Is a Sub required for HT

I'm a 2-channel guy that decided to add a separate HT system. I currently have a center channel speaker and AV receiver running through my 2-channel preamp's HT bypass. I just purchased rear channel speakers. I hate subs for 2-channel, but are they required for HT?  

Your receiver's bass management will route all the bass to existing speakers.  The experience of watching a movie with a well i tegrated sub is transformative.  Especially naval movies, but integrating a sub well is a ton of work to do rignt.  if you cant take that effort, leave it out.

To do subs well usually requires bass traps and DSP in that order.
I already have GIK room treatment, including bass traps. I don't understand why you say integration for HT is difficult? I won't be using a sub in my 2-channel system.
I don't understand why you say integration for HT is difficult? I won't be using a sub in my 2-channel system.
It's really not hard to add a sub to home theater.  2 channel yes, but HT is a walk in the park.

I agree that the sub will make a movie that has that LFE channel a whole different experience.
Looking at the manual for your Marantz receiver, the default setting for Subwoofer is "yes". If this has not been changed, you are losing the LFE channel. Make sure it is set to "no", then it should send the LFE signal to the main speakers. This can make a difference in overall performance. Take a look at page 196 in your manual.
Hi Ric,

This is an easy one. Continue to build up your combo 2-channel/HT system. Get the rear speakers installed, go through the setup routine in your receiver and try it out with some of the types of movies you enjoy. If you find that you would like LFE (Low Frequency Effects), or you need some additional bass in your HT system, add the sub and re-do the setup routine.

For me, if I was going to go through the trouble and expense of adding HT to my 2-channel listening room, I would definitely want a sub to add the final dimension of sound to the HT experience.

As you know, the sub will have no effect on your combo system when listening to 2-channel music, so it's simply a matter of "do you want/need LFE or additional bass when listening to HT sources?". Your choice.
Integrating the sub "well" is the key part. I say it’s difficult because it usually is. The goal in adding a sub to movies is of course extension, but you must also compensate for room modes as well as seamlessly blending the sub in with your satellites, or mains if not running them full range.

Most who consider adding a sub dont' have bass traps that work below 200 Hz, and that's the real enabler for EQ.

Does your receiver have a built-in room EQ?



My front speakers are Monitor Audio PL500's, center Monitor Audio gold 350, rear are Monitor Audio Bronze 6. I'm thinking SVS PB 2000 as a relatively inexpensive sub.
Yes, the sub setting is set to no sub.
I called Monitor Audio and they recommended the Gold 350 or Platinum 350 center channel to match the Pl500's. It's my understanding that the rears aren't as critical.
I really have great experience with Hsu, similar pricing to SVS, but better looking cabinets I think.


Although its been a couple of years ago, I had an HSU sub and don't care for them. If it was for music it would be JL Audio, but for HT I submit SVS is a safe bet, offering good value. 
My recommendation would be for a pair of smaller (10-12 inch) subs rather than a single large sub.  And use LF acoustic room correction if possible.  You can often find a used Velodyne SMS-1 listed online, if your AVR or processor doesn't provide it.


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Yes, you want to hear s**t blow up. 
Also, if you want a super quality sub at a great price, look at my listing for a REL T9. The REL allows you to run a cable for the LFE sub on your Marantz and also to run the Speakon cable from your speaker terminals. The result is great HT effects and better integration when playing music. 
I have a SVS Sound Cylinder in my HT setup. I like it in that system for music and music channels. There are a lot of good options out there.


I purchased an SVS PB 2000 complaints!
Great choice.

Love my SB13 Plus

I watched the Jungle Book last night and the SVS  PB- 2000 did exactly what I wanted. In a HT context it offers very, very good value.
I like a sub in my HT system for movie effects but I don't like a sub in my 2 channels system with full range speakers.
Subs aren't required for HT.  You will get better bass performance with one and movies, particularly one that involve a lot of explosions, will have more umph.
  If your front speakers are capable of going low enough-a rare but not impossible event-- then you won't miss that much