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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I initially bought the original UFW-12 for a dedicated music system, but due to turning two rooms into one, I have to to use the UFW-12 for movies every once in a while. I thought it sounded great for music, and blends in quite well with my ATC monitors. However, when I played my first movie with the sub in moderate volume, I think I cried a little inside, as if i just threw my hard earned money in the toilet.


Thankfully, I was able to buy a Def tech Supercube One for under 500, which despite its 13hz claim (yeah, you'll get 13hz if your room is the size of a closet), sounded great for movies. That little 10" sub with two passive 10s raped the UFW-12, and barely gave out when 20hz tones were called for.


So now what, I have a big 135pd sub in the basement that I hate to move, and it sees little use. It actually acts as a pedestal for the supercube 1, as I have no other place for another subwoofer. Its quite an eye sore.


So about 3-4 weeks ago, I contacted Kevin Taylor about his small block upgrade that can enhance the UFW-12 low end frequency response to 20hz-in room (or lower depending on room) minus all the problems that AV123 never fix.


I removed the amplifier which was very easy, and mailed to his location. I got to tell you, what an incredibly fast turn around time. He mailed back to me literally after the day he received it. Thank you Kevin!


First and foremost, this is NOT a technical review, nor do I have any equipment for measurement. So everything is based purely on my ears and my personal listening experience. Here is a link to my equipment list on audiogon.

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...ead&keyw&zzatc


I have the subwoofer for about 2-3 weeks now, and I used for everything from music, to movies, to gaming. Room size 14x18x9.


For music, subwoofer crossover set around 70-80hz on dial:


Supercube 1: sounds very fun, with lots of punch. Its boomy, but in a good good way. All the instruments has a "hit your chest" kind of feel. It never really blended in correctly with my ATCs as I can clearly notice the sub playing, especially with solo jazz or small scale music. However, on rock, techno, and r&b, it was very enjoyable!


Original UFW-12: every sounded great, and blends in with my ATC monitors seamlessly. Very tight bass. It never really lacked output or low end response for music. However, at times, I thought i was missing something, mid bass sometime sounded uneven, especially with music with alot of punch. I noticed when I started comparing the same CD with my ATC SCM20/ UFW-12 combo to my cousins ATC SCM35 floorstanders (it has a dedicated 8" woofer). Then I saw the graph that Seaton and Kevin posted and showed a little u-shaped dip between 30 and 50hz. Maybe that was why, who knows.


Motor City UFW-12: Music definitely sounds better. Bass is quicker and more detailed, especially in the midbass. Somehow it made the sub a bit punchier and fuller, yet keeping its original integrity, tight and powerful. Whereas the original combo is 80% of ATC scm35 towers in bass, the Motor City combo is now about 90-95% of the 35. VERY VERY HAPPY! Plus the fact I can shake my foundation, I don't envy my cousins ATC floorstanders. Now I have to jump up to the ATC SCM50 as an upgrade!


In music, its basically the complete opposite of the Supercube 1. People coming from subs similiar to supercube may find subs like Motor City UFW-12 boring and lacking, but give it some time, and you may realize how distracting "fun" subs are for music, and how much more live presence a good tight sub can do for your system.


Now for the moment we all been waiting for, movies. Does it still fart and flutter on movies?


Lets just say I can finally watch U-571 without having the sub bottoming out and the driver physically "clapping" at me.


Supercube One: again, very fun subwoofer. It may say 13hz, but I know that thing can barely hit it to the mid 20s. In real world analysis, its not much of a sub, but the way it produce bass for movies, seem like its a much bigger sub, and mimics deep bass. Again, Lots of "in your chest" bass, without resonating the walls and pictures. I sit fairly close to my subs, and turn it up pretty loud. The supercube does have a fair amount of driver movement, and at times, during loud and heavy scenes, I can hear the excursion clearly. Overall, for a small subwoofer, it does really well. I do miss it at times, because it makes every track fun to listen to. Distracting at times, but fun with videogames or when having non-audiophile friends over for a good time.


Original UFW-12: Unbearable for movies with any type of bass below 30hz as it makes very weird mechanical noise that even Audyssey EQ can not fix. Actually, Audyssey EQ makes the mechanical noise even worst. Supercube one destroys the UFW for movies, at less then half the size. Embarassing.


Motor City UFW-12: Bye bye Supercube 1. Now this is a REAL subwoofer! WOW, let me say that I did not know that the sub can go that low, and loud! When watching movies, I get the "in your chest" feeling plus the having the room/wall/foundation rattling (similiar way that my HSU TN1220 used to, darn i miss that sub for movies). Because I sit close to my subwoofer, I can notice subwoofer movement. Only on extremely low and powerful tracks (Like Tron Legacy), I can hear the driver move faintly. However, the farting and clapping from the original UFW-12 is COMPLETELY GONE! Its a miracle!


My previous subwoofers were Infinity Servo SSW-212, HSU TN1220 (hated the look), and SVS PB10isd. Sold everything to afford my ATC's and mono amps. Needed something temporarily, So I bought the original UFW-12 for 400 dollars 2-3yrs ago. It sounded great for music with the ATCs, so never bother to sell or upgrade... until I had to use it for movies. Then fortunately, dedicated audiophiles like Kevin Taylor and Mark Seaton took time out of their lives to solve the issues that plaque the UFW. So for an additional 200, I was able to get a reference level subwoofer to match my system without shelling out 1-2K for a seal sub with power from REL. Not bad for a 600 dollar sub, and for it to match a very fast and accurate monitor from ATC (a very hard speaker to coordinate with any subwoofers), that alone tells you how well the sub does.


So for people with the original UFW-12, I say do it! For 200 dollars, its a no brainer! It may completely demolish your upgraditis (unless your room is the size of a stadium, then there is always those big 15 inchers you can get from Kevin and Seaton and the likes). Highly recommended, and I enjoy it enough to order a 2nd UFW-12 to do a stereo sub for my ATCs.
 

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Seems odd that you had so much mechanical noise in your room which is roughly the same size that Ed tested this sub in in his room (which was 2000cubic feet)...

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...06-part-6.html


Sub seems to run into compression below 25hz, but has significant limiters in place which I would have thought would reduce/eliminate those noises.


In any event, for $200 as you say, seems like a no-brainer. Assume they are just beefing up the caps in the amplifier to allow it to draw more power? Seems like a beefy/nice driver in that unit and was likely under powered.
 

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I would about guarantee that that is the main part of the upgrade. I had an old M&K MX-125 that was farting and clanking. I took out the amp, replaced the bad caps and all that went away.
 

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Kinnithy


I am very glad your happy with the upgrade, these subs can be real performers.


PBC

As far as the noises heard in the original, they were NOT the driver for the most part, but the limiting in the amp! The upgrade is a complete rework of the limiting and EQ as it was completely botched in the original. There is actually nothing done to the power supply, I am just using the power correctly now
 

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There you have it, right from the horses mouth. It's a great upgrade package Kevin!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandbagger
Kinnithy


I am very glad your happy with the upgrade, these subs can be real performers.


PBC

As far as the noises heard in the original, they were NOT the driver for the most part, but the limiting in the amp! The upgrade is a complete rework of the limiting and EQ as it was completely botched in the original. There is actually nothing done to the power supply, I am just using the power correctly now
Yeah, the driver "looks" quite competent (from what one can tell by looking at a driver anyhow!
) , hence why I thought it had something to do with the amps. Just surprised that Ed didn't mention any odd noises in his review. Maybe (and with AV123 it's a valid possibility) the initial or review units were QA'd much better in the beginning and as they changed suppliers/reduced prices like everything else in that company things fell apart.


Anyhow, great to see for $200 one can greatly improve on their existing sub...
 

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This upgrade is just to the EQ/circuitry of the UFW amplifier (no replacement).


You're thinking of the other upgrade path which was to replace the 12" woofer with a 15" woofer from AE Speakers (and possibly a new amp, though I can't recall exactly), which involves cutting a larger opening for the 15" driver (obviously).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc /forum/post/20779030


Yeah, the driver "looks" quite competent (from what one can tell by looking at a driver anyhow!
) , hence why I thought it had something to do with the amps. Just surprised that Ed didn't mention any odd noises in his review. Maybe (and with AV123 it's a valid possibility) the initial or review units were QA'd much better in the beginning and as they changed suppliers/reduced prices like everything else in that company things fell apart.


Anyhow, great to see for $200 one can greatly improve on their existing sub...


I'm surprise as well, if I he would have mention it, I may have never bought the sub, new or used, but, then again, he did "hint" at it (slighty).
 

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Mike


This is an amp only fix for people with the UFW-12.


You are probably thinking of the UFW-12HR that av123 sold right before the end. I also have a fix for the original amp to work with that driver when the HR amp that av123 used in the kit fails. Notice how I used the word WHEN, there has been a rather High failure rate on those amps also.



Along with the upgrade kits, I have a few of the original Sound Art China built Cabinets that can be built into 12" or 15" subs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil /forum/post/20779512


you said you just replaced the amp? i thought the upgrade was for the driver too? or am i missing something?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandbagger /forum/post/20803298


Mike


This is an amp only fix for people with the UFW-12.


You are probably thinking of the UFW-12HR that av123 sold right before the end. I also have a fix for the original amp to work with that driver when the HR amp that av123 used in the kit fails. Notice how I used the word WHEN, there has been a rather High failure rate on those amps also.



Along with the upgrade kits, I have a few of the original Sound Art China built Cabinets that can be built into 12" or 15" subs.

chalk me up to one who has the UFW-12HR and my amp just died
popping, screeching sounds from the amp.

I don't have the original amp or woofer. How much for replacing my amp? Or am I better off buying a new sub? Thinking time to upgrade to a svs sub..
 
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