Rocket UFW-10 Subwoofer Aesthetics
A point (yes it's a pun) to be made about AV123's foot design is that there is no choice for either rubber feet or hard points. It is hard points only. Also thoughtfully supplied are four nicely machined 23mm diameter x 3mm thick brass discs with center indentations which allow the wide-base brass-point feet to rest on a hardwood or tile floor without puncturing or scratching the floor material. The quality of these solid brass feet and extra wide width of the brass cabinet inserts on the bottom black lacquer end-cap imply attention to detail usually reserved only for speaker systems retailing for many times more than the UFW-10's $599 SRP.
Okay, on the subject of pointy feet, it's soapbox time. I've had an attitude about pointy feet for quite a while now and it has to do with two parameters:
- Precisely how the pointy foot physically attaches to the subwoofer cabinet and exerts leverage on its mating cabinet insert might be cause for concern.
- Sir Isaac Newton's first law of physics, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." holds true especially well for subwoofers.
Let's think about this: a forward-facing subwoofer is at an exact 90º angle to pointy feet. Pointy feet are in essence a lever arm, maybe only the 1.75" or so as on the UFW-10 but a lever arm nonetheless. Imagine a 46 pound mass (downward force vector) in concert with a woofer cone's sideways moving mass (perpendicular force vector, a 90º difference); what can happen? What is the highest pressure point within this system?
The highest pressure point in the system would be wherever the highest pressure point always is when there is a lever arm present; at the end, or in this case the base, of the lever arm. The highest pressure point is at the brass insert-MDF (compressed wood) interface. This could mean that, given a woofer cone with enough mass, being driven by a powerful enough amplifier (the UFW-10 has both) that the brass insert could eventually wear down the MDF interface (crumbling the MDF particles) into which it has been inserted, leading eventually to a fairly loose insert.
This loosening of the brass insert-MDF interface can also be accomplished almost immediately during set-up. In moving this heavy sub, with the brass points screwed in, it is very easy to accidentally drag the sub's sharp points sideways, exerting a huge amount of force at a 90º angle around the area of the insert. This can cause an immediate crumbling of the MDF wood surrounding the brass insert. I did this dumbbell maneuver on one of the two UFW-10 subs under review and am relaying my experience so that you don't make the same mistake.
Bottom line on the spikes: it's a good idea to wait until you've done all the moving around and positioning of your sub or subs before you put on the pointy feet. As an alternative to the pointy feet I would recommend using a piece of the rubber drawer liner material that is sold in hardware stores underneath a footless sub. This material will keep the sub in place whether on a hardwood floor or on carpet.
After performing single-band parametric system calibration you can determine whether or not you want to add the pointy feet or stay with the rubber drawer material interface. Thoughts on options:
- If you need to isolate the sub's sounds from transmission to a room below a tiny bit then use the spikes.
- If you're piecing through carpet, use the spikes.
- On hardwood floors my recommendation would be to stay with rubber drawer liner. Though the supplied hardwood floor-saving brass discs are also an option you'll probably need a second person to help in positioning them so as not to put the aforementioned sideways force on the brass inserts.
Personally, I believe that the more rigidly a subwoofer is held in place, by its own weight or otherwise, the "tighter" the formation of the low bass fundamental frequencies will become. Think action...woofer cone; clamp reaction...brass discs' tendency to slide on hardwood.
UFW-10: Beautifully Compact
Visually, the UFW-10 is the most elegantly executed, beautiful subwoofer I've seen. At 13.125"W x 12.875"D x 13.4375"H this sub is small, really small. The high gloss black top and bottom caps must have (I'm guessing here) over twenty coats of high gloss polyurethane lacquer. And there was not a single paint blemish to be found on any of the four surfaces of the two subs under review.
The rosewood veneer on the review samples is simply stunning. All four corners are gently rounded and close inspection reveals that the left and right side panels use 6.5" wide (!) book-matched rosewood flitches. The front and back panels are blended and finish-sanded so well into the side panels that only very close inspection reveals that this cabinet is not made from a continuous piece of rosewood veneer. The last time I saw rosewood finished this well or even offered in a loudspeaker cabinet for that matter was back in the early eighties when the $64,000 Infinity IRS system was available. Good company indeed.