Originally Posted by Scurly
I have a 19x13 dedicated media room. B&W 683s, HTM61 center, M1 (4) and ASW610 sub. Had a JBL 8400p second sub only because it was free and had an AVR for dual subs. Well, the JBL crapped out and now the contemplation begins.
I like the balance you get with dual subs, but could be losing some range. After talking with several sub manufactures, I'm even more confused.
So....should I keep the B&W ASW610 and buy another, similar sealed sub for the dual 10" sub route (200 or 300 watt) OR sell the one B&W ASW610 and buy one ported, bigger sub? I've looked at HSU, SVS and all of the well built subwoofers. If I match the asw610, I want to pay about $600 or so. If I switch to one ported and sell the asw610, I could go to $1000ish. Would i lose the balanced feel with one big, ported sub? I know I would gain range etc.
My preference is big bass, but balanced. I'm not into the technical jargon and not real picky....just want a well balanced, big, punchy bass sound for movies that shake the house for those awesome scenes. I am almost 100% movies rather than music in this room.
Thx for the recommendations.
I want to echo all the good advice you have already gotten, and to add a couple of thoughts of my own. First, I believe that based on your description of what you are looking for, you should definitely go with a ported sub. Ported subs are larger and more expensive than their sealed counterparts specifically in order to deliver more loud, low bass. And, we especially notice the extra SPL and tactile benefits of that in 5.1 movies.
Second, I believe that a really powerful subwoofer will change the way that you perceive bass in movies. As most of us add subwoofage, we find that our awareness of, and appetite for, bass increases. So, I would start with a single ported sub, and go as large as my budget would permit me to go. If your budget is $1000 and you need to stick with that, so be it, but I wouldn't try to accommodate two less powerful subs within that budget. I would start with a single good one, with a plan to add a second one when the opportunity presents itself.
I believe that you will want to work your way back to dual subs. But, that can be a process for most of us. If you start with two lesser subs now, it can be difficult to ever get all the low extension you want from them without replacing and upgrading both subs. If you start with one really good sub, adding a second will increase your headroom and help to smooth your frequency response, but you will already have most (or all) of the low extension you are after.
FWIW, I believe that there is a lot of difference between an HT system that can go down effectively to about 20Hz or 22Hz, and a system that can go down to about 15 or 16Hz with some significant SPL. The floor shaking effects are primarily <20Hz, for instance. So, the low extension that you can get with a single larger, more powerful sub, can be an important aspect of the initial buying decision.