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Avatone Cubes

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by audiokid, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Finally took the leap and bought a pair of these little guys. I'm finding I need something that hones in on the mids and I hope these do it for me. I've been doing some tests on my HD TV speakers and find it helps me a bit so what the heck... I've heard great things about Avatones so we will see.
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The thing about auratones one of my co workers always stresses about why they are useful for judging the mids is a lack of crossover. So you don't get the phase distortions inherent w crossovers in the speaker design. I get mixed opinions when I talk to people about them, some people love them some don't. My boss is of the opposite view and believes that the lack of cross over doesn't mean better translation to the world because most speaker systems incorporate them.

    obviously headphones don't neither so all the tablets and smartphones. I think it's cool that the mix cubes are active. I'd be curious to hear what you think of them.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I used the old auratones back in the late 70's and early 80's, with varying degrees of success and failure... I suppose I kind of look at them in much the same way as I do the venerable NS10's... that you can't really expect any sense of smooth or pleasing fidelity, but that they are what they are, a form of reference, and in that frame, there's no doubt that both have become industry standards over the years.

    Some guys I knew used them exclusively for vocals and guitars, while others would reference an entire mix through them (with bass, drums, lower frequency synth patches, etc...)

    A few cats I respected used them because they considered them to be similar to that of car radio speakers, and back in those days, before the advent of monster subs in trunks and Bose systems coming stock in new cars, ( ear buds were still in the future) the theory was that they would offer the greatest accuracy for a mix when aimed at those car "factory standard" audio systems... but, those older frames of reference are pretty dated now...Although I still get the theory that they are a good source of reference. I'm not sure I could mix on them over a long period of time, though.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the Avatones as you put a few miles under their tires.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    yikes, after reading both your opinions, I hope I'm not wasting my money on these. I've read some guys swear by them. Some only use one and put it in Mono. I guess its just another reference that you either find helpful or more added clutter. Less clutter I hope not.
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's just another frame of reference, Chris. I don't think you are going to find that these will magically improve your mixes, because

    A. you already know what you're doing
    B. you know your room and
    C. you have nice gear in a nice environment.

    I wouldn't necessarily consider them a "waste" of money, (nor would I necessarily consider them a "must-have", either) - they'll simply give you another sonic POV. If you find your mixes aren't translating like you would hope to other mediums, perhaps these will be of help... but I don't think you're going to jump up and want to hi-five them.... LOL

    And hey, don't take my word for it. Just because I didn't care all that much for them doesn't mean you won't... remember, I didn't have what you are getting with these active cubes... I had the old aura-tones.
  6. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I like small singles like these as they ( IMHO ) ted to be telling in the mids as to the mix.
    I use some old yamaha DM-01 monitors I have had for ever.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I love em. Get the mids correct on these and all is chocolate flavored gravy. I use my Tannoy System 8's for mids. Concentric speakers so no time alignment problems. Thats what you get most of all from the Cubes..lack of time align and phase problems.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Got them. They are beautifully made, wow!.

    I can't say they sound good but (my hearing needs to be re trained) and that's what I was expecting (mid mid mid). I think they are going to serve me really well though. I'm on this mid range focus kick lately. Bought a Pulse MEQ-5 Pultec , which is a mid range EQ and now these.

    I find its so easy to over compensate top and bottom on a mix before its actually right. Mixing without too much top and bottom end has got to be my biggest challenge of 35 years.
    After a few hours on these tonight, I think they helped me get a mix close much faster. Love them so far.

    72 hours to break in.
    You can screw them to a mic stand too. Very cool.

    If you see me driving a new truck in your neighborhood, they paid off lol!

  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    If I see you driving through my neighborhood in a new truck you'd better be picking me up so we can go fishin'. ;)
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


  11. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I've had my active cubes for 3 years now, they are my "C" monitors and most of the time they are very good for "Hey you missed this", sometimes they don't show me anything I missed on my other monitors, and when I do miss something it's always in the high-mids.
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i love Auratones ... cool thing is you can carry them out to the live room and set them up for vocalists who don't like headphones. use the equidistant triangle with the speakers out of phase ... send a mono mix to the Auratones ... "Cowboy Jack" lives!
    bigtree and kmetal like this.
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Back in the late 1970s, we had AURATONES, powered from my Crown D-60. Along with our Mastering Labs, Big Reds (Altec Lansing 604 E) and JBL 4311's. While I didn't care for them much myself, back then, I've had something of a turnaround in recent years. In 1996, when I obtained my Neve console a pair of FOSTEX, 6301 monitors were also thrown in. I chuckled and thought that maybe I would stick them in my bedroom? Along with another pair of JBL 4311's. But it really wasn't until that time that I felt and heard this revelation. These did not have the fidelity but they most assuredly had the accuracy and single point stereo source drive, capability, I had actually been missing all those years. They weren't even like the duplex, UREI 811, Tannoy duplex types. Right... no crossovers were harmed in that production. No crossover distortion. No phase shifting. No time alignment problems. Just the incredibly solid sound. From teeny tiny little speakers that were basically 1/9th of a Bose 901, Pentagon shaped direct/reflecting speaker, without their lousy equalizer.

    The difference that exists here between the power and unpowered 4 inch single monitor type speakers is that the drive polarity. With the AURATONES, which were passive, you could choose your polarity. With the self powered types, that is not an option. But I've had no issues with my 6301 B's, in that respect. I love those little suckers! In fact I find myself in something of a quandary today? The single point stereo source of a single driver, just can't be beat. Along with the lack of crossover distortion and other gobbledygook. So it's almost embarrassing turning off the JBL and KRK monitors LOL. The difference is night and day. Which was primarily my original reason for having wanted in the beginning to have installed large flat electrostatic monitors in my control room. The knowledge of the harsh reality of turning those types of too loudly, is a very costly mistake to make. One that you knew, would be made all too often. And not being wealthy... it was a no-brainer to not go to that particular route. I just keep wondering why there hasn't been more research and development into electrostatic drivers? They just can't get them to move the amount of air necessary for good low-frequency response and not blow up. With little arcing pins of electricity blowing holes through the membrane. Whoops. Thankfully I never did anything like that, ever. But the thought of having 2 large, single point source, radiating panels, it is still a very intriguing thought. And that's what I want. Likely ain't going to happen? Not within my lifetime or budget? And a giant ribbon tweeter definitely doesn't cut the mustard. Not yet. Though I am working on an alternative idea. One that might accomplish exactly what we all need? And it could be a game changer.

    I'll likely have them operational in the next couple of months.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I have an ancient pair of Altec Lansing "Auratone knock-offs" that I picked up from a studio that was going out of business back around 1982 or so....

    Having worked with Auratones many times (many, many times) I can say with all confidence that the Altecs I have sound exactly like the old Auratone 5C's did.

    I power mine with a Crown 2020 (also ancient LOL) and they do exactly what I need them to do, which is to give me that single-point reference sound...

    No frills, no special audio magic "ju-ju", created from the results of special paper made from the Eclesiastical Urine Monkey fecies-infused bark of the the nearly extinct gabba-gabba bhang-bhang tree ... nope ... these are made out of your basic 1970's era chipboard, covered with a genuine fake-grained white wood veneer. LOL

    Although, they don't look quite as nice as they used to; time has taken its toll on their physical appearance - what was once white is now a kind of "dingy cream" color, but they still sound exactly the same as when I originally got them.

    They are what they are... and I don't mind what they are.


  15. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    Hey Chris ,have a listen to Michael Jacksons " You are not alone" on them , (y)
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Holy wow!
    I'm guessing you are talking to the other Chris, but, I just loaded You are not alone on my Avatone and I cannot believe how good they sound. WOW, thank you for sharing this.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAyKJAtDNCw
  17. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    It was for you audiokid, I was just scrolling through different songs on the aura tones and for a minute i thought it was my
    other speakers.:)
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    ha, me too, I had to double check and couldn't believe my ears. I had no idea the Cubes would sound this good. Are you not totally blown away? I had respect for them before, now even more.
  19. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

    Let me know when find something else that sounds as big on them,
    Thats the only mix Ive heard so big.
    Yeah its great to hear how far they can go with it , wow .

    Just looked at Wiki and R kelly wrote the song and MJ and he produced it /
    Didnt have info on mixers etc.

    But the rights were transfered to 2 belgian brothers Eddy and Danny van Passell, who wrote this.
    A bit off topic but couldnt help myself, still better than turning on the news ;)

    View: http://youtu.be/8PrJ7jf8cbI
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for sharing this info too. The track sounds pretty basic without MJ. I bet a big part of the keyboard is an Akai S1100 or around that product. I wonder how they connected with MJ people.I'll read up on this more, thanks

    I never thought I could suck out that much Mids. Is that what you are thinking? The high end is really coming through well. Listening to this on other monitors, I expected the highs to be way hotter , yet not the case, still sounds great.
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