Small, Effective Subwoofers?

In a recent speaker thread that I started there were lots of suggestions of adding a couple of subwoofers to my system. As with my speakers (Legacy Signature SEs) I have little room to place subwoofers They will need to go directly to the left or directly to the right of the main speakers. To the left the maximum height would be 12". 12’ would be great on the outside as well, but I could squeeze a slightly bigger unit in there. Would two 12" subs be sufficient here, or would they be too small for this set up?

If 12’ is OK, do you all have any reasonably priced suggestions as did @nevada_matt withe his 2-10 offering from Tekton. I would have never found those on my own, thanks Matt!

I would be super open to some used subs as a cost savings measure here.


The SVS 3000 Micro has been getting good reviews and is 10.9" high.

Not to be pedantic, but you do know? Subs often are used to help fill bass nulls, and the absolute worst placement for that is adjacent to the main speakers.

I had a little martin logan downfiring sub I gave to my nephew.. I think it was either an 8 or a 10”, but that thing sounds good also… self powered.. think it was 10 or 12 inches high..  i just cannot remember the model.. 

If you really like your speakers, but aren’t liking the bass, then small ported subs would likely give you the type of bass that you are looking for.

My speakers pretty much mimic your speakers 3dB down point for bass. I really like the high level input. People argue against omitting the upper limiting crossover, but for our speakers this isn’t an issue. My RELs are fast and provide a tight low end. I’ve got the crossover set very low, so the main speakers supply most of the bass. Wilson designed my speaker’s crossover, and I didn’t want to interfere with their design by adding a high level crossover on the subs.

That said, my listing room is over a two car garage, and the bass was crazy to subdue, so I had to work at placing a number of bass traps, heavy carpet with heavy pad and a large couch. I’m listening to vinyl so I also needed to add a super heavy equipment stand, and all this combine to subdue the room interaction caused by these additional subwoofers.

I added two of these a couple months ago, they are fantastic; Bowers and Wilkins ASW608. I believe you would be very please adding two subs to your setup. Good luck with your search.




As has been noted elsewhere, these speakers have a really low impedance (2 Ohms) below 100 Hz.

What you very well may need is a better amp OR, switch to bookshelf Legacies with a subwoofer.

@erik_squires - Thanks Eric, did you read Legacy’s response to this elsewhere?

It also sounds like subwoofer placement is going to be a problem for me too. 

No personal experience but Klipsh just came out with a new sub series.

The smallest is a 10' with a -3db @ 19hz rating. List price is around $750.

Thanks Eric, did you read Legacy’s response to this elsewhere?


Did not, totally missed that.

I heard JL Audio D series subs at a guys house. It was only an 8 inch but it sounded really nice. Obviously not earth shattering bass but blended extremely well with his ATC monitors. 


I have 12" dual subs, F12s from Rythmick and they work flawlessly with my PBN Montana XPS speakers which are 4 ohms. Plenty enough bass with the right amount of slam and definition.

However, FYI, to obtain a non overly booming sound they had to be placed on opposite walls as you can see in my system. When they were placed by the speakers I would have this huge earth shaking tremor in the rear of the room. Just pointing it out because you say you have space issues for subs placement.

Also, I agree with the ones who say a more powerful amp can only help. I run the PBNs with 500 watts per channel @ 4 ohms amp.

subs often are used to help fill bass nulls, and the absolute worst placement for that is adjacent to the main speakers.

Some of the best subs are front firing and meant to be placed between the main loudspeakers. There are many reports of better imaging in this configuration. Many large statement systems use this set-up.

Ditto on the SVS Micro 3000. Very impressive, Bluetooth connectivity. And you can go on the SVS and order one from their “blemished” section. I really enjoy mine. Pretty small too.

@navyachts I love SVS subs, and I own a pair of the SB-4000, but i have to respectfully disagree with folks recommending the SVS Micro 3000. The specs look appealing, but I’ve had two friends who have owned them and they just don’t go that low, and they will not be sufficient in your room.

The 12” you mention is quite small. Are you sure you can’t afford just a little bit more? What is causing the space limitation? I think the regular SVS SB-3000 would do well, but you the Micro 3000 probably won’t add much more than what the Signature SE can already deliver. 

Surprised that you would need subs for these speakers.  Maybe you don't have the right amplifiers.



+1 @blisshifi SB3000 Micro won’t get it done — physics is physics. Asking a 12” sub(s) to augment a speaker that already hits a solid 22Hz is a tough, and maybe impossible, ask. Whatever’s limiting your sub to 12”, I hope it’s something worth the sacrifice because it’s big.  If it’s that big of a problem and given your limitations on subwoofer size, maybe it’s worth switching to the Focus despite the hassle/cost. 

Assuming you’re going for primarily music, one of the smallest 12" subs are the SVS SB1000 Pros. I have these in a dual sub setup with my Wharfedale Lintons. Lintons at front wall and my subs are on opposing side walls. Did some sub crawling, but primarily went by my REW measurements and ultimately my ears. I often have to go to the subs to see if they’re on, but you can definitely tell when they’re off. Guess I’ve blended them well enough thru measurements and then trial/error. My room goes down to 28hz and I have two corner bass traps. Other than that it’s a carpeted room with a thick curtain over my glass windows. Sounds fantastic and the SVS’ have another great feature - bluetooth app so you can adjust the settings from your listening position.

My final comment is I didn't go dual subs for extra bass, I have enough, but the dual subs handle the nulls mentioned by others, but for me just give a more immersive "presence" with the soundstage, depth, etc.

I use a REL T5 8" downfiring sub. Musical Fidelity M6si integrated and Neat Xplorer speakers. Small sub fills in the room nicely. 22' deep, 16' wide and 10-11' ceilings.

Speakers 7' apart and 18" from front wall, chair 8' from speakers. Sub positioned at 10:00 against left wall and about 18- 24" ahead of speakers.

For a small sub in works really for my room. I was looking at upgrading to the Signature SE so your posts caught my attention. Surprised about bass lacking. Also surprised Legacy stated no burn-in time. Watching w/ interest...

The SVS 1000SB are 14" x13". Very compact to fit under a table,behind furniture so you won't even see them. They can be programmed from your listening seat with an easy to use app. They are returnable best of all. As stated by me and others the best place to achieve smooth deep bass is usually not where your speakers are set up.Again, returnable.



I use three Rel subs (two T5's and one T7) plus one SVS PB2000 along with a Musical Fidelity M6si integrated as well.

So you know, 4 subs are better than two and putting the subs right next to your speakers is risky at best. If you are experiencing low frequency issues without the subs, it may be due to your speakers being in a less than ideal position for bass reproduction. Placing the subs near to that position may do nothing to help because the subs will be in a bad position as well. Do a sub crawl and find where the subs work best.

I like my REL T5x. For the size of my room it’s perfect. Would like another one though. 😀

Small, Effective Subwoofers?

"There is no substitute for cone area than more cone area."

- Optimize 

I have a pair of Rel T/5x's paired with my Dynaudio Special 40's.

I put them next to the speaker stands where I had planned when I got them and after trying to dial them in did not like the sound. I then put them in the front corners, back corners, and eventually out into the room on either side of the couch behind my listening spot. Even a few inches off the precise location I set based on listening tests messes with the sound.

I have a nearly square room that may make placement a particularly big deal for me.





Look at the Dynaudio 18s. Dual opposed 9 in drivers. Reaches down to almost 20hz. Compact and transmits zero vibration to the floor. Very "musical"

I use it with my ATC SCM 19s and it is excellent .


Dynaudio 18S Subwoofer | ProMusicTools



I have an older Hsu Research Sub that works well with my Tekton Lore Be speakers. 

Agree with the new amp philosophy. I too have the Signature SE's powered by a Legacy I V5 amp, really don't need a sub except for movies. Give the folks at Legacy a call. My guess is they will either recommend a different amp or may be able to make you a sub to fit your requirements.

The REL T5/x is exactly 12" tall.

If your main speakers are rated to 22Hz I don't think a sub is needed and one that small may not help.

As others have stated maybe an amp that's rated for 1 or 2 ohms with sufficient current/power for your needs?

Maybe your room is the problem.  

I'm running two REL T7/x subs to the left and right of the main speakers and don't have a problem.  FWIW my room is symmetrical, rectangular, small (11x14) and treated.

If space is a concern, check out the Kef KC62 or KF92. They are very small, the KC62 is only about 10"x10" with 2x 6.5" drivers and the KF92 has 2x 9" drivers. Both have a 2x 500W (1000W total) class D amp and can go down to 11Hz (-3dB) according to the spec.

Post removed 
@kenstewart2005 +1

+2 (or 3 or 4,, lost count) for the SVS SB1000 pro.

I have dual SVS SB1000 Pro. Love ’em. Not to expensive, Smallest your gonna find for a 12" sub. The bluetooth app is a must (never gonna go back to "get up, sit down. get up, sit down" pain of adjustments).


PS: @navyachts please edit your last response,,, way to much empty space gonna kill your thread.

I have the Hsu ULS15 MkII and like it.  Makes percussion instruments sound very life-like.

I am surprised that you need subs with the Signature SEs as well, like others mentioned.  My step father has those in his finished basement (large) and they fill the space perfectly with a Rega Elicit Mk4.  I have the Legacy Studio HDs, and use a REL T5i, which I recommend for size and also their wireless transmitter!  My space is very limited and awkward for placement of everything, so putting the sub, "somewhere" was really the only option.  The wireless transmitter delivers the HI LEVEL signal and is pretty much identical to the wired hook up....only you can put it anywhere you want, or need for dealing with nulls, or placing "in the only spot you can put it!" like my set up.

Best of luck and let us know what you come up with. 



Add MJ Acoustics to the list. I use a Reference 100 with my Harbeth Shl-5. Perfect for covering the lowest octave.


Check out the Velodyne Mini Vee powered subwoofers.  I use one with my Marantz 2235B receiver and ADS L300 speakers.

I searched for a small, fast, musical sub for my Maggies for several decades. Had very little luck until I picked up a KEF KC62 last year. Pricey compared to the competition, but I couldn’t be happier. Keeps up with the speed of the Maggies and has excellent pitch definition. Goes down to at least 20Hz. Worth checking out. 

@niskymichael - yes, I have heard some good things about those KC62s. Where do you place them in relationship to your Maggie's?

I only have the one sub, as my dedicated listening room is fairly small. I positioned the sub between, and in the same plane as, the speakers. I have the gain on the sub very low, but it still has substantial output. An impressive component. :)

@lak "I'd give them more break-in time and make sure the speaker cables are in-phase. Even if the red and black ends of the speaker cables look like the correct + and - hook-up experiment and see if it makes a difference"

I tried reversing them and sounds worse, so they must be OK

Post removed 
Post removed 

I'll give thumbs up to Bowers and Wilkins DB4S.

It goes down to less than 10Hz and therefore is also excellent for Home Theater Systems.

Another Velodyne MiniVee user here. Use with my Freya+, Akitika, and Proac Tablette 10. Works great in my small listening room. Just what I need to fill in the bottom end without overwhelming everything.

@pedroeb - Thx Pedro, only 2 - channels here, but the B&W looks good!

@narrowfellow - My room is kinda big though. Sounds like a great fir for you though!