Avantone Active MixCube Mini Reference Monitors

Updated June 7, 2018 |  by Hollagully

A list of the best studio monitors for a home studio would not be complete without a grot box. Grot Box is slang for a small, low-quality, bass-challenged studio monitor used to verify the integrity of a mix by simulating playback from cheap consumer-playback devices such as radios, televisions, computers, portable boomboxes, etc.

avantone-mixcube

Avantone MixCube

  • Max SPL: 104dB
  • Frequency Response: 90Hz-17kHz (Accessible Musical Range)
  • 5.25″ shielded full-range 8 ohm drivers
  • 60 watt Class A/B amplifier
  • Connections: Inputs: XLR & TRS (combo jack) +4 balanced and -10 unbalanced
  • Weight: 7Lbs

A list of the best studio monitors for a home studio would not be complete without a grot box. Grot Box is slang for a small, low-quality, bass-challenged studio monitor used to verify the integrity of a mix by simulating playback from cheap consumer-playback devices such as radios, televisions, computers, portable boomboxes, etc.

People listen on such a plethora of devices — it is impossible that each one will have the capacity to reproduce the range of sounds you so meticulously sculpted on your full-range studio monitors. Therefore it is the mix engineers job to assure that a mix translates reasonably well across all devices, both lo‑fi and hi‑fi, making a strong impact no matter what the listening medium. Enter the Avantone MixCube mono reference monitor.

The original grot box was the Auretone 5C, a legendary but previously discontinued model of reference monitors that garnered a reputation for sounding so horrid that any mix to come through them sounding reasonably intact ought to similarly survive playback through even the lowest quality of end-user systems — an important consideration for mass market releases. Upon the death of Auretone’s founder, Jack Wilson, in 2005 production of the 5C’s stopped completely, leaving a hole in the market for competitors like Avantone to fill.

This “horrid” sound has a frequency response that is quite heavy on the mid-range, the essential section of the mix featuring key melodic instruments such as vocals, keyboards, lead guitars, horns, etc. As a limited number of audio systems sufficiently manage low-frequency information, and high frequencies are easily lost if music is listened to outside of the “sweet spot” or overshadowed through mismanagement of frequencies, a mix on this speaker is much more likely to translate successfully across all speakers.

It is very common for engineers listen to reference a mix in mono through a single Avantone speaker as they have an exceptional ability to communicate relative balance information. This removes problems of inter-speaker phasing giving a mono-compatibility check and an overall sound indication of a well balanced result.

Avantone MixCube have now become studio staples around the world, becoming renowned in their own right even as a new breed of Auratone have re-entered the market. Professional engineers everywhere use either a pair, or more commonly, a single speaker during mixdown. Grot boxes are not “everything” speakers. They are more complimentary to your main studio monitors. They serve a very crucial and unique function for anyone serious about obtaining a radio-ready production.

Simply put, the only regret you’ll have after buying an Avantone MixCube is that you didn’t grab one earlier. 

Further Reading:

To help you out on your quest for the perfect pair of home studio monitors, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that feature similar characteristics to the Tannoy Reveal 402.

We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Home Studio Monitors that will inform you on the right size to get for the space your working in, frequency response, driver characteristics and much more to build yourself an optimal monitoring setup.

Alternatives:

Genelec 8010A, Tannoy Reveal 402 

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