Arendal Sound 1961 1S & 1V Subwoofers Review

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
1961 pair3.jpg
We were greatly impressed by Arendal’s top-of-the-line subwoofer, the 1723 2V, in our review earlier this year (Audioholics 1723 2V Subwoofer Review). While it was truly a magnificent beast, it did have two qualities that precluded it from ownership by a lot of people: it was very large and heavy, and it was also somewhat expensive. With this in mind, we decided to check out what Arendal could do at more accessible sizes/weights and pricing. When Arendal suggested their entry-level 1961 series, either the S1 or V1, we answered: why not both! Today’s review examines Arendal’s efforts around the $1k price point, in both a ported and sealed form factor. Our question here is how well do they scale in price/performance next to the mighty 1723 2V? Let’s now dig in to find out…

READ: Arendal Sound 1961 1S & 1V Subwoofers Review
 
Last edited by a moderator:
P

Philantrop

Enthusiast
Only the first page of the review is visible. Can't change to the next page (measurements and conclusions). Please check if the article is uploaded correctly.
In regard to the sub ,I was waiting for this review in order to asses which is best from Arendal 1961S, SVS SB 1000 pro, SVS SB 2000 and XTZ 12.17 edge.
 
Benni777

Benni777

Audioholic
Only the first page of the review is visible. Can't change to the next page (measurements and conclusions). Please check if the article is uploaded correctly.
In regard to the sub ,I was waiting for this review in order to asses which is best from Arendal 1961S, SVS SB 1000 pro, SVS SB 2000 and XTZ 12.17 edge.
Yeah I cant see anything past the first page as well..

As to the XTZ 12.17 edge, do they sell these in the USA? Looks like it may be only sold over seas?
 
P

Philantrop

Enthusiast
Yeah I cant see anything past the first page as well..

As to the XTZ 12.17 edge, do they sell these in the USA? Looks like it may be only sold over seas?
Review is now fully available! As to XTZ I am from Poland so I can order it directly from the XTZ website.
However, there are almost no reviews of this product.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Nice write up Shady! Thank you.
It almost seems with the newer Subs you’ve reviewed the past couple years the we have gone through a renaissance in design and production where the options are all increasingly good performers. Seemingly, budget becomes the tipping point in determining what level of output and headroom you get. Cabinet size appears to track with that, too.
 
B

brian6751

Audioholic Intern
Very well done as usual!

I have been waiting for this review. now I have to decide between the 1V's or ULS-15 Mk2's. the HSU seems to be the better performer but The Arendal is no slouch
 
cbecker33

cbecker33

Audioholic
Very well done as usual!

I have been waiting for this review. now I have to decide between the 1V's or ULS-15 Mk2's. the HSU seems to be the better performer but The Arendal is no slouch
Glancing at the chart it looks like the 1961 1V is the better performer 20hz and below but then the ULS-15 MK2 outperforms it above. I wonder how the 1973 V1 would perform - the 1973 2V and the 1961 1V seem to 'bracket' the PB2000 Pro but the 1973 1V is a more favorable size for my needs.
 
Last edited:
B

brian6751

Audioholic Intern
Glancing at the chart it looks like the 1961 1V is the better performer 20z and below but then the ULS-15 MK2 outperforms it above. I wonder how the 1973 V1 would perform - it and the 1961 1V seem to 'bracket' the SB2000 Pro but at a more favorable size for my needs.
Do you mean the PB2000 Pro? I am considering that one also. The PC version
 
cbecker33

cbecker33

Audioholic
Do you mean the PB2000 Pro? I am considering that one also. The PC version
Darn - typoo_O

Yes - PB2000 Pro. I have a pair at home right now but they are just too large for what I want (depth in particular). I have a pair of SB3000 that I want to replace.
 
L

luis1090

Enthusiast
Not saying that is a bad driver but a this price point I was expecting a beefier driver with cast frame. Hey RSL give you a very heavy duty cast frame 10" driver at a price point that is less than half what you pay for the Arendal.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Not saying that is a bad driver but a this price point I was expecting a beefier driver with cast frame. Hey RSL give you a very heavy duty cast frame 10" driver at a price point that is less than half what you pay for the Arendal.
Stamped baskets have come a long way, and nowadays there isn't as much of a reason to go with cast frame unless you have a really heavy-duty driver.
 
J

JStewart

Audioholic Intern
Everywhere you look, Arendal is deservedly earning strong praise for their products. Not surprised the subs are no exception.
 
D

dutchholic

Audioholic Intern
Great review, as expected great performance(I expected these great measurements, nice to see it confirmed by you guys). I almost bought the 1961 subwoofer for a dual setup but I didn't for 2 reasons.

So.. "There is so much to like about the Arendal 1961 subwoofers that it isn’t easy to make a list of their weaknesses.".
For me it's pretty easy.

Out of personal interest (the only 2 reasons that hold me back from purchasing 2 1961 1S subwoofers), I will tell you what the biggest weaknesses are so maybe they could be added to the review:

1. Difficult placement aesthetically for a dual subwoofer setup. The woofer points to one way, I can place one on the left side of the room, that would look great. But how about the right subwoofer? The driver will be facing the wall in that case or (if rotated 180 degrees); the connections would be facing to the front of the room. This could be easilly solved by making the feets a bit higher and adding the connections on the bottom of the subwoofer, so that the design would be equal for left and right placement. Good example for this connection placement: kef t2 subwoofer. But without app support of the 1961 it is difficult since the LCD is on the backside. Maybe a good idea for a future model to add app support and to change the design in the way that I described (are you listening Arendal guys? Huge tip here :) )
2. No balanced XLR input with the 1961 1S subwoofer. This the MOST underrated feature of any (small) subwoofer that doesn't have this simple feature. I never want to deal with RCA subwoofers anymore, RCA is an suboptimal connection. I don't understand why this is never listed as a weakness on this website.

I hope that Arendal will make a future model with these enhancements and it would be an instant buy for me (dual).
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
1. Difficult placement aesthetically for a dual subwoofer setup. The woofer points to one way, I can place one on the left side of the room, that would look great. But how about the right subwoofer? The driver will be facing the wall in that case or (if rotated 180 degrees); the connections would be facing to the front of the room. This could be easilly solved by making the feets a bit higher and adding the connections on the bottom of the subwoofer, so that the design would be equal for left and right placement. Good example for this connection placement: kef t2 subwoofer. But without app support of the 1961 it is difficult since the LCD is on the backside. Maybe a good idea for a future model to add app support and to change the design in the way that I described (are you listening Arendal guys? Huge tip here :) )
The controls are too vulnerable underneath the sub. What is more is that is a very poor place due to heat dispersion. You never want to put a plate amp on the bottom of any sub. Furthermore, any cables will need a 90-degree bend on the connecting terminal. A better solution would be to mount the driver on the bottom with a metal grille to protect it. That way you can have left/right symmetry, if that is what concerns you.
2. No balanced XLR input with the 1961 1S subwoofer. This the MOST underrated feature of any (small) subwoofer that doesn't have this simple feature. I never want to deal with RCA subwoofers anymore, RCA is an suboptimal connection. I don't understand why this is never listed as a weakness on this website.
I don't know why most people would care about balanced inputs very much. Balanced cables are better at reducing electromagnetic noise but that only becomes an issue at a long running distance in a noisy environment. It isn't qualitatively better otherwise. Plus, you have to have an LF source that has a true balanced output for it to work, and how many people have that? The people who have balanced LF outputs are either in a pro-sound environment or someone with a high-end processor- and anyone with a high-end processor is probably shopping for a higher-end sub than the 1961 subs like say the 1723 subs which do have balanced inputs.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
I was surprised by the plate amp location, which traditionally is at the back. I don't want my connections visible either. I can understand the design as this obviously reduces the depth of the cabinet, but it almost calls for a left and right mounting option to keep the amp hidden. That complicates production and stocking and is unlikely.
 
D

dutchholic

Audioholic Intern
The controls are too vulnerable underneath the sub. What is more is that is a very poor place due to heat dispersion. You never want to put a plate amp on the bottom of any sub. Furthermore, any cables will need a 90-degree bend on the connecting terminal. A better solution would be to mount the driver on the bottom with a metal grille to protect it. That way you can have left/right symmetry, if that is what concerns you.
This is not true, the connections don't have to be vulnerable underneath the sub. You can make the controls fit DEEPER inside the sub then the bottom itself. As I said: Google image the Kef T2 and you see that there is zero problem regarding this subject when you have the connections on the bottom(you can even put the connections 5-10cm deeper then at the T2 of course).

About the controls I also gave the clear solution: app control, like for example SVS has a great app. That is the future, no buttons are needed then at all. The B&W subwoofers also have a app, and many others do to. I never need to touch the buttons of my current subwoofer since it's all app controlled. I don't understand how that is an issue at all.

About the heat issues, this is also not true if you think out of the box: The connections can be easilly connected to the AMP's if you put the AMP on top of the subwoofer. The AMP doesn't need to be at the bottom at all? I don't see why you think that this must be the case. For example if you create the same subwoofer with an massive aluminium top panel, the cooling+the amp could be on top and that would be perfect for cooling, even better then on the back, this while the connectors stay on the bottom of this subwoofer, the connections on the bottom could be easilly connected with wire. This is no issue at all!

So it's all easilly doable for a good designer as you can read. You simply need to think out of the box. I shared those idea's already with Arendal, they appreciated this feedback so much that we will maybe see such an optimized design in the future. When this is the case, then you know where it came from ;)

Edit: And an another solution is as B&W solved it, with the SA1000 + CT SW subwoofers of their CT700 series, external amp's. So many way that are possible to achieve this.

I don't know why most people would care about balanced inputs very much. Balanced cables are better at reducing electromagnetic noise but that only becomes an issue at a long running distance in a noisy environment. It isn't qualitatively better otherwise. Plus, you have to have an LF source that has a true balanced output for it to work, and how many people have that? The people who have balanced LF outputs are either in a pro-sound environment or someone with a high-end processor- and anyone with a high-end processor is probably shopping for a higher-end sub than the 1961 subs like say the 1723 subs which do have balanced inputs.
I look at this the opposite way. The performance of the signal is extremely degraded by an RCA connection. XLR connections of subwoofers are cheap to make, even 150 euro studio subwoofers are equipped with XLR inputs. Only consumer subwoofers are equipped with an stone age connector called RCA. Unbalanced signal should be avoided at any time. You guys here at audioholics always focus on maximum performance/measurements, then why don't you guys see this as a negative aspect. So many people have dealt with GND/hum issues with subwoofers, just google on it, it's not a small number. Besides that: you degrade the performance of the DAC massively for no reason at all. So why not add this simple feature? I don't understand how you could be against this and how this isn't a negative point of this subwoofer? Their bigger brother even has it, but that one is to big for my living room.

I don't agree that "anyone with a high-end processor is probably shopping for a higher-end sub" at all. I am such an consumer, so it's not "anyone". There are ZERO high-end subwoofers with XLR inputs that are small enough in terms of depth of the housing. I have an high-end processor with balanced connectors but there is simply no suitable small depth case subwoofer available with room EQ and good measurements that fit my living room. All are RCA subs or come without any room EQ controls.

Besides that: This Arendal subwoofers measure close to perfect for their size, so WHY should someone with an "high-end processor" shop for an more expensive subwoofer? There is no logic in this.

This subwoofer is high end enough for me if it ticked the 2 boxed that I mentioned. All more expensive subs with XLR's are simply to big. Except the B&W DB3D maybe, but that's performance wise not that high-end since it has only 2x 8 inch.. and is way overpriced imo for what it is, the Arendal has much better value.
 
Last edited:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Seriously, performance of the signal is "extremely degraded by an rca connection". Whut?
 
D

dutchholic

Audioholic Intern
Seriously, performance of the signal is "extremely degraded by an rca connection". Whut?
Okay let me clarify this: This is only the case if you're running long length's or running the RCA cable together with other wires/other equipment that create noise. If this is both not the case, then you probably don't have an difference indeed. So "extremely degraded by an rca connection" is indeed not always the case.

But since most cables just "run somewhere" together with audio equipment/computer equipment/power cables etc.etc. an balanced connection is always better and a degradation in signal is practically always the case with unbalanced, simply because unbalanced is unshielded(the shield is part of the signal). Maybe audiable, maybe not, true, but it's not optimal and it should be avoided.

Maybe you never had GND hum issues with unbalanced connectors, but many others had. So there is not a single reason not to include XLR, it's simply an better connection, all these issues are avoided by simply chosing for balanced connections. The big Arendal's and most other big/huge subwoofers have XLR's, only the small sub's don't have XLR which is a shame, this is a shame since not everyone has a huge living room but some still love to have good equipment while also having a living small.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

newsletter

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top