A preface is important: I hate sloppy bass. I hate dominant bass. I love balance. I currently have my sub(Polk PSW350-- yes, it's not that good) about 4db hot using internal test tones on my Denon AVR-1803. For movies, even at this level it seems too low. The impact just isn't there and it's driving my batty. Everytime I nudge that knob higher I feel like I'm breaking some cardinal rule of proper home theater setup. What's wierd is that 2 channel audio in "stereo" mode is even worse than home theater. My bookshelf speakers genuinely produce more bass output set to large, sub to off when listening to 2 channel music. By more I don't mean aggressive amounts of sloppy bass. I mean it sounds natural and balanced. When I set the speakers to small(80hz crossover point), sub to on, and use stereo mode the bass output is simply bad. I don't understand what is going on. I would think that with my sub calibrated 4 db hot compared to the other speakers the bass would be too much... it's just the opposite. I've used the Avia and Sound and Vision disk to calibrate the subwoofer level and on those tests my subwoofer level is more like +6-8 db hot. I assume this is because of signal contribution from the front left speaker when measuring those levels. The simple answer seems to be just turn the subwoofer level up until it sounds good to you. But, I would like to understand what is going on. Why does it sound so bad on stereo mode? (Switching to direct mode the bass is too much-- which I think is full range signals sent to fronts and sub). Why do movies lack the impact you would expect? I've gone through all my receiver settings to make sure that I don't have any "artificial" bass limiters or movie modes on and everything checks out great. Thanks for any and all help!