It IS really amazing what adding the bottom octave or so does for music. To me , it gives the music "weight" which is the best way I can describe it. Before too long (if not already), you'll wonder how you listened to music without them.
Carl, yes I'm quite surprised. What's really surprising is listening to the same music without the mains, subs only. There's not a whole lot coming out the subs but when put together with the mains the sum of the total seems to be greater than the parts. It also seems to improve definition of the midrange, maybe because of the increased contrast. And apparently I'm not the only one who's noticed this effect.
And I couldn't agree more ~ "weight" ~ that's exactly how I'd put it. Obviously there's a lot of music where there's nothing down there, but even on some "lite" jazz recordings I got recently with acoustic bass (Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington) the subs add that certain "weight" to the sound. On Telarc's SACD of Carmina Burana there's some really low stuff down there in the quiet parts that I didn't really notice before.It's almost as if I was "hearing things", and then it stops, and you realize that you really were hearing something down there, even feeling it slightly, it wasn't just noise or something. I can hear the low frequency hall ambience of the lowest organ pedal tones even at very low levels.
So yes, I've already wondered how I did without it them. But then again, the price was right, the timing was right, what I got for the money was right, and the design of these subs integrates well with my setup, not to mention the manufacturer is in my backyard and I could return them risk free, so I decided to try it. I must admit, I don't get impressed by much anymore but this really put the icing on the cake.
Just for the record, my two favorites so far are Peter Gabriel's SACD "Up" and Insane Clown Posse's "Bizzar Bizzar". On "Up", second track "Growing Up" there's a sustained pause towards the end where the synthesizers seem to go down to the center of the earth, and then pull back up again. The sound just pulls together so wonderfully, powerfully with great weight. It reminds me of when I was playing in bands and once in while we'd that kind of sound live, very elusive, hard to achieve, never could figure out why, but it's here consistantly with the subs. And Insane Clown Posse, Holy ***** %$#@ )()(****& ****%$#@!!!!!. The low stuff on there is amazing. ICP I'm sure is not everyone's cup of tea, but personally, I find them kind of funny. The synthesizer work on the low end is quite amazing. My wife hates it. Says everything in the house is rattling upstairs. And on Easter we had family over here. My wife's niece and her husband are in the music biz. She studied opera at DePaul but switched to recording technology halfway through. Apparently when I put on Telarc's 1812 Overture with the real canon shots, everyone up stairs was like "HOLY *****!!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!!!" Did a plane crash or something? Sounds like a bomb went off....there it is again, and again!!!!!"