subwoofer suggestions

Looking for sub with balance between tuneful bass for music and deep bass for movies to be 0.1 part of Monitor Audio Apex 5.1 speaker system. Front speakers go down into low 50Hz while rears go down to mid 60s. Room is 8' high x 18' wide x 12' deep, is reasonably well treated, but size will limit the longest waves. While there is no point in overloading room with a giant box and driver, pressure and speed with good tone are all desirable assets. Upper budget is about $1500, but I will consider more budget conscious options.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions,

Sealed subs, SVS SB13 Ultra($1599.00) or Rythmik Audio E15HP($1349.00). Ported sub but with option to run sealed, SVS PB12-Plus($1399.00).

Any of these mentioned should meet most of your needs.

This baby here is a stick of dynamite. If you want a "smallish" sub with a bunch of impact and very musical and don't mind used, this may be the way to go.

Given your needs and the size of the room, maybe you should look for a sub designed for music. You seem to be after quality over quantity. Also, why not consider MA? They make a sub to match your speakers.
The previous comments are well said. SVS is where I would also recommend you look. If you're wiling to go used, look at both JL Fathom, REL, and Revel for subs. There are many, many other brands but those are my four that I'd recommend.
Hsu Research ULS-15 is probably the best value on the market. I run a pair in a 17 x 17 x 10 room. Sealed subs are generally considered music subs and have better group delay than ported designs. If you have the room, multiple subs can provide a better bass response over a wider area than a single sub. In that case, to fit your budget, a pair of the smaller sealed SVS subs would be a good choice.
Only consider the REL subwoofer series. Simply, the best on the market.
Agree with SVS, but especially since music is also important I'd go for dual subs (although should help with HT too). You can get a pair of SB12-NSDs for $1199 with free shipping. These are sealed, go down to 23Hz (-3db), and aren't too big. Given performance, quality, customer support, and value I think it's hard to beat and is the way I'm planning to go as well. The remaining issue is how you plan to integrate the sub(s) into your system, which is not an insignificant issue to say the least. Best of luck.
Wow, thanks for all the input. I currently have on hand an older Klipsch 8" that I was considering running along with whatever I buy to help even out sound in room, and maybe run with high level inputs for surround channels plus LFE, then running new sub high level with fronts plus LFE, REL style. How important is it for it subs to match beyond aesthetics?

REL, SVS, MA, and PSB are all on my short list. The MA in the same finish and driver material is the same cost as the REL R-328, but doesn't have high level in. Has anybody heard the MA silver series subs? Also, has anyone heard Dynaudio 200?

Thanks again,

Thanks for the tip willland, that looks like a great deal. Was looking for black or white sub, but will consider your suggestion based on value.
Correction, I meant to ask for input on the Dynaudio 300 sub.
I use a pair of 12" sealed Rythmik subs in my main system (in a significantly larger space than yours) and they are more than capable for my needs. Certainly worth checking out IMHO. I think a pair runs +/- $1300 these days.
If your main speakers are the Apex A10 ( that I found on Monitor Audio's web site you should seriously reconsider running them full range. It is small speaker that lists a -3dB point of 60Hz (likely optimistic since it's a passive design). This speaker should be high-passed at 80Hz.

Remember that REL subs were originally marketed as "sub-bass" speakers to augment almost full range speakers. That isn't the situation in your case.

I suggest you choose any sealed design from a reputable manufacturer and then spend your energy on setting up the sub correctly (which IMO implies using bass management and equalization if available).
Re: running your 8" sub in addition to a new sub. My understanding is that there is limited bass in the surround channels so I don't see any advantage of using it there especially using speaker level connections. Unless your pre/pro is capable of managing a pair of subs individually, I think the smaller sub will negatively impact the entire speaker system. An 8" driver is in reality a reasonable woofer, not a sub woofer.
I was wondering if you've considered your need for remote volume control?
I've been window shopping for subs and would not consider buying one that doesn't offer remote volume control.
if you could find a alon or nola thunderbolt sub they will satisfy your every need fast powerful and musical
Thanks Bob, I am actually running Apex 40's for the front left and right and center, and Apex 10's for the rears. Your comments are still valid as none of the Apex speakers can be considered "large". The Klipsch is pretty fast, so the idea was to set the crossover for the small rear sub higher and run with both high level inputs (to supplement surround channel signals) and LFE inputs to help handle the lowest effects overall. Got this idea from a REL vender, but may scrap the approach based on input here. My receiver is an Arcam AVR 400, not even set up yet so I have some thinking to do about bass management from that end.

Thanks again,


Which 8" Klipsch sub are you using? If it is the XW-300d, that is a very musical little sub. The only other 8" Klipsch sub I can think of is the RW-8 which I had for a little while and I thought it was junk. Very little output and then just stopped working after I sold it to a coworker. Yes, I did the right thing and took it back.

I'd second or third the suggestion of an SVS SB13 Ultra. And this is coming from an owner of a pair of HSU ULS-15s. The SVS sealed subs have the right combination of sound quality, impact, and price. Very musical subs. Alternatively, if you're into used equipment, the SVS SB12+ would be a great buy if you can find one willing to part with it.
It is the RW-8. It has worked well in a small room for music, but perhaps it is not really up to mid-fi HT duty in a medium sized room, even if just to supplement the surround channels.
01-01-14: Knownothing
"It is the RW-8. It has worked well in a small room for music, but perhaps it is not really up to mid-fi HT duty in a medium sized room, even if just to supplement the surround channels."

I did not mean to be insulting with my previous comments, just sharing my experience with the RW-8. Truthfully, when I bought it off of C-list and brought it home and demoed it, it sounded decent for it's size. After I sold it to my friend, he noticed it gradually losing output until it just would not put out any volume any more. I think the amp was defective.

I better understand how you are planning to use the little 8" sub. It does make sense, but maybe not worth the effort with your A10 speakers (they're small, but not tiny). I would research bass content in surround channels.
Is the A40 a 3-way? They list two crossover points in the specs. I assumed it was an MTM design.
I think it is a 2.5 way in MTM physical layout. I ordered the Apex's based on reviews and personal experience with the less sophisticated MA Radius series larger wall mounts and the MA Silver RX 1 bookshelf speakers that have components similar to the Apex. Both of these speakers I liked a lot. Since I listen to a lot of music, I opted for the larger 40's for both the fronts and centers. I'll see how well this works with the Arcam 400, and will return if they don't work out in my room.
Thanks for the additional suggestions. What about 1 or 2 SVS SB12-NSD? I am concerned that a 13" thousand watt sub is going to be overkill in a room under 65 cubic meters.
Re: the a40... will likely work better as left & right than center. Horizontal orientation of the drivers is a problem for dispersion.

I would pick a pair of the smaller SB12 (I owned the original SB12-Plus for several years) than a single SB13 assuming you have some freedom of placement.

See the Harman multi-sub paper for reasoning:

You might want to take a look at Dr. Toole's 3-part series of whitepapers, especially "Getting the Bass Right."
Thanks for the input and the references Bob. I am leaning towards two SB12-NSD's or more likelyone Rythmik F12 (for now). The Rythmik cost a little more per box, but has more flexibility in adjusting sound for the room. Both review and measure very well. I would like to avoid having two boxes if possible, and if I can compensate for room nodes with the Rythmik settings, then I would be very happy. If not, then I would likely add another 12" Rythmik.

On the a40, perhaps that is why they elected to use a 2.5 way crossover arrangement, although that won't completely compensate. A guess anyway.

One last note, I fired up the little Klipsch in the room with some borrowed speakers as the Apex's haven't arrived yet. Although it still works to spec, I don't think it will add more value in this set up in this room. Its going on the market.

I wouldn't put much value in the one PEQ filter supplied by either SVS (available on some models) or Rythmik. I don't think you can go wrong with either product.

Room modes can be dealt with by good PEQ systems like those in Velodyne subs or stand-alone sub EQ devices, but both are limited to the frequency range that they operate over, i.e., the low-pass filter point (typically 80 Hz). In a typical room there will be room modes worth addressing above that point (like up to 300 Hz or so). So ideally room modes should be dealt with by the AV receiver or pre/pro.

Buying a single sub to see how the system sounds makes a lot of sense. You can always add another one later.

Best regards,
Ok, I ordered two SVS SB 1000 subs. Rythmik is out of the driver and finish I wanted. Also, trying my existing sub in the room indicated serious bass drop out in certain spots so I decided to go with the dual subs.

Since this string was started, SVS replaced the 12-NSD with the new SB 2000, but the new model only comes in vinyl finish. I opted for the slightly smaller and less powerful SB 1000 in the gloss finish. The 1000's also have high level inputs for added flexibility which I find appealing. While the 1000's go down to a claimed 25 Hz, SVS claims the new SB 2000 goes down to 19 Hz. Would prefer the added oomph of the slightly bigger sub but I am a slave to aesthetics as well as sound quality. If the twin 1000's don't cut it in my room, I will go back to the drawing board. kn
Oh, and thanks again for all your input! kn
Please let us know what you think once you've gottem hooked up n burned/dialed in. Congrats.
will do
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I just picked up a pair of the SVS SB 1000s myself, to extend the bottom range of my Von Schweikert VR5 HSEs. $949 w/ shipping and free return after 45-day trial. Used for two-channel stereo and HT.

The VR5s don't need much help, truth be told. But the SB 1000s have really kicked everything up (or down) to the next level. Excellent packing and build quality, and the controls allow for a perfect dial in. The sound is just stunning: tight, controlled, and solid. SVS will not be getting them back. Highly recommended
I am using an SVS Sub Ultra 13 with a pair of Monitor Audio Gx200 and GXC350 as a centre. The SVS is excellent, deep and weighty with lots of slam. I am so happy with the SVS, that I am going to but another!
I will probably also invest in a DS Peaker 8033 to streamline the sound on the SVS pair even more.
Apex sub is very tight and fast. You also can consider the new MA sub from the latest silver series. Always buy a closed front side subwoofer. Better timing and better integration.
You should check out the Seaton Submersive subs. I heard they are the ultimate subs for movies and music.
I would try the Svs SB13 Ultra. Amazing reviews (5 stars) across the board. In your price range. I have the PB 13 Ultra and it's the best I've heard out there and in my city stores. Too big for your room. Svs is the best to deal with......45 day trial. Check it out at Really....
Update, I really liked the SB 1000s, but they did not go deep enough for movies in my room. Terrific on music and I liked the high level inputs for analog sources. Build quality was better than expected for the money. SVS took them back and refunded my money without question. Have to love that company. I seriously considered getting one SB13 Ultra instead of two SB 1000s, but wanted high level inputs. It also weighs 90lbs.

I ended up with a b&w PV1D. It has both high and line level inputs, and once set up properly it is fast and tight for music and makes sufficiently terrifying sound pressure in my room for movies. It is still breaking in, but am very happy for now. One interesting note, with no low frequency cut off, the rumble generated on some vinyl recordings can be quite something!
I would consider spending a little more. I am a big fan of the JL audio subs and they seem to do a great job. Consider the 112 or the 108
Do JL have high level inputs? I know they are great, sub that has made my pants legs flap.
Quality of subs depends about speed, timing and level of integration. Stiffness and light materials are very important. Same thing can be said about the quality of the magnet. In reality most subwoofers regarding price are too slow. Reason? Response of the lowfreq. unit is too f.... slow. I hate those. So I hate many to be honnest. Because it is very simple to test subwoofers for timing, speed and response.

Many people think that big subwoofers who can go deep are great subwoofers. In real many of them are still slow. JL is a brand who makes good and fast subwoofers. Stil there are many who are not fast enough.

Last week I received the new reference of subwoofer interconnects from Audioquest. The Wild Dog. This one is pure 100% silver and is very very thick. And yess this increases the speed and timing a lot. I will write a review about it soon.
They should shave whatever input you need. If in the future you want to go to balanced inputs they have them as well.