Originally Posted by Landmonster
It does Mike! I am considering a million different options here. I guess my total "initial" budget is around $2,000.
It seems like I have a few options:
A) Get 2 HSU (or similar) subs
B) Get 1 JTR 118HT sub ... and add a 2nd one several months to a year later.
C) Get 1 high end SVS sub, like a PB-4000 or something ... and add a 2nd one several months to a year later.
In either case, they need to last a long time, have suburb sound quality, and have a good WAF finish for my living room.
I am okay starting with 1 sub for now, as long as that will be decent until I can afford 2 of them. Would having just a single JTR subwoofer cause some kind of sound dispersion problem? in a 5.1 theater setup? Lots of what I read suggests that having 2 subs will sound much nicer than 1 more expensive sub. There will be a long time delay before I am able to add a 2nd JTR sub.... and even then, I would want the custom finish to match the 1st one that I buy.
It's nice to have options!
In some respects, starting with a single good sub is a little easier than starting with two subwoofers, because you will have a lot to learn about how to position your subwoofer properly, and how to operate it properly. Subwoofers are a little more complicated than speakers, and subwoofer placement and settings matter.
I will leave it up to you as to whether you prefer a Cap 118 or a PB4000. The Cap 118 will have more overall output, especially in the mid-bass. The PB4000 has the advantage of already being available in the piano black finish, and you can try one for 45-days and return it for a full refund, with free shipping, if it doesn't satisfy you. For someone who is just trying to figure out what he wants, that can be an advantage.
I'm not sure what you mean by a sound dispersion problem. A single good subwoofer should do a pretty good job by itself in a 16' by 16' room. Two subwoofers should do an even better job, but they may also require a little more effort to integrate properly.
To me, the question of whether to start with one or two is literally an instant gratification, versus long-term vision/investment, question. Most experienced home theater owners will tell you that it is better to build your HT components strategically, selecting each component carefully, rather than trying to hit the ground running with something less than you will want long-term.
If you buy two HSU subwoofers now, and get curious about whether you compromised a little bit, you will have to advertise and sell them in order to upgrade. If you buy the single more expensive sub you want now, your upgrade path is much simpler--you just add a second one when you can. A few months or a year doesn't sound like such a long time to me, but I think that I have finally learned some patience about this sort of thing.
You will have to make the final decision, but my advice is nearly always to start with the best single sub you can afford and then add the second one when you can. If we were talking about having to wait years instead of months to add a second sub, my advice would probably be different.