Surround processor with stereo analog outputs

My current system:

Wharfedale PI-10 powered by an Acurus A250
Custom Subs (2) powered by a second Acurus A250
Center and Rear speakers (Wharfedale) powered by an Acurus A200x3
Processor = Acurus ACT-3 (which has stereo sub outputs)

I bought the ACT-3 used and it�s starting to develop issues when using DTS and it�s also a little on the harsh side sonically. I�d like to upgrade but I�m having a hard time locating a good Surround Processor with stereo analog sub outputs. This is my main music system as well as the Home Theater system and I can live with mono subs for Home Theater but not for music listening. I know; �low frequency sounds aren�t directional and stereo subs aren�t necessary� (I�ve been hearing that for 2 decades) but I disagree. I�d also like something with a built-in crossover as the active crossovers I use for my subs aren�t the greatest. It looks like the Meridian 568 has the capability to utilize 3 separate channels for the subs and would hopefully be an improvement sonically. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I think Arcam's have 2 sub outputs.
I have been using a 2004 model NAD T-773 receiver with an Acurus A250 and a 200FIVE amps driving a Klipsch RF-63 system. It does have dual sub outs as well as the current NAD pre/pros and receivers. I am not sure about reliability of the current NAD gear but sonically, I have heard nothing but good things. My T-773 has performed flawlessly.

On another note, how do you like your A250 powering your sub? It sure makes my RF-63's thump to no end.

Have you considered a Paradigm X-30 for your sub crossover? I have one and I am very pleased with it.

I'm not exactly sure about the "stereo analog" part of your requirements, but...

You will get two, line level, analog sub outputs from any 7.2 or 9.2 pre-pro...and there are many from Denon, Onkyo, Integra, Marantz, NAD, Anthem etc. These will also provide an internal x-over function (and room correction, to boot), however...

I don't know if the two sub signals are usually summed (i.e. not stereo) or stereo, and I do know that the x-over and room correction is usually managed in the digital domain. Therefore, I'm not sure if any of these these meet either of your requirements. If the digital x-over works for you, you might want to check w/the manufacturer to see if the sub outs maintain stereo integrity. It's quite possible that some do and others do not.

If you use primarily/exclusively digital source material, it's been my experience that the Onkyo/Integra units produce excellent results for music.
None of these are "stereo" or derived from independent sources. In all of these, the two sub outputs are driven from the same signal, even though some will permit different distance and level settings for each output.

There are some processors that will support true stereo sub outputs but they are pricey. In addition to the Meridians, the McIntosh MX150 and some "professional" processors have this feature.
Thanks for all of the input.

Martykl: That's the issue I'm running into, not being able to find information as to whether the sub output is summed when in stereo or bypass mode (most manufacturers make no reference to it in their documentation). At the moment I’m using primarily digital sources but I have a wonderful Kuzma turntable tone arm combo that will be put back into service soon. I have about an $800 budget at the moment and would much rather go with a higher quality used, vintage pre-amp/processor with higher sound quality than a newer unit with potentially more processing power.

Kr4: That’s exactly what I’ve found doing my research but the McIntosh units I’m finding are out of my current price range, even used.

Jdodmead: Thanks, I’ll take a look at Arcam’s products and see what I can find out.

Willand: I have not heard any other amp that will belt out really low end bass through a good sub with the authority that an A250 does. I worked in an audio specialty store in Norhtern NY in the 1990s – early 2000s and we specialized in finding affordable equipment that had the “most bang for the buck” as the owner put it. I never got to audition any really high end equipment (in the $5K+ range) but the sales reps would bring new equipment from a wide range of manufacturers all of the time and I did get to experience a large variety of different equipment. I listened to maybe as many as 100 different amps over the decade I worked there and nothing came close to the A250 for 20Hz – 30Hz bone rattling bass. We designed custom speaker kits and after hearing 100s of custom made and name brand speakers I came to the realization that 2-way satellites paired with good subs was what worked for me. But after years of auditioning equipment and helping to fine tune speaker systems I fell into the awful trap of not being able to listen to the music any more. All I could hear was the sonic weaknesses in the equipment. That paired with the terrible, nasally glare that emanated from the CD systems of the 90s made it impossible for me to enjoy listening to much of anything other than my vinyl collection (5000+ LPs) and after my daughter was born there was no room for even that (physical room that is).

But after a decade away from it I am finally finding that I’m able to listen to music again and with my shiny new 50” 3D plasma TV and the acquisition of a used ACT-3 and A200x3 I jumped into Home Theater. But space limitations necessitate that my HT and music system be one and the same which is what brought me to Audiogon and the forums looking for advice from other audio/HT enthusiasts.

We started selling Paradigm speakers right at the end of my tenure at The Sound Room and they made some decent sounding speakers. I have not had any experience with the X-30 xover but I will look into it, thanks.
I have a spare X-30 if you decide you want one.


I looked online and it appears to support 2 subs in stereo, is this correct? How much would you want for it?

Thanks, Carl
Send me a PM. I will check the unit on Saturday to confirm.

Ctmorsejr, keep in mind that it is by no means a given that the results you will get with and active cross-over and stereo subs is going to be superior than mono subs, using bass management.

I have Avalon Eidolon visions and 2 x JL 113, and was thinking exactly like you. So I got myself a Trinnov 4 channel room correction + bass management + cross-over processor unit, probably the most sophisticated (professional) box on the market for this application.

I then created a preset with active cross-over, integrated subs with mains, effectively creating a 4 way fully discrete 2.0 system, with the subs now part of the FL/FR channels. I also created a preset with 2 mono subs using bass management (cross-over a 90Hz). Much to my surprises, the bass managed configuration sounds better (to me). The reason is in room bass response is extremely unpredictable, and it may just be the case mono subs result in better cancellation of room modes.

Thanks for the input. It's good to hear from someone with experience similar to what I'm looking for. I ended up ordering an Anthem AVM 30 and I will take the time to experiment and I'll keep an open mind while I do so.
FWIW, I checked the Paradigm X-30 and I doubt that it has stereo subwoofer outputs. First, there is no mention of such an option. Second, its 2 inputs are marked L + R and its HP outputs are marked L + R but its LP subwoofer outputs are marked 1 + 2. Third, using only the L input, both sub outputs are active.

Still, a useful device and I hope someone wants one. ;-)