Subwoofer suggestions for budget system?

My current setup is a pair of Magnepan 1.6 speakers, a pair of Schiit Vidars, Schiit Sol turntable w/Goldring E3 cartridge (I have a VAS-rebuilt Denon DL-103 with Ebony shell and microridge stylus when I can get someone to come set it up for me), Mani 2 phono stage, Asgard 3 headphone amp acting as preamp, Schiit SYS as source selector, Modi 3+ connected to Volumio for streaming digital and an Orchard Audio RCA-to-XLR converter to drive the Vidars in monoblock mode.

I'd like to add a subwoofer to the mix that can keep bass out of the Maggies.  I'd, of course, prefer a dipole sub to go with the dipole speakers, but not terribly picky ATM.  My budget is around $200 to $300 for now.  I have been very tempted to build a pair of my own subs, but that's not in my budget right now.



My subwoofer suggestion for a budget system is: none. Don’t do it. Especially not for $2-300. In that budget range you can buy Townshend Pods, Cable Cradles, Purple Fuse, HFT, or any of a number of interconnects, power cords or even speaker cables that will have a bigger and entirely much more positive impact. Or you can get one seriously compromised and flawed sub that will actually make your system worse overall, owing to adding a cheap electronic circuit into the signal path, and bass that draws attention to itself.

The art of system building is compromise. This is even more important at the budget level. The two things that cost the most to do well are high volume and low bass. A budget system willing to compromise on high volume and omit the bottom octave can be incredibly captivating. Or you can have one that plays loud and goes deep but is utterly ordinary in every other way.

That’s the reality of the choices when you are on a budget. Which to give you some idea, I didn’t have a DBA until after Moab. So I would be in no hurry. My two bits.

The Dayton SUB1200 or 1500 are within budget and can be adjusted to be quite effective and tolerable to enhance your low bass output.  Set the low pass crossover frequency at its lowest setting, and keep the gain down so it's barely noticeable except for passages that contain deep bass.  Experiment with placement and phase to suit.

I bought a used Hsu ULH15 Mk II, and found that it filled in a whole missing dimension to my music. The cost wouldn’t be unreachable from your starting budget.  After all, what do you get for $100 today?  Then I added a Paradigm Monitor 12in sealed sub that I found on Craigslist for $75.  Worked for me.

a dipole sub with a high quality crossover that won't hurt the Maggies is not possible at your price point, you would need to go way higher, especially for the crossover...the REL T/Zero works great with smaller Maggies but does not filter out bass to the main speakers...

I disagree w Millercarbon.

That said, how about an SVS Micro 3000... that comes w all sorts of adjustability, crossover tweaks, equalization to a certain extent even.