One Subwoofer In The Middle

I understand that in audiophile land two subs are much preferred over one. My lateral space is limited with one sub working better for room geography. On a recent Steve Guttenberg video he interviewed Frank, a Greenwich Village restauranteur. He has a very nice high end system with one sub equidistant between the two speakers. Here and there on forum system photos, I’ll see the same.

Is putting one sub in the precise middle the better way to utilize one sub?

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Not necessarily. Best placement could be where room bass peaks and cancellations are minimized, especially at the listeners position. Corner, side wall or even close to the listening position could be best…just depends. Sometimes with various room dimensions, decor treatments and furniture, center stage might work out to be the best! My single sub not only sounds great in the middle between my stand monitors, but also is resident to host my source and power components without any feedback issues! :wink:

With the sub LP at 50hz and the monitors HP at 50 Hz, the soundstage bass has no directionality and easily blends and fills in the bottom 2 octaves!!! :hugs:




Agreed, but if it otherwise sounds good I suggest placing the sub in the middle (if you listen primarily to pop/rock/etc.) or to the right (if you listen primarily to classical). If there is any sense of localization the bass will then be emanating from the correct location.


Very interesting, one sub in the middle. So, I check some sub user guide on the web, and find this from Yamaha

(BTW, I have 2 subs.)

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Interesting that Yamaha is acknowledging low frequencies can be located, “almost non-directional” as they describe it.

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I’m a single sub user and honestly don’t have plans to get a second. Similar to OP, I don’t have the real estate to plop a second on the floor. Mine is off to the left but still between the speakers. The bass sounds like it’s coming from the speakers. You ideally don’t want to be able to tell that the bass is emanating from the sub. I agree with others though, the center certainly can be where it sounds best, but it doesn’t mean it will always be the best spot.

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That’s most encouraging! I’m not a big bass person, and neither is much of the music we listen to, but I’m open to the fact that I may need a sub after my Maggie LRS’s arrive. A single sub may pass the CEO/CFO review~! :slight_smile:


I have just one sub on my second system (my main system has ML ESL-13a speakers with subs built-in). I put it just inside of the left speaker. I don’t have empty space in the corners, which are supposed to be optimal for pressurizing the room. I like having the sub closer to one of the speakers to make it blend into the sound of the speaker. That may be more of a psychological factor than a true audio factor, but hey, this hobby is all about making us happy!

Subwoofer swarm is the answer.


REL suggests for one sub to be put in the corner behind and outside the right speaker. And then angle the sub across the room on a diagonal to the opposite room corner, across the listening position.

I’m a critic of audiophile orthodoxy, mostly because it’s orthodox. But easily fall prey to reading audiophile articles and forum posts. If someone says 2 subs are a must, my mind begins to view my one REL as somehow inferior. I have no way of knowing if it is inferior, but facts often matter little to my chimpanzee brain :joy:

If @jamesh is happy with one sub, then I consider the matter closed!


So much depends on the cut-off frequency of the sub in the room (and the room of course). As the cut-off frequency drops localization issues become less relevant and the main issue to attend to is uniform pressurization and absence of standing waves.

(One-sub operator - REL set way low.)

I have two subs, and can definitely tell direction if only one is playing.

I have to have a second sub, as it’s supporting mu Power Plant P3 and the other one is supporting most of my dvd collection. And I know you wouldn’t want me to put those on the floor, would you??.

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Roughly the same thought process I had there :slight_smile:

Yup, me too.

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i have a room that is more than twice as long as wide. the speakers are at one end of the long wall firing across the room. i’m thinking a single sub woofer might be worth trying pointing the long length of the room. if i crossover fairly low that might work better. if i get a SW i shall report back results :slight_smile:

A second sub to compliment my RSL Speedwoofer. I’m using a SVS 3000 Micro. It is small enough (10 in cube) to hide and powerful enough to make an audible impact. Audessey XT32 EQs each one separately and then blends them together. Win-Win

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I’ve never cared for subs in the corners. Loads them TOO much.

I have two ~14" cube subs. Small. Plenty of output for my space. I have limited options but got creative. Sounds great and we’re both happy.

Front wall sub just to the left of the left main in the table like it was made to fit.

Wireless printer is inside cabinet, back wall sub underneath, barely visible.

Rythmik L12. Both are approximately mid wall but offset a few inches. Helped smooth the modes a bit more to slightly offset them. Driven high-level by BHK 250 through a Jensen transformer as they lack high-level inputs.

The theory goes the more bass sources the better. Each then as less work to do and the in room response will get smoother and smoother the more sources added. 2 seems like a good number to me but I would certainly take one over none every time.



Where is that end table from?

I don’t recall. My wife found it some years ago. When she returns I’ll ask and update if she remembers.

Crate and Barrel.