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Go with two subs. You'll never look back. Find a pro to help you set them up with testing equipment. Otherwise you'll never get the best out of your money or system. I chose the Revel Sub 30s because they are B15s on steroids. And I new they would complement my Salons. The Sub 30s have a forward 15" woofer and 15" downward fireing passive radiator with 3 parametric equalizers. Look up Adidadi for a good deal and see my if you want to see what the pro version without the wood panels cost. They are about half what the premium finished Sub 30s cost, and still look great I think.
Don't worry about which way it fires. I don't know what your budget is but I'd get the best single sub I could first and save for the second. That's what I'm doing now. Those little Velodyne's can easily be outperformed by other subs for the same money. Please do some research. For 500 bucks or so you can get a decent used M&K or my favorite Vmps. I have to qualify that last statement that I'm also a part time dealer for Vmps. Do some research on your own and you'll see it's great advice. Just be aware there's alot of subs and some are better at music than others. Also alot of subs that are excellent can be purchased used. I've heard those little Velodyne's in two places, a friends and my brother. In both cases they were very disappointed after hearing my sub.
I'm not married to Velodyne or MJ Acoustics
Are the James EMB subs more musical, detailed in the bass ?
Funny, I'm borrowing an older 12" M&K V1-B that I refoamed myself and installed an IEC inlet in place of the hard-wired lamp cord, sounds pretty nice, but my friend needs it back for his new high-def TV.
I do not know if they are more detailed or musical than the speakers you mentioned. They kill Sunfire (which I owned) and I preferred them over the Rel cubes, Definitive Technology cubes, and the Revel performa 15. Why don't you put your rig out there. We may be able to save you oodles, or put you in hock up to your eyeballs. fwiw, warren
What an avid audiophile you are! I always enjoy reading your comments and learn a great deal. Concerning the Salons, they do perform as advertised,and sound great. But adding subs takes them to a new level. First I have eliminated the super low bass info by crossing the Subs and Salons at 80hz. This alone cleaned up the midrange and imaging quite spectacularly. Another benefit for using subs with any full range system is that it almost impossible to position your mains in the best position for bass, imaging, midrange, treble, etc. So this way I could use my Salons as the ultimate satellites, and place the Sub 30s extactly where they were needed to correct the mode problems in the room, something that apparently no amount of equalization can do by itself.
As a result, while my Salons or probably any well recognized floor stander sounded good, with proper sub placement the sound really reached another level maybe even several levels up. I marvel at what I was missing each time I listen to one of my favorite cuts.
I certainly didn't understand this myself until just recently when Gerry LeMay from QUEST helped me set the system up properly.
To me that is the fun of this hobby that there is always something new to learn and try.
I agree with Warrenh's assessment, that there's more to a sub than whether it's forward or downward firing. I've heard good and bad with both designs. Having wrote that, I personally do prefer the downward firing Rel ST series and MJs, especially for music, above any other sub. Including the Velodyne DD series.
I've heard the MJ Ref 1, best sub you can get for $1750 for music\home theater IMO. And the Pro 50, which is the most musical sub I've heard under 1K. I've listened to them with Maggies and ProAc bookshelves. Both speakers are very musical, but a little light in the bass. I was floored at how much the little Pro 50 improved the bass response in both setups.
I ended up ordering a Ref 100, because I'll be using it for home theater as well, and while the Pro 50 is very good for soundtracks, it can't really handle crashes and booms all that well. MJ just recently lost their U.S. distibutor. I'll let you know how the Ref 100 compares to the Pro 50 once I get it this week. But if you can get get either 1, I would buy them in a second. They can't be topped in their price range.