Check out the Adire Rava, and the ACI Quake and Titan II. The Rava is only 400, and from what I have heard, is amazing, and is a sealed design that goes down to 20 Hz with a 250W amp. Cheers!
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how big is the room for one thing? also,used or new price under $1000? is the room open or closed configuration as well(thus acoustically the sub would be seing a larger acoustic space if the room is open to other spaces)?
That being said, your main challenge once getting a good sub, and you should certainly be able to find an adequate sub at that price(especially used),is to get the subwoofer integrated well, and get reasonably flat frequency response and phase!
I'd say 99% of the people, easily, get lousy results with subs, simply because they don't set them up well, and don't know how frankly!
There's plenty of subs with power out there that can move air well for movies for sure. Some might be inherently quicker than others, or have more impact. But that doesn't matter if you can't get the thing set up right in the first place! I've sold and hooked up 100's of sub based systems, and can vouch for this first hand
For most peoples applications for HT, I'd recommed looking in to something like a Def Tech PF15tl+ at $700 retail (cheaper on the net), I've sold/used quite a few of these guy's, and they hit hard or HT dubties in even massive home rooms! Even better, if you can find a good price on the M&K subs, they're built the bes
I own the Mirage BPS400, bought it from Tweeter for $799 (originally $1299). It has (2) active 12 inch drivers and a 400 watt amp. It's rated down to 16 hz. I also only use it for movies. It really rocks the house, I don't see how you could do any better for the price. Nevermind, I just checked the height, it's 21" high. I use mine as an end table, 12 feet away from the TV. This may be too much bass for you. If you're planning on enclosing a sub in a cabinet, it will have boundary reinforcement, which means you won't need a very powerful sub.
If you are willing to push the $1000 envelope, then you may want to look at the M&K MX700. It has two 8" drivers and has a total size of 14" H x 17" W x 11" D (approx). This is about the fastest sub that I have ever heard, and was designed to be shoe-horned into a very small area. At my local "High End" audio / home theater store, they have this sub in their "million dollar room" (all McIntosh, Revel and Madrigal equipment) even though they have other subs (such as the Revel B-15) that cost 2 to 4 times as much. The only drawback to the M&K is that it is very sensitive to room placement....put it in the right place, jaw drops....put it in the wrong place, you will wonder where the money went. Any dealer worth their salt will let you audition in your own home (though beware of restocking fees if you return the item). If you have a local M&K dealer available, try the little MX700 out....