monitors, sub and DSPeaker-Anti-Mode 8033
Monitor requirement is monitor dependent and your taste for bass. If you want a cheap high quality sub, get the James EMB1000, usually for 5-700.00 on the gon. They are small, easy to adjust, and are very fast. Sorry to hear about the divorce, been there, done that, always expensive, but 3 years later, in a good place, vinyl spinning, cd's spinning and there is music in the house and a Brazilian to dance for me hehehehe....jallen
You have to make these decisions for yourself.You will get lots of well meaning posts but they are all that persons opinion with their gear in their room.You can already see by the posts that there are as many reccomendations as there are posters.What works for Joe Blow might be totally unacceptable to you.I can't imagine a city the size of Houston,does not have several dealers that will give you an in home demo.Maybe your best bet is to find a local audio club/society and get to know some members(try a search here on A'gon).Most people love to show off their gear!!You might also consider buying used and trying some different things out to find something you can live with.Buying and selling used is a great way to try different equipment and usually pretty "dollar wise".Good luck in your journey.
Also depends on the paricular monitor. Some (earlier ProAc Tablette comes to mind) are designed to be flat with only the deep bass missing. I find that these need a sub. Others (earlier Sonus Faber monitors for example) are designed with elevated mid-bass and sound much more satisfying (to my ear) as a stand-alone speaker, even though they're technically less neutral.
A good trade-off might be something like the 3A deCapo. Large enough to provide real bass into the 40s and gently rolled on top to smooth the overall tonal balance. These are definitely suitable for use without a sub.
I'm moving from Vandersteen Quatros with built-in subs (great speakers, BTW) to small monitors (probably Harbeth P3Esr) for aesthetic and flexibility purposes. As I test these little speakers out I am less inclined to get a sub, at least right away. I think I'll enjoy them as-is for a while, and reassess later the issue of the sub.
So, you might just get a good pair of monitors, and just listen for a while. Setup/positioning will change how they sound, so experiment a bit.
If you need a sub later, go for it, but you may find you don't miss it after a while.
Of course, I am generally listening to jazz and vocals and not at earsplitting levels. If you are cranking up some rock, well, you'll probably want a sub.
I can't recommend one since I have not looked hard at them yet (and may not).
Good luck with it.
The problem with subs is that they are tough to integrate into the overall sound of a system. It may be too loud or sound different or what have you. I've tried running a sub and played around with placement to where I thought it sounded good. Then one day I decided to hear how the system sounded without it - much better!
I have a pair of Quad 12L2 speakers. While I can criticize them in one or two aspects, they put out a surprising amount of bass, and it's nice and tight too. And they aren't exactly a large monitor, just a standard 6.5" woofer 2 way design, in a probably average or below average sized box. They probably go down to 45-50Hz, yet it feels lower. I don't feel I'm missing out on too much low end info.