Buy a sub or ditch my new speakers altogether?

I recently picked up a pair of B&W 602.5s, brand new, for a song. Turns out to be the wrong song, and it was a final sale. :/

They have loads more midrange and high end detail than my former Allison CD6s, but the Allison's 8" woofers had the B&Ws beat in the low end.

The B&W's lows are boomy and pretty out of control, and when listening to TV at a lower level, there's almost no bass at all. The port plug tightens up the boominess, at the expense of even less bass overall.

So, the question becomes, do I put these brand new B&Ws up for sale, and look for something else, or do I pick up a subwoofer and attempt to salvage the sound? I am quite happy with the 602.5's mids and highs. I find it interesting that many reviews of the next (discontinued) model up, the 603, mention needing a sub, despite having a dedicated 6.5" bass driver.

If I do end up getting a sub, for say $500, I'm then into the current setup for $900. This begs the question, what could be had sans sub, with similar punchy mids and clear highs, but with deep(er) clean(er) bass, in the same price range?

Logic tells me that a 2 mains and a sub beats the low end capabilities of a $1000 speaker with no sub.

Many thanks for any advice.

$500 can get you a pretty hefty sub. B&W orHSU or similar will do the job. Bass will tighten up plus it will relieve a lot of stress on your amp.

How are the speakers with music-they should be awesome. Most systems have trouble with TV sounding muddy or boomy in the bass. It's usually more than just the speakers' fault.

Could be the entire set-up or just one component? What else is in the system/sources?
Thanks for the reply. At the moment I'm running off of a Cambridge Audio 340A integrated, but it's being replaced next week by an Arcam Solo (CD), which should provide a bit more power.

The speakers sound decent with music, just not very much bass detail.

The more I think about it, the more I want to skip the subwoofer and either find a pair of 603s, or pay the piper and move up to 683s. This is what I get for trying to save a buck and rushing in!
I would not dictch the speaker because of a lack of better base response than your older speaker. From your statement about the B&W 602.5s that it betters your Allison in the most important areas such as the mids and top thats where most of where the music is. I would work with moving the speaker out from all walls and a possible change in amp. Now a good sub such as an REL StrataIII or a similar sub of good quality can always be incorporated into your system no matter what speaker you wish to play with in the future. Also a possiblility that good stands such as the sound anchors might extend base response and such stands can be used again with other speakers if you feel the need to change.
if the lows are muddy or boomy now... a sub will not eliminate that noise. the sub in your case should really be for extreme lows, not to handle entire bass response. also, your amp may not work any more efficiently when sub is added unless you have a crossover setting from amp to roll off signal to your main spkrs., which then would open up sub potential. otherwise, imho, play with location and if that does not help, ditch those spkrs. are you really sure you want the b@w sound? many find them as you described them, i personally find all but the really $$$ ones to be slightly warm and murky in low bass. just my tastes tho.
The Solo should have a subwoofer output. It will make it easy and clean to add a sub. If you can borrow one, do it first and see the difference.
The Solo has a pre out, but not a dedicated sub out. Maybe the Movie version does. A sub, as my audio dealer (and Veroman) put it, will be more of a band-aid on the problem than a solution.

I auditioned the B&W 683s today. They are the speakers I want and should have bought from the beginning. Now I'm faced with the untidy task of selling the 3 day old 602.5s and somehow sneaking the 683s into the apartment without my girlfriend noticing the switch. B&W has made this pretty difficult, as they don't sell the 683 in light oak finish in the U.S...the 602.5s are light oak.
Just tell her that the 683s are less expensive than the 602.5s :)
You mentioned rushing in to buy something to try saving a buck. Maybe this speaker is not what you like?

Try to get out and listen to few more. Bring the Solo along to establish a baseline. Dealers should be able to explain why the Solo would or wouldn't work in a given setup. Proceed with caution.

You will probably find a speaker you like better without the added expense and consumption of a sub.

Good luck!
Buy a Sub, keep the 602.5`s. B&W`s are known to be deficient in their bass output, a dealer confirmed this to me. I own the 804`s and a pr./Polk 10B`s. For comparison, I listened to track #6, "Holst: The Planets" (Previn, Telarc). Great track for bass output! Get this CD to audition your bass.If your speakers have decent bass, this track should impress you. My 10B`s, as for many forms of music, do justice for the bass here. For my B&W`s, to the contrary, the bass is almost non-existant. With that being said, the 804`s blew-away the 10B`s in the midrange and higher frequencies: I discovered background Percussion inst.w/ the 804`s as opposed to the 10B`s, plus more detail in the music. What I finally did for the bass w/ 804`s, I connected a Velodyne F1500 Sub (the best $1500 I spent).I now have an excellent sounding system.
Bjesien may be onto something... it can be easy to fall into the mindset of upgrading within a single brand, we are all creatures of habit and comfort. i second his advice to audition other lines. granted, i am not a big fan of b@w but there are lots of fantastic spkrs. re:WAF, a nice set of monitors and a good sub is always a winner. just a thought. happy hunting.
I had the 602's, the monitor version of the 602.5's. Yours are probably more bass capable than mine, given the longer cabinet. But I did run mine with a matching sub and was very happy with them. Given that people run subs with floor-standers costing 10x as much, that is probably the best upgrade route - there is no better way to get bass. That said, listen as far and as wide as you can. Though I have made all my purchases with little if any comparison shopping, and turned out very happy, it can only lead to a better (albeit more difficult) decision.

And once you make a decision, curl up next to Significant Other Cohabitant with bottle of spirit and show her how good Journey sounds. :|
I'm currently running the same speakers...and yes they are lacking on the bottom end. My fix was to include an REL T2 sub. I have it crossed over just below 40hz and all I can say now is WOW!!! The sub fills in the lower octaves, smooths out the high end and increases the soundstage.
By the past post you bought your speakers of $350.00. The sub runs $800.00 new, so for 1150.00 you have speakers that will compete with speakers costing twice as much.
Try it you'll be amazed.
Thanks everyone. I ended up selling the 602.5s and getting the 683s. Man what a difference. I have absolutely no desire for a sub anymore. If anything, the 683s offer a tad bit too much bass with some music. No complaints though.