I somehow contracted upgradeitis over the weekend....now an energy owner.
I bought some leftover c-3s and a c-c1 at crazy clearance prices to compare to my Athena as-b2s which I have as fronts and center - the prices were too good to pass up, I wasn't displeased with the athenas. All I can say is the c-3s are a more balanced speaker, with a nicer tweeter, and the c-c1 is actually quite good as well. They are however, less efficient then the athenas, or atleast they certainly sound that way. The as-b2s have some harshness issues, but otherwise I think they hold up pretty well considering the msrp differential.
I expected the c-c1 to be bad after reading some posts on the superiority of the c-c3, but I am more then satisfied (again the tweeter is nice). I briefly compared the c-c1 to the c-c3 in store and didn't notice a big difference (the c-c1 sounded much better then the athena as-c1 center I hated and had to get rid of). Maybe the c-c3 is much better then the c-c1, but I would argue the c-c1 is still a pretty good speaker. My friend bought the rest of the c series energy speakers they had, so I could only get the c-c1 anyway.
I will be keeping athena as-r1s and as-b1s as surrounds and rears, as I don't see much point in upgrading those, and they seem to work fine together. Now I have an extra 2 pairs of athena as-b2s to do something with?!?!?