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1723 SUBWOOFER 1V – Tha_VillaMan

“Absolutely incredible…!”

Full review

 

“…its not until you turn it on that you realize how much of a beast this thing is…”

“…incredible amount of output…”

“…the sub had some of the most room filling bass I have heard in my room…”

“…my room would fall apart long before the sub was able to actually reach its limits…”

 

Unboxing

1723 SUBWOOFER 2S – HEIMKINO


REFERENCE CLASS 1+

Arendal 1723 Subwoofer 2S: Top-Class Low-Frequency Performance

Two Is Better Than One

At the end of 2019, the Norwegian manufacturer used newly developed “Avalanche amplifier modules” with DSP in the subwoofers of the 1961 series. Now the new models of the top series 1723 can also boast these powerful modules with even higher performance and more options.

Again, as a reminder, the names of Arendal’s model series are always based on historical events in the Norwegian town of Arendal, with the 1723 series representing what is technologically feasible and the somewhat less expensive 1961 series containing slightly smaller speakers that provide similar technology at fair prices and offer only slightly less dynamic range and sound pressure. However, the product development strategy has resulted in the inexpensive 1961 series being the first to benefit from using the current subwoofer amplifier modules. We have already published a test of the 1961 subwoofers in the “Heimkino” issue 1-2/2020. Now the models of the higher-quality 1723 series, including the “Avalanche amplifier module” with a significantly higher power, are also available. We ordered the 1723 2S with a sealed cabinet for testing; a ported variant is also available.

By Michael Voigt. Read the original review HERE.

“…distortions and other noise are virtually eliminated.”

((Caption)) Despite mighty dimensions and dual drivers (only the left chassis is shown in the picture), the Arendal 1723 subwoofers also cut a fine figure in the living room.

1723 2S

Even the product designation “2S” indicates the construction of this new subwoofer from Arendal. Because two drivers, each with a gigantic 300-millimeter diameter diaphragm, provide powerful bass pressure in the approximately 54 x 50 x 42 centimeters large, sealed cabinet. Firstly, two active drivers offer twice the cone surface area and thus more sound pressure. Secondly, the “back-to-back” arrangement ensures audibly lower cabinet resonances, as interfering vibrations of the drivers practically compensate for each other. Only the two diaphragms’ enormous air movement comes to bear acoustically; distortions and other noise are virtually eliminated.

+ tremendous power
+ 7-way EQ
+ extreme dynamics

Also contributing to good sound is the stable and massive construction of the housing, which also impresses visually with its excellent finish in matte sanding varnish. Optionally, the 1723 2S is also available in white sanded lacquer and surfaces in high-gloss paint. The actual highlight of the 1723 2S is the potent Avalanche amplifier module with 1,200 watts. It includes a built-in signal processor, which in addition to the usual crossover frequency and level controls, also brings a variety of tuning options for the subwoofers. Thus, the new Arendal 1732 2S subwoofer offers seven(!) fully parametric equalizers, adjustable low-cut or subsonic filters, individually adjustable on and off times, as well as trigger options through connected sources.

“It is even possible to connect AV receivers and stereo amplifiers in parallel if two systems are operated in the listening room.”

It is even possible to connect AV receivers and stereo amplifiers in parallel if two systems are operated in the listening room. The Arendal 1723 Series woofers can detect the source currently playing and use the appropriate input – so hi-fi and home theater systems can share a single subwoofer. The settings on the Avalanche module are easy to make using a rotary control and two buttons, and a high-resolution display in the amplifier module guides you through all the setting menus.

Lab and practice

Powerful output down to just below 20 Hertz is no problem for the 1723 2S, even at extreme sound pressure levels up to 110 dB, as our measurements in the lab prove. Small peaks in the frequency response can be quickly ironed out thanks to parametric EQ (green and red curves in the diagram), but this requires a little listening experience, patience, or a reliable measuring instrument. In the end, the Arendal subwoofer shows its capabilities in the listening room at the highest level. The 1723 2S pushes substantial levels into our home theater with immediate power and precision, including noticeable pressure in the stomach area. Precise, to the point, and impulsive, the Arendal delivers tremendous low-frequency material and makes movie nights in the home theater a real experience.

“Precise, to the point, and impulsive, the Arendal delivers tremendous low-frequency material and makes movie nights in the home theater a real experience.”

Result

If you want to enjoy home cinema sound at the highest level and physically feel powerful, precise low-frequency sound, the 1723 S2 subwoofer from Arendal is ideal. The power amplifier’s enormous power of 1,200 watts, two 300-millimeter long-throw drivers, and a DSP with seven fully parametric equalizers ensure maximum sound performance. Arendal 1723 S2 – arguably one of the best subwoofers in the world for demanding home theaters and hi-fi systems.

Crossover frequency
Powerful reproduction down to below 20 Hz is no problem for the 1723 2S. Employing the parametric EQ, the lowest octave can even be extended (red curve), slight peaks in the “neutral” laboratory measurement (blue curve) can also be sensitively ironed out (green curve).

Level
Only at enormous levels of 110 dB (1 meter) can slight signs of compression be detected. Two large 300 mm drivers and a full 1,200 watts give the 1723 2S sufficient dynamics.

((Caption)) The powerful active module is quite easy to operate thanks to the display and two buttons plus a rotary control.

Price around €1,999
Distribution Arendal Sound
Telephone 44 1233 800804

Features and equipment

Versions sanding lacquer white / black, high gloss black / white
Dimensions (W x H x D) 420 x 530 x 500 mm
Construction Sealed
Sidefire principle
Weight 41.4 kg
Power (according to manufacturer) 1,200 watts RMS
Diaphragm diameter 2 x 300 mm
Level control buttons, app
Control range crossover frequency 30 – 200 Hz
Phase control 0° – 180
EQ 7-way fully parametric
Low level input/output Cinch / –
High level input/output – / –
Automatic On/Off – –
Remote control / App – / –

– Sound 70 % 1+ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Precision 20 % 1.0 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Level stability 20 % 0.9 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Dynamic response 15 % 0.9 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Physical impact 15 % 1.0 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
– Laboratory 10% 1.0 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Frequency response 5 % 0.9 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Distortion 5 % 1.0 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
– Practice 20 % 1.0 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Equipment 15 % 0.9 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Workmanship 5 % 1.1 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Rating

+ tremendous power
+ 7-way EQ
+ extreme dynamics

Arendal 1723 Subwoofer 2S
price/performance: excellent
Reference class 1+

Read the original review HERE.

1961 S 5.0 VIDEO REVIEW – SPARE CHANGE


 

“Best speakers for small rooms!”

“…for some small factor speakers these throw out an amazingly huge detailed sound stage.”

“…these are premium built speakers that throw out premium sound.”

Watch the full video review below

1961 5.1.2 & SUBWOOFER 1S – HEIMKINO

INSIDER TIP!

Value for money: Excellent
Result: Outstanding

ARENDAL SOUND 1961 SERIES: DYNAMIC HOME CINEMA SOUND

The Norwegian manufacturer Arendal has repeatedly received excellent test ratings for its extremely dynamic sounding 1723 series loudspeakers. With the new 1961 series, Arendal now offers the proven technology and thrilling sound of the 1723 models at a remarkably fair price.

The Arendal brand promotes healthy local patriotism, as the company headquarters are indeed located in a small town called Arendal. Also, the name of the “big” 1723 series refers to the founding year of the little town. Of course, the new 1961 series was also named after a date steeped in history because, on October 21, 1961, Arendal was connected to the island of Tromøy by a 400-meter suspension bridge over a fjord.

By Michael Voigt. Read the original review in German HERE.

Arendal 1961

The 1723 series, introduced a few years ago, has gained a strong reputation, especially among home cinema fans. Thanks to potent drivers and their very robust, low-resonance cabinets, the speakers of the 1723 Series deliver brute dynamics as well as excellent dispersion characteristics and can even boast a THX license. However, the 1723 models may be a bit too powerful for some living rooms, and as a 5.1 or even 7.1 setup, they are not exactly a real steal. Therefore, with the new 1961 line, the Norwegians have created a more affordable and, in terms of dimensions, a more manageable product range, which should be exciting news for a larger target group. Like the bigger siblings, the 1961 line also offers a wide range of models. It includes the 1961 Tower floor-standing loudspeaker, the 1961 Monitor, the 1961 Center 1961, the compact 1961 Bookshelf shelf loudspeaker, dedicated 1961 Surround speakers, the 1961 Height Dolby Atmos compatible top- or wall-mount speakers, and two powerful subwoofers called 1961 1S and 1961 1V. For our review, we have put together a set consisting of Tower, Center, Surround, Height, and the 1961 1S subwoofer – ideal for discerning home theaters with 5.1.2 multi-channel sound.

Technology transfer

Visually, the new 1961 models are as simple and straightforward as their larger sisters in the 1723 series. Their matt lacquered cabinets are of first-class quality, robustly built, and trimmed to minimal resonances with elaborate internal bracing.

“Four woofers provide an enormous dynamic range in the slim 1961 Tower.”

As is usual with Arendal, only self-designed drivers have been used to meet the extremely high demands on low distortion, linearity, dynamic range, and power handling. Even though the 1961 models have quite handy dimensions, the developers did not want to compromise on sound quality and wanted to retain the typical Arendal sound even in the more affordable series. From a technical point of view, the 1961 mid-bass units are somewhat smaller versions of the 1723 drivers, but the 1961 woofers with 115 mm cones are still capable of handling enormous loads and will not be unsettled even by brute force. For a wide dispersion in the high-frequency range, Arendal also relies on the proven 28 mm dome tweeter in the 1961 series, which, together with a large horn in front of it, forms a so-called waveguide tweeter. This design ensures optimum dispersion characteristics and maximum dynamic range.

“the 1S delivers enormous depth and robust sound levels despite its compact housing.”

5.1.2 setup

For the front channels, we use the approximately 83 centimeters high 1961 Tower floor-standing loudspeakers. Four drivers with 115 mm diameter work together with the 28 mm waveguide tweeter in the loudspeaker’s slim ported-enclosure. In addition to the bass, the two upper drivers also radiate the mid-range in a 2.5-way arrangement. All in all, that’s enough membrane surface for a rich, dynamic performance. The top of the tower’s housing offers a perfectly fitting set-up area for the 1961 Height speakers, which as upfiring speakers, provide for the Dolby Atmos sound information. Alternatively, the slanted 2-way Height Speakers can also be mounted on the wall or under the ceiling, as these compact speakers are highly versatile. For the rear channels, the 1961 Surround speakers are dedicated home theater specialists. Thanks to a TriAxial construction with two additional full-range drivers installed on the sides, these speakers deliver a mixture of diffuse and direct sound field – ideal for home theater applications. The center channel is powered by the approximately 42 cm wide 1961 Center. With a double configuration of 115 mm bass-midrange drivers and 28 mm waveguide tweeters, it offers sufficient potential for powerful and broadband dialog reproduction.

“…remarkably linear frequency responses and excellent dispersion characteristics.”

(captions page. 31)
– Four woofers provide an enormous dynamic range in the slim 1961 Tower. The two upper drivers also take care of the midrange reproduction
– Thanks to 550 watts of power, DSP, and a 260 mm diaphragm, the 1S delivers enormous depth and robust sound levels despite its compact housing
– The amplifier module of the 1961 1S subwoofer has three fully parametric EQs for perfect adaptation to the room acoustics

Even though the 1961 Tower can already deliver rich bass, a subwoofer is a must for real home cinema fun. We chose the closed subwoofer model of the series, the 1961 1S, because, despite its smaller dimensions, it offers a slightly drier reproduction compared to the 1V bass-reflex model. It delivers almost the same sound pressure level and is even a bit cheaper. The lynchpin of the 1961 1S is the powerful 12″ driver, which ensures maximum and undistorted dynamics with an incredibly powerful magnetic drive, an enormously resilient voice coil, and an extra-stable diaphragm. This driver is driven by a newly developed amplifier module called Avalanche 550 IQ, capable of delivering a massive 550 watts (RMS) of power. The real highlight of the Avalanche module is the built-in signal processor, which, in addition to the usual settings for crossover frequency and level, also provides a wide range of tuning options for the subwoofer. The 1961 1S offers three fully parametric equalizers, adjustable low-cut or subsonic filters, individually adjustable switch-on and switch-off timing, and triggering options through the connected sources.

Laboratory and practice

There are only positive things to report from our measuring laboratory because the Tower, Center, Surround, and Heights stand out with their remarkably linear frequency responses and excellent dispersion characteristics. Even at an angle of 30°, the Arendal 1961 speakers maintain a balanced reproduction quality, a feature that is particularly beneficial to the center speaker.

Distortions are kept at a minuscule level, with only minimal resonances around 1.5 kHz in the decay spectrum of the 1961 Tower. Also impressive is the active subwoofer 1961 1S, which runs down to 20 Hertz without any further correction via EQ – spectacular!

“an impressive loudspeaker set that easily meets even the highest demands and is a lot of fun!”

The Arendal combo also cuts a first-class figure in the listening room, as the 1961 series set is a lot of fun with its lively, almost explosive character. The Norwegian set never sounds strained or even aggressive but reproduces any material on all tracks. In addition to the crystal-clear center, we also like the precise and contoured spatial reproduction of dialogues and sound effects on the front channels and the gripping, enveloping sound field from the rear speakers. At the very bottom of the bass range, the 1961 1S does an excellent job of delivering bone-dry impulses, while the 1961 Heights used as Upfiring speakers provide realistic Dolby Atmos sound from the direction of the ceiling.

(captions page. 32)
– The extensive range of models in the new 1961 series from Arendal offers a wide selection for every home cinema and hi-fi listening room
– Handy universal talents: The 1961 Height were used in our test as upfiring speakers
– In the 1961 Center, too, all drivers were installed flush with the baffle, thanks to installation via threaded bolts from behind no screws are visible

Conclusion

The new 1961 series from Arendal opens up the fascinating world of detailed, dynamic film sound to home cinema fans at a more than reasonable price. The series’s loudspeakers are excellently crafted and fit into smaller home theaters thanks to their relatively compact dimensions. Arendal 1961 – an impressive loudspeaker set that easily meets even the highest demands and is a lot of fun!

(captions page. 33)
– Two side-mounted 3″ broadband drivers turn the 1961 Surround into proper TriAxiaI speakers, providing a mixture of diffuse and direct sound.
Read the original review in German HERE.

Engineering

Frequency response Center & Subwoofer
Even at an angle of 30°, the balanced reproduction characteristics of the Arendal 1961 center speaker are maintained. The 1961 1S subwoofer delivers rich power down to an impressive 20 hertz.
Frequency response front speaker
Balanced, neutral reproduction and excellent dispersion characteristics with the 1961 Tower floor-standing loudspeakers as well.
The waterfall diagram of the 1961 Tower shows only small, practically inaudible resonances around 1.5 kHz.
Total set price around 4,300 Euro
Individual prices around:
1,500 Euro (Front/pair)
800/700 Euro (Rear/Height/ pair)
500 Euro (Center)/ 800 Euro (Subwoofer)
Warranty: 5 years on loudspeakers/ 2 years on the subwoofer
Distributor: Arendal Sound, Haiger
Phone: 44 1233 800804
Internet: www.arendalsound.de
Features
Versions: matt black, matt white
Front loudspeakers: 1961 Tower
Dimensions (W x H x D) 163 x 837 x 285 mm
Weight: 18 kg
Single-wiring terminal
Bass woofers (Nominal diameter / Diaphragm diameter) 3 x130/115 mm
Midrange units (Nominal diameter / Diaphragm diameter) 2 x 130/115 mm
Tweeter (Diaphragm diameter) 1 x 28-mm dome + horn
Construction type: 2.5-way bass reflex
Rear loudspeakers: 1961 Surround
Dimensions (W x H x D) 163 x 287 x 185 mm
Weight: 6 kg
Single-wiring terminal
Bass-/Midrange units (Nominal diameter / Diaphragm diameter): 1 x 130 / 115 mm
Dipole speakers: 2 x 80 mm wideband
Tweeter: 1 x 28-mm dome + horn
Construction type:  TriAxial, sealed
Center: 1961 Center
Dimensions (W x H x D): 425 x 163 x 150 mm
Weight: 7.3 kg
Single-wiring terminal
Bass-/Midrange units (Nominal diameter / Diaphragm diameter): 2 x 130 / 115 mm
Tweeter (Diaphragm diameter): 1 x 28-mm dome + horn
Construction type: sealed
Upfiring speaker: 1961 Height
Dimensions (W x H x D): 283 x 163 x 149 mm
Weight: 4.4 kg
Single-wiring terminal
Bass-/Midrange units (Nominal diameter / Diaphragm diameter) 1 x 130/ 115 mm
Tweeter (Diaphragm diameter): 1 x 28 mm dome + horn
Construction type: sealed
Subwoofer: 1961 1S
Dimensions (W x H x D): 315 x 415 x 415 mm
Weight: 20 kg
Output according to manufacturer: 550 Watt
Diaphragm diameter 1 x 260 mm
Construction type: sealed, side-fire, triple EQ
Level control
Cut-off frequency: 40 -160 Hz
Phase: 0° – 180°
High level input / output: – / –
Low level input / output: 2 Cinch / 2 Cinch
Sound 70% 1,0 
Dynamics/liveliness 15 % 0,9
Deep bass properties 15 % 0,9
Tonal balance 10 % 1,0
Detail resolution 10 % 1,0
Cohesion 10% 1.0 l
Listening zone Center 10% 1.1
Laboratory 15 % 1,0
Frequency response 5 % 1,0
Distortions 5 % 1,1
Peak level stability 5 % 0,9
Practice 15 % 1,2
Workmanship quality 5 % 1,2
Features 5 % 1,2
User manual 5 % 1,1

Value for money: Excellent

Arendal 1961 5.1.2 set
+ enormous dynamics
+ compact dimensions

+ 3-way EQ on the subwoofer

Heimkino Highlight
Top class 
Test result: Outstanding

Read the full review HERE.

1723 SUBWOOFER 2V – HEMMABIO


REFERENCE CLASS – MAGNIFICENT DISPLAY

With the new 2V in the 1723 series, Arendal delivers sub-bass on a very high level, and all things considered for a very reasonable price.

By Magnus Fredholm. Read the original review HERE.

Norwegian Arendal Sound has over the last years delivered proper enthusiast speakers, for home cinema as well as for music, and I can say without exaggeration that I was really thrilled when I got the new subwoofer delivered.

The original 1723 series has now been upgraded with brand new subwoofers, and when I was about to order I thought “ehh, let me have the big one”, so rather the 1723 Subwoofer 2V. The number 2 stands for two drivers, and V stands for vented. 2V has a smaller brother, 1V, as well as sealed options; 1S and 2S.

A real ace

1723 2V is appearance wise the same as last generation 1723 Subwoofer 3, but the vent has been reworked for even deeper bass. In the manual it says that 1723 Subwoofer 2V could be the perfect replacement for your coffee-table, and even if it is written with a certain humour, Arendal has a point with their table-thoughts. It is a combination of an extremely stable (and heavy) cabinet and drivers on each side that gives a bass that barely vibrates in the cabinet at all, so even if you place something on top of the 2V it doesn’t create any problems!

About 70 cm tall, half a meter wide and over 60 cm deep makes 1723 2V a mighty presence even before it is hooked up. I have used a normal sack trolley to move 2V in the room, and that actually works quite well. With a piece of cloth or similar for protection, even the paint job handles it well, even after repetitive lifts.

“It is difficult to choose what is really the best about Arendal 1723 2V,
because this is actually a subwoofer that is fantastically good on everything!”

When I had to fine-tune the placement I had to use a different approach though, basically we used a plywood board with 50mm rubber wheels. Such a solution can make it much easier to make incremental movements.

A friend points out that the subwoofer then is lifted about 80 mm from the floor, which in and of itself is true, but my experience tells me that this aspect does not matter much for measurements nor listening impact.

The cabinet is built in HDF, the super heavy brother of MDF (HDF weighs about 1/3rd more) and the solid (to say it carefully) cabinet walls of 25mm with twice the thickness for its baffles and an internal brace all the way through.

New driver

The first thing that hits you when checking the specs is that the 13.8” large driver has gotten a 50 % increase in its length of stroke, but that is far from the only point that is new about the driver. On the contrary, Arendal has tinkered with almost everything to be able to squeeze out even more from the new driver. The magnet field has been made more efficient through thicker shorting rings, which improve control over the impedance, which gives lower distortion and better response.

The suspension has also been improved in order to handle the longer throw, while the super stiff cone in fibre-armed cellulose is acoustically dead and self damped. Airflow under the dust cap has also been improved with further ventilation holes in the cone body and under the spider, and all together these changes give advantages of lowered distortion and increased power handling.

The driver is by the way protected, just as in the old 1723, by metal rings covered with cloth which fastens to the baffles with magnets. Extremely clean, even though I prefer using them without grilles.

New amplifier and processor

Compared to the “old” 1723, the new series has more power: 800 watt for the models with single drivers and 1200 watt for the models with dual drivers. There is even a plethora of adjustability, and soon also an APP to control all parameters of the bass.

Magnificent adjustability

I more or less remember the controls from last time I reviewed Arendal-subwoofers (1961, reviewed in HB 10/2019). There is a wheel together with two buttons, respectively “menu/back” and “enter” and a small, high resolution color display that very clearly shows what you are doing. Some time beginning of next year there will also be an APP to control the subwoofers in the new 1723 series.

The first thing I want to write about is that all the changes have to be confirmed with “enter”, so that you change the value and then press “menu/back” saves the setting. The second thing I would like to mention is the scroll wheel has a super smooth functionality, if you turn the wheel slowly, the parameters are adjusted slowly, yet if you turn the wheel faster it jumps in much larger chunks, something that is very clearly noticed when you adjust the Q-value in the Parametric EQ bands!

“the subwoofer completes the stereo setup in an absolutely magnificent manner.”

The third thing I would like to shine a light on, is that one doesn’t have to adjust a whole lot of settings if one doesn’t want to. If you just set the input level on “Ref” and connect the subwoofer to your AVR, it will sound great. But if you are the kind of person that wants to tweak to get the maximum out of your setup, then Arendal gives you ample adjustability!

You can make a completely different set of adjustments for each input type, so the first thing you choose is XLR or RCA depending on which you would like to adjust. It is an incredibly smooth function as you can use the different inputs to completely different tasks. For example you can connect the subwoofer to two completely separate systems. When you have chosen the input, you just start adjusting!

Levels

The first setting to adjust is the levels, where you have the option of setting it to reference level, which is the normally recommended setting for home cinema. You can also set the input gain (-12/-6/0/+6dB for 1/2/4/8 V source signal) and if you turn off “Ref” level you can adjust master volume between -20 and +20dB.

Crossover

The next setting has to do with crossover settings, and here is quite a bit more than just crossover frequency and slope. We will take it from the beginning.

There are three EQ settings for 2V in sealed mode and vented mode respectively (the three that are called sealed can also be used with the cabinet vented, but I have not measured that), where EQ1 is the reference position, with EQ2 and EQ3 rolling off a little earlier which is shown from the measurements.

There is an easy LPF on/off adjustment, and thereafter crossover settings (30-160 Hz) as well as slope (6/12/18/24 dB/Octave). Further there is a subsonic filter that can be turned off/on, where you can choose frequencies between 12 and 31Hz, as well as a slope of 6 or 12 dB/Octave.

Lastly you can adjust the phase between 0 and 180 degrees in 10-degree increments, but you can even turn the entire phase around so in practice you can turn it around a full 360 degrees.

Parametric EQ

I am extremely fond of parametric EQ, even though it’s a type of EQ that can partly seem incomprehensible and there are even big chances of making it worse than before. Totally we have 7 bands to work with, and you can adjust frequency (12-200 Hz), levels (-10 to -3dB) as well as Q-value (0.3-10).

You can also turn off/on every band individually so it is very easy to test two alternative settings between toggling them off and on respectively.

Input/Turn-on

Under this meny you can choose which inputs that are going to turn the amplifier on, and how it should happen. You can choose one or both RCA or XLR to turn on the amplifier when there is a signal on the input, which is four different settings. After that you can choose which input(s) that should turn on when you apply trigger signal (3-12v), here also one or two RCA or XLR.

“one of the best subwoofers I have ever heard, regardless of price”

After this you can choose Dual Source, and one can just feel how much Arendal cares about their customers. Here you can configure one or two RCA or XLR to turn on automatically with a signal, and that the input that has not been chosen already will be turned on/off with the trigger input. Add this together with the option of having completely separate settings for XLR and RCA respectively, and you have a subwoofer that can serve two completely separate sound systems!

Setup

In the setup menu you can choose between two memory banks, separate as such for RCA and XLR. You can also choose whether you have 1,2 or 4 subwoofers (Ref. level has to be turned on for this, and this feature ensures that reference level is being upheld in the room) and how long the subwoofer should wait to be turned off after it receives a signal. You can adjust 5-60 minutes and for me that sometimes watch movies at very low volumes, I set it to 60 minutes to ensure the subwoofer never turns off during a movie.

You can also set auto turn-on sensitivity in three steps, and how bright the display should be (in 10 steps). The display can even be rotated 180 degrees, which isn’t a bad idea, as it makes it much easier to make adjustments while laying over the subwoofer, while its rear is turned against the wall.

Reset All

Just what it sounds like. A function that resets all previous settings to factory settings.

Easily adjusted

So I used a board with wheels to move the subwoofer around my home cinema room, and I parked it in the end between my front speakers. This subwoofer is probably the least placement sensitive subwoofer I have ever had the chance of meeting, and if I needed to take any considerations on placement I would have stuffed it to the side.

When the placement was made, I used the PEQ to dampen my room nodes and as multiple bands can be stacked (used on the same frequency) you could reduce the level of more than 10dB if you want. I set it up so that the RCA inputs used the internal crossover, while the XLR inputs had no filter, so I could use the subwoofer both in my stereo setup and my home cinema setup.

Reference class

It is difficult to choose what is really the best about Arendal 1723 2V, because this is actually a subwoofer that is fantastically good on everything! I do have a conversation with Arendals owner Jan Ove Lassesen fresh in memory, and he told me that they always developed the subwoofers with musical capabilities in their mind, as well as that subwoofers that are really good for music also will work really well for home cinema sound.

I start off with a Hegel H120, a pair of Focal Aria 906 and then the 1723 2V, which by first glance may look like a very weirdly matched stereo system, especially as I run the subwoofer ported on EQ1. But as soon as I was able to adjust the levels correctly, through playing pretty loud, the subwoofer completes the stereo setup in an absolutely magnificent manner. Both the amplifier and speakers sound considerably better than they ever have done previously. So then I have subsonic bass for the stereo system, so it’s not much of a surprise that I all of a sudden got a stable low frequency foundation to the music.

Over to home cinema. I have used 2V together with different things from the office, everything from Yamaha’s new RX-V4A to the Lyngdorf/NAD combo from last number, and together with larger speakers (Magnat Cinema Ultra and SVS Ultra) as well as small speakers from Canton and B&W.

In home cinema mode, the 2V gets to work a lot harder, and now you really feel what kind of absolute beast is sitting in the home cinema. The subwoofer grips a hold of the room, shakes everything that isn’t screwed down and offers a rarely felt physical ride. At the same time it manages to support a system consisting of satellites without it being overpowering, and when we run it completely without any other speakers you can hear how little harmonics are actually coming from the subwoofer. We can cross it off higher up in frequency than normal without being able to localise the subwoofer in a sure manner, which is a very good characteristic.

I have even used the 2V together with a pair of Canton AM5 speakers and an active crossover, and at the right levels the gigantic subwoofer can even support these tiny, active speakers in an incredibly nice way.

Conclusion

Dynamics, timing. Finesse, depth and hard hitting bass is in absolute top class, and add to that an almost unlikely ability to sound great even at really low volume, and you have one of the best subwoofers I have ever heard, regardless of price. That idea about using a 2V as a coffee table, may not be such a bad idea yet?

Read the original review HERE.

1723 SUBWOOFER 1S – STEREO+


COMPACT AND IMPRESSIVE

Almost every loudspeaker producer has subwoofers in their assortment, but only a few producers are as dedicated and make such impressive subwoofers as Norwegian Arendal Sound.

Text: Håvard Holmedal. Read original review HERE.

If you are going to have proper bass, and don’t have plans about purchasing a pair of large and expensive high-end speakers, there is no way around purchasing one or more subwoofers. We prefer multiple, and preferably placed where they give the best response, and not necessarily where they fit in to the interior decor. Getting proper bass in the living room or the cinema is demanding, however much easier with well built subwoofers than with large floorstanding speakers.

This time around we have had a visit of the large and impressively good JBL HDI 3800 speakers, however no matter how much I like the way they sound, there is still a long ways to go until they give me the results from 70-80Hz and down, in my living room compared to what I get with an Arendal Sound 1723 Subwoofer 1S. It goes deeper (a lot) and it’s tighter, while having more of both timbre and control.

Still well-built

The almost 14-inch large driver for Subwoofer 1S is properly made, and in this context somewhat of a wild animal to keep under control. It has to be mounted properly in a very solid cabinet to have any chance of keeping it from “running away”. I remember at one occasion a few years back in time we had a subwoofer for review with an obvious mismatch between weight, power and cabinet. The result was that the entire subwoofer was moving around on the floor. It would be like a ski-jumper trying to set a record on a surface that flexes away when he is leaping for the jump.

That is luckily not needed with Subwoofer 1S. The almost 25 kilo heavy and solid cabinet made from HDF (High Density Fibreboard) makes certain that the driver stays calm during playback. The cabinet is close to half a meter tall and wide, but is only 33.5cm deep.

The 13,8” large driver gets its power from the new Avalanche 800 IQ-amplifier. Yep, you guessed it. It is rated at 800Watt – conservatively measured in RMS, and it actually doubles its power in shorter bursts.

The 1723 series subwoofers look considerably more costly compared to the relatively new 1961-lineup. They are offered in a satin black or white paint finish or a black or white high gloss finish. In the living room high gloss is typically the one to go for, while satin is very practical in the home cinema.

The backside, or the side, is cleansed of switches and control knobs. In its place there is a practical display where you have full control of the subwoofer. You can even save separate settings for the RCA and XLR-inputs. The adjustability is almost endless, and there is a practical subsonic filter that cuts away the lower frequencies. In most cases this will clean up the bass and it also ensures the subwoofer doesn’t need to use a lot of power for playing back material under for example 20Hz.

Reaching abyssal depths

Some will surely scratch their head at the description “compact”, but despite a pretty large subwoofer driver, the outer dimensions are still rather modest. It doesn’t give the engineers much choice if they want to really dig down into the abyss. Electronic fiddling with the frequency curve is the only thing that will do it.

With the carefully calculated EQ-curves it is possible to get Subwoofer 1S all the way down to 18Hz (!). This setting works extremely well in the home-cinema, where depth and fundamentals are prioritised. The other EQ curves, EQ2 and EQ3 don’t give as deep a bass, but even better control of the sound. At around 20Hz it’s about 12-13dB difference between the volume from EQ1 to EQ3.

Arendal Sounds subwoofers are well enough made that it is no problem playing both loud and deep. Where way too many cheap subwoofers give audible levels of mechanical noise from the cabinet, and also loud port noise, Subwoofer 1S is impressively silent. However there is still a reason that Arendal Sound makes even bigger and more expensive subwoofers. They deliver even more pressure in the very deep end of the bass, and have even more control and tightness.

At full blast in the home cinema or stereo setup, one can perhaps say that this type of noise isn’t especially easy to hear, but remember that noise isn’t reduced through the crossover and will be a factor that can reveal where the subwoofer is placed.

Mechanical noise and whistling sounds in the bass port, can easily come higher up in the frequency range of a few hundred Hz. At that point the brain’s ability to hear the direction of the sound kicks in, and reveals why it is very important for the total experience that you shouldn’t be able to hear where the bass comes from.

If you are only playing at neighbour-friendly levels, this is usually not a big concern, however I am sure that’s not why you have bought a big and powerful subwoofer?

The Sound

In the beginning of the test, I hooked Subwoofer 1S to the pre-outs on Hegel H590. With this brilliant amplifier, the conditions should be right to get out the potential. I got my KEF R5’s out again, and pushed the subwoofer around to find a good placement. In my living room that is over to the side of my system, next to the sidewall on the left hand. Here that is a totally impractical placement, but if it sounds good, it sounds good.

The experience of connecting a subwoofer is what it always is. Even if it is only adjusted to play “under” the KEF’s, from around 40Hz and down, and with about zero volume, the sound stage grows to new heights. It becomes larger, gets more weight, and in this instance also the feeling of better dynamics and more attack when it kicks.

With some more volume it is immediately clear that what the KEF R5’s do in the deepest end of the bass creates a feeling of depth and weight, but this combination with the subwoofer lifts it to new dimensions. Beautifully defined bass combined with the extremely nice three-dimensional sound stage of the KEF R5 is actually highly addictive.

The road there isn’t as easy as connecting a pair of larger floorstanding speakers, because the transition between the subwoofer and floorstanding speakers is more than tricky. To get it right I have to get out my microphone and measuring software.

With a Lyngdorf MP 40 home-cinema amplifier with Room Perfect on the inside, it’s a totally different exercise setting up the subwoofer. You can almost dump it down where you want, connect a microphone and let the system do its magic. The result is many times better than you can manage by listening and adjusting, and it removes that feeling of “I just have to adjust a little more” every time you change movies or music content.

But no matter what you connect to it and what kind of music or movies you play, the Arendal Sound 1S is a show-off with tight and well managed bass, that doesn’t even have a hint of wool in its timbre. The control is great, dynamics impressive, weight and power is actually pretty awesome, and it impresses both in terms of size and price. For movies it lacks a little compared to the really large and expensive subwoofers of course, and even if it digs seriously deep, this is not what you are going for if you want to hit the richters scale. Arendal Sound has still managed to carefully balance the properties of Subwoofer 1S. It has a lot of everything, and that is what is impressive in this price range.

The fact that it lets itself integrate so seamlessly with hi-fi systems in the home is obviously also a large plus, even if there probably are more home cinema enthusiasts among their customers.

Pure goodness

For some, the most important factor is that a subwoofer reaches deep enough and that you feel the vibrations at the lower parts of your back. That isn’t quite enough. The sound has to be hitting hard, have enough pressure and it has to be tight and well defined. The more demands it needs to surpass, the more expensive it becomes. That is why it is very surprising to hear what Arendal’s subwoofers manage to deliver at the price point.

The question this time is of course whether it sounds good or not, but also if the new edition plays better than the previous. For owners of the previous models, I am not sure if I were to run to the store to put in even more money, but if the upgrade-monster is knocking on your door there is probably no way around it.

The impression is nonetheless that there is a new level of clarity and tone. It hasn’t come by itself and it requires that both the driver and amplifier is further fine-tuned.

WE LIKE

  • Solidly made with good craftsmanship
  • Impressive and heavy bass
  • Clean, controlled and tight
  • Integrates well with front speakers

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Not a charmer

STEREO+ THINKS

Arendal Sound continues to impress, and Subwoofer 1S is not an exception. With very flexible adjustability and impressive control, this subwoofer belongs in both hi-fi setups as well as the home cinema. 

If you have a budget subwoofer and want to upgrade, or invest in your first proper subwoofer, you are doing yourself a huge favor by checking out Arendal Sound. They are of course not alone in the market. Both SVS, REL, Klipsch, Dali and some others would be more than happy to play along, but in this price range there is barely anyone that can offer this level of sound quality.

Read original review HERE.

1723 SUBWOOFER 2V – SPARE CHANGE


FLAGSHIP STATUS!

“…very customizable.”

“They pack a mean punch!”

“…they are also tactile enough for more music-centric movies..”

“I thought my light fixtures was going to fall off the ceiling…”

“…they sustain these peaks without breaking a sweat no matter how much I kept raising the volume…”

“I would have to give the edge to the Arendal Sound having a more controlled sound signature…”

Watch the full video review below

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