2 channel setup - Should I add a center channel or $1500 subwoofer?

Hey everyone I just bought the B&W 702 s2 as a 2-channel start to an eventual home theater, but I only have another $1500 in my budget for right now. Should I add a matching center channel that runs at $1500 or use the money for a decent sub? If so what sub would integrate well with my speakers? Would the SVS SP-4000 be a good choice?
Do you already get the center image from your 2 speakers? When I sit in the center between my speakers, you would swear that the center speaker is on when it isn't.  In that case I would get a sub. 
Short answer is sub, but depends on where you sit probably. Good luck.
Sub first.  
SVS fine.  
Quantity of subs is more important than brands as far as room modes.
For video, the quality of the center spkrs is extremely important for dialogue. Taj your time to get a good one.
Really depends on your priorities. Is this a home theater under construction or a audio system that you want to enhance over time to also be a home theater. If audio is your priority... a sub. If HT then center channel.

Something like 85% of HT sound comes out of the center channel. So from a HT perspective really important.
My opinion is the center channel.  Even though movies will work just fine with only left/right, there is an increase in clarity when you have a dedicated center channel. 

It is already apparent that there are going to be a difference of opinions here.  A subwoofer will make the effects/explosions much more visceral.  I suppose it depends on which element is more important to you.
I say buy 500.00 worth of room treatment, and TWO 500.00 subs and get 3 X the return.. The center channel.. Looks good, I guess. But any OK pair of speakers will image a center channel BETTER with regards to music.

That center channel is for voices really and actually the most important speaker in a HT set up.. You could actually do away with stereo speakers and add subs, ONLY.. Some time simple is really really good..

HT and music can work together, the best IMO is stereo with at least TWO subs and some room treatment.. And not the other way around..
Leave the center channel OUT, you already have a great phantom center..

Room treatment FIRST.. 500.00 You’ll be amazed with just that, then those 500.00 subs will sound like the single 1500.00 you planned on but X 2 at 1/3 the price EACH.. You can’t gear your way out of 50% of the sound, THE ROOM...

Master M will chime in.. He'll certainly tell ay.. :-)

I'd recommend a center channel over the subwoofer if you're going to have more than one person watching movies/TV and if your main left and right speakers are far enough apart (i.e. your display is large, or you are sitting close to it) that the people watching will hear things coming from the left or right instead of center of the screen. This is usually more distracting than a lack of bass output.

A center channel won't necessarily improve the clarity of dialogue or other sounds, especially if the room is very echoey or if the center channel ends up needing to be placed inside of a cabinet or in some other way that creates additional reflections or increases distortion. Room treatments, or at least filling up the room with stuff, is the best way to improve clarity.
Better off with four $350 subs. IF you have the space. Unless you prefer lower Hz in one listening spot.


it is the single biggest bhang for your buck in HT, all else being equal.

the sounds a sub, or if more are applied appropriately, can and will introduce an effect unlike anything adding a center ch loud speaker can elicit.

as important as the size of sub to room, or subs to room is key subs are after all an extension of the loudspeakers bringing the face and force of the event to life.

a month or so ago I began once more to trod down the audio land trail that never seems to have an end and chose to add sVS subs to my latest purchase of Joseph Audio Pulsar Grphine two ways.

after some talk with SVS sup and my plans presently and going forward I chose to drop down from the 4000 to the 3000 and go with a pair of them instead of the single larger 4000 standing alone.

My context is slanted highly towards music, though TV & Film will inevitably get their due as well as it is not difficult to blend the audio and video together these days.

as for the import of a dedicated center ch i’ve lived with and thru many arrangements of with center ch and without. as well with sub and without. for my money, the sugb or subs have no peer in what they bring to the table in HT and depending on the range of the mains, once addressed adequately, the lower two octaves seem to set the table for the mids and above more than a little bit. albeit a more pricey path of running a pair of subs , certainly is, they appear to be able to fix more issues than they develop.

i’m curious still on the sVS line of woofers having only used Velodyne and one or two other loud speaker brand subs, I am looking forward to this experiement.

Subg first. then surrounds, then another sub, and THEn add a center ch.
good luck!!!  

Better off with four $350 subs. IF you have the space. Unless you prefer lower Hz in one listening spot.


Nothing beats 4 subs! Other than of course four even better subs! But four small ones is WAY better than one of ANY price or power!
Unless you have people sitting well off center (in front of one of your L/R speakers and beyond) I’d definitely go with a sub as it adds so much more to involvement and the whole movie experience.  SVS is fine and offer good service and value.  Enjoy, and best of luck. 
As said above, the center channel is mainly for voice, so if you can hear dialogue clearly already, then as most others say, get the Sub(s). Also, the center channel will in my opinion make 2 channel music sound worse. I spent plenty of time and money on a high-end HT system and 2 channel music never sounded anywhere as good as my 2 channel.
The only person that would benefit from a $1500 sub is the guy who sells it to you.
This is an interesting thread that I missed the first time around.  I would have done both, perhaps buying used, or if new spend about $1K for the center channel because I do think it enhances dialogue and get a small sub for $500, and then upgrade as funds allow.  I wonder what the OP eventually did
I have 2- pb 16 ultra svs after coming from 2-pb3000 , the differance  was not night and day , stick with pb3000's get the dual price and put on credit and get .02% back , there are a few times a year when they have crazy deals for pairs (new) , pb16 really not worth the xtra price ,the 3000's are the best bang for the buck hands down. Get the isolation feet and upgrade the power cables and your done. use the phantom center for all its worth until you get a decent center , and save some money and make your own Mogami speaker cables for a fraction of the price , I bought a track that wraps around my room with deadening curtains off amazon and I was shocked how that alone cleaned up the dialogue . reflections and echos will equal Muddy bass and unclear vocals even for a $1000 center. I've been to listening rooms where my system sounds better for a fraction for sure.