Subwoofer opinion badly needed!

Hi. I'm looking for a sub to be used primarily for MUSIC (say, 98% of the time), that costs under $500, and will be used in a small/mid-sized room (approx. 18x12') with the following: Harmon Kardon AVR20II receiver Infinity RS225 (reference series speakers) I've had the following recommended but am still uncertain and would really like some 'sound' opinions. Keep in mind the main use is for music. Thanks!
sorry, I forgot to add what those 'recommended' subs were: Velodyne CT-100 (i've been told not the best for music) Paradigm PDR10 ACI Quake HSU VT-2 (i've read this breaks down sometimes) Mission 700ASi M&K V75 Mark II Polk 350
ACI "Titan" II, check them out, good sound, good price!
Used REL Strata
vmps - by *far* the best low-end for the money - & mebbe even if cost-is-no-object, imho. ya need outboard amplification, tho, but *still* the best/dollar, even w/amplification/x-over costs included. while i usually search for used/closeout/demo bargains in stereo equipment, i bought my vmps larger subs brand-new - *still* better than the competion's used prices, i tink... again, this is my opinion only! :>) doug
Used may be the way to go for <$500. For used look for a REL, or Vandersteen 2W. Monitor Audio makes a couple inexpensive subs that list for about $700 (ASW110) and $1000 (ASW210) that have gotten decent reviews. B&W ASW 2000 OK for music too.
Try the Hsu Research VTF-2. Several reviewers preferred it for music over *many* other subs. I've had mine for about a year and have been very pleased. You can buy them direct from Mr. Hsu himself; he even gives you a thirty day money-back garauntee.
I think you ll find good bass costs more than 500. Especially for a room your size. You want to shop for a used velodyne. You want minimum 12 inches,downfiring and lots of watts for tight bass. An inexpensive alternative I used in a much smaller room was a Kef 30b. I had it matched with a pair of kef c25s. It was nice and tight for the money.Also PSB made one a few years ago that was much better than the kef. Check their site for model numbers. It should be right in your price range used. steve
It'd be cheaper to build your own with a couple Shiva drivers and you'd actually get real bass.
the hsu tn1220ho can be had for less than $500, but only without an amp. check
try to find a Yamaha YST-500. It really is a very good sub and is a lot more musical than you'd expect to find in this price range. I have seem the go for as little as $200 and as much as $350 used. The cost around $800 new.
If you have to get a sub I would go to and get a "quake" or stretch for the "titan" as one other said. I don't have experience with either though, What I can say from experience is that a better pair of main speakers is the way to get better bass (while maybe not being as deep, definately more coherent and cleaner), not to mention everything else will be better. Sell the infinity's and take that money, plus your $500 budget and buy a nice set of mains. The BiroMod Wharfedale Diamond 7.2's at for $250 actually look tbetter than alot of stuff out there, and you could probably get your sub in the end too if your just dying to have one and it'll all be within your budget. I own the biro L/1's and those are very nice and I'm not running a sub yet with all my hybrid tube/solid-state electronics. My general opinion on the application of most subs is that they are a cheap fix for a not-so-good pair of front speakers and/or an amplifier(s) that are underdamped in the low-frequencies. And then of course there are sloppy DACs. If you got your bases covered on all that then a sub may be a *musical* choice. If your a music person, you'll probably be happier w/ just a better pair of speakers. Not to mention, you might want to get a nice little integrated amp (nad?). You could probably do a complete overhall, for your sub price range plus what you make off selling others. Keep in mind I'm not trying to divert you in any way, I'm just saying you'll get the better bass your wanting, not to mention everything else. But I, personnaly, wouldn't buy a sub. The marantz cd-67's used are running in the low 2's used as are good integrateds. I actually got my sister a pair of rotel pieces for $200 each demo's, cd player and 35wpc integrated. I can't say they are the best budget pieces, but they were 'new' and they matched. Good luck!
Given that you want a sub for music (rather than LFE), and have only $500 to spend, your choices are VERY limited. Buying a used sub is one approach, or you can buy a model that is being discontinued. I have just purchased an AR S300 powered sub (built-in Carver 300-watt Sunfire amp) to use for home theater, and find that it's a much better sub than I expected for the money. It has several hook-up methods, features a phase switch and a contour switch for either audio or video. The cabinet is very solid (50+ lbs), though hardly an item of great beauty. This sub is currently on a discontinued sale for $359 through a company in Florida called Accessories4Less. Check their Web site ( for more info. They are also selling the 15" AR S500 (500 watts), but I think the 12" unit will be more satisfying with music. Heck, for $400 (with shipping), you sell it for what you paid if you are dissatisfied.
Matt: a follow-on comment. If you decide to explore the AR powered sub I mentioned in my previous post, there are a number of reviews of this sub listed on AudioReview. Go to the following Web link:
I am partial to the ACI Titan2 although even building it yourself will cost more than $500.00. I have seen lots of used Titan 1's for sale @ 400-500 though. The REL's also sound good as do the Velo's. I doubt that you can find a used Velo for $500.00. Check out ACI's website at They have a used area that you may be able to find a Titan on. Good luck, Kwillyp
You might find some useful background information in Widescreen Reviews isuue on Subs. I also agree that for the price you're planning on paying used/demo is the way to go. you might want to look at Mirage or Energy models.
My experience with subs below 500.00 is that they are not to subby.If you choose to continue try (2)energy es 8's. Used they should be fetching 175.00 to 200.00. Good luck.
I think you'd be happy with a used Mirage FRxS12 or FRx S10.Both active subs which would work well with your recevier. You might want to look for Widescreen Reviews issue covering subs; lots of good info and reviews. good luck and happy holidays.