Subwoofer questions -- music only

I have a wonderful pair of Von Schweikert VR-1 standmount monitors that I currently augment with a single Martin Logan Abyss subwoofer. I'm curious about running a stereo sub configuration.

I'm not a bass freak, although I recognize the need for that octave below 60 Hz or so. I would like to hear what benefits stereo subwoofers might provide. I also don't have an unlimited budget. So . . . can anyone recommend a pair of subs at $1,000 or less that I might compare to my single Abyss? One choice would obviously be another Abyss. Is there something better at that price point? Again, I don't really care about pipe organ music, so a 10" sub would probably suffice, but I do need the ability to come off my amp OR my preamp. Thoughts? Thanks.
I used a single Velodyn Optimum 8 for several months.
I purchased a second and was very happy with the results.
I'm not a bass freak either, but the stereo bass was better in imaging and fullness. It just sounded better all the way around. More coherent. I thought the single sub was omni present until I put the second one in. Good luck in your venture.
I suppose I'm probably looking for a pair of sealed subs. Is the Optimum 8 sealed or ported? I would much prefer "tight" and "fast" over "deep" or "loud".
If you can stretch to $1149, this is reportedly a great value:

(Disclaimer: I've never heard these units, my "recommendation" is based on test results and the overall excellent reputation of SVS subwoofers.)

I truly feel you would have to get up pretty early in the morning to come close to the Vandersteen 2WQ Subwoofer Made right here in USA.
We have successfully blended these units in many different
rooms with all types of speakers from Magies to Monitor types.
The 2WQ is a sealed system which offers superb in room response, zero Bass hangover when compared to ported designs,and a Sophisticated high Pass that allows your whole system to achieve greater clarity realism and transparency.
Cheers JohnnyR
I'm sure the Vandy 2WQ is a great product -- I have the 1C loudspeakers, and love them -- but unless I'm misinformed, they're well over $1K each. That's more than a "stretch", it's utter destruction of my budget.

Thanks for the SVS tip. I guess I'll check Hsu and NHT, too.

What's the go-to "value" rec in a 10" sub? Any that fly under the radar? Shoot, I'd even be willing to screw together a Dayton kit if it meant more bang for the buck. Used is OK, too, within reason.
In my small secondary system I have been more than satisfied with my VR-1s and a small sealed REL sub running off the speaker terminals via Neutrik. I haven't felt the need to change. My model is the Q108E and it has been replaced by other models, but REL does a great job of musical subs and there should be one in your budget.
So you run amp --> sub --> VR-1 and use the sub's crossover?
The REL subs prefer to run off of the speaker out terminals in mono (red, black,yellow). They are parallel to the speaker wires and attach to the amp with the speaker wires. The instructions on the Sumiko website are very complete. Mine is small and unobtrusive, closed box design. It is tuned so that no one can really hear it or locate it until you turn it off. It is crossed over at 50 Hz and goes down to about 30 Hz cleanly, perhaps below that but the dB drops off quickly. Another very affordable choice is Hsu Research subs, which I also own, but they are ported. Their smallest one was a little too big for my library and it was hard to keep the volume low enough but it is well made, well supported, affordable and attractive in their wood finishes. The addition of another sub should smooth out the peaks and valleys of your bass response.
Paradigm pw 2000/2200....pass on nht subs...not their strong suit...rel is great too...but the older paradigms are very clean and go friend used to sell them
That dual SVS sealed 12" set is a good deal. I have a friend who matches that sub with his Magnepan 1.7's. Another possibility, and spot-on with your budget, is a pair of these sealed 10" subs by Emotiva.

A recent issue of Home Theater did a comparo of a Paradigm SuperCube (about $1K), an $1800 REL, and the awesome JL Fathom F212. The Fathom was the best. At $1800 the REL offered up a steeply-sloped spike centered on about 44 Hz, and the ported Paradigm had a more usable, fairly flat, broad response curve held up by a couple of damped resonant peaks. What caught my eye, however, was a separate review of an Emotiva 5.1 set of speakers, and the $499 XRef 10 had a reasonably flat, easy to blend curve more like the JL (but not with the JL's dynamic power). I suspect a pair of those would work well with what you want to do. I gotta say, however, that for $150 more I'd probably try the SVS pair first.
Those Emotiva subs are interesting. I find much of their gear gaudy, but at least they allow returns. (I returned their preamp because it looked like a nuclear plant when the lights were off.) They also have a nice discount going if you can find your way to $1,500 (15%) or $2,000 (20%). Might get my brother-in-law to go in on an order with me. Thanks.

04-20-12: Ja2austintx
Those Emotiva subs are interesting. I find much of their gear gaudy,...

Their speakers are the opposite--all plain black. Their subs are unobtrusive small cubes, also all black.
Although they have their detractors...I like most Sunfire well as B&w for music
Pulled the trigger on a pair of the XREF 10 subs by Emotiva. They should be here tomorrow. I'll post a review in a few days. Thanks for all the recommendations . . .
You will not hear stereo separation from dual subs but you will have smoother in room response running multiple conventional sub-woofers.
Read some of the reviews of Thiel's Smart Sub and S1 Integrator. Really interesting stuff. I found that it's always not as seamless to add a sub without compromising the crossover of your mains so the solution that Thiel offered made perfect sense to me.
Thanks, Doggie. I'll check it out.
I own Rythmik subs. I would recommend those.
You will be hard pressed to get a "pair" of decent subs for $1,000. Anyone who knows subs will tell you if you only have a budget of $1,000, buy one good one, not two lesser subs.

I am running a pair of REL Storm III subs in stereo and it is great. I bought both on Audiogon for around $750 each average. Very happy with this setup. A pair of REL Strata II or Strata III's would be great. REL hands down makes the best subs to match with your stereo setup. Home theater not so musch, although they are decent for that two.

Paradigm, PSB, Velodyne, etc. will NEVER sound like a REL sub.... "Never?", yes NEVER.
Well, maybe this will be a learning experience, but I'm disinclined to buy into such a dogmatic point of view. There are many ways to skin a cat.
The Velodyne Optimum 8's were $1300 each when new.
You can find them for $500 each used here on Agon.
Myself and several other audiophiles have mentioned that they're the most musical and well integrated sub they've ever heard. So It can be done for $1000.

I have one REL sub and thinking of going to two. I have the REL running off my speaker leads on my Mac 352. Do you suggest running both subs off the same speaker leads or running discrete left right?
I am using PrimaLuna momo blocks, and run each REL Storm III as "RIGHT" and "LEFT" trus stereo. You could hook them up normally (as defined by REL) and just join the wires at the same terminal.

Not true... depends on the setup and the subs.
Hi Ja2austintx -
Anything to report on those Emotiva subs? I've been thinking about adding a sub (maybe a pair) for music only. As you or someone noted, I too want something you can't tell is running until it is turned off. My budget is similar to yours. Would appreciate your feedback.

So far, so good. They are plenty quick and tight for my needs (2-channel music emphasis). I have them crossed over too high at the moment (125 Hz), but I haven't had the chance to shoot the room with my sound level meter and so I'm just playing by ear so far. I think their build quality is superb for the money, and I have no problems with sound or feature set.