Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar
Appreciate your thoughts. For my HT room, I plan 4 Lunas, a Luna Duo, and an L12. But the other setup I'm discussing above is my small home office for only critical music listening. Here, the bookshelves will be close to wall behind them and only 4' apart. I'll be 2' from each. Sub can go in at most 3 locations: to left of desk, below desk next to my feet, and to right of desk. I'm concerned about bass management. As you noted its easy just 80 and 120 settings. more concerned about gain tweaking, position tweaking and integrating. Have listened to many badly integrated subs at my friend's apartments and at every big box store that sells subs. Clutter is also a concern in small room.
As others have indicated, I think you're going to want a receiver (or other method) to apply either Audyssey XT32 or Dirac. I don't think it's coincidental that the most commonly recommended ones around here often come with one or the other (or something like a miniDSP that will let you do the same thing without the receiver).
I have owned several Onkyo's, back when Onkyo came with Audyssey, but pre-XT32 (or I didn't buy high enough up on the food chain). The HDMI board went bad on the first one. I still use it via Optical In in my bedroom, but it forced me to upgrade/rebuy much earlier than I planned. The other has been a real tank in terms of a big clean power bank (NR809; 135 wpc into 2 channel) that has run well and driven hard for almost a decade now. But "XT" falls far short of "XT32" for bass management, and that NR809 only came with "XT". My main room now has a Denon x4400h, and XT32 has made a significant improvement for my base management, and I definitely recommend it or some other similar solution.
Some subs, like Rythmik I use in my main room, also have extra knobs that can be turned. Most of those knobs are disabled when applying bass management at an AVR, and particularly if using "LFE In" input, but per their guidance docs if you use "Line In" instead they'll support a 24 dB/octave slope roll off, rather tha 12 db/octave via LFE In, which I've been led to believe is not particularly common...
I stayed "on a safe and well traveled path" with this last round of upgrades. Denon Receiver (with XT32), Ascend Sierra's with RAAL Ribbon, and Rythmik sub, was a recommendation I saw on here over and over again for years before I bought... and FWIW, it's been a significant improvement over the gear it replaced. TIFWIW.