Secrets Benchmark Product Review

Onix Rocket UFW-12 Subwoofer

Part II

March, 2006

Ed Mullen


About R-DES

R-DES (Rocket Digital Equalization System) is an external five band electronic parametric equalizer with software and PC interface. R-DES is normally included with the UFW-12 but is currently back-ordered, so call or check the website for availability. Customers who order the UFW-12 during the back-order period will receive R-DES (shipped free) when it becomes available.

The latest version of R-DES includes the following revisions: 1) The band originally dedicated to the Subsonic Filter has been replaced with an additional PEQ band (for a total of five PEQ bands); 2) a gain dial has been added to the GUI control panel; and 3) the system now features unity gain.

The R-DES package includes the hardware box, a USB 2.0 PC interface cable, a wall wart for AC power, and a software installation disc. The small R-DES hardware box goes between the subwoofer pre-out on your SSP or receiver and the line level input on the UFW-12, so you will need two subwoofer cables to make the connections. The hardware box has dual parallel inputs and outputs, so it can accommodate up to two subwoofers (but they cannot be EQ'd separately).

Virtually an unlimited number of PEQ curves can be stored in the R-DES software on your PC, and four PEQ curves can be saved to the hardware unit. These curves are selected via a push button on the front panel, and there is also a Bypass setting.

Naturally, using a PEQ requires that the owner measure the in-room frequency response of the subwoofer. AV123 makes this easy by offering an Onix Graph Paper program and a CD with test tones. The Graph Paper software even includes the C-weighted correction factors for the popular Radio Shack SPL meter. There is also an on-line R-DES tutorial to help out first-time users.

Overall, R-DES is a very slick product that works with your PC to considerably ease and streamline the traditionally tedious process of using a manual PEQ. It adds an extra dimension of equalization capability not found on any subwoofer in this price range, and with five bands it can tame the toughest room acoustics. With four memory settings, you can select custom EQ curves for different types of music and movies.

Click Here to Go to Part III.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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