Your experience of moving to two subs

Hi all, I have a 2.1 system with the sub sounding best in the center between the loudspeakers. My speakers have substantial, deep, and detailed bass for their size and with the SS amp I’ve chosen. Thus, the sub’s optimal crossover setting is only at about 28hz. I have plenty of bass amplitude going on -- don’t need "more" bass.

I’m wondering about soundstage effects of having two subs on the outsides of my speakers, though. Having my sub in the center does result in some apparent compression of the low frequencies towards the low-center area. The L and R channels from my preamp are combined at my sub. I know some people may disagree and think that the source of frequencies below 60hz can’t be located by human hearing, but my experience tells me differently.

Does anyone have an opinion on the benefits of 2 subs vs only 1 when there’s no need for more bass oompf?


One sub is fine, two are always better. More is better in the case of subs. As others have said, multiples really can better fill out the sound stage and give a really full and balanced experience. One huge fallacy is that subs are for movies and not music. That is an opinion that is completely baseless, proven wrong consistently, and only held by insane "2-channel only" types and possibly deaf sheep herders.

What sounds good to me is what’s optimal in my system.

For me, the saying is,

What sounded good to me is what was optimal in my system, until I learned about how to improve it.

While I don’t want to be on an endless hamster wheel, this is a hobby for me precisely because I am striving to see if I can make things better.

I have been able to improve the sound in the past, and that motivates me to keep trying -- because it’s fun, not because I have a "grass is greener" dysfunction.

@dean_palmer said
“That is an opinion that is completely baseless, proven wrong consistently, and only held by insane "2-channel only" types and possibly deaf sheep herders.”

I say….

Thank you making me howl. That is so freakin’ funny!

I completely agree that by seamlessly integrating a sub or two (or four?) the listening experience can be taken to a level that is far more difficult to achieve relying on stereo “mains” alone. With subs added, it won’t be 2-channel anymore, by definition, but it will 110% still sound like it, meaning the sub(s) will not be discernible as a source of sound.

Coincidentally, my goal has always been for the main speakers to be undetectable also. Having 2, 3, 4 boxes in your room, but the illusion that the sound is not originating from them is central to the illusion for me. Speakerless-ness, I call it. If the illusion of speakerless sound is achieved, designations such as 2-channel, 2.1 or 2.2 are, for me, unimportant labels.

Of course the specific qualities of the “speakerless” sound (e.g, tone, dynamics, etc.) one pursues is a matter of personal taste and ever-evolving.

good rule of thumb on this subject

if you are listening to music (leave aside home theater movies booms and rumbles) and can hear and localize your subs, you are doing it wrong

the bass should just be in the room, coming at you like waves of energy