UPDATE: Three days ago I ordered the Cambridge S30s to audtion and I picked up a pair of Sanus EF-28B stands. Two days ago the Hsu's arrived. Yesterday I returned the Pioneers to Best Buy.
The first thing that struck me out of the box was the VTF-2 MK4's comically large, mini-fridge-like size. The woofer looks crazy big. The Pioneer SW-8 MK2 is a child's toy in comparison. Once I hunted down a rug of the right size to go under it, the hulking VTF-2 displaced the SW-8 next to the couch. After Audyssey I watched a movie with the VTF-2 and the Pioneers and, as expected, the bass was rich and solid. Some music listening led to some sub adjustments and I settled on: one port open with EQ1 and the minimal Q control setting. These adjustments made me notice the charming simplicity of the SW-8 MK2: it just works. You just turn crossover knob up, set volume to the middle, let Audyssey take care of it. In either of the two listening positions I had it - next to the speakers or next to the couch - that stuff plus checking the phase was all I needed to do. The VTF-2 needs to be dialed in for Audyssey and then afterward re-dialed in for ports open/closed, 'EQ1' and 'EQ2', and Q control. There are good guidelines for all this in the manual but you definitely have to read it, change something, test on your material, repeat etc. The starting settings for Audyssey were only found on Hsu's online FAQ iirc. In the end, the VTF-2, as the FS52s before them, revealed subtleties and nuances in songs that I didn't even know were there. The bass is given so much more detail and texture. For example: the drum in Radiohead's 'House of Cards', sounds like it's actually in the room. It's awesome.
The Hsu HB-1 MK2 speakers were about the size I was expecting and heavier than they look. The magnetic grilles are cool. Sitting atop the 5"x5" plates of the stands, they seem stable enough. Even a sharp kick to anywhere near the bottom of the stand just makes the whole thing slide a little on the wood floor. I toed them in so that they'd 'cross' in front of the main listening position.
Three main differences between the FS52s and the HB-1s jumped out at me. One reviewer mentioned how the source of singing seemed to come from a few feet behind the FS52s; with the HB-1s, it's more 'forward' (I think this is the term) - I'd say the singing comes from the plane of the speakers. This seems related to with the midrange levels being better balanced with the treble and bass - to my ear anyway - I'd say the sound is 'fuller'. Secondly, the treble stays smooth - even at -10dB. I haven't tested above this yet but suffice to say these can get nice and loud in my room. Third the dynamics are 'effortless' as Hsu marketing puts it. Songs that I'm used to sounding dangerous and volcanic when played loudly, DO
(Prodigy's 'Spitfire' is a good example).
The S30s have got a tough act to follow.