Short list of musical subwoofers

I plan to invest a "musical" subwoofer to augment the music listening experience of my current two-channel sound system. After a few digging over the acting forum and on-line reviews, it seems the following budgetary sealed (primarily) subwoofers are often mentioned and raved:

- Rythmic L12 (18Hz; sealed, servo controlled; 300 watts RMS; $609);

- RSL Speedwoofer 10S (24Hz; front ported; 350 watts; $428);

- Rel T5x (8 in; 32Hz@-6db; 125 watts; $680)

- SVS SB 1000 (24Hz, sealed; 300 watts; $450) or 2000 (19Hz; sealed; 500 watts; $600);

All above claim to have quick, accurate bass that is good for music listening. Rel, although not being able to extend to 20Hz, has been highly rated for easy integration into the sound system. I am not even sure if being able to get down low and/or the wattage of the active amp are critical to the musical application. My living room is about 25 ft wide and 20 ft deep. I do have limited budget but if others are warranted for a higher price tag in your opinion I am willing to bump up the budget. You inputs are highly appreciated.


So many opinions on which brand is "best".  What seems to ring true for everyone is subs are good, and more are better.  One might conclude that matching the size, type, location, and integration of the subs with your room and speakers matters more than the brand.

I currently own subs from Rythmik, SVS, and PSA.  All work well for music.  I've also owned some other subs including HSU, Sunfire, and even Klipsch. 

Some do sound "bad".  Klipsch and Sunfire were not very good.  Not just not "musical", but not very good for anything.  They made noise, but that was about it.  I didn't think the HSU subs were very robust, but I had some older models.  They may have gotten better.

If I were to generalize, I'd say stick to sealed subs, get as many (up to 4 or 5) as you can afford and have room for, and experiment with placement and tuning. 

All of the subs I own are "musical" and integrate well with my mains.  This is in large part due to the fact that I have 4 of them throughout my room in my main system and have a massive amount of headroom.  They don't call attention to themselves in any way when there isn't a lot of bass content and can deliver the goods in a very visceral way, much like what you experience with live music.

I have a couple of secondary systems where I only have one subwoofer.  While it doesn't rival my main system in terms of scale, I have an inexpensive SVS SB12-NSD sealed sub and Harbeth P3ESRs in a small room and it rivals my main system in terms of listening pleasure.

Using the right tool in the right way for the job at hands matters more than which brand in my experience.

I was strongly considering REL as well, and believe they are a good choice.

However, the REL hook-up utilizes the high-level speaker wire for input. So both the main speakers and subwoofer operate from the same signal.

I went instead with a Rythmik F12, which operates from the RCA low level input, then the Rythmik has a HPF (high pass filter) RCA out to feed your power amp, then your mains.

The benefit that it reduces the amount of low frequency requirement going to the mains. This reduces the amount of woofer excursion in the mains, improving their clarity.

I was less familiar with Rythmik at first, but I had earlier purchased a pair of Fritz Carbon 7's. I spoke with Fritz before choosing the sub to pair with them and he recommended a sub with the "servo" technology, which the Rythmik has. 

Adding to my previous post, the smartphone app of the SB-1000 Pro lets you fine tune it from listening position. Tweaks as follows from app, volume, low pass filter, phase in one degree increments, polarity, three parametric equalizers, room gain comp frequency, and presets. So much easier to set up a sub with this app. Love it!

Have had a number of subs - no losers in the bunch yet.  In my Magneplanar 3.7i system I have a pair of MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subs.  Integrate nicely in that setting (crossed over quite low) and the Anthem Room Correction function works well.  In my QLN Prestige One system I have a pair of Sumiko S9 subs - very similar to the REL T-9; perhaps because Sumiko imported REL at one time and they cloned them?  Work very nicely with the QLNs.  In my Totem Acoustics Sky system I have an SVS SB2000.  This integrates very nicely with the Sky's.  Also have a REL T-9 and an RSL Speedwoofer that are not currently in use as well as an old Velodyne ULD12, also unused at this time.