Low-budget “music only” sub for small room - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Post Low-budget “music only” sub for small room

I have a special needs son who’s 22 years old (cognitively only 3 though) who loves music and lights. I recently purchased a pair Polk MC80 in-ceiling speaks for his bedroom which is 10X12 with an 8’ ceiling = 960^3 ft. I also installed 4 Phillips Hues lights and installed an app on his iPad mini called iLightShow which syncs the light show to his Spotify playlist. He absolutely loves the setup but daddy thinks he needs more bass for a better experience

I’m looking for a low-budget sub for “music only” for his bedroom and prefer to keep it on the smaller side since the room is so small. He’s confined to a wheelchair so I need to keep that in mind during my search. I’ve read through the budget sub thread and didn’t find anything similar. One recent series of posts brought a vendor that I haven't heard of by the name of Outdoor Speaker Depot (OSD). I called OSD and spoke with a rep and after I explained my intended use for the sub, he recommended the OSD SS8 (SS8 200W Ultra Thin Low Profile 8" Active Subwoofer Black ) which is out of stock. Amazon has a few but they want $325 vs $129 at OSD:
https://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/...oofer-ss8.html

His 2nd choice for my application was the Nero Dual X8 (8" Dynamic 300W Powered Subwoofer w/ Active & Passive Woofers) at $199:
https://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/...ro-dualx8.html

JBL has the Sub 550P on sale for $190 but the one year electronics warranty tells me they don’t have much confidence in them:
https://www.jbl.com/SUB+550PBK.html

Monoprice carries the low-profiles subs in 8, 10, and 12” versions:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=33830

Parts-Express carries a 10” low-profile subs with/without an option for wireless bundle:
https://www.parts-express.com/10-wir...000l--300-6390

If none of these are going to get him where he needs to go, then another option would be an SVS SB12-NSD with the metal grill (for protection from his wheelchair) but it’s not available this time of year. I don’t mind spending the $$ as I want him to enjoy this 😉

I’m open to all input and would appreciate any guidance or suggestions you might have.
-Mark
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post #2 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 04:36 PM
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SVS will perform much better than the other subs you listed and still has a small footprint. Check out your local classifieds as SVS is fairly common these days. A used SB-1000 would be perfect.

I am not familiar with the low profile monoprice subs but monoprice tends to make pretty good stuff for the price.
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post #3 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mevansmusic View Post
SVS will perform much better than the other subs you listed and still has a small footprint. Check out your local classifieds as SVS is fairly common these days. A used SB-1000 would be perfect.

I am not familiar with the low profile monoprice subs but monoprice tends to make pretty good stuff for the price.
Thanks - I've checked my area Craigslists for used but nothing out there. I probably should have jumped on the recent SB1000 in piano black from BH Photo for $400. The combination of his wheelchair and piano black prevented me from checking out.
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post #4 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 05:04 PM
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Thanks - I've checked my area Craigslists for used but nothing out there. I probably should have jumped on the recent SB1000 in piano black from BH Photo for $400. The combination of his wheelchair and piano black prevented me from checking out.
Well just keep an eye out. You might be able to find something if you keep looking.

Another sub to consider is the RSL Speedwoofer 10S. No metal grill but perhaps you can set it under a desk or end table or something like that. Only retails for $400 shipped and has pretty great performance as well.

https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...peedwoofer-10s

If you need to go cheaper, I would look at Dayton Subs. THe 12 inch is sold out right now but they have the bigger one in stock. May be too big.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-634

Other options in the lower budget area.
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-627
https://www.parts-express.com/bic-fo...oofer--303-436

None of these cheaper subs will do quite what the RSL and SVS can do in terms of even frequency response and clarity but they might suit your needs. Bonus is if they get banged up, its not a big deal.

TV: TCL 6 Series 75"
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post #5 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by marko44 View Post
Thanks - I've checked my area Craigslists for used but nothing out there. I probably should have jumped on the recent SB1000 in piano black from BH Photo for $400. The combination of his wheelchair and piano black prevented me from checking out.

Don’t forget the audio classified section here at AVS Forum. Lots of guys get upgraditis and sell their stuff here to. Might be able to snag a good deal if you have some patience.


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post #6 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 06:10 PM
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The JBL 550P at $189 is an absolute steal.
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post #7 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mevansmusic View Post
Well just keep an eye out. You might be able to find something if you keep looking.

Another sub to consider is the RSL Speedwoofer 10S. No metal grill but perhaps you can set it under a desk or end table or something like that. Only retails for $400 shipped and has pretty great performance as well.

https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...peedwoofer-10s

If you need to go cheaper, I would look at Dayton Subs. THe 12 inch is sold out right now but they have the bigger one in stock. May be too big.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-634

Other options in the lower budget area.
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-627
https://www.parts-express.com/bic-fo...oofer--303-436

None of these cheaper subs will do quite what the RSL and SVS can do in terms of even frequency response and clarity but they might suit your needs. Bonus is if they get banged up, its not a big deal.
The RSL looks interesting and always seems to get positive feedback. It comes in at 16"X15"X17.75" so it's just a bit larger than the 14" SVS cube. The Dayton 15, and Bic would be too large. You provided a link to the Dayton 8 but the 10 could be a possibility. At 14-3/4" H x 14-3/16" W x 15-3/4", it's a contender.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-628

The hard part of this is not being able to listen to these and I certainly don't want to ship one of these back.
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post #8 of 39 Old 06-01-2020, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
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The JBL 550P at $189 is an absolute steal.
Have you heard the JBL? Curious how it does with music. The sub is 15 X 17.5 x 16 deep so it would certainly work. It's a little wider than most but that is due to the sides being solid material which allows the driver to be recessed a bit. This would create barrier between my son's wheelchair and the driver. That is very appealing to me.

What are your thoughts on the JBL vs. RSL vs Dayton 10?

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post #9 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 09:12 AM
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Don’t forget the audio classified section here at AVS Forum. Lots of guys get upgraditis and sell their stuff here to. Might be able to snag a good deal if you have some patience.


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This is really good advice. My first "real" sub was a SVS PB10-NSD that I picked up used for around $250. I used that sub for 3 years and just sold it for $250. SVS is popular enough now that they pop up in local classifieds for me a few times a month. Just bought my SB-3000 used as well, only 4 months old. Saved around $500 from retail when you consider the finish, tax and the isolation feet it came with.
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TV: TCL 6 Series 75"
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post #10 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 10:40 AM
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I'd be tempted to go with the SSW-10 and hang it on the wall, or hide it under a chair, out of the way of any wheelchair accidents.
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post #11 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 12:31 PM
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dont get the jbl 550 the amp gets hot and starts to smell which means it will fry eventually. (I owned one)
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post #12 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 01:01 PM
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The RSL looks interesting and always seems to get positive feedback. It comes in at 16"X15"X17.75" so it's just a bit larger than the 14" SVS cube. The Dayton 15, and Bic would be too large. You provided a link to the Dayton 8 but the 10 could be a possibility. At 14-3/4" H x 14-3/16" W x 15-3/4", it's a contender.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-628

The hard part of this is not being able to listen to these and I certainly don't want to ship one of these back.
One of the reasons that SVS costs a bit more than Hsu, Rythmik and other ID brands is the fantastic in home trial policy. They have free shipping on returns. Just keep the box and packaging the sub came with, print the return label and you are good to go. RSL also has free shipping on returns with a in home trial. You could order both and send the one you like less back. Listening to subs in a retail space is so different that in your home. Your room is the biggest factor so trying the sub at home is the best way to get an idea about how it sounds.

Hsu and Rythmik have in home trials as well but you have to pay return shipping.
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TV: TCL 6 Series 75"
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Previously Owned Equipment: Elac B5 and C5, SVS PB10-NSD
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post #13 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd be tempted to go with the SSW-10 and hang it on the wall, or hide it under a chair, out of the way of any wheelchair accidents.
First off, I appreciate all those who took time to provide help with this!!!

After much consideration, I'm going to go with the Monoprice SSW-10 since the room is so small. I can try it under my son's bed to keep it out of harm's way, as suggested. I have looked around for a used SVS SB12-NSD but none are to be found and I want to put something in his room now. If the slim sub is not up to par, I’ll replace it.

I'm hesitant on the JBL sub since I just installed JBL SP8Cii speakers in the ceiling and was not happy with the sound. I made boxes above them in the attic in hopes of getting better sound without success. I will be replacing them with the Polk MC80 s this weekend.

Currently, there is medium pile carpeting in his room but I will be replacing the flooring in his room with laminate once my kitchen remodel is complete. In the interim, should I lay the Monoprice directly on the carpeting or put something under it?

Also, I failed to mention I’m powering the sound in his room with a Sonos Connect amp. I cut in a new electrical receptacle in the ceiling of his closet, then installed the Sonos Connect on the top shelf of the closet shelving (just 12” below electrical receptacle), then ran speaker wires to the in-ceiling speakers. There is a subwoofer out connection on the back of the amp so I’m debating if I want to run a cable or go wireless. A wired connection will require me to run a 25’ sub cable from the amp, into the attic, over 10’, cut a hole into the top plate, then run a wire down, and since it’s a wall between his bedroom and the garage, I would most likely encounter a horizontal block. What are your thoughts?

Thanks - Mark
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Originally Posted by mevansmusic View Post
One of the reasons that SVS costs a bit more than Hsu, Rythmik and other ID brands is the fantastic in home trial policy. They have free shipping on returns. Just keep the box and packaging the sub came with, print the return label and you are good to go. RSL also has free shipping on returns with a in home trial. You could order both and send the one you like less back. Listening to subs in a retail space is so different that in your home. Your room is the biggest factor so trying the sub at home is the best way to get an idea about how it sounds.

Hsu and Rythmik have in home trials as well but you have to pay return shipping.
The SVS will be my plan B. . . I really like the 14" cube footprint. Thank you for your time and insight!!
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The SVS will be my plan B. . . I really like the 14" cube footprint. Thank you for your time and insight!!
No worries. Hope the slim sub works out well for you! I suspect that you guys will like it plenty, coming from a system without a sub. There are audible differences compared to more traditional subs but without experiencing a more high end sub, you probably won't even know what you are missing.

TV: TCL 6 Series 75"
Speakers: Hsu Research HB-1 and HC-1
Sub: SVS SB-3000
AVR: Yamaha HTR-4065
Previously Owned Equipment: Elac B5 and C5, SVS PB10-NSD
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No worries. Hope the slim sub works out well for you! I suspect that you guys will like it plenty, coming from a system without a sub. There are audible differences compared to more traditional subs but without experiencing a more high end sub, you probably won't even know what you are missing.
I currently have (2) PSA S3000i subs setup in my living room and just recently, advertised my (2) PSA 15V subs on Craigslist. I found someone with a Rythmik FV18 PC who was looking for smaller subs so we traded. Watching my son move to music, which he really does , told me that a sub in his room was a must, not an option. Thanks again!!
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post #17 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 01:49 PM
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I currently have (2) PSA S3000i subs setup in my living room and just recently, advertised my (2) PSA 15V subs on Craigslist. I found someone with a Rythmik FV18 PC who was looking for smaller subs so we traded. Watching my son move to music, which he really does , told me that a sub in his room was a must, not an option. Thanks again!!
Let us know how he likes it! It is awesome that you are giving him the gift of good sound.
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TV: TCL 6 Series 75"
Speakers: Hsu Research HB-1 and HC-1
Sub: SVS SB-3000
AVR: Yamaha HTR-4065
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post #18 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by marko44 View Post
First off, I appreciate all those who took time to provide help with this!!!

After much consideration, I'm going to go with the Monoprice SSW-10 since the room is so small. I can try it under my son's bed to keep it out of harm's way, as suggested. I have looked around for a used SVS SB12-NSD but none are to be found and I want to put something in his room now. If the slim sub is not up to par, I’ll replace it.

I'm hesitant on the JBL sub since I just installed JBL SP8Cii speakers in the ceiling and was not happy with the sound. I made boxes above them in the attic in hopes of getting better sound without success. I will be replacing them with the Polk MC80 s this weekend.

Currently, there is medium pile carpeting in his room but I will be replacing the flooring in his room with laminate once my kitchen remodel is complete. In the interim, should I lay the Monoprice directly on the carpeting or put something under it?

Also, I failed to mention I’m powering the sound in his room with a Sonos Connect amp. I cut in a new electrical receptacle in the ceiling of his closet, then installed the Sonos Connect on the top shelf of the closet shelving (just 12” below electrical receptacle), then ran speaker wires to the in-ceiling speakers. There is a subwoofer out connection on the back of the amp so I’m debating if I want to run a cable or go wireless. A wired connection will require me to run a 25’ sub cable from the amp, into the attic, over 10’, cut a hole into the top plate, then run a wire down, and since it’s a wall between his bedroom and the garage, I would most likely encounter a horizontal block. What are your thoughts?

Thanks - Mark
The sub has feet, so just use those. If you need more height, look at risers made for couch or bed legs. As to wireless, that can be problematic, as many complain of interference and dropouts. Also, you will need a plug near the bed to power the receiver end. If you can find an easy way to get the cord to the sub, then that is the better solution. If not, look at acquiring the wireless receiver/transmitter from SVS or Outlaw Audio, as they both seem to be better products than the usual Amazon offering.

Also, piercing the wall between the garage and the bedroom is against the law, as it's a firewall...
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post #19 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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The sub has feet, so just use those. If you need more height, look at risers made for couch or bed legs. As to wireless, that can be problematic, as many complain of interference and dropouts. Also, you will need a plug near the bed to power the receiver end. If you can find an easy way to get the cord to the sub, then that is the better solution. If not, look at acquiring the wireless receiver/transmitter from SVS or Outlaw Audio, as they both seem to be better products than the usual Amazon offering.

Also, piercing the wall between the garage and the bedroom is against the law, as it's a firewall...
Ok - I'll plan to run the cable and thank you for the heads up on the code violation. I had no idea
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Ok - I'll plan to run the cable and thank you for the heads up on the code violation. I had no idea
I happened to run into that little piece of information during a plumbing project many years ago (one that was never accomplished due to this restriction).

BTW, if you are replacing the flooring soon, maybe under the floor is the better approach to route that cord? Behind the molding?
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You mentioned closet ... what if you got the RSL and put it in the closet? No wires to run cause you get wireless for an extra $50 and you have an outlet there already (I guess maybe you'd need an extension cord to run to the floor). $450 all told and great return policy. Sub seems quite well-regarded for it's price. I don't think he'd hear a huge sound difference in a closet vs. under bed as you were thinking
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post #22 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I happened to run into that little piece of information during a plumbing project many years ago (one that was never accomplished due to this restriction).

BTW, if you are replacing the flooring soon, maybe under the floor is the better approach to route that cord? Behind the molding?
That's an idea .. . it could be tucked into the void just below the sheetrock . . would have to remove the baseboard molding but that's no big deal!!
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post #23 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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You mentioned closet ... what if you got the RSL and put it in the closet? No wires to run cause you get wireless for an extra $50 and you have an outlet there already (I guess maybe you'd need an extension cord to run to the floor). $450 all told and great return policy. Sub seems quite well-regarded for it's price. I don't think he'd hear a huge sound difference in a closet vs. under bed as you were thinking
Hi - I appreciate the suggestion but think I'm going forward with the slim design. If I'm underwhelmed by the slim sub, I'll consider going this route. Thank you!
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post #24 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 05:07 PM
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Hi - I appreciate the suggestion but think I'm going forward with the slim design. If I'm underwhelmed by the slim sub, I'll consider going this route. Thank you!
SVS also makes wireless kits for their subs if you end up not liking the slim sub.
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post #26 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 05:32 PM
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Based on all the subs mentioned in this thread and the prices, I give another strong recommendation to the JBL550P. Order it straight from JBL with free shipping and free return shipping if not 100% happy. Sure, a $400 sub *might* be a little better, but maybe not. Remember the JBL is normally a $599 sub. It wouldn't be a great value at that price, but $189 is way underpriced. The grille is very solid as well that covers the woofer if that matters.

I've had:
JBL 8" HTiB "sub"
Polk PSW110
SVS PB12-NSD
SVS PB2000
PSA XS30(original version of S3000i)
PSA XV15se
18" SI HT-18
18" SI HST-18
Dayton Audio PA-460
18" pro audio BMS18n862
PSA S1512
Rythmik FV15HP
JBL 550P

I've heard a few.
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post #27 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
The Outlaw Audio M8 looks interesting at (H/W/D) 14.5 in. (inc. feet) x 10.875 in. x 14.125 in

Thanks!!
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post #28 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 08:47 PM
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I bought this on from Amazon. Elac Sub 1010 for $129. Very happy with it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WHTXFWV..._lZX1Eb385CQAD
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post #29 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Based on all the subs mentioned in this thread and the prices, I give another strong recommendation to the JBL550P. Order it straight from JBL with free shipping and free return shipping if not 100% happy. Sure, a $400 sub *might* be a little better, but maybe not. Remember the JBL is normally a $599 sub. It wouldn't be a great value at that price, but $189 is way underpriced. The grille is very solid as well that covers the woofer if that matters.

I've had:
JBL 8" HTiB "sub"
Polk PSW110
SVS PB12-NSD
SVS PB2000
PSA XS30(original version of S3000i)
PSA XV15se
18" SI HT-18
18" SI HST-18
Dayton Audio PA-460
18" pro audio BMS18n862
PSA S1512
Rythmik FV15HP
JBL 550P

I've heard a few.
Wow . . . that's quite the resume and you've given most of the vendors a little business. I appreciate the input!
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post #30 of 39 Old 06-02-2020, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I bought this on from Amazon. Elac Sub 1010 for $129. Very happy with it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WHTXFWV..._lZX1Eb385CQAD
Looks like I have even another plan B if the slim sub isn't sufficient. I've had a set of Elacs in the past and enjoyed the sound. Thanks
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