HSU CCB-8/VTF-15H MK2 5.1 alternatives - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 06-18-2019, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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HSU CCB-8/VTF-15H MK2 5.1 alternatives

I'm upgrading my Logitech Z506 speaker system (cue the laugh track) to a real speaker system. Quite exciting!

For some reason, the HSU speakers have charmed me, but before I pull the trigger on this system, I'd love to hear of other systems in this price range that would be perhaps better suited to what I'm looking for.

The system: HSU Research Hybrid 15 - 5.1 Package with CCB-8
(sorry can't post link, search it)
5 - CCB-8 bookshelf speakers
1 - VTF-15H MK2 sub

Purpose:
10% movies, 25% games, 15% keyboard playing, 50% music
I want to make sure it works well for the games and movies though.

I'm not looking to play at super high volumes. I'm interested in neutral speakers that do a good job at reproducing sound. Clarity is key.

I have a small room now, but this system is going to be the foundation for a Atmos capable system when we move it to a larger room.


1. What alternatives in this $3k or less, shipped price range would provide the nice neutral sound that I prefer?

2. What would be a good receiver to pair with this? I'd prefer to get a less expensive receiver to compensate for these more expensive speakers.
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-18-2019, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eckhardt View Post
I'm upgrading my Logitech Z506 speaker system (cue the laugh track) to a real speaker system. Quite exciting!

For some reason, the HSU speakers have charmed me, but before I pull the trigger on this system, I'd love to hear of other systems in this price range that would be perhaps better suited to what I'm looking for.

The system: HSU Research Hybrid 15 - 5.1 Package with CCB-8
(sorry can't post link, search it)
5 - CCB-8 bookshelf speakers
1 - VTF-15H MK2 sub

Purpose:
10% movies, 25% games, 15% keyboard playing, 50% music
I want to make sure it works well for the games and movies though.

I'm not looking to play at super high volumes. I'm interested in neutral speakers that do a good job at reproducing sound. Clarity is key.

I have a small room now, but this system is going to be the foundation for a Atmos capable system when we move it to a larger room.


1. What alternatives in this $3k or less, shipped price range would provide the nice neutral sound that I prefer?

2. What would be a good receiver to pair with this? I'd prefer to get a less expensive receiver to compensate for these more expensive speakers.
HSUs other speakers are probably more neutral and easier to place. Based on reviews (audiholics has a good one) the CC8s need a lot of toe in.

RSLs new CG5 line up combined with the CG3s for surround (to save a few $$ if needed) and for the future RSL has some really good ceiling speakers too.

https://rslspeakers.com/

The VHT15.2 sub is a really good choice, tough to better it without spending a lot more. As for the AVR get whatever one the currently fits your needs. They change so often that by the time you go to a full Atmos setup they'll be improvements. Spend as little as possible on the AVR.
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post #3 of 23 Old 06-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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I am using Hsu CCB-8s for the fronts (a 3.0 package), and four HB-1 Mk2s for the side and rear surrounds. (7 base level speakers.) For the subs, I am using two VTF-3 Mk5s. I went with the VTF-3 over the VTF-15H mainly due to size differences. (They have essentially identical outputs above 25 Hz, according to one review.)

If you intend to listed to stereo (2 channel) music, you'd normally only use the LR fronts. I find the HB-1s to be more than adequate for surround speakers, which are mainly used for effects in movies. If you wish to listen to multichannel music (like SACD), you may want the same speakers all around. If you can live with the HB-1s for your surrounds, you can save $587US over the hybrid package. If you drop back to a VTF-3 Mk2, $754.

There are many serviceable AVRs. The least expensive model that has the best version of the Audyssey room correction software is the Denon AVR-X3400H. It's a 2017 model, available online at model year closeout pricing, new (3 year warranty). It's a 7.2 model, with full pre-outs, should you wish to add external amps.
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-18-2019, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eckhardt View Post
I'm upgrading my Logitech Z506 speaker system (cue the laugh track) to a real speaker system. Quite exciting!

For some reason, the HSU speakers have charmed me, but before I pull the trigger on this system, I'd love to hear of other systems in this price range that would be perhaps better suited to what I'm looking for.

The system: HSU Research Hybrid 15 - 5.1 Package with CCB-8
(sorry can't post link, search it)
5 - CCB-8 bookshelf speakers
1 - VTF-15H MK2 sub

Purpose:
10% movies, 25% games, 15% keyboard playing, 50% music
I want to make sure it works well for the games and movies though.

I'm not looking to play at super high volumes. I'm interested in neutral speakers that do a good job at reproducing sound. Clarity is key.

I have a small room now, but this system is going to be the foundation for a Atmos capable system when we move it to a larger room.


1. What alternatives in this $3k or less, shipped price range would provide the nice neutral sound that I prefer?

2. What would be a good receiver to pair with this? I'd prefer to get a less expensive receiver to compensate for these more expensive speakers.
Sounds like you are a perfect candidate for Revel speakers, or other brands that follow Floyd Toole's research in the design of their speakers:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...nce-shows.html

Maybe hit up one of the dealers on this site for a quote on five Revel M16's as I think you can get them substantially below MSRP. I'd stick with Hsu for your subs though....there are a few other good options but none necessarily better imo.

For a receiver I'd look at a previous years model of Denon that has Auydysey XT32 with sub eq HT, such as the X3400H. Excellent room correction that can be limited to the lower frequencies as is optimal with well designed speakers, and does an excellent job with subwoofer and dual subwoofer eq.

Last edited by bear123; 06-18-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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post #5 of 23 Old 06-18-2019, 07:45 PM
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With 50% music Im not sure the CCB8s are what you are looking for....

You said "I'm interested in neutral speakers that do a good job at reproducing sound. Clarity is key" Then based on your "neutral" comment the CCB8s are definitely not what you are looking for

CCB8s do better for movies/video games

Other people will have suggestions on better "musical" speakers---but for neutral speakers with very good clarity I'd look hard at Chane's A2.4 if they are in stock
Reach out to @jonlane for more info on availability.

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post #6 of 23 Old 06-19-2019, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eckhardt View Post
I'm upgrading my Logitech Z506 speaker system (cue the laugh track) to a real speaker system. Quite exciting!

For some reason, the HSU speakers have charmed me, but before I pull the trigger on this system, I'd love to hear of other systems in this price range that would be perhaps better suited to what I'm looking for.

The system: HSU Research Hybrid 15 - 5.1 Package with CCB-8
(sorry can't post link, search it)
5 - CCB-8 bookshelf speakers
1 - VTF-15H MK2 sub

Purpose:
10% movies, 25% games, 15% keyboard playing, 50% music
I want to make sure it works well for the games and movies though.

I'm not looking to play at super high volumes. I'm interested in neutral speakers that do a good job at reproducing sound. Clarity is key.

I have a small room now, but this system is going to be the foundation for a Atmos capable system when we move it to a larger room.


1. What alternatives in this $3k or less, shipped price range would provide the nice neutral sound that I prefer?

2. What would be a good receiver to pair with this? I'd prefer to get a less expensive receiver to compensate for these more expensive speakers.
Reviews are good, a handful of AVS fans of the odd looking speakers (odd because they look more like small subwoofers), and they measure well.

Are you near any of these manufacturers/vendors?

ACCESSORIES 4 LESS*** NEAR ORLANDO FLORIDA
APERION* NEAR PORTLAND OREGON
ASCEND** NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
CHANE TAMPA FLORIDA
CRUTCHFIELD*** CHARLOTTESVILLE VIRGINIA
DEEP SEA SOUND SUBS NEAR KNOXVILLE TENNESSEE
DIYSOUND GROUP CINCINNATI OHIO
EMOTIVA NEAR NASHVILLE TENNESSEE
HI FI HEAVEN*** GREEN BAY WISONSIN
HSU NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
HTD* NEAR DALLAS TEXAS
JTR NEAR MILWAUKEE WISCONSIN
MONOPRICE NEAR RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA
MUSIC DIRECT*** CHICAGO ILLINOIS
NHT NEAR SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA
OHM BROOKLYN NEW YORK
PSA NEAR YOUNGSTOWN OHIO
RBH NEAR SALT LAKE CITY UTAH
RHYTHMIK SUBS NEAR AUSTIN TEXAS
RSL* NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
SALK AUDIO PONTIAC MICHIGAN
SEATON SOUND NEAR CHICAGO ILLINOIS
SELAH AUDIO NEAR RALEIGH NORTH CAROLINA
SVS* YOUNGSTOWN OHIO
TEKTON NEAR PROVO UTAH
TYLER ACOUSTICS NEAR LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY
WORLDWIDE STEREO*** NEAR PHILADELPHIA PENNSYLVANIA

CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS
AXIOM NEAR TORONTO CANADA
FLUANCE NEAR TORONTO CANADA
FUNK AUDIO NEAR VANCOUVER CANADA
PARADIGM NEAR TORONTO CANADA
PSB NEAR TORONTO CANADA
TOTEM NEAR MONTREAL CANADA
* free return shipping
**Ascend also carries Rhythmik subwoofers on site
***retail outlet of many brands

Geoff A. J., California
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post #7 of 23 Old 06-19-2019, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you near any of these manufacturers/vendors?
Unfortunately, no I live in Minnesota, and that's just not a cool enough place to start a speaker company in.

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Originally Posted by mpk1970 View Post
With 50% music Im not sure the CCB8s are what you are looking for....

You said "I'm interested in neutral speakers that do a good job at reproducing sound. Clarity is key" Then based on your "neutral" comment the CCB8s are definitely not what you are looking for
Interesting, where do you find this? The reviews and research I've done suggests otherwise.
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post #8 of 23 Old 06-19-2019, 02:46 PM
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Unfortunately, no I live in Minnesota, and that's just not a cool enough place to start a speaker company in.


Ha ha.

I have heard it's "cool" in other ways during the winter.

Do you travel for business or pleasure?

If so, might want to take another gander at that list for a side outing.

The biggest "negative" I've heard on the CCB8s are the odd looks to be honest.

Mike, (MPK), heard them and found them a bit bright IIRC compared to his Emotiva T2s.
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post #9 of 23 Old 06-19-2019, 03:01 PM
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I have the VTF-15H MK2 and it's a great sub. However, if I were putting together a 5.1(2) system with a 3K budget I wouldn't get the HSU sub or the CCB-8 speakers. A 3k budget allows you many great options for speakers and subs. First move I would make for sure would be to get the Monolith THX Ultra 15 for $1300. That leaves $1700 for speakers.


With that budget for 5 speakers there are many options for good speakers. If you want to go on the lower side of spending, the Infinity Reference speakers are currently on sale at neweggflash.com. The R253 3-way towers are $200/each and the R153 bookshelf speakers are $170/pair. The larger center in the line, the RC263, isn't currently on sale, but this does go on sale rather often direct from the Harman website for $200. So $770 total for speakers and $1300 for sub= $2070. Nearly $1,000 less than the HSU package and the Infinity speakers are very well regarded speakers and the Monolith 15 sub is arguably the best sub available for under $1300.

Subs>RBH I-12e, I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12(x2), THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000(x2). Speakers>JBL Studio 270/235c/230/225c. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith Cinema 5bs. Polk RTiA1/CSiA4. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2,V6, XB900n,700,XB32,XB31. Sennheiser HD58X,HD4.50,PC37X. HiFiMAN HE4XX. Philips SHP9500. SIVGA SV004. SA HDTwo. HyperX CloudPS4. TB Elite AtlasAero. LG FH6,RK8,RK7,PK5. HK Onyx Studio4(x2).
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-19-2019, 06:56 PM
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I would look at Revel speakers at Crutchfield

And/or Canton Chrono speakers
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...te-pair/1.html

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post #11 of 23 Old 06-20-2019, 07:18 AM
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for neutral, check out ascend acoustics. L,R: sierra 1 (720), Sierra horizon center (1048), CBM 170 surrounds ( 300) sealed rythmik sub 539

Main: Sony XBR75900E, Denon AVR-x4400, Denon POA-5200 (L/R(a) Goldenear supersat 60, (b)FW Boston acoustic Bravo 2. C Goldenear supersat 60C,
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-20-2019, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Sounds like you are a perfect candidate for Revel speakers, or other brands that follow Floyd Toole's research in the design of their speakers:

Maybe hit up one of the dealers on this site for a quote on five Revel M16's as I think you can get them substantially below MSRP. I'd stick with Hsu for your subs though....there are a few other good options but none necessarily better imo.
I'm quite impressed by Revel. Thanks for pointing it out. It does look like the theoretical speaker I'm looking for. Granted, they are more expensive, I'll see if it's possible to swing that. Maybe add pieces later.

What do you mean "dealers on this site"?

Do you think that it would be worth looking into the Revel C25 center speaker instead of one of the M16's?

Thanks to everyone for their assistance. I've read a ton more reviews for these brands I've never heard of. I think I'm getting pretty close.
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-20-2019, 03:54 PM
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I'm quite impressed by Revel. Thanks for pointing it out. It does look like the theoretical speaker I'm looking for. Granted, they are more expensive, I'll see if it's possible to swing that. Maybe add pieces later.

What do you mean "dealers on this site"?

Do you think that it would be worth looking into the Revel C25 center speaker instead of one of the M16's?

Thanks to everyone for their assistance. I've read a ton more reviews for these brands I've never heard of. I think I'm getting pretty close.
Revel speakers are sold through dealers. I've never personally priced them, but from what I understand, you can get a nice discount off MSRP from dealers. There are a couple of posters in the Revel thread who are dealers..you can contact them for a quote. I think @Rex Anderson is a Revel dealer. I'm taking an educated guess that a set of Revel's will be around your budget range.
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post #14 of 23 Old 06-20-2019, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope @Rex Anderson will get in on this thread, because I don't have enough posts yet to PM him.
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-20-2019, 08:21 PM
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I'm here! Look at Revel M16's and the B1 sub. Depending on your setup, you could use an M16 for a center or the C25.
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post #16 of 23 Old 06-21-2019, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by John Eckhardt View Post
I'm quite impressed by Revel. Thanks for pointing it out. It does look like the theoretical speaker I'm looking for. Granted, they are more expensive, I'll see if it's possible to swing that. Maybe add pieces later.

What do you mean "dealers on this site"?

Do you think that it would be worth looking into the Revel C25 center speaker instead of one of the M16's?

Thanks to everyone for their assistance. I've read a ton more reviews for these brands I've never heard of. I think I'm getting pretty close.
Another company that follows a similar model that Revel does in building their speakers using Dr. Toole's influence is PSB.

I'm currently testing the KLH Albany speakers for a friend but am finding them disappointing albeit only 7 hours in, but they aren't for me, they are for some friends who will come by Wednesday to listen.

If it was me I'd have returned them already and ordered the PSB Alpha 5s.

You might consider some of their "further up the line" speakers as well as the Revels.

A recent review of them points out the company's general methodology and focus on measurements as a tool in their engineering:

"The pursuit of perfection is a lonely endeavor, and talent, on its own, doesn’t guarantee success.

That talent must be nurtured and honed through years of practice and adversity, to fortify the constitution and single-mindedness required to create something of true excellence. Paul Barton founded PSB Speakers in 1972, and by 1974 had set to work in the anechoic chamber of Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) with Dr. Floyd E. Toole, one of the early pioneers of measurement-based loudspeaker design.

Barton has worked vigilantly in the NRC ever since, having reviewed, by his own estimate, hundreds of thousands of measurements, all in the quest of slowly but surely improving his designs. He is, for me, firmly fixed in the pantheon of great loudspeaker designers."


https://www.soundstageaccess.com/ind...5-loudspeakers
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post #17 of 23 Old 06-21-2019, 12:08 PM
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@gajCA I might give the PSB Alpha 5s a try soon
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post #18 of 23 Old 06-21-2019, 12:13 PM
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@gajCA I might give the PSB Alpha 5s a try soon
Cool, half of me hopes they don't like the Albanys so I can order them as a replacement!

Perhaps I'm being unfair in such a short time but using them in my main HT in stereo plus sub, unlike my regular mains, just plain sounded thin even with the sub in the mix.

Color me disappointed thus far with them though the tweeter is good and I'm sure the ported towers are much much better.

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@gajCA I might give the PSB Alpha 5s a try soon
Also look at the Imagine XT towers
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post #20 of 23 Old 06-21-2019, 12:58 PM
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Cool, half of me hopes they don't like the Albanys so I can order them as a replacement!

Color me disappointed thus far with them though the tweeter is good and I'm sure the ported towers are much much better.
Usually within an hour is what I need to judge a speaker -- I suspect that they need a crossover mod, plus some bracing -- that cabinet is light -- the sensitivity looks to be half space and that will put them around 86/87 db -- there has also been some statements that the Albany speaker is somewhat directional sounding. they may have to drop the price soon on them.

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post #21 of 23 Old 06-22-2019, 09:06 AM
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Usually within an hour is what I need to judge a speaker -- I suspect that they need a crossover mod, plus some bracing -- that cabinet is light -- the sensitivity looks to be half space and that will put them around 86/87 db -- there has also been some statements that the Albany speaker is somewhat directional sounding. they may have to drop the price soon on them.
Not given up yet as I made a mistake by just plopping them in my HT without changing Audyssey.

The are sounding much better in stereo now set as large with no sub and Audyssey "off."

They seem to be opening up and getting fuller sounding but after a week I'll test them once again against my LX16 benchmark and see if they are something I can recommend or not.

Likely my friends will like them.

As to sensitivity the sensitivity of the LX16, Concept 20 and Albany's are identical using my SPL meter so perhaps they are 88db instead of 92db sensitivity but it doesn't much matter.

ML and KLH claim 92db, Q Acoustics claims 88db but they are very very easy to drive using my old 63 watt Sansui 881 analog stereo receiver or 90 watt Denon AVR1912.

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post #22 of 23 Old 06-29-2019, 01:05 AM
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I've had the Hsu's for about 5 mos. They image and soundstage spectacularly, but only with the proper set-up per Hsu: placed on 36" stands and toed in extremely so the L/R axis crosses several ft in front of the listener spot. (If you point the speakers directly at you and have them at ear-level height, they'll sound bright.) This placement operates on an acoustic principle called time-intensity trading that expands the sweet spot; it works best with constant-directivity/narrow dispersion speakers like the CCB-8s. The result is a sweet spot that covers the 7-ft width of my sofa. Imaging, of course, is most precise and sharp seated at the center spot, but the stereo image won't collapse if I'm seated on either end of the sofa. Response with this placement is neutral and not at all bright. Dialogue intelligibility is so clear I don't even use a center channel. I listen to 60% classical/40% rock music, and am very satisfied; in fact I prefer the Hsu's to my old and more expensive Mirage OMD-15s. Used with a subwoofer, they won't break a sweat with power orchestral music that has wide dynamics. They are excellent all-around speakers, suitable for more than just movies.
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Last edited by larry500; 06-29-2019 at 01:08 AM.
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post #23 of 23 Old 06-29-2019, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by John Eckhardt View Post
I'm quite impressed by Revel. Thanks for pointing it out. It does look like the theoretical speaker I'm looking for. Granted, they are more expensive, I'll see if it's possible to swing that. Maybe add pieces later.

What do you mean "dealers on this site"?

Do you think that it would be worth looking into the Revel C25 center speaker instead of one of the M16's?

Thanks to everyone for their assistance. I've read a ton more reviews for these brands I've never heard of. I think I'm getting pretty close.
You could try Crutchfield's speaker compare app if you have a decent set of headphones. It won't paint the full picture, but will allow you to determine what you like and dislike about different speakers. You can then audition them on your own gear since they offer a $10 per box return fee on bookshelf speakers within 60 days. Keep the winner and order matching center and surrounds.
https://www.crutchfield.com/speakercompare/

Rhytmik subs are said to be fantastic for musical performance. Something you may want to consider if musical performance is more important to you.
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/

Kef LS50,Q200C, Q100, SVS SB-2000, Denon AVR-X3400H, NAD 216, Panasonic 50" Plasma, Xbox One.
Bedroom: Kef Q100 ,JBL Loft 20, Bic F-12, Denon AVR-S710W, PS3, 32" Insigna LED.
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