Getting bass "right" in a room is a combination of a few factors. You must have sufficient capability to create the bass (enough "woofer-age"), enough power to drive those speakers, and proper positioning of the bass source(s). Room size partially dictates the first two factors as well as your desired listening level.
Consider that most home theater applications consist of a larger pair of front speakers, a center channel speaker, and 2 or more smaller surround speakers. When we hook up the smaller surround speakers, we apply bass management so that the lower frequencies (which those speakers will not be able to reproduce) are sent to our subwoofer(s). Most home theaters have one or two subwoofers, and these are usually positioned along the front wall by the front speakers. So, although you may have 5-7 speakers (or more) as your sound array, your bass is typically reproduced by 1-2 speakers (3-4, if you have large front speakers). Bass management, while sending low frequencies to speakers that are capable of reproducing them, limits the number and position of bass sources in your room. This is important.
It's well known that bass reproduction in almost all rooms is very uneven, due to the reinforcement and cancellation (nodes and nulls) described by wave theory at the frequencies we're discussing. So, you can sit in one seat and have great bass, but move a few feet and have a much different experience. Multiple bass sources tend to "smooth" the bass response around a room, so that there are more "good seats". Another benefit is that additional drivers allow better headroom (more dynamic capability) to better reproduce big slams, etc. Therefore, in a well-calibrated system, additional bass sources can provide a better listening experience.
I can state that my setup does NOT have overblown bass, but the whole room is activated when the program material calls for it.
As to whether this is overkill, a Ferrari is overkill compared to a Kia. It depends upon the depth of experience you wish to have. Fortunately, GoldenEar speakers are so affordable that the step to the larger models for surround application is not ridiculous.
To tune the system, I simply ran only one subwoofer at a time and used an SPL meter to set each sub's output to match. I then ran them all together and used the sub level control in my processor to adjust the bass to the proper overall level. My comments regarding bass in different sections of a room were confirmed as I set up each sub: the adjustments knobs on the Tritons were set at different levels on each speaker while the output was the same.
Another reason to have more capable surround speakers is to play multi-channel music recordings, where the surrounds are not just relegated to "effects". It's truly impressive.
I'm awaiting the new Krell processor late this year, which will include the ATMOS, DTS:X, etc. overhead channel capabilities. Until then, even the listener-level theater experience is far better than what I've experienced before. This type of system could be duplicated using any of GoldenEar's smaller models that include their own subwoofer section, so those on a smaller budget could still construct a system that would provide these benefits.
GoldenEar Triton One speakers (6, for front, side surround, and rear surround), GoldenEar SuperCenter XXL center channel, GoldenEar HTR7000 overhead speakers (4), JL Audio F113 x 2 (subwoofers), Krell Foundation pre-pro, Krell EV403 (front 3 channels), 2 x Krell S1500/4 (one for each side's 2 surround and 2 overhead speakers), OPPO 203D (4K, Blu-ray, SACD, DVD-A), Calyx Audio DAC24/192, MacMini w/ 2TB drive (server), Purist Audio interconnects & speaker cables, Sony XBR-75Z9D monitor.
Last edited by RBFC; 06-28-2015 at 07:13 AM.