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-   -   HB-1 MK2 vs CCB-8 vs Floor Standing Speakers (http://forum.hsuresearch.com/showthread.php?t=96070)

clckworang November 21st, 2017 9:50 AM

HB-1 MK2 vs CCB-8 vs Floor Standing Speakers
I hope that it's all right that I post this here. I'm very weak with my knowledge of audio and audio equipment, but I am looking for some advice on speakers. I bought my HSU VTF-2 MK 3 several years ago, and I'm still loving it. It's still rattling my whole house and knocking things over, just as any worthy sub should. Well, I'm finally looking to upgrade from my little JBL speakers to come close to match the quality of my sub.

Some quick information: My living room is about 13' wide, 21' long and the ceiling reaches about 12'. But the ceiling actually is kind of a V shape, so it's not like the entire ceiling is 12'. So, by those measurements, I guess my room is about 3276 cubic feet, although because of the ceiling shape it would be less. The speakers will be used primarily for TV and movies but occasionally some music as well.

What should I be considering? I had been thinking about the 3.0 speaker package with the HB-1 speakers, but I had some people say that I should be looking at floor standing speakers for a room that size. I'm curious about the CCB-8, but in all honesty, they are out of my price range. What exactly are the advantages, in terms an audio dummy would understand? As it is, I can't afford the 5.0 package for the HB-1s from here right now and would need to buy two additional speakers at a later date anyway. I'm willing to do everything piecemeal if that's the way it needs to be.

Anyway, would the HB-1 speakers be enough for my room or do I need something bigger/more powerful? Even if I can't afford them, would the CCB-8 speakers be far better for my situation?

For someone so inexperienced in audio, trying to pick out new speakers can be so overwhelming! So many brands, models, choices, not to mention how expensive everything is. I appreciate any help that can be provided.

Calypte November 21st, 2017 12:54 PM

I listened to the HB-1 Mk2s at Hsu Research headquarters on two occasions in 2014. I didn't like them. To me they sounded very rolled-off at the top. Last year, something clicked in me when I saw them on sale, so I bought two to sample them in my home. They sounded much better in my living room than I remembered from Hsu Research. I liked them so much, I bought three more for a 5.1 system. I use one on its side for the center. I play lots of classical music, symphonies and operas. The HB-1 Mk2s create a fine sense of depth (I think it's what hi-enders call "soundstage"). Directionality is precise. They play at high volume -- much louder than I can tolerate -- without strain. They sound decidedly better without the grills. A few months ago, the CCB-8 was introduced, and it made the HB-1 Mk2 obsolete. The CCB-8 may sound great, but Hsu Research doesn't go to shows anymore, so I haven't had a chance to hear them. All that aside, the yellow drivers make them a non-starter for me. I'll switch brands before I buy them. Also, I'm not sure I can fit one in the spot for my center channel.

Kevin_Hsu November 21st, 2017 4:38 PM

I wouldn't say that you would need a tower for that sized room. Honestly, speakers have a much more directional element to it such that it really depends on how far you are seated from them, and how loud you like to listen to them in terms of playback levels. So we've had plenty of customers who have installed these into their room that was around 8000 cu ft, and it still provided them a good amount of clean output and imaging at their listening position. I'm assuming you are using an A/V receiver and the built in bass management, that does reduce the benefit of running towers as you can move the sub around the room to get a smoother bass response and it will handle the bass frequencies for you. The main benefit of going with the towers is if you like to listen to loud output levels as, depending on the design, they will give you a wider dynamic range. As Calypte stated, the HB-1 Mk2's do have quite a wide dynamic range as well and can handle pretty high volumes. I would say that for the large majority of our customers, the HB-1 Mk2's are plenty in that area. The CCB-8's have a larger driver (8") so it will be able to play a bit louder and cleaner than the HB-1 Mk2's. It also features a coax design with the cone and pole piece molded to a constant directivity horn. So that will mean that your off axis response, whether horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, will be smooth, musical, and consistent. They are a bit more forward, brighter, more detailed, than the HB-1 Mk2's, but I don't consider them overly bright. The HB-1 Mk2's are still a fantastic speaker and a great price point, so I don't think you can go wrong with either.

Calypte: We still go to shows, but we usually don't go to shows more than once a year. We are planning at exhibiting at AXPONA next year as we did this year. Unfortunately, with RMAF, we ran into issues of our sub bass easily bothering our neighbors, and we didn't have that issue at AXPONA. It's probably due to the fact that the walls are better acoustically insulated there. I will also say that we do value your feedback and we are listening.

Calypte November 21st, 2017 6:35 PM

Kevin, it was the Los Angeles Audio Show that I had in mind. Was probably 25 miles from Hsu Research.

clckworang November 22nd, 2017 7:38 AM

Thank you so much for the information! It really helps me in trying to reach a final decision.

Kevin_Hsu November 22nd, 2017 8:44 AM

Ah I see. Not sure about LA. I think they are moving to a hotel in OC for next year. I'm not quite sure what the difference is between the LA Audio Show and THE Show. We are looking to create more exposure outside of Southern California as well.

Sorry to hijack the thread though. Let me know if you have any questions in regards to the speakers.

Mrloren November 22nd, 2017 8:04 PM

Bookshelf speakers vs. towers.

Well it all depends on your budget and AVR.

A good bookshelf speaker will do most people just fine. There are advantages with a bookie.
#1 You don't need monster AVR/Power amp to drive them nice.
#2 Placement options are a lot better, wall mount, stands or on a
bookshelf. Whatever works and meets the wife acceptance factor (WAF).
#3 In general a good bookie cost less than it's floorstanding counterpart

I've only had my ears on the HB1 once for a short time and yes they sound good. They would be on my list if I was looking for non Polk speakers.

Yes I do have towers (Polk S60) in my main setup powered with an Emotiva amp. I also own the bookies to this line (S20). For giggles I put the bookies in the mix. At normal or low levels the bookies sounded just as good as the towers. It wasn't till I started to crank it that I could tell the difference. I had to put the bookies back in the bedroom before the wife saw them in the family room. She might have bugged me to sell the towers.

Kevin_Hsu November 28th, 2017 4:31 PM

Agreed. If you tend to listen to loud output levels, the towers are a great way to handle those levels and not compress as early as bookshelves. Though you usually want to look to getting a dedicated amp to power it. Depending on the receiver power, they can hit their limits before the bookshelves. Also depends on how large the drivers are and their design.

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