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Arendal 1723 Tower THX vs. Wharfedale Aura 4

Robert-Hifi

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I'm looking around for new speakers and the two options that attracts me the most are the Arendal 1723 THX Tower and the Wharfedale Aura 4.
Visually my preference goes to speakers with a full-length grill from top to bottom (I'm a grill guy), but both are totally different concepts (visually and sonically).

The Arendal 1723 Tower THX is well reviewed and measured, is a 2,5 way design with a waveguided tweeter in a MTM configuration for controlled directivity.
While the Wharfedale Aura 4 is a 3-way design with a large AMT tweeter, dedicated midrange drive and two rather small woofers.

Not everybody seems to think the Arendal's are great for music, it's that due to the controlled directivity with a narrow radiation pattern of about 30-40 degrees?
And some say the low crossover point of 120Hz makes it less easy to integrate with a subwoofer due to the phase rotation with a passive crossover that low in the frequency range.
The Wharfedales Aura 4's have a large and tall AMT which should have a very restricted vertical dispersion, but what about the horizontal dispersion?
It looks to be more refined in the treble and the mids having a AMT and a dedicated midrange driver compared to the Arendal's.

I've auditioned the Wharfedale Evo 4.4 in my room and the smaller AMT was dropping off pretty fast above 5kHz going off-axis making the sweet spot very small.
The Arendal's are 3500 euro (until the price increase on November 27th) while I can get the Aura 4's for 2400 euro (MSRP is 4000 euro).

Which one would be the better choice for 50/50 use for music and movies?
 

Ucftechguru

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I’m wondering the same thing, especially after Erin’s Audio Corner’s super positive comparison review of the Wharefdale Aura 2s.
 
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Penelinfi

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*Wharfedale Aura 2?

Those Aura seem to be focusing on midrange with wide dispersion in the mids, slightly down bass response (though the room will mess it up more dB wise), and narrower HF (similar to Evo due to similar drivers).
It's kind of their signature sound IMO, based on some subjective listening .
 
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Robert-Hifi

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In the end I didn't get the Arendals or the Wharfedales, but sticked with my 23-year old loudspeakers.
Too many doubts about the narrow horizontal and vertical dispersion of the Wharfedale Aura.
Looking at Erin's Klippel measurements of the Aura 2 it's AMT stays a bit wider until 7kHz compared to the Evo 4.1 measured by Amir, but after that it also starts to narrow up pretty fast.
And my doubts about the Arendals is their bass extension, the rather narrow horizontal dispersion and small vertical dispersion.
Plus they are freaking heavy, too heavy to get them up the stairs without professional help.

I know the perfect loudspeaker doesn't exist, but I'm not convinced that I would by happy enough with the compromises of both knowing what I have to spend to get them.
It's the combination of appearance, finish, build quality and sound quality that has to match my preference.
Nothing on the current market makes me want to go all-in, but the Arendals would be the best option for now if I had to choose.
 

Chromatischism

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In the end I didn't get the Arendals or the Wharfedales, but sticked with my 23-year old loudspeakers.
Too many doubts about the narrow horizontal and vertical dispersion of the Wharfedale Aura.
Looking at Erin's Klippel measurements of the Aura 2 it's AMT stays a bit wider until 7kHz compared to the Evo 4.1 measured by Amir, but after that it also starts to narrow up pretty fast.
And my doubts about the Arendals is their bass extension, the rather narrow horizontal dispersion and small vertical dispersion.
Plus they are freaking heavy, too heavy to get them up the stairs without professional help.

I know the perfect loudspeaker doesn't exist, but I'm not convinced that I would by happy enough with the compromises of both knowing what I have to spend to get them.
It's the combination of appearance, finish, build quality and sound quality that has to match my preference.
Nothing on the current market makes me want to go all-in, but the Arendals would be the best option for now if I had to choose.
The Buchardt S400 MKII could fit the bill. Very neutral and accurate midrange, good bass though not as strong as the MKI, but more refined overall. Small tweeter with very low distortion and big waveguide keeps dispersion wide through the high frequencies. Arendal copied the idea but used a larger tweeter, with the effect of being wider with more power at the bottom of the range but narrowing up at the higher end. The top of the Buchardt should sound more open and effortless as a result and be fairly consistent across a few seats.
 
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Ucftechguru

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In the end I didn't get the Arendals or the Wharfedales, but sticked with my 23-year old loudspeakers.
Too many doubts about the narrow horizontal and vertical dispersion of the Wharfedale Aura.
Looking at Erin's Klippel measurements of the Aura 2 it's AMT stays a bit wider until 7kHz compared to the Evo 4.1 measured by Amir, but after that it also starts to narrow up pretty fast.
And my doubts about the Arendals is their bass extension, the rather narrow horizontal dispersion and small vertical dispersion.
Plus they are freaking heavy, too heavy to get them up the stairs without professional help.

I know the perfect loudspeaker doesn't exist, but I'm not convinced that I would by happy enough with the compromises of both knowing what I have to spend to get them.
It's the combination of appearance, finish, build quality and sound quality that has to match my preference.
Nothing on the current market makes me want to go all-in, but the Arendals would be the best option for now if I had to choose.
I purchased two Arendal 1723 Towers. They had tons of power and bass. One of the speakers had an issue, though. It was damaged in shipping and kept causing my amp to short, so I didn’t get to listen to both speakers for that long. However, bass was not an issue. I think it would be a bigger issue with the smaller Aura 2 that Erins Audio Corner measured. The Arendal sounded pretty good but did have the low vertical and horizontal dispersion issue. The tweeter was also not my favorite but it may have been because I couldn’t listen to both speakers for long.

And it was heavy, over 125 pounds. It made moving it and then having to return ship it a huge pain.
 
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Robert-Hifi

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The Buchardt S400 MKII could fit the bill. Very neutral and accurate midrange, good bass though not as strong as the MKI, but more refined overall. Small tweeter with very low distortion and big waveguide keeps dispersion wide through the high frequencies. Arendal copied the idea but used a larger tweeter, with the effect of being wider with more power at the bottom of the range but narrowing up at the higher end. The top of the Buchardt should sound more open and effortless as a result and be fairly consistent across a few seats.
The Buchardt S400 MKII is a good suggestion, but I'm looking for a rather large tower like the Arendal 1723 Tower THX or Wharfedale Aura 4.
And I'm also pretty specific what I like when it comes to appearance, fit and finish of the loudspeaker, maybe even too much.

My preference goes strongly towards a large tower with a full-length grill and non-gloss finish in black.
These days almost everything is piano gloss when you go for black.

The Wharfedale Aura 4 is piano gloss in black, but looks more modern and elegant than the Arendals due to no visible mounting screws around the woofers.
The Arendals are minimalistic and monolithic looking and with grills on you wouldn't notice the screws anyway.
 
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Robert-Hifi

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I purchased two Arendal 1723 Towers. They had tons of power and bass. One of the speakers had an issue, though. It was damaged in shipping and kept causing my amp to short, so I didn’t get to listen to both speakers for that long. However, bass was not an issue. I think it would be a bigger issue with the smaller Aura 2 that Erins Audio Corner measured. The Arendal sounded pretty good but did have the low vertical and horizontal dispersion issue. The tweeter was also not my favorite but it may have been because I couldn’t listen to both speakers for long.

And it was heavy, over 125 pounds. It made moving it and then having to return ship it a huge pain.
Thank you for sharing your (short) experience with the Arendal 1723 Tower THX.
Remember that I would go for the Wharfedale Aura 4 and not the Aura 2, but the Aura 4 seems to have the same low end roll-off, just a bit lower than the Aura 2.
I'm afraid the Aura 4 would be just slightly better than the Evo 4.4 when it comes to horizontal and vertical dispersion resulting in the same small sweetspot.

About the tweeter of the Arendals, did you run them in long enough?
It may have sounded a little harsh fresh out the box.
 

Matt_Holland

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The Buchardt S400 MKII could fit the bill. Very neutral and accurate midrange, good bass though not as strong as the MKI, but more refined overall. Small tweeter with very low distortion and big waveguide keeps dispersion wide through the high frequencies. Arendal copied the idea but used a larger tweeter, with the effect of being wider with more power at the bottom of the range but narrowing up at the higher end. The top of the Buchardt should sound more open and effortless as a result and be fairly consistent across a few seats.
I’m a big fan of the S400mkii. One of my favourite all time speakers. You can try them at home and return them for just the shipping cost if you don’t like them.

I suspect a home audition is key for you.
 

Ucftechguru

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Thank you for sharing your (short) experience with the Arendal 1723 Tower THX.
Remember that I would go for the Wharfedale Aura 4 and not the Aura 2, but the Aura 4 seems to have the same low end roll-off, just a bit lower than the Aura 2.
I'm afraid the Aura 4 would be just slightly better than the Evo 4.4 when it comes to horizontal and vertical dispersion resulting in the same small sweetspot.

About the tweeter of the Arendals, did you run them in long enough?
It may have sounded a little harsh fresh out the box.
The towers were open box and looked used but I do not know how long they were run in. I had issues running in one speaker as it started causing my amp to short. I ran in the other one that was working right. I returned them because the quality control on Outlet/Open Box was POOR.
 
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