Question Yet another XTZ Cinema M8 vs. Arendal 1723 thread (dialog clarity & dispersion)

salaminizer

Standard Member
Hey folks,

Hope all is well.

Like many of you, I'm debating XTZ (Cinema M8 Towers/Center) versus Arendal (1723 Towers/Center) for my front sound stage, but am open to any suggestions (I live in the USA).

My absolute biggest requirements are:

*dialog clarity from the center channel
*wide dispersion/sweet spot

I was all set to go with KEF R series, but quickly realized they wouldn't be powerful/loud enough in my non-dedicated open floorplan living room, so I started down the loudspeaker rabbit hole that many of y'alls know all too well. Here's my dilemma:

*open floorplan living room = no side or back walls
*front speakers to ears = 14.5ft
*seats are off-axis (not by a lot, but there will be no sweet spot)
*front speakers will be beside/below a solid ALR screen
*center speaker will probably need to be horizontal
*speakers need to look halfway decent (no JTR or PSA)
*90% TV/movies, 10% music/gaming

Given my environment, I need a front stage that can punch through all that open space and stay loud, clear, & cohesive from any seat. Landed on XTZ M8 and Arendal 1723 given their specs (and their surrounds being tripole which are great for open floorplans), but can't discern if either would be better for off-axis dialog clarity. Will pair with a decent amp (probably Emotiva or maybe even ATI). Might consider M&K S150 as absolute last resort, but probably not.

Any input/experience would be most appreciated. Thanks for letting me yammer!
 
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Jase

Distinguished Member
As you're in the USA I would add the Monoprice Monolith THX series to the list. They punch way above their pricepoint and have no trouble staying composed at reference level. They also have a very wide horizontal dispersion so no issues off axis either.

I've had M&K S150THX and would take the Monoprice over them any day of the week.


They also do a Tower version with or without Atmos drivers.


Along with a matching Centre.


And smaller Bookshelf rears.

 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
I’ve heard the XTZ M8’s but unfortunately it wasn’t in the best of circumstances.
If looks are a concern though and these are your two choices, I’d be going for Arendal as that M8 is one ugly speaker.
 

salaminizer

Standard Member
Here is full measurements for the Monoprice THX Ultra speakers if intrested:

Very much appreciate the recommendation. Unfortunately, I think they might fall just short of the output I'm looking for (and I really wish they had tri- or dipole non-Atmos surrounds). Really looking for that "cinema slam!" Super impressive price/performance though, for sure. I'm going to dig into these a bit deeper and try and figure out their actual output before I cross them off any list. Monoprice is not messing around with this Monolith brand!
 
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salaminizer

Standard Member
I’ve heard the XTZ M8’s but unfortunately it wasn’t in the best of circumstances.
If looks are a concern though and these are your two choices, I’d be going for Arendal as that M8 is one ugly speaker.

Hah! Looks are indeed a concern as these will feature prominently in a living room (and not hidden by a screen), and boy are those black satin Arendals lookers! The XTZ M8s are funny looking for sure but do have a bit of character with grills off (maybe I've been looking at them too long & they're growing on me...you're right, they are ugly haha).

If I knew for sure the Arendals were good for a wide sweet spot, I'd probably order immediately.
 

DodgeTheViper

Moderator
If you’ve been looking at them that long, you should notice that they are also totally out of proportion. They just look wrong on so many counts.
 

salaminizer

Standard Member
If you’ve been looking at them that long, you should notice that they are also totally out of proportion. They just look wrong on so many counts.

Yep, those trapezoid type baffles are baffling, not to mention the wacky tweeter array. Here's a super rough idea of how they'd look in my living room:

living_room_169_102.4w_xtz.png



Here's what I have now (Next Level Acoustics Fusion Reference Soundbar & Snell sub):
living_room_org.png
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Hah! Looks are indeed a concern as these will feature prominently in a living room (and not hidden by a screen), and boy are those black satin Arendals lookers! The XTZ M8s are funny looking for sure but do have a bit of character with grills off (maybe I've been looking at them too long & they're growing on me...you're right, they are ugly haha).

If I knew for sure the Arendals were good for a wide sweet spot, I'd probably order immediately.

You’ll have no issues with SPL levels and sound dispersion with the Arendals. Providing you’ve got the room to let them breath, they’ll go louder than your ears will ever take.

They also offer a 60 day returns policy, so only a relatively small shipping fee as the risk if you don’t like them (unlikely).
 

salaminizer

Standard Member
You’ll have no issues with SPL levels and sound dispersion with the Arendals. Providing you’ve got the room to let them breath, they’ll go louder than your ears will ever take.

They also offer a 60 day returns policy, so only a relatively small shipping fee as the risk if you don’t like them (unlikely).

Really great to hear. I might even get crazy and order both, audition, and return the ones I don't keep. Probably not, though.
 

rjrodders

Active Member
I have not heard the Arendals, but they have a sold reputation in the UK,

As a member of the select M8's club I will chime in with my thoughts, these speakers were designed of the back of the success of the room friendly M6 cinema series with a number of happy owners in the UK of the M6 speakers.

The M8's I think due to their size are not as popular, but the upshot is a notable increase in performance due to form factor. I am very happy with mine, wall mounted and driven by separate power amps, they deliver a powerful but quite clinical, i.e neutral sound experience, when driven hard i.e near reference levels there is no feeling of distortion or harshness or the speakers reaching their limits.

I personally love the fugly look of the speakers , has a kinda of "bad intentions" look about them
and for Movie and Music listening they certainly deliver, but I would add more so for movie performance, as a previous owner of Monitor Audio Gold higher end speakers, the M8s for music I prefer the MA, but for movies I prefer the M8's and for my use 80/20 movies they fit my needs perfectly.

Just a shame not more owners on here to chime in with their thoughts, but then again being part of a marmite exclusive club is no bad thing either ;)

Good luck with your research I am sure you would be happy with either.
 
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salaminizer

Standard Member
I have not heard the Arendals, but they have a sold reputation in the UK,

As a member of the select M8's club I will chime in with my thoughts, these speakers were designed of the back of the success of the room friendly M6 cinema series with a number of happy owners in the UK of the M6 speakers.

The M8's I think due to their size are not as popular, but the upshot is a notable increase in performance due to form factor. I am very happy with mine, wall mounted and driven by separate power amps, they deliver a powerful but quite clinical, i.e neutral sound experience, when driven hard i.e near reference levels there is no feeling of distortion or harshness or the speakers reaching their limits.

I personally love the fugly look of the speakers , has a kinda of "bad intentions" look about them
and for Movie and Music listening they certainly deliver, but I would add more so for movie performance, as a previous owner of Monitor Audio Gold higher end speakers, the M8s for music I prefer the MA, but for movies I prefer the M8's and for my use 80/20 movies they fit my needs perfectly.

Just a shame not more owners on here to chime in with their thoughts, but then again being part of a marmite exclusive club is no bad thing either ;)

Good luck with your research I am sure you would be happy with either.


This is a great chime-in, thank you! The more I think about the fugliness of the M8s, the more I'm drawn to them. I don't know what that says about me, but it says something!

Curious, did you by chance try them on stands in addition to mounted on-wall? I think I read somewhere they're voiced to go on-wall, and I've considered it, but to get all the tweeters on the same plane (and frankly ease of install in my case), I'll probably need to do the towers (and center on stand). Any pics you care to share?

I've been really taking @Jase and @Gasp3621 suggestions re: Monoprice Monolith to heart and might just do 3x THX-365Cs on floating shelves for my fronts for the time being (the price is just too good here in the USA) and see how those sound. Might even couple those with XTZ's S5s at some point & see how they gel.

Interesting it seems all 3 of these brands seem to be made by the same overlord (Clarity?) yet no triaxial surrounds for the Monoliths.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Yes there right on the front page of their website is the Mono THX 365 and Mono sub.


Along with Ken Kreisel SVS and Atlantic Technology, in addition to some of their work in the Arendal and XTZ range that are not shown. They are quite prolific aren't they :)
 

salaminizer

Standard Member
Yes there right on the front page of their website is the Mono THX 365 and Mono sub.


Along with Ken Kreisel SVS and Atlantic Technology, in addition to some of their work in the Arendal and XTZ range that are not shown. They are quite prolific aren't they :)

The Atlantic Technology 350THX system was my first speaker set & lasted me 20 years, looks like some good company!

I would've considered Kreisel Sound speakers, but it looks like he only sells subs at this point?

You enjoying your M6s? Any desire to go to M8s? Can't wait for Curb season 11!
 

rjrodders

Active Member
Hey, not the best photos, very old iphone lol but hopefully you get the idea
M8 LCR - Side surrounds 2 x XTZ S5 - back surrounds 2 x Monitor Audio silver FX
And I have only had them set up wall mounted, as that was a key factor in my purchasing decision, a large purpose built HT speaker that works effectively wall mounted. (with the speaker grills on, they just look like a large wall mounted speaker that "relatively speaking" disappears come movie time) ;)
 

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kbfern

Distinguished Member
@salaminizer I still have most of the set of an Atlantic Technology 250.1 speaker system I bought around 1996 whilst living in Florida for a few years. The surrounds were still in use till I upgraded my lounge system very recently for the Monolith THX 365T/C LCR and 265 surrounds.

The Mono's really are fabulous sounding speakers for the money and as they are in my lounge system and are used daily, (morning noon and night). 😍

I still love the XTZ Cinemas (M6/S5/S2) in my home theatre system and unless I got a lottery win can't see me changing them. This is due to that system only getting used once or twice a week for perhaps 2-3 hrs each time so not worth me pumping in loads of cash for an upgrade not necessarily required.

The M8's whilst an upgrade would be overkill in my relatively small home theatre room (4.5m x 4m).

I have heard most and owned some of the range of MK kit and whilst I like the sound signature find they are overpriced these days for what they are and think you can do better for less money.
 

salaminizer

Standard Member
@rjrodders Thanks for the pics, really digging the wall-mounts. That clean look is addictive! Never an issue with dialog clarity from the mounted center?

@kbfern I'm excited to give the Monos a whirl. I know this seems odd, but I'm thinking about not doing any towers & just having THX-365Cs as my LCRs on floating shelves, coupled with a Monolith 3X amp. Foresee any issues?

living_room_169_102.4w_monolith_spread.png
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I think someone on the US avsforum has tried that configuration and it seemed to work well despite what logic dictates..
 

Kenvet

Active Member
The Atlantic Technology 350THX system was my first speaker set & lasted me 20 years, looks like some good company!

I would've considered Kreisel Sound speakers, but it looks like he only sells subs at this point?

You enjoying your M6s? Any desire to go to M8s? Can't wait for Curb season 11!
Hey, not the best photos, very old iphone lol but hopefully you get the idea
M8 LCR - Side surrounds 2 x XTZ S5 - back surrounds 2 x Monitor Audio silver FX
And I have only had them set up wall mounted, as that was a key factor in my purchasing decision, a large purpose built HT speaker that works effectively wall mounted. (with the speaker grills on, they just look like a large wall mounted speaker that "relatively speaking" disappears come movie time) ;)
@rjrodders -slightly cheeky piggy back- I too have xtz s6 & pair of S5 at the sides... thinking of adding a pair of rear di/tripole but not sure I want to spend £1k on another pair of s5’s... had wondered about the MA bronze or silver FX... do you find they blend well with the XTZ?? (A bit more wallet friendly!!)
 

rjrodders

Active Member
@rjrodders -slightly cheeky piggy back- I too have xtz s6 & pair of S5 at the sides... thinking of adding a pair of rear di/tripole but not sure I want to spend £1k on another pair of s5’s... had wondered about the MA bronze or silver FX... do you find they blend well with the XTZ?? (A bit more wallet friendly!!)
Absolutely, I paid I think £220 for the silver FX's and I am delighted with them from the build quality and the sound performance as rear surrounds no complaints at all. I would recommend the Silver as opposed to Bronze for that extra quality though.
 

Kenvet

Active Member
Thanks for that! I rather felt that as rear surrounds I could probably get away with spending less than a grand! After all, I will probably need to get a power amp to drive them all!!
K
 

AttilaBudapest

Standard Member
Hi, I've just found this thread.
What was the result, have you purchased any of the options?
I have 3 XTZ M8s as behind the screen LCR, 4 S5s as surround and 4 S2s as atmos. I use 2 XTZ power amps to power the LCR. The sound is clear on any volume level.
 

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