You might consider the Monitor Audio subs. They don't go that deep, nor that loud, but they are well suited for music applications. They're well under $1k on the used market.
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Vandersteen 2W.You run the sub off the amplifiers output thus retaining the main amps signature in the sub.Great price used also.If you really want to do it right I suggest building your own.You will learn exacally what it is you desire in a sub by building your self.The flexibility in chosing a driver, encosure and what amp to drive it along with the proper equalizing(parametric).There is a trial and error period but that is where you learn what about bass you like.How about an Adire Tumult sealed.An Adcom GFA 555mkII amp (bridged mono).A Behringer digital parametric and you have world class for under 1000.00.Good luck.
VMPS is well known for some of the best bass available. Prices are very reasonable. Check out the site:
You can find out more at the VMPS circle at audiocircle.com.
The designer, Brian Cheney, has been known for over twenty years as offering some of the best bass available and things haven't changed. Prices are great bargains for what you get. These are passives so will require an amp, but that's easily affordable considering the price of the subs.
I have a Parts Express $100 special in my basement home theatre system. After breakin I have to say that I like it in that capacity, a lot. Now, I don't listen to music in that system - only movies. YMMV
I have a REL Strata III in my main rig and it certainly blows away the cheap sub. But the REL wouldn't work in the home theatre system at all. Each for it's purpose according to its strengths.
Subs don't have to be "fast" (a bass note is quite slow in attack) they have to be "clean".
A lot depends on where you are crossing over. If you are crossing over at, say, 70hz or below the HSU VT3 is invisible and has great deep basss at around 800 bucks. If you are crossing over at a higher frequency I might rather go to a sealed box type. The Martin Logan ones are very nice (if pricy).
The trick is, the decay characteristics of the sub have to match the mains or it just doesn't gell. For instance, my speakers only sound integrated with ported subs; sensor-controled and sealed boxes just would not match no matter what I did. On the other hand my friends sealed box speaker sounded best with a sealed type sub.
I am currently using the NHT1259 subwoofer that I built myself, Madisound has the parts that are needed to build a low cost subwoofer, I like the sound of it for music, for home theatre? it could be better, but for the price I think that it is the best. The cabinet size may be a drawback, it takes a 3cu Ft enclosure. Check it out.