R-DES Build Quality and Features
I'd seen pictures of the R-DES on the AV123 website but I still wasn't prepared for it when it arrived. It was so - small. And light. I almost shook it to see if there was anything in there. The case has an industrial look that I find very attractive. There are two buttons in the front and six lights. The button to the far left switches the unit between on and standby (when it is in standby mode, the sub is disengaged). The far right button switches between the four presets and the bypass mode. In between the two buttons are the lights to indicate which mode you are currently using (in order from left to right - Bypass, Preset 1, 2, 3, and 4). The aluminum body has inset lines running the depth of the unit on the sides but not the top and bottom. The black rings around the unit near the front and back plates are made of a hard plastic.
Using the System: The Basics
There is some software to install on a computer (preferably a laptop, though I see no reason why you couldn't use a desktop and just move the unit to install the new update) and specific instructions. We've all installed quite a bit of software over the course of our lives and have run into our fair share of strange error messages than can make even the stoutest among us break out in cold sweats. The directions for installing the software take into account just about every possible error message you can get. I found it extremely easy to follow them. Unless you try to install the software on an unsupported OS, I don't see how you could run into too much of a problem. The back of the unit has a left and right input and a left and right output. You can use this to connect two subwoofers (in mono, since there is no provision in the software for independent EQing.) There is a USB 2.0 connection and one for power. The system came with the power adaptor, a USB cable, and the installation disc.
Breakdown of Features
There are two main programs associated with the R-DES - The Onix Graph Paper and the Onix R-DES. The Graph paper is just that - it graphs out the frequency response of your system. The R-DES is the actual EQ program that makes the changes in your frequency response. With the R-DES you can set 5 separate bands of parametric equalization and a crossover into 4 different curves and 5 different presets. What does that mean? Hold on, we're getting to that. With the Onix Graph Paper program you can select either a long or short sweep (19 or 37 data points between 16 and 120hz respectively) or generate a blank sheet that will graph whichever data points you select. Now, what does that mean? Hold on, I'm getting to it.