Are big subwoofers viable for 2 channel music?


In thinking about subwoofers to get for a large future listening space (30' x 30'). So far there seems to be a lot of great options for smaller subs for music.. such as the rel s812. Now my main focus will be music but I do plan to do some home theater on the system and I do enjoy subs that reach low and have strong but clear sub-bass. Would a large sealed sub still be able to provide clean tight bass that digs low and thus satisfy both duties. Can it ever match the speed and precision of a pair or more of rel 812s? Something like PSA S7201 or Captivator RS2?

A realize a smaller sub has a smaller moving mass and thus for a given level of power would be faster than a bigger sub with a bigger moving mass (driver mass). But a large sub would have to move less to achieve the same SPL and would reach lower.

Anyhow what do you guys think? Thanks.
smodtactical
" Tim would you go for 4x rel 812, swarm or dual rs2 / s7012?"

Hello smodtactical,

     I'd recommend the Swarm because:

1.  It'll be simpler to setup since you'll only need to properly set the volume, cutoff frequency and phase controls once on the included 1K watt class AB amp/control unit for all 4 subs, rather than individually for each sub with the other options.
2.   It'll be much more aesthetically pleasing in your room than the other options.  Each sub is relatively small at 12"wx14.5"dx28"h, is supported by 3 conical spiked metal footers, have the speaker wire terminals hidden by being located on the bottom and are positioned with the 10" driver facing, and about 1-2 inches away from, the wall.  Once properly positioned, the subs look like attractive wooden pedestals in the wood of your choice.  You can also utilize them as small end tables if you'd like.
3.  It would probably be the least expensive option, unless you know of a seller who offers large discounts on REL subs.

     Overall, four subs will also perform about twice as well as two subs in terms of bass power, speed, smoothness, dynamic impact as well as the levels of detail and seamless integration with your main speakers.  I'm not certain but believe the 4x REL 812 option has the potential to marginally outperform the Swarm but would be more expensive and require the setting of the volume, cutoff frequency and phase controls individually for each sub.

Tim 

I have a pair of REL 212s, main speakers with their own powered subwoofers. So far the best sub position has been to place them just a bit beside the listening position, slightly to the rear. Without one of the various room measurement programs everything seem like a crapshoot. 
Not to say they haven't improved the bass and overall presentation, but there remains questions as to whether they are optimized. 
Thanks guys lots to think about.

While a pair of Rythmik F18’s is undoubtedly awesome (I say that being familiar with the F15), a quartet of smaller subs (say, the F12) may be even better. Place two of them as close to your listening position as possible, to maximize " visceral-ness".

The F12 is available with either an aluminum cone, or a lower-mass paper one (the F12G). The F12G has been optimized for music, the F12 for all-around use. Get two of each!

If you find the dual-opposed design---popularized by Seaton---appealing, check out the newish Rythmik G25HP, which I would much rather have. The Seaton is just a couple of woofers in a box; fine for home theater, not for music.