Choosing a subwoofer 2017-10-13 03:29:10 Searches back to 2003 didn't yield anything general enough, so here goes...I'm getting ready to buy a subwoofer for my stereo system; it is to be used for music only, no HT. There (not surprisingly) seems to be very little guidance in the many A/V forums on how to choose an appropriate unit. Most people seem to want wall-breaking volume and are very vague on LF requirements, and discussions usually diverge until the posters are talking about $6000 subs which require their own sub(station) for power. Or the wackos come in and start talking about "musical" and "fast" subs and all useful discussion ends.Here's the environment. My Magneplanar 1C system is currently at Magnepan for refurb, and it will be the main speaker. I'm planning to do as I did before, bi-amp + subwoofer. I have adequate power in terms of a couple of Dynaco 400s (or a 150 which I used on the tweeter panels before). The room is 10x24x7 (1700 ft^3) and carpeted, with a number of bookcases breaking up the modes a little and a rear wall that is mostly stairs. I accept that I may need some room treatment once I get things situated, as well as some repositioning of all the speakers. I have REW and a calibrated measurement mic as well as some experience in doing room evaluation.What I'm trying to achieve is LF extension that will allow me to play organ music and the occasional rock synthesizer at a level which will keep up with the Maggies. I really don't foresee playing anything as loud as 90dB except maybe the occasional peaks; I just want depth, not demolition. That said, I do have a number of recordings which feature useful content in the 20-30Hz range and I know the Fletcher-Munson curves say that the lows will need to be much louder to be perceived as such. I had a M&K Volkswoofer installed before (it was cheap!), and despite trying everything to reposition and adjust it, I never got a satisfying LF response. I recently re-foamed the driver and sealed some possible cab leaks but it still doesn't seem to go very low. I suspect there are far better drivers and systems available today anyway.Just as a point of reference, I have a cheap Polk sub sitting under my office desk - which means I'm benefiting from proximity in this much smaller room - and it measures and sounds reasonably flat down to about 30 Hz from this one listening position. I know it (or its bigger brothers) wouldn't work in the larger room, but tweaking it has satisfied me that I do want that extended low end and that it benefits me with enough music that I want to pursue it.I know there will be some room gain in the room with my main system, but how much? Will one premium subwoofer actually be able to handle the load? I really can't justify spending $2000 for the sub unless I'm convinced it will provide a real tangible improvement over an $800 sub. I'm willing to invest in a kit if one exists, to save some outlay; electronics and woodworking don't scare me off. Am I even asking the right questions? Do I want something that's not achievable at a reasonable price?