Home Theater Subwoofer Recommendation

How many subwoofers should I get?

  • One is fine

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Go for two!

    Votes: 5 62.5%

  • Total voters
    8
L

lespaul00

Enthusiast
Hello everyone,

I need a subwoofer for my home theater room. I currently have a 7.1 setup, and my old 100W subwoofer blew (out of warranty). I kinda feel it wasn't powerful enough for my size room anyway.

Therefore, I need a new subwoofer, and do not mind spending some money on something which will make my theater rock. I use it primarily for movies and sports. I have a 125" projection screen, and I included my receiver and speakers below. My room dimensions are 20' x 17' x 9'. Also, my room floor is hardwood, and I do have a rug.

Receiver: SC-1522-K 9.2-Channel Network Ready AV Receiver

Front Speakers: Polk Audio Monitor 75T

Center Speaker: Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker

Rear and side Surrounds: Two (2) RM7 Satellite Speakers Two (2) RM8 Wide-Dispersion Array Satellite Speakers

I was looking at the Klipsch R-115SW 800W Powered 15" Subwoofer, which has some great reviews, but I'm not sure if it's "too much" power than I need for my room size, OR, if two smaller subwoofers (such as the Klipsch R-10SW Powerful 10" 300 watts Subwoofer) would be better.

Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks!!!
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
I would stay away from Klipsch subs and look at Internet brands from Rythmik, SVS, Reaction, HSU, and PSA all of which offer better performance for the money.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
For $850 ANY of the Internet Direct brands 3db suggested will outperform that Klipsch. And yes, if you can buy two, DO IT! Its not about overall loudness, its about even distribution of bass frequencies across the listening positions. The goal being every seat hears the same thing!
 
L

lespaul00

Enthusiast
Hello,

I don't have a strict budget, but was hoping to stay within $1000. Someone suggested the PSA V1500 to me, which is about that price point. But getting two of those would be too expensive. If I went with 2 subs, would two V1500s be too much anyway? Is there a smaller version that would be better if pairing two?
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
My room dimensions are 20' x 17' x 9'. Also, my room floor is hardwood, and I do have a rug.
3k cuft is not large room,more on the medium size but is it open to other spaces/rooms?
This is crucial as subs are "blind" - they don't know your idea of "this is area where I play movies" they try to pressurize ALL of open air volume.
but assuming it sealed room at 3k cuft - 1k is healthy budget for some good entry level sub(s)
You may be able to get pair of these : http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html
or simply opt for one strong sub and add a second one later on:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html

This sub will dance on graves of most Klipsch subs (not sure about KW-120-THX - that's is a nice sub but 1.5k for sub and 1.5k for amp (powers two subs) is pretty hefty price I'd say :)
 
theJman

theJman

Audioholic Chief
Hello,

I don't have a strict budget, but was hoping to stay within $1000. Someone suggested the PSA V1500 to me, which is about that price point. But getting two of those would be too expensive. If I went with 2 subs, would two V1500s be too much anyway? Is there a smaller version that would be better if pairing two?
No, a pair of V1500's would not be too much for a 3000 ft^3 room. However, dual subs are only beneficial if you have the freedom to place them were they'll compliment each other (unless you plan on sitting one on top of the other, in which case get one large sub instead of two medium sized ones). If your placement options are extremely limited you may not gain much from duals. Actually, the opposite could happen; dropping two subs in non-ideal locations could exacerbate room modes and make things worse.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
^ the 'name of the game' with multiple subs is even distribution across all listening positions.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic Chief
No, a pair of V1500's would not be too much for a 3000 ft^3 room. However, dual subs are only beneficial if you have the freedom to place them were they'll compliment each other (unless you plan on sitting one on top of the other, in which case get one large sub instead of two medium sized ones). If your placement options are extremely limited you may not gain much from duals. Actually, the opposite could happen; dropping two subs in non-ideal locations could exacerbate room modes and make things worse.
According to expert like Dr. Earl Geddes, that's not exactly true. Multiple subwoofers in a small room, no matter the type of room, is always better than a single subwoofer for achieving good bass.
 
T

Tom V.

Audioholic
I would stay away from Klipsch subs and look at Internet brands from Rythmik, SVS, Reaction, HSU, and PSA all of which offer better performance for the money.
The new klipsch 15 is actually very good. It does really well >25hz IIRC. You'll give up a little under that but it can be found for $700ish(shipped). If the budget is hardcapped at 700/1400(duals) I'm not sure if someone could do better---at least in terms of headroom >25hz.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
 
theJman

theJman

Audioholic Chief
According to expert like Dr. Earl Geddes, that's not exactly true. Multiple subwoofers in a small room, no matter the type of room, is always better than a single subwoofer for achieving good bass.
It's hard to imagine someone like Geddes saying multiple subs dropped anywhere in a room would be a good idea. With proper placement yes, but without being able to do that it's a crap shoot at best.
 
L

lespaul00

Enthusiast
The new klipsch 15 is actually very good. It does really well >25hz IIRC. You'll give up a little under that but it can be found for $700ish(shipped). If the budget is hardcapped at 700/1400(duals) I'm not sure if someone could do better---at least in terms of headroom >25hz.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Would you recommend I go for a better one, like the PSA, Hsu, Rythmik, SVS, Reaction, etc, for say, $1,000-1,200, then maybe later on get a second one? I'd hate to get 2 Klipschs, then feel the need to "upgrade" both in a few years.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic Chief
It's hard to imagine someone like Geddes saying multiple subs dropped anywhere in a room would be a good idea. With proper placement yes, but without being able to do that it's a crap shoot at best.
He did not say you can place a sub anywhere in a room, there are recommended placements. However, I do know he never gives a situation where one sub is better than multiple subs, I have never read him recommend one sub or multiple subs regardless of the room.

"The subs do not need to go in specific locations. I don't understand why people keep thinking that they do. Are there better and worse locations, of course. Are there locations that just don't work? No." [Dr. Earl Geddes]
 
theJman

theJman

Audioholic Chief
He did not say you can place a sub anywhere in a room, there are recommended placements. However, I do know he never gives a situation where one sub is better than multiple subs, I have never read him recommend one sub or multiple subs regardless of the room.

"The subs do not need to go in specific locations. I don't understand why people keep thinking that they do. Are there better and worse locations, of course. Are there locations that just don't work? No." [Dr. Earl Geddes]
Unless that's an excerpt, and therefore being used out of context, it seems his belief's run counter to everyone else in the industry.
 
L

lespaul00

Enthusiast
Hello everyone,

Thanks again for the useful information. I have decided on a few things so far, but also have a few follow up questions. Let me know if you feel I need to post some of these additional questions as new, individual threads:

What I've decided:

  • I will get 1 sub now, and add a second when I want to and the budget fits
  • I will likely go with the PSA V1500, since this is comparable to other recommended subs and has the free return shipping option if I don't like it

Questions remaining (I am no "audiophile", but of course want to try to do things correctly to make my setup the best it can be):
  1. Do I need a special "surge protector" to plug this subwoofer into? My current sub 'blew' again, which is an electrical issue (not a blown fuse). Could this have been caused by a power surge during a storm, etc? Is there a standard for "protecting" subwoofers like this (or, even conditioning the power supply)?
  2. On the PSA website, if I go to "purchase" the sub, there are options for EQ (1. Anti-Mode 8033S-II or 2. Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core). I'd rather not purchase another thing if it's not necessary or just provides slightly incremental improvement. Is something like this necessary for this subwoofer? Or, does the subwoofer have everything it needs built into it?
  3. As mentioned, I do have hardwood floors. I have a 12' x 15' rug in the room beneath a large couch. I also have a recliner. Aside from that, I have a media cabinet and that is it. Nothing on the walls. I read around that hardwood floors are poor for acoustics. My Pioneer receiver has MCAAC, which "accounts" for acoustic issues in the room (calibration process using the provided microphone). Is this enough? Do I need to buy anything specific to "dull out" some of the acoustics caused by my room setup? If so, what is recommended? Or, is this being nit-picky?

Thanks again!
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic Chief
Unless that's an excerpt, and therefore being used out of context, it seems his belief's run counter to everyone else in the industry.
I can assure you, I am not taking him out of context, that is his position on the use of multiple subs in a small room.
 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic Chief
Hello everyone,

Thanks again for the useful information. I have decided on a few things so far, but also have a few follow up questions. Let me know if you feel I need to post some of these additional questions as new, individual threads:

What I've decided:

  • I will get 1 sub now, and add a second when I want to and the budget fits
  • I will likely go with the PSA V1500, since this is comparable to other recommended subs and has the free return shipping option if I don't like it

Questions remaining (I am no "audiophile", but of course want to try to do things correctly to make my setup the best it can be):
  1. Do I need a special "surge protector" to plug this subwoofer into? My current sub 'blew' again, which is an electrical issue (not a blown fuse). Could this have been caused by a power surge during a storm, etc? Is there a standard for "protecting" subwoofers like this (or, even conditioning the power supply)?
  2. On the PSA website, if I go to "purchase" the sub, there are options for EQ (1. Anti-Mode 8033S-II or 2. Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core). I'd rather not purchase another thing if it's not necessary or just provides slightly incremental improvement. Is something like this necessary for this subwoofer? Or, does the subwoofer have everything it needs built into it?
  3. As mentioned, I do have hardwood floors. I have a 12' x 15' rug in the room beneath a large couch. I also have a recliner. Aside from that, I have a media cabinet and that is it. Nothing on the walls. I read around that hardwood floors are poor for acoustics. My Pioneer receiver has MCAAC, which "accounts" for acoustic issues in the room (calibration process using the provided microphone). Is this enough? Do I need to buy anything specific to "dull out" some of the acoustics caused by my room setup? If so, what is recommended? Or, is this being nit-picky?

Thanks again!
1) You should use a surge protector with your sub, however, stay away from Monster "snake oil" type, you don't need an expensive, exotic surge protector.

2) EQ option is recommend, however I wouldn't purchase one right now. You should see how you like the sub first, set up in your room, do your sub crawl for the best placement in your room. Run MCACC, possible take some measurement using REW and then see what to do regarding EQ. I also have a Pioneer Receiver and a Anti-mode, I have employed the Anti-mode(EQ) yet because I just been getting placement and the levels matched with two subwoofers. Experts like Dr. Geddes say's EQ should be the icing on the cake instead the solution to uneven bass response.

3) In my opinion, MCACC does a good job with the channels other than sub. MCACC on some of their previous receivers don't apply EQ to the subs below 63 HZ. MCACC is complex. Its very tweakable.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
The new klipsch 15 is actually very good. It does really well >25hz IIRC. You'll give up a little under that but it can be found for $700ish(shipped). If the budget is hardcapped at 700/1400(duals) I'm not sure if someone could do better---at least in terms of headroom >25hz.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Doing really well above 25Hz doesnt cut it for me. Id rather a more uniform response from 20 Hz and up. I know its only 5 Hz but this is important to me
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Would you recommend I go for a better one, like the PSA, Hsu, Rythmik, SVS, Reaction, etc, for say, $1,000-1,200, then maybe later on get a second one? I'd hate to get 2 Klipschs, then feel the need to "upgrade" both in a few years.
LOL!
You do know you are asking Tom V., the owner of PSA, what you should do, right?
(Class act for calling attention to the performance of the Klipsch sub!):)
 

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