The Avantone MixCubes Active are shielded, full-range studio 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. 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 1/2 inch particleboard covered with a glue-on wood grain contact paper. Avantone chose to use thicker, denser MDF board because of its high rigidity and inherent low-resonance characteristics. They started with a 165mm (6 1/2 inches) sealed cube design with radiused edges. They 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. Avantone 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 inches-27 mic stand mount into the base.
The originals were a basic 5 inch stamped frame design. Avantone designed a proprietary 5.25 inch 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.
Avantone 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.
Rear Panel Controls/Connections:
- Balanced Input: This combo XLR input accepts a balanced male XLR plug as well as a 3-conductor balanced TRS ¼ inch or a 2 conductor unbalanced TS ¼ inch male plug. For unbalanced operation with a TS connector the minus signal is automatically grounded.
- System Gain: 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.
- ON/OFF Switch: This illuminated switch turns the amplifier section on and off. The unit is still receiving power from the transformer however.
- AC Input: 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 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.