Arendal 1723 S Tower THX Speaker Review

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Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
From my first encounter with Arendal’s speakers and subs, I have been greatly impressed by their performance and build quality. I was so delighted by the 1723 THX Monitors last year (Arendal 1723 THX Monitor Review) that I had been eager to see what their other speakers were capable of. I opted to review the 1723 Tower S THX, the subject of this article, because I wanted to see what they could do as a tower speaker, but not merely as an extension of the 1723 THX Monitors which I already had experience with. The 1723 S THX series scales back the regular 1723 THX speakers for a smaller size and lighter weight but keeps the same basic design cues. In theory, this should give us a similar sound qualitatively at the cost of dynamic range versus the regular 1723 series. This is probably a worthwhile trade-off for most people since few users of the 1723 series are likely to take full advantage of their dynamic range. Outside of comparisons to Arendal’s other speaker lines, what does the 1723 Tower S THX deliver on its own? $3k is not an insignificant sum for most people, so what does Arendal deliver with this particular model? Does it keep the same value that Arendal has rapidly become known for? Read our in-depth review to find out...

READ: Arendal Sound 1723 S Tower THX Loudspeaker Review
Great review Shady Arendal is just continuing to impress!!!
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Nice review Shady and I watched the live stream too. I almost pulled the trigger on these last fall as there is a lot to like about these speakers at their price point. Would be nice to hear these next to the JBL HDI3800. Just wish they would extend the tax and shipping offer to Canada. Chicago is just a stone's throw away. ;)
 
Big-Q

Big-Q

Audioholic Intern
Great review. These are on my short list for my listening room. I looked at the big brother but would rather have the smaller size of the S. Currently in the room I have a pair of Klipsch Epic CF-2s, I enjoy (bought them for around $50 at an estate sale in near mint condition). Others are the Polk R700 & L600, Sonas Faber Lumina V, Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G, MartinLogan Motion 60XTi.
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
Great review. These are on my short list for my listening room. I looked at the big brother but would rather have the smaller size of the S. Currently in the room I have a pair of Klipsch Epic CF-2s, I enjoy (bought them for around $50 at an estate sale in near mint condition). Others are the Polk R700 & L600, Sonas Faber Lumina V, Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G, MartinLogan Motion 60XTi.
Not to go off topic but can you briefly sum up the differences between all those mentioned?
 
Big-Q

Big-Q

Audioholic Intern
Not to go off topic but can you briefly sum up the differences between all those mentioned?
The Klipsch Epic CF-2s were sold from 1996-1998, I think. My pair was originally priced at $2,000. 1.2” horn tweeter, 2-8” woofers, 2-way, 8 ohms, with 98 db sensitivity. Real wood veneer cabinets.

Polk R700 3-way, 1” ring tweeter, 1-6.5” midrange, 2-8” woofers, 8 ohms, 88 db sensitivity, $2198 pair

Polk L600 3-way, 1” ring tweeter, 1-5.25” midrange, 2-7” woofers, 4 ohms, 86 db sensitivity, $3498 pair

Sonus Faber 3-way, 1” dome, 1-5.9” midrange, 2-6.5” woofers, 4 ohms, 88 db sensitivity, $2799 pair

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi, 3-way, AMT tweeter, 1-6.5” midrange, 2-8” woofers, 4 ohms, 94 db sensitivity, $3750 pair

Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G, 3-way, 1” dome tweeter, 1-3” midrange, 2-8” woofers, 8 ohms, 90.5 db sensitivity, $3200 pair
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
The Klipsch Epic CF-2s were sold from 1996-1998, I think. My pair was originally priced at $2,000. 1.2” horn tweeter, 2-8” woofers, 2-way, 8 ohms, with 98 db sensitivity. Real wood veneer cabinets.

Polk R700 3-way, 1” ring tweeter, 1-6.5” midrange, 2-8” woofers, 8 ohms, 88 db sensitivity, $2198 pair

Polk L600 3-way, 1” ring tweeter, 1-5.25” midrange, 2-7” woofers, 4 ohms, 86 db sensitivity, $3498 pair

Sonus Faber 3-way, 1” dome, 1-5.9” midrange, 2-6.5” woofers, 4 ohms, 88 db sensitivity, $2799 pair

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi, 3-way, AMT tweeter, 1-6.5” midrange, 2-8” woofers, 4 ohms, 94 db sensitivity, $3750 pair

Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G, 3-way, 1” dome tweeter, 1-3” midrange, 2-8” woofers, 8 ohms, 90.5 db sensitivity, $3200 pair
Thanks. Sorry, I should have been more clear in my question. I was asking for the differences in sound characteristics between them.
 
Big-Q

Big-Q

Audioholic Intern
Thanks. Sorry, I should have been more clear in my question. I was asking for the differences in sound characteristics between them.
I can not answer that question right now. I am ready to start the auditioning for these but have not listened to any of them. I have just narrowed the search by specs. It is a pain not to have a shop handy to audition any of these.
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
I can not answer that question right now. I am ready to start the auditioning for these but have not listened to any of them. I have just narrowed the search by specs. It is a pain not to have a shop handy to audition any of these.
I understand. Looking forward to your thoughts on these.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Thanks. Sorry, I should have been more clear in my question. I was asking for the differences in sound characteristics between them.
I can't really speak to sound characteristics for all of them, but I will say what I would be drawn to for design differences. I a not a huge fan of what Monitor has done with the 500 7G- a pitiful 3" midrange with two 8" bass drivers? That seems lopsided. However, existing measurements seem to indicate that it is a fairly neutral speaker, which is the good news.

Both Polks are great speakers, you can not go wrong with those. I would probably swing for the R700s over the L600s, to be honest. The R700s are just so damn good for the money.

I don't know much about the Sonus Fabers, but I wouldn't go with those over the Polks or Arendals, simply because why chance it with the Sonus Fabers when you can get a sure-thing good speaker at the same pricing? There is no risk involved with the Arendals or Polks.

If the MartinLogan 60XTi speakers are anything like the 35XTi speakers I had, you can look forward to an elevated midrange. Probably not bad speakers, but they would not be my first choice.
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
I can't really speak to sound characteristics for all of them, but I will say what I would be drawn to for design differences. I a not a huge fan of what Monitor has done with the 500 7G- a pitiful 3" midrange with two 8" bass drivers? That seems lopsided. However, existing measurements seem to indicate that it is a fairly neutral speaker, which is the good news.

Both Polks are great speakers, you can not go wrong with those. I would probably swing for the R700s over the L600s, to be honest. The R700s are just so damn good for the money.

I don't know much about the Sonus Fabers, but I wouldn't go with those over the Polks or Arendals, simply because why chance it with the Sonus Fabers when you can get a sure-thing good speaker at the same pricing? There is no risk involved with the Arendals or Polks.

If the MartinLogan 60XTi speakers are anything like the 35XTi speakers I had, you can look forward to an elevated midrange. Probably not bad speakers, but they would not be my first choice.
Hey thanks for all that, that's very helpful. Not too much information out there on the SF Lumina line yet. Any chance you could find time to test one of them? I'd actually be interested in the smallest model in all these lines as I'm planning to build a desktop set up. Which means, for Arendal, it would be the 1961 bookshelf model, SF Lumina 1, etc.

Thanks.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Hey thanks for all that, that's very helpful. Not too much information out there on the SF Lumina line yet. Any chance you could find time to test one of them? I'd actually be interested in the smallest model in all these lines as I'm planning to build a desktop set up. Which means, for Arendal, it would be the 1961 bookshelf model, SF Lumina 1, etc.

Thanks.
There are no plans for any reviews of Sonus Faber, sorry.

If you are planning on getting a desktop audio system going, make sure to take a look at this article that we published a year ago: Audioholics' Guide to Getting Good Sound From a Desktop Audio System.

The design criteria that I would look for in desktop speakers would not be the same as that of tower speakers. As a matter of fact, I would probably be looking at a very different set of speakers than what you are considering.
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
There are no plans for any reviews of Sonus Faber, sorry.

If you are planning on getting a desktop audio system going, make sure to take a look at this article that we published a year ago: Audioholics' Guide to Getting Good Sound From a Desktop Audio System.

The design criteria that I would look for in desktop speakers would not be the same as that of tower speakers. As a matter of fact, I would probably be looking at a very different set of speakers than what you are considering.
Interesting. If you were going with passive speakers for this application can you suggest a few models you would consider?

Sorry for derailing.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Interesting. If you were going with passive speakers for this application can you suggest a few models you would consider?

Sorry for derailing.
I would be looking at speakers with a wide and even vertical dispersion. Some passive speakers that do that are KEF speakers that use the Uni-Q coaxial driver, which is pretty much all of them. The ELAC 3-way bookshelf speakers also should have this quality. Possibly some others like some of the PSB speakers. One active speaker that had this quality which I absolutely adored was the RBH PM-8, but that is rather large and heavy for a desktop speaker (didn't stop me from using it that way!)

On the other hand, if you take care in the set up of the speakers and aren't prone to slouching or shifting your position then this quality isn't as critical.
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
I would be looking at speakers with a wide and even vertical dispersion. Some passive speakers that do that are KEF speakers that use the Uni-Q coaxial driver, which is pretty much all of them. The ELAC 3-way bookshelf speakers also should have this quality. Possibly some others like some of the PSB speakers. One active speaker that had this quality which I absolutely adored was the RBH PM-8, but that is rather large and heavy for a desktop speaker (didn't stop me from using it that way!)

On the other hand, if you take care in the set up of the speakers and aren't prone to slouching or shifting your position then this quality isn't as critical.
Thanks. I had read your article when it first came out and I just read it again. Great stuff in there. I am planning a surround system on and around the desktop. Since I "discovered" true multi-channel music a couple of years ago (SACD, DVD-Audio, BluRay Audio) I've been determined to listen to these in our small home office. I'll move the computer monitor down to the desktop and locate the center directly above it. I'll be using an A/V receiver and universal BluRay player. Can't wait to start but still researching speakers. The Kef are probably a little too deep for my set up. I see Aperion Audio has some nice speakers in their Novus Slim line, maybe something like those would work well.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Thanks. I had read your article when it first came out and I just read it again. Great stuff in there. I am planning a surround system on and around the desktop. Since I "discovered" true multi-channel music a couple of years ago (SACD, DVD-Audio, BluRay Audio) I've been determined to listen to these in our small home office. I'll move the computer monitor down to the desktop and locate the center directly above it. I'll be using an A/V receiver and universal BluRay player. Can't wait to start but still researching speakers. The Kef are probably a little too deep for my set up. I see Aperion Audio has some nice speakers in their Novus Slim line, maybe something like those would work well.
The Novus Slim MTM will have a very uneven dispersion on the vertical axis, so probably not great for desktop settings. The Novus Slim N6SR has a good center-to-center spacing of the drivers for a desktop speaker application, but be aware that it will be very bass shy. It might require too high of a crossover frequency for that kind of setup, and subwoofer localization and integration could turn into a problem.
 
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doctors11

Enthusiast
The Novus Slim MTM will have a very uneven dispersion on the vertical axis, so probably not great for desktop settings. The Novus Slim N6SR has a good center-to-center spacing of the drivers for a desktop speaker application, but be aware that it will be very bass shy. It might require too high of a crossover frequency for that kind of setup, and subwoofer localization and integration could turn into a problem.
Well darn. It looks like the f3 is 80hz on that one, I'm guessing that's too high? It's mainly the center and surrounds I'm concerned about as I can use regular bookshelf speakers for the front L and R. If I use a bookshelf for the center it will be fairly close to my face, hence why I was hoping for something shallower. I was drawn to the N6SR not only because of the slim design but also it having the tweeter on the bottom...I figured it would be easier to line up with the fronts.

Are you also saying that the Slim MTM wouldn't work well as wall mounted surrounds mounted vertically?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Well darn. It looks like the f3 is 80hz on that one, I'm guessing that's too high? It's mainly the center and surrounds I'm concerned about as I can use regular bookshelf speakers for the front L and R. If I use a bookshelf for the center it will be fairly close to my face, hence why I was hoping for something shallower. I was drawn to the N6SR not only because of the slim design but also it having the tweeter on the bottom...I figured it would be easier to line up with the fronts.

Are you also saying that the Slim MTM wouldn't work well as wall mounted surrounds mounted vertically?
In reality, the knee of the response of the Slim N6SR is probably significantly higher than 80Hz. I doubt very much it is as low as 80Hz. It still might be OK as a center speaker, but it could be tricky to have a subwoofer not be localizable with anything higher than an 80Hz crossover. In fact, I find that localization is more of a problem with near-field setups, and you might want to have the ability to cross the sub over lower than 80Hz if possible, so you might want to look at speakers with a solid response down to 60Hz. Another way of dealing with this is to get a multiple subwoofer system, so that the source of the bass is balanced over the room.

Aas for the Slim MTMs, they can work, but be aware that they would not have very wide vertical dispersion. That means that you might not have a whole lot of play in height before chunks of the frequency response just drop out. It is a speaker that is very altitude sensitive, so if you vary your head height by much, it's not ideal. I don't know about you, but my posture ay my desktop can change by quite a bit over the course of a day, so something like that wouldn't be ideal although it still might be workable.
 
tn001d

tn001d

Senior Audioholic
is the denon 4500 sufficient to power these speakers ? I cant recall if the denon will do 4 ohms
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
is the denon 4500 sufficient to power these speakers ? I cant recall if the denon will do 4 ohms
The Denon 4500 would be very good. It will be able to handle 4 ohms. I wouldn't want to run it on some speakers with a really low impedance dip on a hard phase angle, but that isn't the Arendal speakers, they are not a hard load.
 
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