Revel center channel help. C-30, C-50 or Voice?

I am in the process of upgrading my home theater system to an all Revel set up. Amplification is Krell 100x5. I am currently running M-20s in the rear channel. F-30s or F-50s will be up front (still debating that also). My question is for the center channel, as I have not had the pleasure of being able to simultaneously test Revel's three different offerings (C30, C50, and Voice). Is the newer C-50 worth the extra $1300 above the C-30? Is the Voice worth the extra grand over the C-50? Will I be disappointed if I just settle for the C-30?...which would certainly make the F50s easier to attain financially. Thanks!
I think the big issue is the matching of the center to the L/R speakers. Although they are all from the same family, I would ask Revel for insight about the matching.
I would compare the C-50 to the voice. If you are going with studios I would be inclined to go with voice which is perfectly matched to the mains. I have the whole setup including the studios,voice, 4 embraces, and 2 subs 15s. I am planning on using a voice as a rear center some day.
Matching your speakers is very important for home theater. If your room is small the 30 series might be more than enough. It is unclear from the Revel web site if the top end drivers of the 50 differs from the 30 or the 20 series. If they are the same, then mixing and matching should not be an issue. If they are different then you should match all 30s or 50s depending on your budget. Lower bass extension of the 50 series may not matter much in a home theater system if the processor does not run the LR or C full range.

If 2CH music is your main thing then you want the best FULL range LR you can afford. If you can't do the F-50s and the C-50 now then maybe buy the F-50s now and run phantom mode center channel until you can get the C-50. Better to get what you want in smaller steps than to buy twice.

If this is just for home theater, another option would be to buy 3 more M-20s and a sub. Add more M-20 speakers as you upgrade your system to 6-7 channels.

Good luck,

Thanks to all for the very helpful advise! Stewart, you seemed to imply in your comments that an extra M20 could be used for the center channel. Is that practical? Would the M20 delivery the clarity of movie voices that a dedicated Revel center channel can do? With a limited budget, it is an interesting, temporary corner to cut if the difference would be tolerable.
I would not use an m20 for the center. I also have the M20s and the c-30 in another system and these work great together. There is a reason Revel built dedicated center voice speakers. You can email them and I suspect they will second this thought. The question for you is the choice of the voice vs. the c-50. I personally would match the voice with the studios. Although the c-50 might have advantages I am unaware of much as the B-15 had advantages over the sub-15, which was the original sub matched with the ultima line.
The M20 can work well in the center under ideal conditions. However, the C-30, C-50 and Voice feature controls to adjust for their position in the room and in relationship to a video screen/monitor. Thus, they are much more likely to give a better interaction under real-room applications.
You most certainly can use an M-20 speaker for your center channel. If you already have M-20s and are happy with that performance level then a complete system made up of M-20s and one or two subs should work quite well. Unless your room size is very large you should be fine.

I am not an advocate of the sideways center channel. I used to take this same advice lightly until I encountered a theater with three $5,000 center channels used for the LCR (Tall speakers would not fit the design). The manufacture said that the three centers would work just fine. I could never get the theater to perform very well no matter what I did. The poor sound was blamed on room acoustics; it could not possibly be the speakers I thought. After reading a thread posted here on Audiogon describing the "typical" dispersion pattern of most center channel speakers as being narrow in width and vertically high, I was convinced that the three center speakers were to blame. Imagine three vertical fan shaped sound fields bouncing off the floor and ceiling. Would you lay your tower speakers on their sides? Of course you wouldnÂ’t. If three center channels are really bad then why even use one?

The center channel ideally should be identical to the LR and have a wide dispersion. Unfortunately this usually is attained by stacking drivers vertically so that the acoustic energy of the adjacent drivers is cancelled out vertically, but maintained horizontally. This mimics the pattern that horn drivers throw. Most designs result in tower speaker like enclosure, which is not easily incorporated in most applications, nor is it very marketable from a sales point of view. Tall speakers don't fit under or on top of TV's very well. Of course the salesman is going to tell you that you "NEED" a center channel. It's an easy sale and seems logical to the consumer, after all it says "center channel" and fits on/under a TV.

Not all centers are bad. Some are well designed. It appears that the Revel center channel driver arrangement is not too bad. By using the tweet/mid combo they can get the crossover at a lower frequency limiting the bad dispersion effect caused by the flanking woofers. I can't say how good or bad they are. Judge for yourself.

What do you think the center channel looks like in a real theater? Hmmm... just like the left and right one;) Using all identical speakers is common advice, but you will rarely see it actually implemented in most HT magazines or showrooms.

I don't know if Revel will sell single speakers. If you can only get pairs look for a damaged pair for cheap or save the extra one for spare parts or future rear center. You could get M-20s for front L&R then buy F-30s and move them back as side channels later. The only drawback on the M-20 might be limited dynamics and bottom end. Addition of the sub should help here. On the plus side it is small and can be placed above or below the TV easily. Try inverting it if you are using on top of the TV to get the tweeter as close to the screen as possible. Personally, I prefer below the TV/Screen location if possible. Center content is mostly dialog and actors lip location favors the lower part of the screen. A low center channel is more easily convincing, plus it will integrate better with LR speaker location heights.
I have the M20s and agree that it would perform well as a center channel but don't understand why anyone would do it. You can't buy them separately and its not worthwhile to look for a damaged set to break up. The c30 series and above are designed for center and can be purchased one at a time. If you are using the F50 I think the c-50 or voice would be the best match. You might be able to get a good deal on the voice here used. I don't know whose centers the other contributor was using but I would never use them for mains even they should have similar sonic characteristics to normal mains. I can understand the problem he had.