Arslab is a relatively young brand. In fact, it appeared in 2008, although the core of the equipment development and engineering team was formed much earlier. As often happens in such cases, Arslab first announced itself at CES 2009 in Las Vegas. There, by the way, the Old School speakers were first shown, stylized under the now legendary three-way Soviet speakers RadiotehnikaS-90. In the new Old School Life model, which was born in the spring of 2017, it is already difficult to find echoes of the legacy of the domestic S-90: the system is made in a "floor" format, and there is no huge woofer here - instead of it there are two smaller ones, equivalent in terms of power … The color scheme is also interesting: the plywood case with a pronounced wood pattern contrasts with the maroon front panel. The sound of Arslab Old School Life is also radically different from its distant Soviet predecessor, the S-90.
For example, the character of the bass is radically different. The S-90s have been jokingly called the "neighbors' storm," and YouTube is littered with videos in which the "shots" of their subwoofer shake walls. Here everything is the other way around - the bass is very clean, not boomy, perfectly readable - the design features of the case affect.
The latter is reinforced inside with special struts and bituminous sheets, which makes it very rigid. And in order to finally rid the system of unwanted resonances, MDF material is also used in production.
I want to immediately continue the conversation about sound with the theme of vocals - it is he who makes the strongest first impression. The detailing is most pleasing - the system perfectly conveys the technical nuances of the performance, emphasizes the manner of the singer. All this can be heard even in relatively old recordings, where the compression level on the vocals track was much lower than it is now. If you close your eyes, you get the feeling that you are not listening to a recording, but a live concert.
This impression is enhanced by the very wide panorama. The scene is "felt" perfectly: percussion and drums are not piled back and are easy to read in the mix; the vocals feel very close, the guitars don't come to the fore, and the bass drum sets the pace in a discreet way. The Life prefix does not lie in its name - the sound really resembles a "concert" one. It is definitely not "monitor", and there is no perfectly flat frequency response, but in my opinion, home acoustics should have character - and Old School Life definitely has it.
© press service Arslab
Sooner or later, you will be fed up with rock classics, and you want something more modern, simpler and more fun. So, when evaluating the sound of the speakers, be sure to include something incredibly popular. When a song sounds from every iron for a couple of years, willy-nilly you will remember all its nuances.
Something like Australian singer Sia's Chandelier. Listening to it, you are once again glad that Old School Life is deprived of the eternal problem of many systems - a humming bass that burns out all frequencies. Everything is as it should be: it neatly enters along with the beat in the bridge of the song - and without kinks amplifies in the chorus, without losing dynamics. With vocals - as already mentioned - the speakers do an excellent job (the same can be said about the Sia itself). The sound is lively - even though the arrangement itself does not at all dispose to this.
The speakers do well with heavy music, too. Metallica's latest album, for example, sounds as fierce and vicious as it should. Guitars at some point still lost their readability, but there is a suspicion that this is just one of the features of mixing the disc itself.
© press service Arslab
Fans of classical music are unlikely to be disappointed either. I was able to listen to a piece of Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Sebastian Bach, and the organ on Old School Life sounds incredible. All reverberations are reproduced with amazing meticulousness, as if they are not coming from the speakers, but created in a natural way.
You don't expect such "omnivorousness" from a pair of narrow columns - and this is one of their main advantages. The only thing, it is preferable to listen to music in formats with minimal compression - this is the case when the difference between AAC and lossless will be clearly noticeable. And of course a good amplifier is required.
The official price for Arslab Old School Life is about 173 thousand rubles. for a couple. Those who have dealt with Hi-Fi audio equipment at least once will not let them lie - for a system of this level it is not so much. So everyone who is thinking about buying high-quality, but relatively inexpensive acoustics for the home, you can advise to include Arslab Old School Life in their list of interests.
In the end, this is the very chance to "support the domestic manufacturer", for which then you will not be ashamed even in front of yourself.>