Hsu CCB-8...What Have I Done?

Have you ever shopped and shopped for something until you are on the brink of either insanity or blowing the whole thing off, and then you find something on-line that seems to check all your boxes, and your wife is waiting for you to go to Joplin with her and the daughter to check out the daughter’s new duplex and they’re in the minivan with the motor running, and so you just click "buy"? Well, I have.

So...anybody familiar with these Hsu CCB-8’s?
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No but it doesn't matter. As long as you bought four you will be fine. All that time agonizing over which sub, when what really matters is how many. Oh well. Change Qty from 1 to 4 and done.
Dr. Hsu is brilliant, and this unique design is extremely intriguing.

Specifications from Hsu

Woofer: Cast frame 8˝ polypropylene cone woofer with treated cloth surround, flat polycotton spider and high temperature 2˝ edge wound copper clad aluminum voice coil.

Tweeter: Concentrically mounted using the woofer pole piece and cone as constant directivity horn. Neodymium magnet, ferrofluid cooled. Aluminum diaphragm.

Crossover: Computer aided time aligned design, final voicing by Dr. Hsu.

Grille: Magnetically attached nicely shaped metal grille. Can be rotated as needed.

Frequency Response: 50 - 20 kHz +/- 2 dB,

flattest at 15 degrees off axis(designed for listening at 15 degrees offaxis, speaker axes to cross in front of listener)

Sensitivity: 94 dB/1m/2.83V rms, half space

Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms Minimum Impedance: 4 ohms

Enclosure Type: Vented Enclosure Material: 3/4˝ MDF Dimensions: 15˝ H x 10.5˝ W x 12˝ D Net Weight: 22 lbs

Recommended Amplifier Power: 10 - 400 W rms


My concerns:

1. use as recommended, 15 degrees off axis; toed in properly, see specs. I suspect that has to do with the ’horn’ portion of the woofer cone’s angle of dispersion of the tweeter’s frequencies (not as wide as ’true horns’). The 8" woofer should be wide disbursement of bass frequencies.

2. high efficiency, I always like that to allow moderately low power amps, including tube amps;

3. but moderately low impedence, so check your amp’s taps and power reserves for instantaneous peak needs.

4. NOT BOOKSHELF! 12" deep with rear ports, angled positioning.

a. rear ports. 12" deep enclosure: more depth is needed unless you stuff the ports closed.

b. they call for angled direction, also needing further depth shelves, ports still an issue.

c. they illustrate them on a stand in free space on the web page and in the manual.


Option: Stuff the ports, then add a self-powered sub, perhaps one of HSU’s, any decent one with adjustable crossover, and, go from pre-amp to sub crossover, then to amp, then to CCB-8, to take the bass requirements away from the amp and away from the CCB-8’s. Some systems allow remote volume of sub, which, except for cost, would be a handy feature to have.
I should have been clearer: The CCB-8’s aren’t subs. They are stand-mount 2-ways. They have an 8" woofer with a coaxial-mounted aluminum dome tweeter. They seem very well built and have some good reviews, but they would appear to be rather sensitive to placement; especially toe-in. I hope they are not in the "ruthlessly revealing" camp. Anyway, I dug the design, the radius edges, metal grille, high sensitivity, etc, etc...and the reviews didn’t scare me off...plus they were marked down a bit on HSU’s "Spring Sale". so...I bit.

ps Oh, sorry! I didn’t see last two posts before writing. So...thanks so much! Guess I’m wanting re-assured! :)
Oh well, while I'm here:
I have a couple of older Velodyne DLS4000R (12") subs that I will use with the Hsu's.  Hopefully they will keep up (They're just pretty good).  If they don't do, and assuming the CCB-8's are keepers, I am thinking either a pair of Hsu VTF-2 Mk5's or Rhythmik L-12's.
Great idea! Their subs are all so dang big, though! Maybe they will come out with a nice 12" sealed sub. I could handle at least two of those!
Also, I already have multiple pairs of stands to choose from:  28" Targets, 26" Sanus and 34" Sanus woods are all available.  I think I'll start with the 26" Steel Foundation Sanus stands.
Mr. Miller, I love subwoofers too. That makes us both sort of interlopers here in the speaker forum. The HSU CCB-s is a coaxial speaker .

Mr. McCall I have no actual in home experience with this speaker nor do I know what the HSU return policy is.

If you purchased two for stereo playback or plan to purchase five to seven for home theater its very wise that they're matching. In the HT setting the more equal their distance and height they are placed the less room correction will be needed and the surround effect will be much better for it.

I'd gamble on trusting HSU rating this speaker to provide a near 50Hz response. Maybe others here can provide their actual experience.

Congratulations on your Daughters new duplex. My first property was a duplex. As a home owner and a landlord you learn a great deal in a very short time. 

They have a 30 day return but customer pays shipping. Fair, I think.
I bought a pair. Stereo only. I will use a pair of subs, though. My Velo’s can’t cross over higher than 80 Hz and that is what Hsu recommends for them, so I should be OK there.
...and thanks!

"but they would appear to be rather sensitive to placement; especially toe-in."
@jdmccall, the opposite is true = correct.
From Hsu Specification:
"Frequency Response: 50 - 20 kHz +/- 2 dB, flattest at 15 degrees off
axis(designed for listening at 15 degrees off axis, speaker axes to cross
in front of listener)."
And Placement (manual):
"Toe in the CCB-8s The CCB-8s are designed to be toed in so you sit 15 degrees off axis. i.e., cross the axis of the coaxial drivers about a foot or two in front of you. This gives the most stable imaging and the widest sweet spot. The frequency response is also designed to be smoothest at 15 degrees off axis."

See the Review by Doug Blackburn (scroll down)!
"The CCB-8s also do something I don’t encounter very often. The center image remains centered when your listening position is well to the left or right of center. Last time I heard this effect, it came from a very expensive pair of German MBL Radialstrahler loudspeakers that featured three omni-directional drivers."

My Mains are designed in a similar fashion.
Now I have to try this for myself.

The Manual describes a sound recommendation for Placement with Seven feet from the rear wall.
The alternative is against the wall (as close as possible) with an absorber panel fitted behind the enclosure.

I don’t think you necessarily made a mistake and I really doubt you’ll regret buying them after listening to them (after a good amount of break-in of course). As others have said, Dr. Hsu knows what he’s doing. I think especially if these were for home theater they could be an outstanding value given their dispersion characteristics, and being able to position the speaker horizontally as a center speaker is also really nice.

That said, if they’re only for stereo there are other speakers in that price range that would have me second guessing a little. Specifically, the Wharfedale 11.2 or 11.3 (see Crutchfield) get nice reviews as does the excellent Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus just to name a few. All of these are in the same price range and, at least IMHO, are better looking speakers if that at all matters. But for sound quality in particular these speakers — especially the Silverlines — would be very stiff competition. Not trying to be a d*ck here, but since you mentioned the Hsus are returnable I just wanted to mention some viable alternatives in case they also may offer something attractive to you and to help potentially avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse. I will say that if off-axis listening is a priority the Hsus may well be the best choice of the three. Best of luck.
The Hsu’s look like they have a pretty stout driver, definitely larger than the LS50’s, but my question is how would they compare?  I’m thinking LS50’s are more picky about associated equipment and I imagine the HSU’s will have more bass / more slam which LS50’s lack...
I have 2 of the HSU HC-1 MK2 center channel speakers that I use as bookshelf speakers in my office setup driven by a Primaluna Dialogue integrated HP hooked up to a Sim Moon 360D CD player, I stand them upright and they sound great they are on 26" heavy steel stands about 14" from the back wall and 24" from the side walls and I'm about 8' from them. They are spaced about 10' apart.
You might want to try your placement somewhere around those dimensions to start with.I also have the HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP sub about half way between them.If you decide you don't like them you could always send them back and try a pair of the HC-1 MK2 speakers instead at half the price.
I will say that if off-axis listening is a priority the Hsus may well be the best choice of the three. Best of luck.
I've been doing fairly extreme toe-in with my JBL Studio 590's in my surround rig, so I'm pretty much all in when it comes to that.  And thanks!
I imagine the HSU’s will have more bass / more slam which LS50’s lack...

That's what I'm hoping.  Slam, bass and effortless dynamics, both of the macro and micro varieties, are all high on my list.
What model Velodyne subwoofers are you using
. A pair of DLS-4000R's from about '06.
Another thanks to all for the help and advice!
If you decide you don't like them you could always send them back and try a pair of the HC-1 MK2 speakers instead at half the price.
You know, I really didn't even check those out.  I just kinda laser-beamed in on the CCB-8's.  I'm gonna go back and look at them again.  I will definitely keep them in mind.  Thank you!
Wow, my speakers are already in KC MO tonight...with delivery scheduled for tomorrow...all the way from Anaheim, Californ-I-A in 3 days!  They just shipped from Hsu on Monday evening with Fed-Ex.  Pretty speedy!  I hope they arrive in good shape!
Speakers delivered today!  Woo-hoo!  Well-packed with no damage -woohoo again! 

I moved two Velodyne subs from HT rig into family room to use with 2-channel  in there.  So far so good.  Bigger than I expected them to look!  Super smooth finish, like glass.  Sounding real nice, so far.  Holly Cole / Temptation A+,  James Taylor / JT C+ (definitely not an audiophile recording).  I'm thinking they're keepers.  Would love to add a pair of Hsu 15" sealed subs and cross over about 150 Hz.  Or at least, try it.  
I liked the sound real well, but not the looks.  They would have been fine in a dedicated theater or music room, but I had them in a family room and they were just too BBB (big, black and boxy).  So I ended up selling them. 

I never compared them directly to the JBL Studio 590's, but I gotta say I think the big JBL's are the better stereo sound value --if you get them bought right. 

The finish on the HSU's is in a different league, though.  While the vinyl on the JBL's is rather dull looking, the painted finish on the HSU's is high-quality automotive grade.  It's a shame you can't get them in something other than black. 

I would give the HSU's the edge over the JBL's in a home theater setting, though, because of the ability to use three identical speakers across the front and also due to no off-axis lobing compared to conventional center speakers.  That said, I'm quite content with my full JBL Studio 5 series 5-channel surround set-up, consisting of a pair of 590's, a pair of 530's in back, a 520C center and a pair of 550P subs.