Last time, I promise...
Thank you all for the help along the way. After listening to various speakers, countless research and reading, I'm stuck hoping to get some general feedback here.
I'm looking to upgrade my fronts and center channel. I have the room, and am now planning on getting 3 bookshelf speakers for the LCR as it seems both for cost as well as the listening experience... why not?
I've auditioned many a speaker - but only one inside our home- the Polk rti A1 with the A4 center. They were noticeably better than what we currently have (mirage avs-500)- but did not give me that 'wow' factor. I had some HTD Level 3's on order, but then they became backordered. I'm planning on going to audition some KEF's soon, but need to call the few stores around me to see if they have the models I'm considering. I've listened to the B&W 685's at best buy, along with some def techs and klipsch- but not in home.
Here is my current list with a quick blip as to why it's on the list- all thoughts are welcome. Again, my comparison will be my choice should be MUCH better than the rti A1 experience. I'm debating of waiting/ordering online and comparing from a few of these as well... but I'd rather narrow this down to 2 or 3 to do that.
Ascend cbm170 - price, many seem surprised as to the sound compared to others for the $
B&W 685/686 - have already heard
KEF Q100 - enough of a difference, or for $100 more- bump it up to the....
KEF Q300 - wanting to hear, nothing but good things read
Ascend Sierra 1 (pushing budget, but if worth it compared to the others, NRT upgrade)
SVS Ultra Bookshelf (maxing/over budget- MUST be worth it compared to others)
HTD Level 3's
This will be 90% HT use. The room is 14 x 18, not overly acoustically treated, and I have a sub. The AVR and sub will eventually be upgraded, but what I have is better than garbage right now. I'm really looking for a noticeable difference in sound quality- especially dialogue. I've read many posts about mid-range clarity in the 'smaller series' of the speakers- so could be a factor- you tell me. Other suggestions are welcome, but I'm limiting the size of the cabinet as they'll sit below our TV - ideally 14" max.
Last item, which I'm not totally concerned with at the moment- being able to get a speaker as a single rather than pair. I know with many of the online companies- not an issue. My guess, it'll be with whom I order from more than anything else.
Thank everyone again for their patience and help with another asking variations of the same question thread here, and I'll leave it by saying if you had to narrow it down to two of the above (or wildcard) to fight side by side- which would those be?