Maybe I’m just lucky, but I find the integration of two subs with my 3.5s to be seamless and without issue.
I spent a little time getting the positioning absolutely correct, by ear, which in my music room turns out to be exactly 1 foot behind the speakers with the sub drivers at 90 degrees to the Thiel drivers and both sub drivers pointing into the soundstage. My inspiration for this configuration was side firing subs such as can be found in the Golden Ear range. I found that having the drivers pointing at the listening position made them too obvious. For whatever reason, having them at right angles to the 3.5s creates an incredibly smooth transition. I never sit there thinking I have subs on. It all sounds totally integrated.
Obviously there is some tweaking with sub settings but what’s interesting is that I found exactly the same positioning and levels also work perfectly with my Quad 57s. The subs are connected to the amp by an extra speaker cable per channel. I prefer to still let the Thiel woofers do their high quality stuff and then set the subs so that they subtly kick in at the right point.
The subs are the now discontinued but still available Polk 505s which were practically being given away at the end of their run, but work amazingly well having been designed with music reproduction in mind, according to the blurb. These have 12" drivers so they produce plenty of very clean oomph. I bought them as a stopgap, assuming that I’d have to upgrade to fancy RELs or similar to get great results. Three years on and I don’t have the slightest urge to change this set up.
I note Tom’s comments about the preference for a new all-in-one bass eq solution on the work he is doing. However, I can report that the bass performance I’m getting is substantially better than through the Thiel EQ box. It seems to be a really effective compromise.
With ageing speakers, I think it’s also valid to say that running subs takes a lot of strain out of the mid range drivers, especially. Obviously for the moment it’s important to keep those running until an adequate replacement is either created or sourced.
Fully accept that everyone is going to have their own experiences in their own listening environments, but in my own case I just couldn’t be happier.
I want to be able to run these 3.5s for the rest of my days if that’s at all possible. They are that rarest of speaker that never drops the ball on any type of material. As happy with punk as they are a string quartet. A genius design.