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Secrets Benchmark Product Review
 

Onix Rocket UFW-12 Subwoofer

Part I

March, 2006

Ed Mullen

 

Specifications:

● Configuration: One 12" Front-firing Acoustic Suspension
● Amp: 1000 Watts RMS with Single-Band PEQ
● Dimensions: 21.5" H x 19.75" W x 20.75" D
● Weight: 137 Pounds
● Software: R-DES 5-Band External PEQ with PC Interface
● MSRP: South American Rosewood $1,099 (Reviewed)
    African Macassar Ebony $1,099
    Piano Gloss Black $1,199
    Gloss Bird's Eye Maple $1,199
    Piano Rosewood $1,398 (Limited Edition)

 

AV123

www.av123.com

Introduction

AV123 was founded by Mark L. Schifter in January of 2000. Mark is a well known player in the consumer electronics industry, and quickly established AV123 as one of the top Internet-Direct consumer electronics and loudspeaker sites in the industry. Known for treating his customers like family and making customer service a top priority, Mark and the entire AV123 crew have gained a fiercely loyal customer base.

The UFW-12 is the latest addition to AV123's wildly successful line of Onix Rocket loudspeakers and subwoofers. As part of this review, I spoke with Mark about his design goals for the UFW-12:

Mark told me, "The UFW-12 was developed to deliver substantially higher output and a bit more extension than its popular smaller brother the UFW-10, thus making it more suitable for home theater applications".

"With that said, the UFW-12 is still first and foremost a subwoofer designed for music applications. We focused on a strong and linear response above 30-35 Hz, where nearly all popular music lives. There is no music without the proper support of the bass and mid-bass transition to the speakers this is sacrosanct - and we feel the UFW-12 delivers in spades in this respect".

"Anvil tough reliability and durability were also a key design goals for this release. This is the primary reason the final design cut of the UFW-12 does not have quite the deep extension exhibited by the earlier test mules. We discovered that anechoic extension to 20 Hz simply required too much cone excursion for a single 12" woofer in a sealed alignment, and was therefore incompatible with our mid-bass output and reliability goals".

"So the UFW-12 is not intended to be the last word in extension or output below 30 Hz. For this, we will be releasing a killer reflex subwoofer which will assault the deep output and extension parameters, and that model will be the most suitable for ultra hard-core theater applications".

General Product Description

Enthusiasts have come to expect well engineered and protective packaging from AV123, and the UFW-12 box is no exception; it should withstand the worst the shippers can dish out. The subwoofer also came wrapped in a white sheet to protect the finish, and a set of white gloves were included to prevent smudging the finish thoughtful touches.

Additional items in the shipping container included a set of screw-in brass spike feet, matching brass discs (for using the spikes on hard surfaces), optional rubber adhesive feet, a detachable power cord, a Rocket plastic adhesive label, and the Owner's Manual. I glanced over the manual and found it to be well written and comprehensive, with good diagrams and instructions on using the PEQ.

As shown above, the UFW-12 is available in a variety of premium finishes. The UFW-12 cabinets are made by Sound Art China (SAC), which is also owned by Mark Schifter. SAC has quickly become famous for providing ultra-high quality enclosures not only for the AV123 Rocket loudspeaker line, but for many other OEMs as well.

The review model came finished in South American Rosewood. Even the high resolution photos on the AV123 website don't give this finish (or the others) full justice; they are all strikingly beautiful. Cabinet finish on the review model is excellent, with no surface flaws and a well fitted plate amp. The gloss black end caps are an attractive design cue, and they overhang the front of the enclosure so the grille is a flush fit. The thick MDF grille is painted black and covered in a tightly stretched acoustic fabric. Grille finish is very good, with no loose threads and neat adhesive work. The grille is attached to the cabinet with a standard pin and socket arrangement.

The UFW-12 is a fairly large subwoofer, measuring about 20-21" in all dimensions and tipping the scales at nearly 140 pounds. This is a large cabinet for a single 12" sealed subwoofer, and this helps provide high efficiency and strong output across the mid-bass frequencies.

The interior of the cabinet is partially stuffed with polyfill, and features a one piece brace that extends partially up the side walls and has a cut-out for the woofer magnet.

When you move the UFW-12 around the room, it would be prudent to leave off the spiked feet or the optional adhesive rubber feet until you find the final resting position for the subwoofer. Dragging the heavy subwoofer across carpeting (for example) with the spiked feet installed might cause them to actually tear out of the cabinet, which would be disastrous, not to mention ruining your rug. Also, two people are recommended to install the spiked feet and safely position the support discs.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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