HiFi Test Highlight 6/2017
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“Arendal means nothing to me“. This is what many readers will think when they hear or read the name of this manufacturer. As journalists, we already had a first encounter with this Norwegian brand and were absolutely impressed by everything we could read and hear during the 5.1 review of our sister magazine HEIMKINO. In our current issue, we are testing the big floorstander “1723 Tower“ for you.
Very firm metal cross bars and adjustable metal spikes fix the 50kg speaker to the ground. It is also possible to use rubber feet in order to protect the floor. The adjustment can be done without any tools.
Arendal is a bucolic town in Norway. Jan Ove Lassesen, born and raised there, has strong roots in this place and therefore named his company after it. By the way, you might be interested in the origin of the product name “1723“. No, it is not the amount of drivers fitted or the power rating. In fact, it is not related to any technical aspect of the product. The town Arendal was granted trade rights for the first time in the year 1723 and that is why the company founder and CEO, Jan Ove Lassesen, chose that number for his first loudspeaker range.
The range currently consists of eight models, including the flagship “1723 Tower“ presented here and offered for 2.700 EUR per pair in a customer direct sales concept. For this money, the resolute customer will receive a big floorstander with a really massive appearance. Due to the considerable 50kg weight, we recommend to getting a strong assistant for unpacking. Once the speaker finds its place in the room, it is time to marvel at this impressive Floorstander with dimensions at 37 x 120 x 40 centimeters, resting on its solid feet.
We allowed the Arendals to break-in for several days before our listening tests, like we do with all loudspeakers, because their full qualities will only manifest after this. We delve all the way through our musical testing repertoire and listen to soft and hard tones, to small and big ensembles, quietly and exceedingly loud. What can we say? The Arendal 1723 Tower executes every piece willingly and delivers competently. In front of such a big speaker, “the eye is bigger than our ear” and we rather expect a wild, brute tonality. We could not be more wrong with the Arendals: this pair of floorstanders sounds refined and well-balanced, thrilling with deep-reaching bass that hits precise and crisp, while showing no weakness in the mids or treble.
The spatial imaging in our listening room is managed well. The Arendals stagger nicely the width and depth. The new album “Heaven upside down” from Marilyn Manson challenges the speakers at high levels, but they play with ease, staying composed even at ear-splitting levels. Eight 20cm woofers can simply shift loads of air and it is nice that they do it with such a high precision. The old master Gary Numan also produces a great sound in his late-breaking album, very competently brought to our ears by the Arendal Twin-Towers.The 1723 Tower stays always effortless and relaxed, but then shows the required bite and attack for an attractive and thrilling listening. Classical and solo singers sound also wonderful through this duo. The Arendals sound really tidy and well-balanced, without emphasizing any specific frequency range.
Picture box: it is possible to tune various low frequency -3dB points by plugging or unplugging one or all the bass-reflex ports
There is little room for criticism in the frequency response of the Arendal 1723 Tower. The sensitivity is good, the polar response is very good and its tonal balance is also excellent. Just the somewhat limited bass depth does not meet the expectations. Below approximately 65Hz, the response starts falling down, although it does reach the deepest bass regions with its rather gentle roll-off. From 1kHz upwards, the 1723 Tower makes its magic to produce a spotlessly clean waterfall diagram where we can discern some few resonances. The Arendal shows also its best regarding distortion, achieving convincingly low values.
We found out that the Norwegian loudspeakers are really exciting. The Arendal 1723 display a big and mighty appearance and then show a really superior sound, capable of handling any situation. Build and finish are very good, the design is very straight and the price for a speaker pair is extremely attractive.
Sound (70% of total score) : 1,0
Test bench (15% of total score): 1,0
Use (15% of total score): 1,0
+ high sensitivity
+ high power handling
+ superior sound
Final score: 1,0 – Top class
Outstanding price/performance ratio