It depends on your rest of system.
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SVS 12 " sealed subs start around $650. They have a great rep and are outstanding performers on the test bench. The 12" Rythmiks are about $100 more (last I looked), also test very well, and perform beautifully in my own system.
The caveat with subs (for me) is always integration. The odds of successful integration are IME much, much higher when you use digital bass management software like Audyssey (or the equivalent).
That raises two issues:
Are you comfortable with that approach?
Have you budgeted for that approach?
You can replace your preamp with an Audyssey XT 32 (their top version software) enabled pre-pro from one of the mainstream Japanese hifi companies for app. $1500....if you're willing to go that route. If you're not enthusiastic about that idea, HK makes a similarly equipped integrated amp for similar money.
If you prefer the traditional 'Phile's purist high end approach, I'd think twice about adding a subwoofer. Many here will disagree, so, as always, remember
If you are buying new, a good subwoofer that will be relatively easy to integrate into your system (which requires, as others have noted, that the subwoofer have some sort of automatic room correction software) will run between $2400 and $3200, minimum -- cost goes up from there for bigger drivers and a little deeper response. Good brands to look at include JL Audio, Velodyne, and REL. I would caution against buying an off-brand without auditioning it first -- a lot of them are just glorified boom boxes.
If the sub is for music only, then obviously quality is an important consideration.
The biggest hurdle to quality bass in most rooms is the room itself. It imposes a peak-and-dip pattern on the sub's output that you cannot avoid. You can move the sub and/or move the listening position and change the peak-and-dip pattern, but it will still be severe. You can equalize it and get it much flatter in one location, but in doing so, you've made things worse elsewhere because the peak-and-dip pattern changes dramatically as you change listening locations. That's not to say that improvements can't be made by these means, only that they do not address the inherent acoustic problem.
The approach I suggest, if possible, is to use two small subs instead of one big one. Two small subs spread far apart will each generate a different in-room peak-and-dip pattern, and the sum of these two dissimilar patterns will be significantly smoother than either one alone. Todd Welti of Harmon International wrote a paper on optimum symmetrical placement of multiple subwoofers:
Welti's paper -skip to page 28 for conclusions
Personally I prefer asymmetrical placement but the main thing is this to have multiple bass sources spread far apart. That will improve the bass smoothness at all locations within the room, not just at the listening position, and will make equalization more likely to be a global solution instead of just a local one. Two subs is twice as smooth in-room as one (and four subs is twice as smooth as two), and imo this offers a greater subjective improvement for music enjoyment than going with a single twice-the-price ubersub.
For music, I really enjoy my Vandersteen 2Wq. I have a pair of them now, but started with one. It is designed for music, not home theater. You should review the product info on the Vandersteen web site, since this sub has a unique hook-up scheme. This helps to smoothly integrate your mains with the sub. You will need separate amp and preamp, or an integrated amp with pre-outs and power-amp inputs. The sub costs about $1500 new, and you will need to purchase an in-line filter for another $125 afterwards. It has adjustable Q, but no room EQ. Instead, it is designed for best performance when placed in a corner, which is where most people put their subs anyway. Also, your mains will have to have decent output down to 40Hz. I like these so much that I base all system upgrades around them. They are in my rig to stay.