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For brand new I'd recommend a REL Stratus III if music comes first, or the Q150E if movies are more important. Both perform well in both modes; it is just that they are slightly better at one, more then the other, because of how they are designed.
If you are talking used, then step up to the REL Storm III (music first), or the REL Q201E (for movies first).
All REL's let you run separate HT and Audio connections at the same time. The REL subs switch to HT mode when they receive an HT signal from a receiver or HT decoder; otherwise they work in what you could call Audio mode. This is what makes them my first choice. They are also very musical.
I have shopped around and listened to loads of subs. I don't use mine for HT, but you can, and should be very happy. I use the SUNFIRE ARCHITECTURAL. It's a front firing sub designed for two channel listening. Properly placed it'll do it for your HT stuff I'm sure. It is fast, powerful, clean, quiet, expertly constructed and can be had, new, for under $1400. Probably $1050 or so, fairly discounted. It's a real beauty that you do not hear much about. Bob Carver uses the Architectural Signature in his home system. ( 12" rather than 10") This sub is a 11" cube that is really killer. You will hard pressed to find a place that has one to audition. They are Sunfire's best kept secret. Everyone goes for the True Subwoofers. I guess their HT market is what they're interested in pushing. Most of their subs are specifically designed for HT where this baby is designed for the 2 channel listener. Do your homework. You have lots of possibilities given the budget you're working with.
You will not find a cleaner sounding sub than the Velodynes. I have a F1500 and it is excellent. Servo-controlled for ultra-low distortion. Do not use the internal filters, though. They are not high-quality.
Some have complained about lack of impact with the Velodynes with movies. I solved this by doubling the amount of filter caps in the power supply and put a heavy power cord on it. No lack of impact now. It also dissappears - cannot tell where it is located when it is in the sweet-spot.
Read the reviews of Velodyne stuff. Go on Audioreview.com. You will not hear very good things. That is the test. These past posts are good, but the reputation is not there. Seek and thee shall find the truth. If you have to do all this stuff to a sub woofer, there is somehthing inherently wrong. And you'll be out of your price range with what a great power cord runs.
I agree with Sugarbrie. REL. I'll argue from a financial perspective. Do a quick search of REL Subwoofers for sale. The current ST III series(StormIII, Strata III, etc) all sell for 70%+ of their list price. That's amazing for a used product! If you look up most of the other suggestions, they are selling for a more typical 50-65% of list. What's more watch how quickly the current REL subs sell. When I purchased my REL Storm III, there were 3 that came on the market within that 2 week period. They all were sold withing ONE day. Also as Scott (SDCAMPBELL) suggested., do a quick search in the discussion forums on REL subs. You'll quickly find they are very well regarded audipphile aub
Ofcourse, all this could mean people are jumping on the bandwagon, and we see how well that works with lemmings. However, what this means is you could buy one, try it out, and if you don't like it sell it FAST at little loss.
I have been really happy with my STORM III, but I can't say the same for my downstaris neighbor. Because of the clever way you can set them, they integrate extremely well with most speakers. One caution, the numerous settings can take a while to get just right and you can tweek it for weeks.
From a technical perspective (beside the fact that they are also among the most musical)- REL Q150E,201E,Strata or Storm.
NO OTHER sub will let you hook up via high level and low (LFE) inputs simultaneously AND let you USE them bot SIMULTANEOUSLY. The key here is that if you have good main speakers that go down into the sub 40Hz range, you want a sub that has the ability to assist them, whether it is music or HT that you are using.
When hooking up via the high level inputs in stereo playback, the sub gets the same output from your amp that your mains do, except that you have set a cutoff that allows the sub to take over where your mains roll off.
When using the low level or LFE input during movies or multichannel music, your sub is getting its input from the ".1" channel info. This info is set up via your rcvr, and the cutoff is dictated the rcvr and the info is sent based on .1 content and the remaining info from the other speakers depending on whether they are set to small or large.
Will all other subs, you have to choose between using your low level or high level inputs. For HT or multichannel use, if you choose the high level inputs on these subs, you will lose your .1 channel info and the remaining bass your other (center, surround) speakers can't handle. If you choose the low level input, you can retain this LFE info and the assist for the surrounds & center.
However, here is where the problem lies. Lets say you have the cutoff set to blend with your mains - which you have set to large. And lets say they roll off at 35Hz, so you set the cutoff to 30Hz for a nice blend with your mains. Your center and surrounds cannot handle much below say 80Hz, so you set them to small and their low freq. info gets routed to the sub along with the LFE info it's already processing. Two things go awry in this situation - 1. You have info from the rears/center below 80Hz getting sent to a sub that has its cutoff set to 30Hz. You'll miss the bass in the 30-80Hz region. 2. I believe with most subs the same thing will also happen with the LFE stuff. This assumes the cutoff works for both low and high level inputs. Your other option, which is also not good, is to set the sub cutoff higher (say 80Hz) in which case you have reclaimed that lost bass info, but now you have to choose between bass boom from the overlap of your mains and the sub OR setting your wonderful mains to SMALL and losing their low end performance. This may be the least of all evils, but I want MY MAINS to do their full performance and the sub to assist.
The REL subs allow you to use both inputs simultaneously with this KEY point - when you use the high level inputs to assist your mains and set your cutoff to 30 HZ, you can also be using the low level input WITHOUT CUTOFF, processing ALL the .1 and center/rear assist AT THE SAME TIME.
I hope I haven't droned on and confused. If so, perhaps someone else can clarify.
FYI, other subs that do well in music and HT (but will have the problems mentioned above) are:
M&K V75, V125 and up
MJ Acoustics Pro 100 and up