Arendal 1723 V2 Measurements and Conclusion
Testing on the Arendal 1723 2V was conducted with the microphone facing the port and woofer at a 1-meter distance and using the distortion numbers for those test results. Test results at 20Hz and below were also used for those results. Further testing was conducted at 8-meters for 25Hz and above. This was done to offset the distance difference from the opposite side driver which would have had which would not fairly be reflected in 1-meter or 2-meter measurements. Distortion results are posted from 1-meter results due to the much higher noise floor in 8-meter testing. The temperature was recorded at 69F degrees with 53% humidity. The subwoofer’s gain was set to maximum, phase was set to 0, and the low pass filters were left off.
The above graphs show the measured frequency responses for the Arendal 1723 2V subwoofer. We see a terrifically flat response throughout the subwoofer band frequencies. Upper bass extension extends beyond 300Hz, although we do see some port resonances just below 200Hz in the vented configurations. Those resonances aren’t likely to affect anything in typical crossover frequencies or even abnormally higher crossover frequencies. The key response curve in all of these is the EQ1 setting in the vented mode. Barring some odd acoustic situation, that is the advised operating mode for a sub like this. In that curve, you get a near totally neutral response from 100Hz down to 20Hz with very usable output down into infrasonic bass. This is a large sub meant to produce deep bass at high output levels, so all of the other configurations are mostly extraneous. However, we have published them so readers can see the full range of this subwoofer’s behavior.
Performance Tip: Use the Arendal 1723 2V subwoofer in EQ1 setting for best performance.
CEA 2010 Data for Arendal 1723 2V Subwoofer (2 meter RMS)
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. It should be said here that while special measures were taken to fairly capture output from the 1723 2V, it still might not quite add up to what a more conventionally designed subwoofer could get. Output produced from the driver on the opposite side of the enclosure from the microphone’s position may still be under-reported, especially at 80Hz and above.
The 1723 2V puts up some big numbers as would be expected from something of its specs. It has serious mid-bass output that touches 119dB at 63Hz, so it can cause bruises when asked to, and it does so with finesse as well, seeing as how it can’t be made to exceed 10% THD. Something else to note is the 12Hz and 16Hz output; the 1723 2V is able to belt out a lot of extremely deep bass. Not surprising for such a large sub but impressive nonetheless. These are some big numbers from a big sub that can fill a big room, and with this level of performance, it easily achieves our Bassaholics ‘Extreme’ Room Rating.
Testing for long-term output compression was done by first conducting a 20-second sweep tone where 50Hz hit 90 dB with the subwoofer scaled to a 2-meter distance from the microphone. 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. The 1723 2V holds its shape nicely out to the 105dB sweep before compressing the low end of the response. At higher levels, it does run out of steam in deep bass, although there is still a massive amount of mid-bass on top before the amplifier gives up. 115dB continuous from 45Hz and above is a nice line to see on a graph, but it is pretty stunning to hear in person. This thing has tons of punchy bass output for music. One thing to note is that the slope of the response below port tuning at any point is relatively shallow for a ported subwoofer, so we are seeing a bit more extreme deep bass than would be expected, and that is exhibited in the 16Hz and 12.5Hz burst measurements.
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 and is shown here as a percentage. At nominal levels, the 1723 2V is extremely clean and hovers around 1% to 2% THD until below 20Hz—totally inaudible. This is truly extraordinary performance.. Crank it to its maximum output, and it still keeps a respectable composure, barely exceeding 10% THD until below 25Hz. It isn’t super-happy at port tuning when pushed really hard and maxes out at 30% THD, but we have to remember that output at that level in that frequency range is 20dB down from higher frequency ranges on account of the compressed response shape, so distortion wouldn’t be very audible in anything but sine wave test tones. I certainly didn’t notice any in my own listening. Overall, this is a great showing, especially considering the output levels that are being produced.
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.
Above 16Hz, the dominant distortion type for the 1723 2V subwoofer is even-order and primarily the 2nd harmonic, but it is still relatively low in quantity. Even-order distortions are particularly difficult to perceive in music because of their harmonious relationship to the fundamental, and the 2nd order doesn’t exceed 10% until nearing 20Hz, so it would almost certainly be inaudible for music as well as movie effects sounds. The more audible odd-order harmonic distortion doesn’t raise its head until the drivers are being stressed at high-excursion levels below 25Hz, and again, in the frequency range where it is popping, up, overall output is down considerably, so it isn’t something that is going to be heard at all in real-world use. There isn’t much to worry about here, especially so when taken into context the distortion type and drive levels that these distortions are occurring at.
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. One remarkable feature of the 1723 2V is that it manages to keep group delay below one cycle down to such a deep frequency. Most ported subs exceed one cycle of delay since the port output has a 180-degree lag behind the woofer’s oscillation. The 1723 2V has managed to avoid this. Group delay almost hits one cycle at port tuning but doesn’t quite make it. Delay stays very low all the way down below 30Hz before exceeding our worst-case scenario of 20ms, and by then the frequencies are so deep that any kind of phase distortion would have to be extreme for human audibility, a level of delay way beyond anything seen here. There is some fuzziness in mid-bass above 100Hz that exceeds one cycle, and that seems to be caused by port resonance; that all goes away when the port is sealed. It lays too far above common crossover frequencies to be concerned about anyhow. All in all, this is a terrific showing as far as time-domain performance goes. Within subwoofer-band frequencies, this 1723 2V has a superb transient response.
Before wrapping this review up, we will briefly go over the strengths and weaknesses of the product under evaluation, and, as always, we will start with the weaknesses. A discussion of the weaknesses of the Arendal 1723 2V could only be a short one since this sub has few weaknesses. One unavoidable drawback of a sub like this is the sheer size and weight; it is not easy to handle. That isn’t so much a weakness as it is a simple trade-off in getting a sub of this caliber of performance. There is no way to get big deep bass without the subwoofer being large itself. Arendal probably could have made it lighter by going with MDF instead of HDF construction, but that would come at the expense of the build quality. So much of audio engineering is a matter of trade-offs, so you can never have everything. If you want a premium quality subwoofer and are able to handle the size and weight, the concessions that Arendal makes will be well worth it for you. And if you can’t handle a subwoofer this large and heavy, the good news is that there are a lot of great subwoofers that are smaller and lighter, including some from Arendal themselves. You would have to buy multiple smaller subs to equal the 1723 2V performance, and that is a valid strategy for an easier-to-handle setup (on the other hand, you could get multiples of the 1723 2V for something truly mind-blowing).
Something else that might be a drawback for those who are trying to get the most possible output for their money is that there are other subwoofers that do offer more raw output for the same price range. While the 1723 2V offers a tremendous level of output, Arendal isn’t trying to win SPL drag races with it. It is a product that is well-rounded in every dimension, and to pursue raw output above all else is not the balance they are looking for. To make a car analogy, as is so often done for audio products, the 1723 2V is like a “grand touring” luxury car; it has a high displacement engine as well as a heavy-duty build, advanced features, and a sleek appearance. It isn’t as fast as a pure track car, but it’s plenty fast without suffering deficits in any other aspect.
That brings us to the discussion of the strengths of the 1723 2V; it is such a well-rounded subwoofer that it is strong in every aspect of design. It isn’t lacking in anything. The performance is superb; it has a terrific extension with substantial output down to an astonishing 12Hz. 115dB continuous midbass headroom will punch you in the chest all day long with your favorite party tunes. Excellent time-domain performance ensures that the bass is snappy and will not lag behind other components of the sound mix. And its low distortion ensures that the sound that you do hear is what is intended by the artists and sound engineers rather than inadvertent noise added by the system.
The build quality is terrific, and this subwoofer has a sense of solidity that befits its pricing. The enclosure remains inert, even at high output levels, and you could rest your drink on it without fear of it vibrating off of the sub (although I recommend using a coaster so as not to mar the top surface of the lovely finish). It could be used as a speaker stands for a bookshelf speaker or a monitor such as the 1723 THX Monitors for the ultimate Arendal floor-standing speaker system (again, put a protective matte on them for that use). Two 1723 2V subs as speakers stands for some 1723 THX Monitors would be an absolutely monumental setup.
The technology and sophistication are second to none in its price class. App control, LCD screen, control based on inputs, seven-band parametric EQ, master control for subwoofer groups, control over input sensitivity, wake-up sensitivity, and control over many more parameters make this sub a fine-tuner’s dream-come-true. You can dial it to perfection, and the onboard parametric EQ negates the need for an outboard equalizer to take down peaks caused by problematic room acoustics. What is more is that it has advanced real-time monitoring over many elements of electrical activity, and it can modify its operation to function optimally in changing circumstances or just shut itself down if it detects anything potentially dangerous so it won’t allow itself to be damaged.
On top of the performance, build quality, and advanced features, it also looks nice as far as large subwoofers go. Beveled edges, sleek woofers, and a fine satin or gloss finish do a lot to make this a classy-looking audio product. It can be loud in sound, but it isn’t loud in appearance. One thing that can be done to alleviate its size is to use it as an end table; since its vibrations are so minute, it won’t rattle anything off, so a table cloth can be placed on it and allow it to be used as a surface to hold stuff.
At the beginning of this review, I asked if the 1723 2V subwoofer would meet the expectations set by the 1723 THX Monitors. I have to conclude that it does. It is a high-performance audio product that doesn’t cut any corners. These Norwegians seem to have an obsessive attention to detail. The 1723 2V is a terrific subwoofer that I would be happy to own and can easily recommend to anyone who can accommodate its size. Like its companion loudspeaker series, it is not inexpensive but it does give you a lot of subwoofer for the money. The 1723 2V is a well-crafted subwoofer in every way, and I would say it’s a bargain at its $3k asking price. Furthering the bargain, buyers get a 5-year warranty on the electronics and a 10-year warranty on all other components which is the most generous warranty in this segment. Those who are interested in giving it a try are given a 60-day trial period where they can receive a full refund and are only on the hook for return shipping costs (which, to be fair, aren’t likely to be cheap for a package of this size). Arendal Sound has delivered another knock-out product, and I am looking forward to getting my hands on more of their products to see if they can continue to maintain this level of craftsmanship in their other offerings.
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
- — Excellent
- — Very Good
- — Good
- — Fair
- — Poor
|Fit and Finish|
|Ergonomics & Usability|
Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!
Recent Forum Posts:
FT251, post: 1513279, member: 96352They are very good at responding from my experience. I emailed them with a few questions a few months ago and received a quick and polite reply.
There is nothing out there at this time, I have searched high and low. How does one pester them..
FT251, post: 1513279, member: 96352https://arendalsound.com/contact/
How does one pester them..
shadyJ, post: 1513276, member: 20472There is nothing out there at this time, I have searched high and low. How does one pester them..
We are working on a review of the 1961 1S and 1V right now. No plans for any more 1723 sub reviews at the moment, but it's possible that Arendal could send us some if enough people pester them for more reviews from Audioholics.
shadyJ, post: 1513276, member: 20472
it's possible that Arendal could send us some if enough people pester them for more reviews from Audioholics.
FT251, post: 1513159, member: 96352We are working on a review of the 1961 1S and 1V right now. No plans for any more 1723 sub reviews at the moment, but it's possible that Arendal could send us some if enough people pester them for more reviews from Audioholics.
I will be interested to hear about any of their sealed sub reviews somewhere down the line from you. Particularly the 1723 1s for example. It appears to be very comparable to the SVS Sb 4000. Hopefully over time you will be able to receive other items in their lineup to review. Fingers crossed! Not everyone can fit the larger sized vented subs in their environments.