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?


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

Update with a few notes on my short journey here:
(@soix, tagging u since u asked about my findings)

1) Reconfirmed more thoroughly my claim about aural locatability of my Rythmik F12G sub. Anyone can believe me or not, but when it’s only the sub playing music with a very low crossover setting, I can instantly locate where the sound is coming from in the room while facing any direction and standing almost anywhere in the listening room... except when I’m behind the vertical plane made by the sub’s cone. Then it’s a diff story and it’s not locatable. My ears have to be in front of the driver somewhere.
2) I had placed the single sub in the middle of my speakers because I needed the SPL from that single, relatively low output Rythmik, which is focused on speed, not loudness. So that position was necessary (you could say optimal... or not) because I really needed two of these subs to begin with in a room of this size, but only had one. AND, the extra low crossover point sounded the best in that position because of the directional effects I’m hearing with this single Rythmik sub, and how having it pointing right at the listening position affected the sound in the 40+ hz bass range.
3) Having the two subs in play (Rythmik F12G and SVS SB2000) far apart from each other totally alleviated both the directionality/locatability problem, and the issue with needing to use an unusually low crossover point.
4) The Rythmik is a totally different animal. I listened to both of them with speakers off while doing test tones for phase adjustment and with music. There’s actually music and details coming through the Rythmik, both in the lowest frequencies, and up through top of the audible range as it diminishes through the end of the crossover slope. The SVS is just blub, blub, blub, blub, and you really can’t make out musical details anywhere in its output. In comparison, it’s a bunch of noise and sounds really distorted. The Rythmik has so much more purity in its sound. I wasn’t able to get the SVS to blend in with my speakers, blubbing along like that. The Rythmik just disappears.
5) I bought another Rythmik. :)