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Arendal 1961 Center/Monitor Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 20 9.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 112 50.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 84 38.2%

  • Total voters
    220

thewas

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A key concern as I mentioned with MTM design is narrow directivity. Let's see that:
Arendal 1961 Center Monitor Home Theater Speaker Horizontal Beamwidth Measurements.png
For me this is another MTM which fails at most exactly at what it is designed to do, namely offer several listeners the same centre channel experience, but at least its other measurements are good so it could used in a standing orientation for LR or even as a C.
 

thewas

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Good to see a manufacturer with some measurements on the product page;
Quite deceiving though to plot just one polar and in this case obviously the vertical one without stating so:

POLAR RESPONSE​


The charts display frequency response measured at different angles, the sum of which is referred to as power response. Much scientific research has been undertaken on this subject and a linear power response has proven a substantial impact on the overall sound, because the frequency response is more even in all directions. This means an Arendal Sound speaker will be more tolerant of differences in room shape, size, construction and materials.

Graph_Polar_Response_1961_Center-1200x676-1.png
 
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amirm

amirm

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@amirm do you think you can manage the time for an on-wall placement spinorama considering this whole series supports VESA mounting?
There is no real measurement mode of this type on Klippel NFS. I can stick a board behind it but it would be limited in size and create diffraction errors.
 

abdo123

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For me this is another MTM which fails at most exactly at what it is designed to do, namely offer several listeners the same centre channel experience, but at least its other measurements are good so it could used in a standing orientation for LR or even as a C.
I think because the high frequency radiation is so narrow that it's kind of more tolerable. Amir says it's acceptable at least.

Imma wait for MZKMs graphs
 

abdo123

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There is no real measurement mode of this type on Klippel NFS. I can stick a board behind it but it would be limited in size and create diffraction errors.

Erin said in his review of the Arendal 1961 Bookshelf that "The NFS (or the processing) can emulate a full infinite baffle wall for the speaker" and he provided an on-wall spin.

It might be worth exploring if you're interested but it's very understandable if you don't think it's worth the hassle.
 

thewas

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I think because the high frequency radiation is so narrow that it's kind of more tolerable. Amir says it's acceptable at least.
Well if Amir says so we don't need anymore measurements... ;)

Seriously now the strong narrowing in the important mid band from approximately 500 to 1500 Hz should be audible if you sit significantly off-axis and possibly also from the side wall reflections. Still would use them though in a vertical orientation with a subwoofer as a nice LCR setup.
 

rvsixer

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Quite deceiving though to plot just one polar and in this case obviously the vertical one without stating so:
Agreed, and the whole reason for getting this speaker tested.

When queried, Arendal responded basically yes it's something we need to change, and no we don't have the horizontal polars. Let's just say this answer was "unsatisfactory".

The very compact 1961 bookshelf tested so well on the NFS (especially no compression at 102dB, remarkable for even much bigger/more expensive speakers); the combo of the bookshelves as Atmos/surrounds, along with the monitors as LCR and four small subs, just seems so perfect for my new small HT build.

Thanks Amir for testing it!
 

rvsixer

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For me this is another MTM which fails at most exactly at what it is designed to do, namely offer several listeners the same centre channel experience, but at least its other measurements are good so it could used in a standing orientation for LR or even as a C.
Yes toppled MTM is "flawed", if you are going for a large dedicated theater (in which as you would/should not be looking at a speaker like this).

But exactly how many of the small HT's (which I would say is the majority of home cinemas worldwide, stuck in small bedrooms and such) this speaker looks perfect for, have seating that is outside of the 50-degree window this speaker has? It's enough to cover my small sofa from 8' away...and if it's just the usual two of us we will even be in the sweet +/- 3dB window.

Have to have those imaginary golden ears not to have the same center channel experience imo. I do understand the reflections argument, but I find my HT listening is FAR less critical than 2-ch, and it helps multichannel is now providing the spatial cues (assuming properly setup/aimed tops/surrounds).
 
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rvsixer

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@amirm do you think you can manage the time for an on-wall placement spinorama considering this whole series supports VESA mounting?
Erin tested this on the 1961 bookshelf in the YouTube review, worth a look. It shows the expected midrange dip any speaker does, so imagine the 1961 monitor would follow suite.
 
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thewas

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Yes toppled MTM is "flawed", if you are going for a large dedication theater (in which as you would/should not be looking at a speaker like this).

But exactly how many of the small HT's (which I would say is the majority of home cinemas worldwide, stuck in small bedrooms and such) this speaker looks perfect for, have seating that is outside of the 50-degree window this speaker has? It's enough to cover my small sofa from 8' away...and if it's just the usual two of us we will even be in the sweet +/- 3dB window.

Have to have those imaginary golden ears not to have the same center channel experience imo. I do understand the reflections argument, but I find my HT listening is FAR less critical than 2-ch, and it helps multichannel is now providing the spatial cues (assuming properly aimed sides/surrounds).
The thing is that such 2-way WTW compromise the most important horizontal directivity unnecessarily, they could have even been made as 2.5-way with less pronounced mid lobing, or even a lying typical WT bookshelf. Also it is much better for LCR to have the same directivity and not having just one of them swapping horizontal and vertical one. I know that many say it sounds good, but most haven't really done a direct comparison to such an optimal uniform LCR setup.
 

rvsixer

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The thing is that such 2-way WTW compromise the most important horizontal directivity unnecessarily, they could have even been made as 2.5-way with less pronounced mid lobing, or even a lying typical WT bookshelf. Also it is much better for LCR to have the same directivity and not having just one of them swapping horizontal and vertical one. I know that many say it sounds good, but most haven't really done a direct comparison to such an optimal uniform LCR setup.
Yep have read all the books. And have used toppled/vertical MTM, toppled/vertical TM, and lastly my toppled DIY 2.5-way as centers. Unfortunately for those of us who can't/won't use projectors with AT screens for whatever reason, "book" optimal LCR setups are not in the cards.
 

thewas

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Yep have read all the books. And have used toppled/vertical MTM, toppled/vertical TM, and lastly my toppled DIY 2.5-way as centers. Unfortunately for those of us who can't/won't use projectors with AT screens for whatever reason, "book" optimal LCR setups are not in the cards.
There exist also good low height centers, coaxial or with tweeter on top of the midrange driver, unfortunately though they are often more expensive.
 

CrustyToad

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Thanks for the review amir
Great performance and the mate black finish looks awesome as well. Exciting times

I considered these for LCR but decided to go with Kef R3's (non-meta)
 

rvsixer

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There exist also good low height centers, coaxial or with tweeter on top of the midrange driver, unfortunately though they are often more expensive.
Haven't been able to find one (affordable one anyway) with drivers with the high output/low compression capability of the woofers used in the 1961 series (as well as the entire lineups small size). That's more important to me than finding a center with wider dispersion than required for the use case.
 

GXAlan

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@amirm

Arendal recommends 50 hours of break in. Since these were dropped shipped and we never really believe in break in that isn’t already done by the manufacturer*, is there any way you can run these in the garage for 50 hours and then remeasure to see if there is any difference after 50 hours?

*Diatone states that 200 hours of break in is needed. So they do this for you before assigning a serial number. DS-4NB70 is a >$10,000 speaker. To my knowledge this is the only time there is a company that says there is a break in period more than a few minutes that also does this for the consumer prior to sale.
 

rvsixer

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@amirm

Arendal recommends 50 hours of break in. Since these were dropped shipped and we never really believe in break in that isn’t already done by the manufacturer*, is there any way you can run these in the garage for 50 hours and then remeasure to see if there is any difference after 50 hours?
The speaker tested was an outlet unit used for prior reviews...so already had some time on it.
 

thewas

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Haven't been able to find one (affordable one anyway) with drivers with the high output/low compression capability of the woofers used in the 1961 series (as well as the entire lineups small size). That's more important to me than finding a center with wider dispersion than required for the use case.
Like you write everyone has different priorities and it is good like that, some priorise higher SPL and some equal and smoother directivities.
 
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