Initially posted in subwoofer forum, probably makes more sense here. I'm investigating an ambitious install. Apologies for the length.
I am going to install a wall of cabinets/bookcases across the short end of my family room, which is 13' x 19' x 8', open to the rest of the house through a 6' x 6'8" entry opposite the installation wall. I want to place 2 subwoofers within this that are not visible. These will replace one older Hsu 12" ported subwoofer. I've always thought I could do better, it's hard to distinguish acoustic from electric bass, there's little sense of a string being plucked, for example. I've also been using an AVR for everything for the last 7 years or so, currently a Denon 2309; pretty good, but I don't think a match for an Arcam 10 integrated amp that is currently gathering dust. Front speakers are Emotiva ERM-1.
I'd like to run both stereo and 5.1 through the same speakers/subwoofers. I'll need to get an AVR with pre-outs, but Arcam has the flexibility to do what I want. My PS3 will connect to the AVR with HDMI and to the Arcam with line out. The AVR will use the Arcam for the right and left speakers. Each subwoofer will be connected to the AVR through its LFE input so the AVR manages everything for TV/movies. The subs will also need a Line In input that is driven from an Arcam line out, so they are separate left and right in stereo mode. The subs will sit symmetrically in the wall of cabinets, each about 3'6" from the long walls. This position is fixed, because there is other stuff going on like a direct-vent fireplace, so it is what it is. I plan to place the subs so they fire downwards and through a slot that will be roughly the same cross section as a free-standing down-firing sub on 2.5" tall feet.
is this is going to place the amp and controls of a finished sub in an inaccessible location; Problem #2
is the fixed location is likely going to require EQ to get the best out of the subs. Ideal would be a single box that has both electronic crossover so the Arcam isn't trying to push low bass to the Emotivas plus EQ for the bass. Full range EQ would be nice, but there is some control over the treble roll-off on the Emotivas and it might be unnecessary and just add to the accumulated noise. The AVR should be able to EQ the sibs for TV/movies. I'm hoping to keep the sub/EQ spend below $1,000, so DIY makes sense for cost and also because it would let me place the sub amps in an accessible spot. I can probably do an enclosure getting close to 3 cubic feet per sub.
From all I've read, Rythmik E15 or F15 would be fabulous for this application. I want to optimize for music, and I'll take whatever HT performance comes along. Rythmik 15" kits are $620 each, but add EQ on top and it's starting to get expensive. Maybe they will now do kits with the HX-series amps; these don't have LFE in but they do have an RCA and an XLR line in. I definitely need two separate inputs for this scheme to work.
What else should I consider?