My Arenas 130 took out my old Yamaha V471. I set them to "Large" because I wanted to hear what they are capable of in full range. I cued up some bass heavy tracks, and it just so happened that "Bass, I love you" was the first one. I started playing it in stereo mode with volume at -20 dB. It sounded pretty quiet, so a few seconds later I increased it to -10 dB, and then a few seconds later the receiver shut down, never to turn back on again. Goodbye, Yamaha!
Has anyone seen an impedance graph for these speakers? Checked with a DMM, I get somewhere around 4 Ohm, although I know that is not an accurate way to measure speaker impedance and actual impedance will vary over the frequency spectrum, but even so, an 8 Ohm rated speaker should have read a bit higher than what I got with a DMM. The Yamaha was not designed to handle 4 Ohm speakers, but still, I was really surpised it died in a matter of seconds. Something definitely shorted inside. There was no heat. No burnt smell. Nothing.
The night before I had the Arenas running hooked up to a small Onkyo executive system stereo mini-receiver, and they played fine.
After the Yamaha incident, I connected them to a Pioneer HT receiver and they played very nice. I enjoyed the balanced sound with respectable amount of low end when played at higher volume. In a smaller room, just for music listening, I think I'd be OK running them without a sub.
The one thing that surprised me was their size. I did look at the dimensions before buying them, yet I was still shocked when I unpacked them. These are the largest bookshelf speakers I've ever owned.
Looks wise, they're fine, with grills off or on. But taking the grills off is a major PITA. They just refuse to come off, and when they do, they take some of the plastic grommets with them, so I have to pull the grommets off the grill nipples and stick them back into the speaker enclosure holes. This is how you tell these are really bottom of the barrell speakers. Alas, for garage duty (eventually), they'll do fine for me.