How much budget for bass?

I think I may have been thinking about this all wrong. If Bass is the foundation for music how much of your speaker budget should be applied toward a sub? I was thinking the sub was just to enhance the mains but maybe it is the other way around? never heard a sub properly setup for music so what are your thoughts? thanks,Scott
I've been battling with some bass that's too boomy on some recordings. I added some bass traps and pulled the speakers farther away from the wall which helped a great deal. Sometimes I wish I hadn't purchased rear ported speakers but I'm not willing to change right now. My thinking is that part of the problem is the ports might not be large enough and are creating noise as the pressure passes through them, kind of like blowing really hard on a wind instrument like a flute..

Great bass is the hardest part of the sonic picture to do just right.

…or so many threads here and elsewhere have said.

Costs are a matter of your own device. How they will break down ultimately depends on all of your choices.

The above notes on treating the room are very accurate and a must do at some point. Sooner is better I’m sure. But again, all things in due time and affordability.

BUT… if you look at a system as a work in progress instead of a one off all at once project, this hobby becomes vastly simpler. Naturally, if budget permits…. Then go all in right up front! I’ll assume there’s no money tree in the back yard and say do what is possible now and then add to it later on.

Every multi ch system I’ve owned has begun as a stereo system. Then a sub was added. Then rear ch speakers were added. Then a center ch speaker. Then things began to get upgraded. Every effort was initiated with a HT receiver too…. later, it was upgraded… when funds permitted… or not.


In a moderate sized room or less, begin with a pair of nice monitors for mains. Floor or stand types.. you pick. These will likely either get traded off or used as rears later…. Again, you pick.

Get a very good active sub. If possible something with room correction built in, or at least a parametric eq. My room is about 2600 cu ft closed off. I have a DD 15. and I could stand one more… sonically. I also can’t afford one more… so I’ll live with it this way forever or until I can add another. Simple huh? No one will shoot me either way.

. Even two different sized subs can work well if each one has variable levels and so forth. HSU … SVS… Velodyne… REL… Paradigm… Definitive Tech, etc., all make some pretty good subs that are affordable for the most part.

In AV systems the sub sonic cues in film are vastly important and quite plentiful. Owning a quick powerful unit will definitely enhance your viewing events… I guarantee it. In fact think hard on that point. The soundtrack alone provides a lot of them, let alone the guns, cars, monsters and space ships.

The front speakers are important to voice closely. Mains and center. The rears aren’t so important. Neither do they need to be quite so costly as the rest if you get my drift.

Mains & Sub (s) are important for aV… were I to add another exact same sub in my room the ratio of subs to speakers would in MSRP speak, equal 8:10. or 80% of the current in house, speaker expenditures.

As many here will say twin subs is the better approach, THX says it should be 4…. So again… you pick. Many only use one. I’m sure some out there don’t do even that! Again, you pick.

One of if not the greatest things in this hobby is just that… we pick. There are few unbreakable rules. Optimizing the sound of one’s rig is usually done once one has a rig to optimize. It’s pretty tuff to tweak a thing in advance. Also one needs to know more about what sound they have and what sound is really like in order to affect such a polishing up of things.

If you choose a receiver with the auto EQ feature many today now have as standard equipment, and you eq your sub in first with it’s own calibration process, you won’t be far off the beam… if at all. Technology has come a long way now and made the end result much easier to come by for even the beginner audiophile.

Everything here is optional. Everything. There is no perfect either. That’s important to remember… perfect is just an illusion…. A mirage. I guarantee, your best effort will be a very good one. Especially if you can both pay attention to, and sift thru the counsel given in this thread and others.

Very good luck.
I agree with what's been said here, except I think the price tag for good bass in full-range speakers starts at about $3000, closer to $5000 (new).

Again, it all depends on your budget, and if you're buying new or used. Anything under $800 used, I'd start with a good pair of two-way monitors and go from there. Add a sub later. Or later on get a pair of full-range speakers and make the monitors your surround speakers or sell them. Etc.
It depends on how your budget, your room and how good you are at shopping. The cost of good bass response is disproportionate to the amount actual bass contained in the music. That said, I sure do miss it when it's not there when it's supposed to be. If it's at all possible, it's worth trying to acquire. Is it "high end" if it's imcomplete?