Avantone Active MixCube Powered Full-Range Mini Reference Monitors
Avantone Active MixCubes Powered Full-Range Mini Reference Monitors
The Avantone MixCubes are shielded, full-range mini reference monitors. Their design is inspired by the legacy of the 5C Sound Cubes used in virtually all-major studios for the last 25 years.
Active Recording / Mixdown Monitors
The Avantone Active Mixcubes are designed to be high-resolution, full-range powered mini-reference monitors for fixed or remote locations.
The secondary engineering facet was to create a timeless design that compliments a single full-range transducer.
Studios primarily use 2-way & 3-way larger monitors designed to represent a wide range reference viewpoint at higher listening levels. However, in this newly developing age of High Definition Audio, there is still a need to also hear what your mix will sound like when played back over small “bass-challenged” systems such as televisions, clock radios, computers, car stereos, iPod docking stations, etc. It is important to make mixing judgments based partially on listening to reference monitors that will not impart tonal anomalies caused by crossovers or inferior full range drivers. Particular attention is always paid to the critical mid-range vocal/guitar/keyboard areas. This is where having a full-range monitor without a crossover is truly revealing. Ten months of R&D comparative listening & tweaking went into the voicing of the AVANTONE MixCubes. The result is a very smooth sounding, full range upgrade from the original 5C Sound Cubes. Listening tests reveal that the MixCubes have a smooth, more open, transparent top end response with extended bass while maintaining their basic original character.
The original 5C Sound Cubes™ were made of ½” particleboard covered with a glue-on wood grain contact paper. We chose to use thicker, denser MDF board because of its high rigidity and inherent low-resonance characteristics. We started with a 165mm (6 1/2") sealed cube design with radiused edges. We then chose an elegant Polyurethane high gloss “RETRO-CREAM” finish. The originals had either screws or on later models plastic binding posts mounted on a recessed plastic cup. We upgraded to high-end nickel plated, machined solid metal binding posts (Dual banana spacing) mounted on a black anodized ,milled and silk-screened aluminum terminal plate. Next we added a 7mm thick neoprene pad embedded into the base of the cabinet to serve as a skid-resistant acoustic isolator. Additionally, for creative mounting situations, we recessed an industry standard 5/8”-27 mic stand mount into the base.
The originals were a basic 5” stamped frame design. We designed a proprietary 5.25” die cast aluminum frame driver/cone assembly to exceed the performance of the originals. The mounting bezel is then polished for an elegant appearance. The paper cone, chosen for its musical character, is custom designed & crafted using the finest New Zealand pulp with mica fibers added for lighter weight & rigidity. The cloth surround is made in Japan to exacting uniform thickness tolerances. The Top Plate and T-Yoke of driver are made of Sumitomo 1008 low carbon steel enabling the highest modeled flux density in the gap. The magnets are Y- 40 GRADE (MIL-SPEC) yielding a 43oz. High Power-low distortion motor structure.
We designed the amp module from the ground up to be a true professional-grade amplifier. It incorporates “overkill” concepts in component selection as well as safety. The result is a “no-compromise” amp with robust headroom characteristics that will rival the performance of much higher priced studio rack mount amps.
This “combo XLR” input accepts a BALANCED male XLR plug as well as a 3-conductor BALANCED TRS ¼” or a 2 conductor UNBALANCED TS ¼” male plug. For unbalanced operation with a TS connector the minus signal is automatically grounded.
This variable control adjusts the sensitivity of the signal that appears at the input. Rotating the control clockwise increases the sensitivity while a counter-clockwise rotation decreases sensitivity. The adjustable gain range is from -30 to +6 dB. A setting of +6 allows a full, unimpeded signal to be sent to the amplifier. The detented gain positions allow for repeatable settings between speakers for proper matching. Please Note… when the signal appearing at the input is too hot, the amplifier can overload causing distortion and possible damage to the speaker. If overload occurs, attenuate (decrease) the input level by turning the knob counter-clockwise a few clicks.
This illuminated switch turns the amplifier section on and off. The unit is still receiving power from the transformer however.
This input is only to be use with the proprietary AVANTONE Power Supply. Tighten the cable/connector securely for reliable operation. Note: There is a switch on the power supply for selecting the proper AC/MAINS operating voltage for your location.
Ground Lift Switch
By engaging this switch the pin 1 shield is lifted at the input jack. This can be used to aid in ground loop control of the incoming analog line signal.
When positioning the Avantone Active MixCubes on stands or console bridges it is best to keep them at ear level and slightly angled in towards the engineer. Since they are shielded it is ok to place them near a CRT video monitor or TV without causing any problems. The bottom mic stand mounts will also allow you creative positioning options in unusual studio playback situations.
Active (Self-powered) shielded full-range stereo pair
90Hz - 17,000Hz (useful musical range)
Nominal 8 ohms
104db @ 1 meter = 1%THD (PINK NOISE)
60 watts RMS@ .005% THD (1KHz)
Amp Frequency Response
22Hz-50KHz +0dB/- 3dB (90Hz-50KHz +/-0dB)
S/N -113 dB
0dBu (.775VRMS) input at maximum volume (+6dB) = 104dB SPL
Proprietary design 5.25" cast aluminum frame / paper cone / shielded
sealed / 18mm MDF / Dacron acoustical stuffing
XLR & TRS (COMBO JACK) +4/Balanced and -10 unbalanced
7 lb 5 oz (per speaker)
165mm x 165mm x 165mm (6 1/2" x 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" in)
Full Resolution Images
“…consistently flat in the midrange — the same characteristics that made the Auratone a valued listening reference. They got plenty loud without distortion and showed off the vocal, snare, toms, upper range of the kick and solo instruments in a number of mixes, just as I expected. I'm a big believer in listening to tracks across a wide range of speakers. The Avantone Active MixCubes offer another chance to evaluate creative studio output and make judgements regarding how my work would translate across a wide range of systems… these are a no-brainer for those wanting another quick-and-dirty reference to help in the quest for tracks that translate.”
- Kevin Becka | Technical Editor - Mix Magazine
"... the MixCubes yield a microscopic-style view of critical midrange tracks-such as guitar, keys or vocals-which would fall somewhere along a crossover point on most other monitors. The Avant MixCubes are serious audio tools that fulfill a necessary role in any pro studio setup and at a most reasonable street pricing of $235/pair, there should be some square, butter-cream speakers gracing your meter bridge in the future."
- George Peterson | Mix Magazine
“… as a proxy for bass-challenged consumer playback systems, used alternately with full-bandwidth monitors, the MixCubes provide unique and invaluable insight.… despite their Lilliputian size and band-limited response, these are not toys or entry-level monitors. The MixCubes are professional tools that provide a highly useful alternate reference when in pursuit of the perfect mix that will translate well to consumer playback systems. Simply put, these are outstanding monitors. What's more, the price is ridiculously affordable. The Avantone MixCubes get my highest recommendation.”
- Michael Cooper | Electronic Musician Magazine
“Probably the clearest Auratone substitute available as a current product is Avantone's MixCube. This is a great little speaker, which sees daily use in my own mix system and which in some respects actually improves on the original Auratone's specs...The MixCube would top my list in terms of price/performance ratio...This speaker is one of the best monitoring tools there is, and I use it every day. No other speaker I've heard at anything like this price provides the kind of razor-sharp balance perspective that the MixCube can, and I'd not want to have to judge bass, kick, or vocal levels without it. It's also fantastic for working in the less-than-ideal acoustics of most real-world small studios, and in this respect it's easily one of the best bang-for-buck products available for anyone trying to create commercial-grade mixes on a shoe-string."
- Mike Senior | Author of 'Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio', SOS Columnist
“Back in the 70's we referenced every mix on the Auratone Cubes especially as a final check on bass guitar and kick drum. 30 years later I finally gave them to the kids because I got a pair of Avantone Mixcubes. We A/B 'd them and the Avantones are much better sounding than the Auratones, less midrange bump and more accurate. We have already improved our bass sound. We love them!"
- Randy Bachman | Recording Artist (The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Ringo Starr All Starr Band, Bachman-Cummings)
"I've used them in mastering to check vocal, low end and overall consistency from track to track for 3 years or so. I've suggested them to dozens of clients who have all had great results using them in conjunction with a full range speaker. How far out front is the vocal? How is the kick compared to the bass? How's the image? Hit that Speaker B button, maybe also the Mono button, and off you go..."
- Brian Lucey | Magic Garden Mastering
"We are the first Italian mastering studio to adopt your speakers as second reference monitors. They are incredible to check the midrange, expecially the right balance of the voice or the kick and bass!"
- Alessandro Giordani | Synchronia Studio - Rome