Avantone MixCubes Full-Range Mini Reference Monitors
Avantone MixCubes Full-Range Mini Reference Monitors
While originally inspired buy the 5C sound cubes from decades ago, the Avantone MixCubes have become the industry standard in studios around the world and have become the #1 best selling speaker of its type in history.
To build a full range, rugged, mini-reference monitor to replace the older, aging, 5C Sound Cubes that are still in use worldwide, while offering an improved, more linear frequency response. A full year was spent studying all versions & revisions of the famous little 5C Sound Cubes. Research revealed that there were several driver versions released over the years with widely varying frequency response characteristics. We chose the smoothest, most linear, full-range version of those 5C models to use as our testing benchmark. Next we analyzed their response characteristics in an anechoic chamber and proceeded to implement design upgrades. Realizing the importance of replacing a respected "industry-standard reference monitor" we began by replicating its basic size, function, and sonic character.
We wanted to take it up a notch though...
First, we addressed the Cabinet Design... 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.
Second, We addressed the driver design... 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.
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.
Amplification & Wiring
Recommended power rating is 50-200 watts of solid state power or 10-100 watts of tube power. It is advisable to use a high quality studio-grade power amplifier. The metal binding posts on the rear of the speaker can accept bare wire, spade lugs, or single or dual banana plugs. It is best to use 12 -16 AWG wire for runs longer than 6 feet.
When positioning the AVANTONE 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.
- 5.25" Shielded Passive Full range 8 ohm drivers
- 6 1/2" Cube Cabinet with multiple coats of "Retro-Cream" High Gloss lacquer finish
- Precision-milled high-rigidity MDF cabinet sides & baffle for low resonance
- Radiused corners & edges reduce edge diffraction for better imaging
- Custom Cone is crafted using New Zealand pulp with mica fibers added for light weight & rigidity
- Cloth surround made in Japan to uniform thickness tolerances
- Top Plate and T-Yoke of driver are made of Sumitomo 1008 low carbon steel
- The 43oz. low distortion motor structure magnets are Y- 40 GRADE (MIL-SPEC)
- High-Rigidity DIE-CAST Aluminum frame with polished mounting bezel
- Nickel Plated "high-end" binding posts (properly spaced for dual banana plugs) - insulated for CE compliance
- Anodized aluminum milled terminal plate
- 1/4" soft Neoprene Pad is recessed into the cabinet base to serve as a non-skid acoustic isolator
- Standard size (5/8"- 27 threading) female microphone stand mount is built into the cabinet base
Dynamic Shielded Full-Range Pair
90Hz - 17,000Hz (useful musical range)
Nominal 8 ohms
SPL / Sensitivity
93dB @ 1w / 1 meter
From 10-200 watts
5.25" cast aluminum frame
Cabinet sealed / 18mm MDF / Dacron acoustical stuffing
3-way CE rated plastic encased metal binding posts (accepts up to 12-gauge wire, spade lugs, dual banana plugs)
6 lbs 11 oz (per speaker)
165mm x 165mm x 165mm (6 1/2" x 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" in)
"...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, 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
"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