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Avantone mixcubes remorse?
Old 11th March 2017
  #1
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m_gant's Avatar
 

Avantone mixcubes remorse?

Anyone buy a set of active mixcubes and have remorse?

I'm only 3 days in to my purchase and they are not what I expected.

I have a well treated mix room with mains that I know very well. I seldom have trouble with mid frequencies (mixcubes advantage)

However, I still do the "car test" and hear things that need to be tweaked. My stock door panel crappy single driver Nissan speakers.

I was hoping mixcubes would eliminate this "car test" and somewhat resemble crappy car speakers. But they do not...

And then there's the well known ground issue. The cubes buzz unless I use a ground lift. They have a massive power supply and ground switches.

So, anyone else have remorse? Right now I'm forcing myself to listen to them.

Some perspective would be great!
Old 11th March 2017
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I prefer a small set of 5 inch speakers like the Yamaha hs5, or Focal alpha 5. Both have good mid presence, and are not expensive. There are a few other options I'd choose over the Avantones for an alternate reference with good mids.
Some people like the Avantones though, so it's up to our ears to decide.
Old 11th March 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
Are you using one or two? I took the advice of using a single Avatone Mixcube and I couldn't be happier with the results. Very nice translation to various systems.
Old 11th March 2017
  #4
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I built my own pair of passive cubes. I had to have two, mono didn't work for me. There's just no good place to put a mono speaker, all my mixers, keyboards, and screens are going up the middle. My Drawmer MC2.1 monitor controller has a mono button that accomplishes the same function with any of my speakers, including the cubes.

The reason I went DIY is I do not believe in the cost of the commercial options. You can see what I did in my DIY blog link in my signature, if you are curious. I really do love these speakers.

I used to own a single passive Avantone Mixcube, and I did enjoy that fairly well also. I was not disappointed. Ultimately I needed something with a darker finish, and I needed two. If one could find a pair of black cubes for a good price, I would say go for it. Or if you're feeling industrious, go ahead and build some. They really do something special that deserves some of the hype. I don't think you have to get too stuck on the brand name either.
Old 11th March 2017
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
I'm only 3 days in to my purchase and they are not what I expected.

I have [...] mains that I know very well.
How long did it take you to learn your mains?
Old 11th March 2017
  #6
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m_gant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyfreeman View Post
How long did it take you to learn your mains?
Good point.
Old 11th March 2017
  #7
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High's and lows from mains, mids from !one Mixcube. The mixcube comes to grave with me
Old 11th March 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
I don't have any hum or noise problems with my Mixcubes. I find them very reliable as a second reference. That said, I have to admit that I never was comfortable with NS-10s or Auratones when they were all the rage. I didn't expect to like the Mixcubes much, but I'm way beyond like with them.
Old 11th March 2017
  #9
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lasso's Avatar
 

I love them - when I think I'm about done w a mix I always switch to the mixcubes, listen really low in mono and stereo - reality check. No noises here either
Old 11th March 2017
  #10
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Also no ground /hum issues here, so you must have a grounding loop problem.
Old 12th March 2017
  #11
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Midnight Oil Audio's Avatar
 

I love my single mixcube personally. It tells me where my balances should be.
Old 12th March 2017
  #12
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m_gant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
Also no ground /hum issues here, so you must have a grounding loop problem.
I have a pair of the black active ones. The only thing in my studio with a ground issue are the cubes. Appears I am not alone...

Avantone Active Mixcube Noise problem
Old 12th March 2017
  #13
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Farmboy presents's Avatar
I bought a pair but only use 1 for a mono reference. I really find it helps but it took me ages to get used to what it was telling me; it wasn't what i expected. I wouldn't be without it now. It hasn't replaced the car test but now there are far fewer car tests. Never had a ground issue. I use the other speaker on my test bench where it excells also.
Old 12th March 2017
  #14
It took me a few months to learn them. Same with NS-10s. Sometimes you really have to crank the mixcubes to get hear what's not working in the mid range.
Old 12th March 2017
  #15
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old ghost's Avatar
 

I'm in a similar boat besides the hum issue.

I've definitely experienced their usefulness for checking harshness in the mids but for general mixing I find myself wanting to correct the sound of them with eq so I tread lightly.

It has been six months of sporadic use here but I'm still waiting for them to become invaluable... I need to put more devoted time into learning them and if that doesn't work perhaps look for an alternative.
Old 12th March 2017
  #16
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Farmboy presents's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by old ghost View Post
but for general mixing I find myself wanting to correct the sound of them with eq so I tread lightly.
I felt this too for a while and it was a learning process for me to hear in terms of mix balance only and not 'tonal balance'. Which is how i think i am supposed to use the speaker. Well, that is how i use it to do what i do.
Old 12th March 2017
  #17
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old ghost's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmboy presents View Post
I felt this too for a while and it was a learning process for me to hear in terms of mix balance only and not 'tonal balance'. Which is how i think i am supposed to use the speaker. Well, that is how i use it to do what i do.
Great point, thanks.

I've definitely found them very useful for checking levels. Even subtle imbalances really jump out.
Old 12th March 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Anyone buy a set of active mixcubes and have remorse?

I'm only 3 days in to my purchase and they are not what I expected.

I have a well treated mix room with mains that I know very well. I seldom have trouble with mid frequencies (mixcubes advantage)

However, I still do the "car test" and hear things that need to be tweaked. My stock door panel crappy single driver Nissan speakers.

I was hoping mixcubes would eliminate this "car test" and somewhat resemble crappy car speakers. But they do not...

And then there's the well known ground issue. The cubes buzz unless I use a ground lift. They have a massive power supply and ground switches.

So, anyone else have remorse? Right now I'm forcing myself to listen to them.

Some perspective would be great!
I have some friends using the Trinnov system, and gosh... I heard it the other day, and it's a huge difference.

I think you probably need something to tune your room more like this than more speakers.

It's what I plan to do—either with this or another software—once I have a working room again.
Old 12th March 2017
  #19
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jono_3's Avatar
I've had mine for years, no remorse here. They need some breaking in, but afterwards they're great for doing rides.
Old 13th March 2017
  #20
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m_gant's Avatar
 

My expectations were to use them for a mastering check rather than where vocals sit, snare, riding faders. I have no problems with these aspects on my mains.

I will be holding onto them and forcing myself to listen on them.

I guess after reading some amazing albums were mixed exclusively with them, I was expecting something different.

I do find them more useful when turning them up. However, I just can't handle high listening levels anymore for extended periods.
Old 13th March 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
My expectations were to use them for a mastering check rather than where vocals sit, snare, riding faders.

I will be holding onto them and forcing myself to listen on them.

I do find them more useful when turning them up. However, I just can't handle high listening levels anymore for extended periods.
This puzzles me. What is a "mastering check" to you, and how would loud Avantones facilitate that? Listening to the Avantones at a "high listening level" is opposite of how I've seen engineers use small or bookshelf speakers, including the Auratones, Avantones, and NS10s. I honestly cannot remember anyone ever playing small speakers as loud as or louder than the mains.
If you have to resort to cranking these speakers up and "forcing myself to listen on them", perhaps you should bow to the obvious and go in a different direction. From what you say about being perfectly happy with your balances and mids translating honestly from your mains, small speakers may be absolutely unnecessary in your studio.
Old 13th March 2017
  #22
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

I was strongly considering Mixcubes but ended up stumbling upon a weird system that was kind of like a 4 track cassette with a speaker, but only stereo tracks. I bought it for $10 and it worked in the same fashion, so I never moved forward. It had a single speaker, maybe 5 inch, and enough gain to not be a totaly PITA.

Like you, I was hoping to bypass the "car test", and it really didn't do that for me. However, I could get much closer to a finished mix where the car was often just a test to verify and maybe cleaning up one or two issues, rather than a few trips around the block until it was right. It really helped me identify if the mids were muddy, that the bass came through on a not so bass heavy speaker (my car system has subs so I can't tell in my car), and if the stereo image has issues in mono. So, though it didn't eliminate that process, I found myself less reliant on it.

Now, for me, I have owned my car for 16 years but I have owned my stereo system for more like 20. I am not into super nice car stereos and don't really drive that much, but that is a lot of time to get familiar with a speaker system. Just like I did not get results instantly with any monitor upgrade, I didn't with that little speaker either, it took some time to learn it. At first, I just used it as a quick reference but once I really knew it, I would actually touch up the mix. More so, I started really listening to it more critically, which really made the difference.

Now, I ended up moving to a much smaller place and don't even have the ability for proper speaker placement, much less room treatment, but I feel at this point, I would be the person with at least 2 sets of main nearfeilds, a 3rd set (possibly) for a reference, then a mixcube as I have had the best luck with mixing from not just having good monitors, but having more reference tools. It may seem overkill but that's probably where I would be if I had a nice, dedicated room for this at the moment.
Old 13th March 2017
  #23
I bought two mixcubes. They had an instant positive effect on what I was doing.
Old 13th March 2017
  #24
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Anyone buy a set of active mixcubes and have remorse?

I'm only 3 days in to my purchase and they are not what I expected.

I have a well treated mix room with mains that I know very well. I seldom have trouble with mid frequencies (mixcubes advantage)

However, I still do the "car test" and hear things that need to be tweaked. My stock door panel crappy single driver Nissan speakers.

I was hoping mixcubes would eliminate this "car test" and somewhat resemble crappy car speakers. But they do not...

And then there's the well known ground issue. The cubes buzz unless I use a ground lift. They have a massive power supply and ground switches.

So, anyone else have remorse? Right now I'm forcing myself to listen to them.

Some perspective would be great!
I had them and experienced a similar ground hum that drove me nuts and what use I did get out of them was no where near what I had hoped for. For the money charged, they seemed a foolish indulgence on my part, but it was where I was at with it all at the time.
For small speaker and mono checks, I use 1 of 2 different Pure Evoke DAB radios ( 1 mono/1 stereo) and that set up provides a lot of information, and they cost me less than half what the Avantones set me back. Typically I find if it works on the Pure, it will translate in the car and other small appliances. Less of a learning curve than a purpose built crap sound high dollar speaker. Car systems are unreliably weird, and so varied vehicle to vehicle..
And if I didn't have those little radios I could just as easily mono a near field and roll the filters to duplicate the response of an Avantone. They look cool and add a certain "pro" look to a room but they are not all they have been cracked up to be, use wise.
But like anything, if it works for someone and they feel good about trusting something, that has more intrinsic value than any opinions by any others.
Also, I'm not certain I agree with the whole learning speakers belief, or the "burn in" to a given extent. If a speaker makes you uncomfortable or has you doubting it's response, I say move it along. There are certainly options available in the MixCube class of studio speakers. Speakers are such a personal thing, and as such, everyone is going to have a different experience, opinions will run the gamut. I personally don't think they are necessary, and are more of a gimick product than a tool. I did not hate them, I just did not like them and felt I could do better using other things.
Old 13th March 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 

If there is a hum it is not ok.

Either there is a ground loop OR the speakers are faulty. If they are faulty then why not just return them?
Old 14th March 2017
  #26
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
If there is a hum it is not ok.

Either there is a ground loop OR the speakers are faulty. If they are faulty then why not just return them?
If memory serves me, the issue with mine was with the psu. In many regions of the world, just about everything pro audio is "special order" and in most circumstances are deemed non returnable/non refundable.
It's just how it goes.
I had mine fixed [under warranty but I paid for shipping costs ] and then flogged them, can't speak for others but that was my experience. Like I said, I did not hate them, but found their purpose easy to effectively replace with other appliances. I do intend to try a different brand of passive speakers similar in function and purpose, but for now, I'm good with my little (high quality) radios, 702's,Amphion One15's and KH310's. It's a pretty reliable setup all round.
Old 14th March 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
...If a speaker makes you uncomfortable or has you doubting it's response, I say move it along.
I would argue that more than "3 days into my purchase" (OP's quote), is needed to acclimate to a set of speakers. I am sure you are not implying that you can pump out ideal mixes/masters after only 3 days with a set of speakers. You do have to learn them. Even when moving from one room to another. I guess it depends on how detailed a person is.
Old 14th March 2017
  #28
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
I would argue that more than "3 days into my purchase" (OP's quote), is needed to acclimate to a set of speakers. I am sure you are not implying that you can pump out ideal mixes/masters after only 3 days with a set of speakers. You do have to learn them. Even when moving from one room to another. I guess it depends on how detailed a person is.
My comment was exclusively pertaining to the OP topic, in a room the OP surely already knows, unless this detail was omitted in his/her post.
I did not add any presumptions, baseless slants or implications, you are correct.

But I will suggest that we learn our rooms and other rooms more so than we learn speakers, and under that exact criteria I will say again, if a speaker makes someone uncomfortable [in their room].. move it along, it's too important to a decision to waste time possibly bending and adjusting one's methods and high standards to accomodate a particular speaker presumed to be "needed" and possibly be critically wrong. To that, I would never assume that someone I do not know is anything less than an exacting detail minded person attempting to present their very best effort and this reason is why they would post a thread to hear other opinions and perspectives.
Old 14th March 2017
  #29
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m_gant's Avatar
 

I really appreciate the perspective & feedback. But I actually hate these things lol. All day in studio again today. They don't resemble anything I'd imagine a 2017 consumer listening on. Not even close to car factory stock.

I guess I just don't get it. In my experience, if you hate a piece of gear for whatever reason out of the gate, return it, regardless of the hype.

Last edited by m_gant; 14th March 2017 at 02:53 AM.. Reason: Misspell
Old 14th March 2017
  #30
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Farmboy presents's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
I really appreciate the perspective & feedback. But I actually hate these things lol. All day in studio again today. They don't resemble anything I'd imagine a 2017 consumer listening on. Not even close to car factory stock.

I guess I just don't get it. In my experience, if you hate a piece of gear for whatever reason out of the gate, return it, regardless of the hype.
I think the point is that if you can get it to sound good on those crappy speakers then it should sound good elsewhere.
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