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Arendal Sound 1723 1S & 1V Subwoofers Measurements & Conclusion



1723 V1 outdoor testing

Testing on the Arendal 1723 1S and 1V was conducted with the microphone facing the woofer at a 1-meter distance with measurements scaled back to a 2-meter distance by subtracting 6dB. The temperature was recorded at 65F degrees with 70% humidity. The subwoofer’s gain was set to maximum; phase was set to zero; and the low pass filters were set to bypass.

1723 1V Frequency Responses2


1723 1S Frequency Responses2

The above graph shows the measured frequency responses for the Arendal 1723 1S and 1V subwoofers. The responses of both subs seen here are very flat and linear. The 1723 1S has the typical 2nd-order slopes characteristic of sealed subs. This type of roll-off is more conducive for low-end room gain, especially in small to medium-sized rooms. Small rooms will really shore up the low end of the 1S, and users should be able to get a solid response to deep bass frequencies with that type of roll-off. Most commercial sealed subs use high-pass filters that create a steeper slope in order to protect the driver, but Arendal probably didn’t think that was necessary since this driver is so robust. A nice aspect of these responses is the good, high-frequency extension allows for higher crossover frequencies for those who could use that, such as in a multi-subwoofer setup, where higher crossover frequencies can be used to address room modes higher than the usual 80Hz crossover. Also, these subs are likely to have more headroom than most home audio loudspeakers in that mid-bass range, so a higher crossover frequency can net the user more dynamic range. The 1V has a solid response all the way up to 200Hz and the 1S is flat up to 300Hz.

Each sub has three preset responses that the user can choose from. They can be useful if the user is getting too much low-end boost from room gain and wants to take the deep bass down a notch or two. I would recommend the EQ1 setting for most people to start with. The 1723 1V comes with a port plug. I didn’t test it with the port plug installed, and I don’t recommend that anyone use the port plug with the 1V. All it does is reduce deep bass headroom, and it defeats the point of getting a large ported subwoofer. By including it, I think that Arendal is catering to the crowd who believe that running it sealed must somehow improve its sound quality. This just isn’t so. Sealing a port can slightly reduce group delay at very low frequencies, but not enough to make an audible difference in a sub like the 1V since its time domain performance is already so good–but we will get to that when we discuss the group delay measurements. 

1723 V1 CEA 2010 table   1723 S1 CEA 2010 table

The above CEA-2010 measurements are short-term bursts that show the subwoofer’s clean peak SPL before heavy distortion sets in. Our measurements have been referenced to 2-meter RMS, which is 9dB down from the standard requirement for the measurements to be shown at 1-meter peak. However most publicly available CEA-2010 measurements are shown at 2-meter RMS, so we followed that convention.

Our measurements here are pretty close to Arendal’s own published measurements, although there are a few deviations, such as significantly more output at 63Hz from the 1S than what Arendal managed. This is a strong set of measurements, and both subs have lots of headroom, as we heard in our own listening. A couple of highlights in these measurements are the steady 115dB+ across the midbass range of the 1S, and the tremendous 101.2dB of output at 16Hz from the 1V. The 1S and 1V stay pretty close in headroom until 31.5Hz and below where the 1V’s port advantage starts to really dominate. At 16Hz, the 1V has more than an 11dB advantage over the 1S, meaning that the 1V nearly quadruples the 1S’s headroom in that range. At 12.5Hz and 20Hz, the 1V leads with about a 9dB advantage, tripling the output potential of its smaller sealed brother. The message is clear: if you want big deep bass, go for the 1V and run it in ported mode. Sealing the 1V with a port plug almost completely removes this advantage.

Bassaholic LargeThis burst test data places the Arendal 1723 1V solidly in Audioholics’ Bassaholic ‘Large’ Room Rating, meaning it should be able to handle a room of 5,000 cubic feet. The 1S misses that ‘Large’ Room Rating performance criteria by 1dB and so nets a ‘Medium’ Room Rating. In some cases, I give a sub a pass to take the larger room rating if it is so close, but I won’t do that with the 1S because users would have to run it pretty hard to fill a 5,000 cubic foot room, especially for deep bass playback. For music only, it could probably handle a larger room size, since music rarely has any content below 40Hz, and the 1S wouldn’t struggle to play anything above 40Hz at loud levels, so determining the proper room size for it would depend on the intended content.

For information on how the room ratings are determined, please read our article “Bassaholic Subwoofer Room Size Rating Protocol”.

1723 1S long term output graph

1723 1V long term output graph

Testing for long-term output compression was done by first conducting a 20-second sweep tone, where 50Hz hit 90dB with the subwoofer 1 meter from the microphone (graph has been scaled to 2 meters for easy comparison with our other review measurements). We then conduct further 20-second sweeps by raising the gain by 5dB until no more output could be wrung out of the subwoofer. These tests show us the long-term continuous headroom that the subwoofer is capable of. We can see that both subs do compress the low end and change their response shape at higher drive levels. Most subwoofers (but not all) do this to some extent. Both subs are capable of a continuous 110dB at 40Hz and above, which is good news for those of us who like loud electronic bass music. The 1S could put out a continuous 95dB at 20Hz whereas the 1V managed 100dB at 20Hz; those are nice numbers for a sealed and ported sub, respectively. Overall, this is a good showing and demonstrates that these subs can maintain a high loudness level for much longer than a short burst.

1723 1S THD graph2 

 1723 1V THD graph2

The above graphs show the corresponding total harmonic distortion to the long-term output graphs. Essentially, they depict how linear the subwoofer remains for the corresponding drive level seen in the long-term sweeps. The quantity being measured is how much of the subwoofer’s output is distortion, shown here as a percentage. At nominal drive levels, the 1S and 1V exhibit very low distortion, but at very high drive levels, the drivers can exhibit some stress at lower frequencies. The 1S follows a typical sealed enclosure distortion profile when no high-pass filter is used to eliminate low-frequency playback. Arendal allows the 1S to have a standard 2nd order roll-off that is natural with any sealed loudspeaker, but the cost is greater distortion products in low frequencies as the amplitude goes up. For every octave lower that a driver in a sealed enclosure must reproduce at the same amplitude, the excursion demand quadruples, so it quickly becomes very taxing for sealed subs to play deep bass. The good news is that the low-end room gain (specifically, pressure-vessel gain) will boost the fundamental frequency of the intended signal over that of the higher-frequency distortion products, so the ratio of distortion products goes way down as more room gain can be had. Pressure-vessel gain increases as the size of the room decreases, so smaller rooms will yield cleaner deep bass. For the 1S, that only becomes beneficial at higher drive levels, since nominal levels are very undistorted, with the 95dB sweep never rising above 10% THD, even down below 12Hz.

The 1V shows familiar harmonic distortion curves for a ported subwoofer. As frequencies decrease, distortion creeps upward until the frequencies reach into port-generated output, and back pressure from the port thwarts the driver’s excursion, thereby keeping it in a more controlled range of motion. The low point in the saddle of the distortion curves shows where the resonant frequency of the port is. Much like the 1S, distortion is very low at nominal levels; again, the 95dB sweep never goes above 10% THD, even down to 12Hz.

1723 1V 2nd order harmonics graph1723 1V 3rd order harmonics graph 

 1723 1S 2nd order harmonics graph2   1723 1S 3rd order harmonics graph2

The above graphs depict measurements of the constituent harmonics from the long-term output sweeps and are what the total harmonic distortion measurements are composed of for the 2nd and 3rd harmonics. These individual harmonics can give us a clue as to what might be the cause of some quirk or non-linearity. We are only showing the 2nd and 3rd here because they more or less reflect the higher even-order and odd-order behaviors, although higher-order harmonics tend to be much further down as a percentage of distortion compared to the second and third.

Both the 1S and 1V exhibit a combination of even- and odd-order harmonics. Odd-order harmonics don’t really crop up until extreme stress levels on the driver, but even-order harmonics look to be occurring a bit more readily, although only in minor amounts, except at very low frequencies and high drive levels. One interesting thing we see is that the elevations in even- and odd-order distortion products seem to trade places around the port tuning frequency in the 1V. Port output seems to suppress even-order distortion products in favor of odd-order ones. That means whatever is inhibiting a single direction of the cone’s travel looks to be inhibiting travel in both directions where the port kicks in. This isn’t a bad or good thing, rather it is just an interesting note for loudspeaker design enthusiasts as an academic curiosity.

1723 V1 Group Delay


1723 S1 Group Delay

Group delay is the measurement of how much time it takes for individual frequency bands of an input signal to be produced by the speaker. It can indicate that some frequency components are developing slower than others or are taking longer to decay. It is generally thought that 1.5 sound cycles are needed for group delay to be audible at bass frequencies, although there is an argument that group delay should remain under 20ms to be completely unnoticeable, but that is likely meant for mid and upper bass frequencies.

The showings by both the 1S and 1V here are terrific and well above average. Neither sub exceeds the strictest threshold of 20ms until below 30Hz. Neither sub exceeds one cycle in any traditional subwoofer frequency range either. There is an enclosure volume resonance that pops up above 1 cycle at about 160Hz in the 1V and 180Hz in the 1S, but those will be filtered out by any sensible crossover frequency. The 1V also exceeds 1 cycle at around 10Hz, but that is far too deep in infrasonic bass to matter and would be totally inaudible.

Going back to our discussion of the time domain characteristics of sealed versus ported subwoofers, the 1S and 1V are very much alike down to 30Hz where the port contribution does hike up group delay on the 1V compared to its sealed brother. This isn’t likely to have an audible impact because it rests largely in a frequency region where human hearing is relatively insensitive. What is more, there just isn’t that much content with activity in that region. Movie effects can dip down into that range, but music rarely does, so the complaints that ported subs aren’t ‘musical’ is nonsense for any well-designed ported sub, such as the 1723 1V.


Before bringing this review to a close, I will briefly go over the strengths and weaknesses of the products in question, and, as usual, I will start with the weaknesses. The 1723 1V and 1S are such well-rounded and well-designed subwoofers that they don’t give me much to complain about. I could complain that the 1V is very large and heavy, but you can’t have a deeply-tuned ported sub without its corresponding size penalty. They can incur some distortion in deep bass when pushed hard, but they have fairly ambitious low-frequency extension performance targets, at least in their ‘EQ1’ mode (which is the mode I would run them in), and it would be difficult to achieve those with zero distortion. I didn’t hear any distortion in my own listening of either sub. Some might criticize them for not having the most possible output for the price point, but these are not ‘output-above-all’ designs, and if they were shooting to win all the SPL drag races against its competitors, they would suffer in every single other respect–not a worthwhile trade-off, in my opinion. So, in my view, any would-be criticisms are met with reasonable counters.

Arendal badge2     1723 V1 S1 hero6

Aside from the sound quality, the 1723 1S and 1V’s greatest strength is their build quality.

Let’s now go over their strengths, and since these are such well-rounded designs, it is difficult to decide where to begin. As subwoofers, their main mission is to reproduce low-frequency sound, and they do this very well. They are highly linear and well-composed subs with very good dynamic ranges and bass extensions that rival or exceed their competitors. Most sealed subs in the same class as the 1723 1S use high-pass filters to create a much steeper roll-off, but those response shapes don’t get as much in-room deep bass. The 1V’s sub-20Hz port tuning frequency gives it real output into infrasonic ranges, and it managed to hit 90dB at an ultra-deep 12Hz in our burst testing. The dynamic range of these subs is nothing to sneeze at either, with both delivering 115dB output in mid-bass, and that is a fierce amount of punch. Their excellent time-domain behavior keeps all of that bass buttoned down, and the 1723 subs don’t have a hint of overhang or delayed response.

Aside from the sound quality, the 1723 1S and 1V’s greatest strength is their build quality. HDF construction and extensive bracing make them tank-like. Their sheer solidity, together with their elegant industrial design, raises them to luxury-class products. Their attractive appearance is another asset of theirs. The modest size of the 1S enables it to fit in many more domestic situations than the much larger 1V, but the 1V’s handsome styling makes it a more acceptable addition to the room than if it were a plain black box like so many subs. What is more, the dimensions of the 1V make it a perfectly well-disguised end table, especially if you wanted some near-field punch with its side-firing driver facing toward the listening position. It will provide a tremendous amount of slam from being in such close proximity to the listener.

1723 V1 S1 pair9

The feature set on the amplifier is among the best that can be had. Left and right inputs and outputs for both balanced and unbalanced connectors make the 1723 1S and 1V versatile and accommodating of a wide variety of setups. The ability to EQ these without the need for an outboard equalizer makes these a great candidate for simpler setups that don’t have automated room correction systems. The ability to fine-tune every parameter both onboard the amplifier plate as well as from the user’s phone or tablet makes the 1723 1S and 1V exceptional. Most other subs with app control can only access many of their functions from the app and not the sub itself.

The pricing for the 1723 1S and 1V subs is not inexpensive, but you get well-built, high-fidelity, stylish, feature-rich, versatile subwoofers in return. When you factor in the 10-year warranty, top-notch customer service, and shipping costs included in the price, I would say it is a very good deal. Arendal allows a 60-day trial period and will cover the not-insignificant return shipping costs if the user does not wish to keep the product for any reason. I think they can afford to offer such a generous program since few people will be returning these once they hear what they can do.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
gene posts on March 07, 2023 00:33
XaVierDK posts on March 05, 2023 16:33
Exmortis, post: 1593170, member: 14677
While I'm sure they are fine subs I take issue with the high cost for Chinese made goods.It's just too expensive for what it is.Plus the company has been on a few forums taking in my view unprofessional shots at their former bosses SVS.As they used to be the exclusive EU distributor for SVS but lost that.Combine that sour grapes with the profiteering low paid China factory labor and SVS,still made in the USA, is a no brainer.
SVS manufacture in China as well.
Regardless, even domestic production will inevitably use components made in China or similar. It's a fundamental for electronics in this day and age.
Uncle_Big_Green posts on March 05, 2023 12:34
Exmortis, post: 1593170, member: 14677
While I'm sure they are fine subs I take issue with the high cost for Chinese made goods.It's just too expensive for what it is.Plus the company has been on a few forums taking in my view unprofessional shots at their former bosses SVS.As they used to be the exclusive EU distributor for SVS but lost that.Combine that sour grapes with the profiteering low paid China factory labor and SVS,still made in the USA, is a no brainer.

I'm pretty sure that SVS products are not made in the US. I think they're made in China.

Maybe we could make a thread on where stuff is made.
Exmortis posts on March 05, 2023 09:28
While I'm sure they are fine subs I take issue with the high cost for Chinese made goods.It's just too expensive for what it is.Plus the company has been on a few forums taking in my view unprofessional shots at their former bosses SVS.As they used to be the exclusive EU distributor for SVS but lost that.Combine that sour grapes with the profiteering low paid China factory labor and SVS,still made in the USA, is a no brainer.
Verdinut posts on March 04, 2023 17:16
leelee1, post: 1593035, member: 100491
Sealed subs also have the advantage of no port noise at high spl (svs pb 16 for example) and some of the larger sealed subs (18' or larger) have more usable low frequency extension 15hz or lower useful for home theater tactile feel. Not having to worry about a subsonic filter to prevent over excursion and placement behind a projector screen are also advantages of sealed subs. Perhaps I have not heard any really high quality ported subs but I've always preferred the sound of a sealed subwoofer as they just sound less boomy and tighter to me.

With a vented cabinet properly tuned to a woofer or subwoofer, the overall response is as tight as in a sealed cabinet. The idea that sealed sealed subs are tighter is just BS published in magazines and by some sealed sub manufacturers.

I have been building speakers for more than 50 years. The 3 front 15 inch subs in my front speaker enclosures produce a very tight sound with the use of pro audio QSC Cinema amps:
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About the author:

James Larson is Audioholics' primary loudspeaker and subwoofer reviewer on account of his deep knowledge of loudspeaker functioning and performance and also his overall enthusiasm toward moving the state of audio science forward.

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