probably would have designed my basement HT differently. (Changing it is not an option). Maybe I could invent a stove-pipe hat type of subwoofer so I could just wear that when I watch a movie down there...
Yeah, it's that open area to your pool table that we have been discussing as well and why there has been talk about likely the need for three subs with some saying a fourth sub might even be necessary. I feel your pain brother.
Let me know how what that subwoofer hat comes out, I may buy one.
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