Kef r vs Arendal 1961

Rick84

Well-known Member
Hi, yes I’m looking at the Kef r series / Arendal 1961 towers for L&R but the centre channel is putting me off due to it’s size??? also the Arendal 1723 s, most likely the monitors.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
OK the OP would need the front three speakers to be the same or use a centre for best tonal match, The surround speakers can be of a lesser/smaller design as duties are less and tonal match less critical. The OP needs to consider if he wants ATMOS speakers or a better option is dedicated speakers for ATMOS. The OP should consider what AV amp he is going to use, if they are to get the best from the system
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Hi, yes I’m looking at the Kef r series / Arendal 1961 towers for L&R but the centre channel is putting me off due to it’s size??? also the Arendal 1723 s, most likely the monitors.
Yes I have the KEF centre and there are two the R6 is really big but matches the R7's very well. The centre is need when the L/R speakers are more than 2m apart.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
OK the OP would need the front three speakers to be the same or use a centre for best tonal match, The surround speakers can be of a lesser/smaller design as duties are less and tonal match less critical. The OP needs to consider if he wants ATMOS speakers or a better option is dedicated speakers for ATMOS. The OP should consider what AV amp he is going to use, if they are to get the best from the system


the KEF 1723S monitors and centre are the exact same speaker except one is on its side; so I think he's set there if he wants to go Arendal for tonal matching on the front soundstage.

I wouldn't worry too much about amp; simply because its always upgradable. My Arendals sound fantastic from just my AVR so I do look forward to the fact that I can 'upgrade' my system down the line with dedicated amplification.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Yes I have the KEF centre and there are two the R6 is really big but matches the R7's very well. The centre is need when the L/R speakers are more than 2m apart.


I think a centre channel is needed period, if you're trying to cater to more than one person.

you can get away without a centre IF you only have one main listening position (MLP) and that MLP is right in the sweetspot for the stereo imaging of the two stereo speakers.




If going for KEF, get their biggest centre channel possible IMO. having the smaller channel drove me to upgrade-itis.. which is not a disorder you want to develop.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
This information is not correct as you can see from the Spec's The KEF centre has a smaller Box and as you see from the Spec's the effects things An R700 has a lower roll-off freq. for example. Ideally you would have the front 3 speaker the same, but the compromise is using a centre and I guess your guide might explain that.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
This information is not correct as you can see from the Spec's The KEF centre has a smaller Box and as you see from the Spec's the effects things An R700 has a lower roll-off freq. for example. Ideally you would have the front 3 speaker the same, but the compromise is using a centre and I guess your guide might explain that.


The issue with not using a centre is for people who aren't in the MLP. You can do the experiment yourself (I've done it myself).

Sit on the edge of your seating space (so the most off axis, most close to the left or right speaker. Play a film. Dialogue will sound like its more shifted towards whichever speaker you're closest too. This is because you're literally closer to one of the stereo speakers than the other. Now if you connect the centre, and re-calibrate, dialogue still feels like its coming from the centre (becsause it is).

Stereo imaging is AMAZING if you're catering to one listening position but for multiple listening positions, a centre speaker fixes the issue which stereo speakers have. FYI I did this test with both KEFs and Arendals so its not speaker brand related issue.. its a physics and sound issue and a sad drawback in stereo imaging.



I AGREE that 3 front speakers should all be the same ideally. But the benefits of a centre channel are clear regardless if you're catering to an entire room.

If OP wants a flawless L/C/R tonally matched, the Arendal 1723S monitors are a no-brainer as they are gigantic, have phenomenal bass, timbre matched to perfection as they are all the same speaker etc. @mb3195 runs them in his setup. I thought about them for a long time but opted for towers purely for looks.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
The issue with not using a centre is for people who aren't in the MLP. You can do the experiment yourself (I've done it myself).

Sit on the edge of your seating space (so the most off axis, most close to the left or right speaker. Play a film. Dialogue will sound like its more shifted towards whichever speaker you're closest too. This is because you're literally closer to one of the stereo speakers than the other. Now if you connect the centre, and re-calibrate, dialogue still feels like its coming from the centre (becsause it is).

Stereo imaging is AMAZING if you're catering to one listening position but for multiple listening positions, a centre speaker fixes the issue which stereo speakers have. FYI I did this test with both KEFs and Arendals so its not speaker brand related issue.. its a physics and sound issue and a sad drawback in stereo imaging.



I AGREE that 3 front speakers should all be the same ideally. But the benefits of a centre channel are clear regardless if you're catering to an entire room.

If OP wants a flawless L/C/R tonally matched, the Arendal 1723S monitors are a no-brainer as they are gigantic, have phenomenal bass, timbre matched to perfection as they are all the same speaker etc. @mb3195 runs them in his setup. I thought about them for a long time but opted for towers purely for looks.
We all understand why you consider your purchase the ultimate speakers and the information you provide is totally correct. I'm simply trying to provide accurate information to assist the OP.

In the past we had Surround system with 2 speakers and of course we have two ears only (hopefully) the system worked well. The issue is that such systems are expensive and speaker location critical. So we now use a number of speakers/amps.

The issues not having a centre is that people to the extreme left or right get confusing sound as the left/right sound delays are great enough to confuse then brain. Locating the speaker closer to each other reduces/removes this issue. I have no issue listening to a stereo broadcast for example, so in AV I can mix the 5.2.4 format to 4.2.2 for example.

Centre speakers in what is call a MTM configuration introduce off-axis issues once again. That is why some choose to use 3 x LS50 front speakers configured all vertical which can be located under the monitor/behind a screen. So avoiding the laws of physics and off-axis interference
 
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kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
We all understand why you consider your purchase the ultimate speakers and the information you provide is totally correct. I'm simply trying to provide accurate information to assist the OP.

In the past we had Surround system with 2 speakers and of course we have two ears only (hopefully) the system worked well. The issue is that such systems are expensive and speaker location critical. So we now use a number of speakers/amps.

The issues not having a centre is that people to the extreme left or right get confusing sound as the left/right sound delays are great enough to confuse then brain. Locating the speaker closer to each other reduces/removes this issue. I have no issue listening to a stereo broadcast for example, so in AV I can mix the 5.2.4 format to 4.2.2 for example.

Centre speakers in what is call a MTM configuration introduce off-axis issues once again. That is why some choose to use 3 x LS50 front speakers configured all vertical which can be located under the monitor/behind a screen. So avoiding the laws of physics and off-axis interference

Firstly, no you totally misunderstand me. I don't think my purchase is the 'ultimate' anything. I have recently posted in a thread enquiring about JTR speakers so I'm always looking to upgrade.

Bolded I agree with.. which is why I suggest centre speaker. If you put the two stereo speakers too close together, it limits the soundstage and spaciousness.

3x LS50 or 3x any speaker is great,.. the one in the middle is the centre speaker because its in the centre 😂 😂 😂 😂

Ideally veritcal is great.. again agreed.. but of course some peoples setups can't allow for this.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
Kef ls50 has also been considered many times and would look great up front but i can’t help but think the kef atmos modules would ruin the look and they wouldn’t have the dynamics of the Arendal speakers. A friend of mine has them and I’ve never really took to there sound, they sound a little thin to my ears.

For the AVR, I’m looking at either the denon 6500 (if I can find one) + power amp. Denon 8500 is my top pic at the min or the new anthem 740. A Marantz unit is also something I would consider.

Staying away from the new the D&M line up, I think they’re possibly a bit of lemon due to the HDMI 2.1 issue which is looking like it’s not a firmware fix.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
If you are considering the 1961's I would look at the Monolith THX365/265's as an alternative. I think they will outperform the 1961's and at a much lesser price.

The 365T/265T have built in Atmos upfiring speakers and whilst not as good as ceiling mounted still do a reasonable job although you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

The 365T are a mini tower speakers rather than floorstanders, I understand they also have a 460T which is a floorstander but not yet available over here till possibly next year. The L&R 365 are out of stock at the moment but more supplies are due in around Feb next year if you are not in a rush to buy now.

Having said that you could get a pair of 265 surrounds and a 365 centre for now and then the 365 or 460T next year when available and move the 265 for surround duties.



There subs are also awesome but on the big side at tremendous prices but again out of stock on the 10/12/15 sizes over here till feb next year.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
@kbfern

Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve just a look and unfortunately the look of the speaker isn’t for me. I’ve heard and read good stuff about the subs though.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
No problem, the look is something you like or don't, me I was not that worried. However once they arrived I was pleasantly surprised how nice they look and build quality is well up there:smashin: the curve actually makes them different to most speakers which is a plus IMV.

Their subs less so as they are large and just like a big black box, however both subs and speakers are exceptional performers at the price level and beyond. It does make you wonder how much extra we are being charged for the more well known brands.

Consider this, you could have a pair of the 460T for L&R a 365 centre a pair of 265 surrounds all these with Atmos upfirers built in + a 12" THX Ultra subwoofer giving you a 5.1.4 system for about the same price as a single MK S300 speaker.:eek:

You know it makes sense:D
 

Sprodrop

Active Member
I'm using Kef R500s in my sitting room to play HiFi music (vinyl+CD) through a Music Fidelity amp. I chose them after listening to various brands a few years ago. I have been delighted with them, so much so that I chose The R700s and R600C - matched with a REL sub and Arcam AVR550 to use in my cinema room. The room is 'Long and Bright' and I have not been unhappy. Slightly off the subject but continuing the Kef story, I took delivery a pair of LSX last week to use as a desktop system running Spotify Premium streaming. They are absolutely BRILLIANT and opened up my music tastes.
 

Apollo

Well-known Member
I am an ex-serial KEF owner who changed to 1723 S monitors and haven’t looked back.

Big soundstage as mentioned by others, excellent build quality, unburstable power handling (will exceed reference with ease) and terrific value for money. Pretty much everything I am looking for in a speaker, smooth sound but not too laid back, punchy mid bass and project height as well as width to produce a wall of sound. Surprised how well they play music too, even though they were purchased with movies in mind.

They make the traditional dealer stocked brands look a bit pricey and to be frank the MK‘s just plain extortion.

Impressed enough to be changing the surrounds to Arendal as an Xmas present to myself this year :)
 
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mikeysthoughts

Well-known Member
When moving up from my starter pack Monitor Audio Bronze 2s I did extensive testing of most of the high street big brands (KEF, B&W, Focal, Dali, PMC) and while the KEF were the best of that bunch, Arendal were leagues above in every way.

Once I had seen and heard the Arendals it became the easiest AV choice I've made.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I am an ex-serial KEF owner who changed to 1723 S monitors and haven’t looked back.

Big soundstage as mentioned by others, excellent build quality, unburstable power handling (will exceed reference with ease) and terrific value for money. Pretty much everything I am looking for in a speaker, smooth sound but not too laid back, punchy mid bass and project height as well as width to produce a wall of sound. Surprised how well they play music too, even though they were purchased with movies in mind.

They make the traditional dealer stocked brands look a bit pricey and to be frank the MK‘s just plain extortion.

Impressed enough to be changing the surrounds to Arendal as an Xmas present to myself this year :)


Thank you! I know KEF have a great soundstage but I really feel I'm not exaggerating when I say the Arendals blow them out of the water so good to hear from another user who has used both as I find in the speaker world so many people just setup i camp in the brand they bought's quarters.

I have no idea how the difference is so noticeable because KEFs are known for their great soundstage.

The height projection I agree is also insane. I can hear sounds and tall, and I'm not even amplifying them adequetely yet.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
When moving up from my starter pack Monitor Audio Bronze 2s I did extensive testing of most of the high street big brands (KEF, B&W, Focal, Dali, PMC) and while the KEF were the best of that bunch, Arendal were leagues above in every way.

Once I had seen and heard the Arendals it became the easiest AV choice I've made.


Agreed. I am glad the last two posts were from people who've used both as I felt like my comments were coming across fanboyish when that just wasn't the case.
 

FMC26

Standard Member
When moving up from my starter pack Monitor Audio Bronze 2s I did extensive testing of most of the high street big brands (KEF, B&W, Focal, Dali, PMC) and while the KEF were the best of that bunch, Arendal were leagues above in every way.

Once I had seen and heard the Arendals it became the easiest AV choice I've made.
Can I ask which PMC speakers did you audition? I have a PMC set-up but I am thinking about changing to Arendal so would be interested to hear your thoughts on a comparison between the two.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Anytime after lockdown is over mate 👍🏻

Can I have a demo, I'll bring my treble driver poking stick heheheehehehe.

How many trevle drivers so you have? (That I can poke)
 

mikeysthoughts

Well-known Member
Can I ask which PMC speakers did you audition? I have a PMC set-up but I am thinking about changing to Arendal so would be interested to hear your thoughts on a comparison between the two.
Twenty5.24. I found them to be quite harsh at higher volumes, especially vocals and guitars which should soar and fill the room (think Thom Yorke or Matt Bellamy). Not distorted per se, but for me just not right.

Arendals were also noticeably better for fast, deft bass handling.

All tests were done on an Arcam 850 which was a constant throughout.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Twenty5.24. I found them to be quite harsh at higher volumes, especially vocals and guitars which should soar and fill the room (think Thom Yorke or Matt Bellamy). Not distorted per se, but for me just not right.

Arendals were also noticeably better for fast, deft bass handling.

All tests were done on an Arcam 850 which was a constant throughout.


The arendals taught me about dynamics and speed. Before then I never fully appreciated the 'speed' of a speaker.. its ability to play a sound and withdraw it.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
The arendals taught me about dynamics and speed. Before then I never fully appreciated the 'speed' of a speaker.. its ability to play a sound and withdraw it.

you’ll be surprised how much quicker it sounds with a class D amp as well.....
 

Sprodrop

Active Member
It's so refreshing to read a thread that speaks so highly of a brand that I had not really heard much about.

When this insane Pandemic abates I must definitely investigate further.

My first speaker Brand was Celestion and a pair of Ditton 66 were my first purchase back in the 1970's. Since then I have tried and owned offerings from all the UK brands but always happy to listen to something new.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
you’ll be surprised how much quicker it sounds with a class D amp as well.....


Will be the first purchase after house move... or maybe before as its quite easy to carry.. hm...
 

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