Kef r vs Arendal 1961

Rick84

Well-known Member
Hi,

Would I be correct or incorrect in saying that KEFs r series is a comparable match for the Arendal 1961 range ? I know there is a big price difference between the Arendal 1961 towers and the smallest tower from KEF which is the r5, but the Arendals are sold direct so does that make up for the price difference??

I’m drawn to these two brands & ranges because they both offer more speaker options for home cinema with the Atmos modules.
 

mikeysthoughts

Well-known Member
The Arendal 1723 Tower S are leagues above the KEF R series for sound and build quality (and everything else I tried in the sub £4k high street price bracket (not bad given the Arendals were only £2300).

I understand the build quality is the same for the 1961 range and on the basis of a typical high street RRP margin to be 25-35%, then yes the Arendal direct sales approach explains the lower cost vs. the R5.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Can you stretch to the 1723S?

If you value build quality, I don't think Arendal speakers can be bettered at their price.

They are by far my most satisfying purchase re: HT. They simply don't let me down.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply,

I’m also considering the 1723 Monitor s because I could effectively have the same speaker all round but it bother me that they don’t have an Atmos module !
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply,

I’m also considering the 1723 Monitor s because I could effectively have the same speaker all round but it bother me that they don’t have an Atmos module !

Just use the 1961 atmos module with the 1723S. @mb3195 does this and he has very high taste. Arendal have confirmed they timbre match very well and reccomend mixing and matching between series won't have many adverse effects to the sound for 99% of people.

The 1723S monitors are the ones most people go for. They aren't as gigantic as the towers height wise and have easier placement.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
I remember reading someone was pairing the 1961 Atmos modules with the 1723. It’s a real shame Arendal don’t do dedicated stands for them

Wonder if I’d get away with placing the monitors on top of the subs?????
 
Wonder if I’d get away with placing the monitors on top of the subs?????

I'm in the process of upgrading my base layer to 1723S, and this is what I will be doing with my L&R. I've seen others do this with success too.
 
Currently a Denon 6500, with an Emotiva XPA5 Gen3 PA.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
I was tempted to go for the 8500 purely for the better DAC but as normal, I’m undecided
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@Rick84

Would be good idea to check with REW (Room simulation) what kind of response you get for the woofers in that position which is optimized for speakers. You wouldn´t get the boundary gain for subwoofers via corner loading them. Not issue necessarily, just something to consider. Your room looks spacious, shame the 1723 S Towers aren`t option.

Something like Atacama SLX 500/600 could work nicely with Monitor S? At least they are frickin sturdy and heavy, have owned one. Top plate is wide and deep enough for Arendals!

1961 towers seems more standalone product. The center channel doesn`t keep as good with such large speakers, if you look the Monitor, Bookshelf, Centre they are all low depth (15cm) versions with sealed cabs.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Just use the 1961 atmos module with the 1723S. @mb3195 does this and he has very high taste. Arendal have confirmed they timbre match very well and reccomend mixing and matching between series won't have many adverse effects to the sound for 99% of people.

The 1723S monitors are the ones most people go for. They aren't as gigantic as the towers height wise and have easier placement.
I remember reading someone was pairing the 1961 Atmos modules with the 1723. It’s a real shame Arendal don’t do dedicated stands for them

Wonder if I’d get away with placing the monitors on top of the subs?????

the 1961 speakers match really well with the 1723s. I have these for both my wides and atmos, I can’t notice any difference in panning shots such as the atmos amaze trailer.

@Rick84 a bit difficult at the moment but if you wanted a demo you’re only around an hour away from me. Pretty certain you’d put an order in straight away 😉
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
@mb3195

A demo would be brilliant and greatly appreciated. Let me know when you’re willing to host :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

Rick84

Well-known Member
@Gasp3621

Thats my old place, Divorced and moved on since that photo was taken. Sold all my kit in the process which is why I’m starting from scratch.

Thanks for the link to the stands, I’ll check them out
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member

ashenfie

Well-known Member
The drivers are 6.5inch versus R5 5inch So in fact the equivalent is the R7. The R7 is a 3 way with 6.5inch and UniQ drivers. Finish and build are of a very high and attractive standard.

So while to buy direct speakers and good value I don't think they are "Leagues". Kef's Heritage as a world brand is always going to result in a higher price. This perhaps why to me the Kef's are more restful on the eyes.

No one speaker is ideal for all and the UniQ drivers do things no other driver design can give. Matched with a good if big center speaker. While the Kef's don't majorly deep if you using them with a Sub then this is not of value.

For Music and AV the Kefs are hard to beet, they also depend on your room and tastes in speaker.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
The drivers are 6.5inch versus R5 5inch So in fact the equivalent is the R7. The R7 is a 3 way with 6.5inch and UniQ drivers. Finish and build are of a very high and attractive standard.

So while to buy direct speakers and good value I don't think they are "Leagues". Kef's Heritage as a world brand is always going to result in a higher price. This perhaps why to me the Kef's are more restful on the eyes.

No one speaker is ideal for all and the UniQ drivers do things no other driver design can give. Matched with a good if big center speaker. While the Kef's don't majorly deep if you using them with a Sub then this is not of value.

For Music and AV the Kefs are hard to beet, they also depend on your room and tastes in speaker.

Just wondering, have you listened to the Arendals?

I hear a lot of people chiming in re: KEF vs Arendal who haven't listened to Arendal or haven't listened to KEF. The Uni-Q driver gives a big open soundstage but the Arendals design gives a GIGANTIC soundstage in comparison.

I think both are good but I don't think KEF really competes with the soundstage, dynamics or low-end of Arendal very kindly. Build quality wise, I prefer Arendal. They are just so well built, its unbelievable and made my old KEFs look like cheap pieces of wood.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
I realize you don't know what speakers I have heard or not and I have considered Arendal in the past. The thing for me at the time are the 4ohm average impedance verse 8ohm when connected to my AVR/Amp. The Arendal did sound very good but not gigantic "better" whatever gigantic better means to you. The Centre in the Arendal sound a bit average to me, while the floor-standing speaker well outperformed the centre. Something with my KEF config is not a thing.

The Arendal is a good speaker and speakers at this price point all perform very well, I don't see any need to exaggerate the performance of one over another. Room and the listener need to be matched with a speaker and we all hear differently.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I realize you don't know what speakers I have heard or not and I have considered Arendal in the past. The thing for me at the time are the 4ohm average impedance verse 8ohm when connected to my AVR/Amp. The Arendal did sound very good but not gigantic "better" whatever gigantic better means to you. The Centre in the Arendal sound a bit average to me, while the floor-standing speaker well outperformed the centre. Something with my KEF config is not a thing.

The Arendal is a good speaker and speakers at this price point all perform very well, I don't see any need to exaggerate the performance of one over another. Room and the listener need to be matched with a speaker and we all hear differently.

Arendals definitely sound better when given sufficient power, running them off an AVR certainly won’t get the best out of them.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I realize you don't know what speakers I have heard or not and I have considered Arendal in the past. The thing for me at the time are the 4ohm average impedance verse 8ohm when connected to my AVR/Amp. The Arendal did sound very good but not gigantic "better" whatever gigantic better means to you. The Centre in the Arendal sound a bit average to me, while the floor-standing speaker well outperformed the centre. Something with my KEF config is not a thing.

The Arendal is a good speaker and speakers at this price point all perform very well, I don't see any need to exaggerate the performance of one over another. Room and the listener need to be matched with a speaker and we all hear differently.


Thanks. I thought the soundstage of the Arendals blew KEF away honestly. Would be interesting to see others thoughts.

I have always had a lot of issue with KEF centres not being very good (its what drove me away from KEF). The Arendal centre has left me extremely satisified so interesting to hear your experiences. The Arendal centre was the speaker which 'seduced me' to their company. The speaker which surprised me the most was the Surrounds. They are just otherworlds for sound bubble. My KEF was always like 'hi look over here, sound is coming from me'. But maybe this is tripole versus bookshelf.

Sparechange did a video review of a few speaker brands recently; Arendal, KEF (albiet Q series) and Bower and Wilkins CT 700 series... and he echoes my thoughts in that the Arendal soundstage is just far superior. He mentions it in his CT700 review so I know for a fact its just not my opinion on how big the soundstage is on the Arendals.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I realize you don't know what speakers I have heard or not and I have considered Arendal in the past. The thing for me at the time are the 4ohm average impedance verse 8ohm when connected to my AVR/Amp. The Arendal did sound very good but not gigantic "better" whatever gigantic better means to you. The Centre in the Arendal sound a bit average to me, while the floor-standing speaker well outperformed the centre. Something with my KEF config is not a thing.

The Arendal is a good speaker and speakers at this price point all perform very well, I don't see any need to exaggerate the performance of one over another. Room and the listener need to be matched with a speaker and we all hear differently.


Also I agree, I don't think the difference between the two speakers is gigantic but soundstage wise, I feel Arendal were far superior.

Whats most important is you are happy with your speakers :)


I will suggest if OP is torn following the comments, he gets both KEF R700 and Arendal 1723S in and test between the two. Arendal have 60 day trial period and I'm sure there are lots of UK dealers with good return policy for KEF as they are widely available.

I'd suggest buying the L/C/R to compare between the 2 companies and get back to us on findings. I'd be very interested.

I think KEF's positive is their relaxing laid back attitude and musicality. However I found Arendal have the dynamics, HT punch to get my heart racing and detail retrieval in sounds to bring forwards things I've never heard before. However this in itself can be to detriment for some people as poorly mastered recordings sound.. well poorly mastered whilst the KEF seemed more forgiving.

Just my humble opinions. I'd love for OP to test out the two brands for himself. :):):)
Maybe I am wrong, especially for OP's tastes and room.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Should be noted th
Also I agree, I don't think the difference between the two speakers is gigantic but soundstage wise, I feel Arendal were far superior.

Whats most important is you are happy with your speakers :)


I will suggest if OP is torn following the comments, he gets both KEF R700 and Arendal 1723S in and test between the two. Arendal have 60 day trial period and I'm sure there are lots of UK dealers with good return policy for KEF as they are widely available.

I'd suggest buying the L/C/R to compare between the 2 companies and get back to us on findings. I'd be very interested.

I think KEF's positive is their relaxing laid back attitude and musicality. However I found Arendal have the dynamics, HT punch to get my heart racing and detail retrieval in sounds to bring forwards things I've never heard before. However this in itself can be to detriment for some people as poorly mastered recordings sound.. well poorly mastered whilst the KEF seemed more forgiving.

Just my humble opinions. I'd love for OP to test out the two brands for himself. :):):)
Maybe I am wrong, especially for OP's tastes and room.
Should be noted the OP is look Arendal 1961s not 1723s
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Should be noted th

Should be noted the OP is look Arendal 1961s not 1723s


Thanks for the reply,

I’m also considering the 1723 Monitor s because I could effectively have the same speaker all round but it bother me that they don’t have an Atmos module !


Hmm...
 

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