Since my M6s/U2/L5s arrived on Friday, I did some quick listening in my living room this weekend as framing of the HT is already half done and I wanted to be sure that everything functioned on delivery (at least that's what I told my wife). Listened to a pair of M6s with the U2, and also listened to the L5s (which will function as side and rear surrounds) with the U2. Listened to lossless digital files through a Sony 777ES receiver (don't smirk--actually a decent piece of equipment, though it will be replaced by a Denon 4306 in the HT).
1. The M6s blew my previous setup (PSB Image 6Ts and sub) away. I never liked the midrange on the PSBs, even though they were adequate for movies (with an Image 9C center and 3LR rears). I heard plenty of details that I've never heard before in my living room. I would have been disappointed if I had gone for the L5s in the front. They were adequate and matched reasonably, but not in the same class as the M6s that will serve as front and center channels. Though it's highly subjective and based on recollection, I don't remember being as impressed by the T5 (M5/B5 combination) I heard previously, despite the fact that the room where I heard the T5 was acoustically treated.
2. I'm very happy I didn't wait for the Classics. First, I think the lack of high gloss with the classics is better for a dedicated HT. I'm blown away by how good the U2/M6 combination sounded (even with the subs poorly placed and the M6s sitting way too high on top of my PSB towers). I'm also not sure what I would have done for side and rear surrounds if I had gone the classic route--the aesthetics of the L5s in the matching anthracite is great, and I didn't like the idea of mounting bookshelf speakers in a nice room. We actually mounted PSB bookshelf speakers in several rooms when we built our house, and I still think they look awkward. I'd hate to compromise sound greatly by going with in-wall speakers, so the on-wall L5s were a reasonable compromise. I also love the flexibility of the dual U2 cabinets and the A1/X1--this should facilitate proper tweaking once the room is done.
3. I was sure that it was a right decision to go back to NHT when I opened the owner's kit. Don't want to ruin any surprises, but inside the small "open me first" box was:
--the Evolution manual
--a pair of white cloth gloves
--two high quality screwdrivers (#1 and #2) each etched with the NHT logo
--best of all, an NHT logo nut tightening tool with a bottle opener at the other end!
Most fun opening something since I got the first gen iPod, and worked my way through the little treasure boxes inside the outside packaging.
I'll look forward to hearing about the Classic Series, but would also suggest that anyone looking to upgrade an older setup might want to seriously reconsider going with the Evolution speakers (while they're still around) if they're less than blown away with the Classics.