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AES 139: The return of the Auratone Sound Cube

The new 5Cs can be seen and heard on its US distributor, TransAudio Group's, stand

Auratone will introduce a brand-new version of its iconic Super Sound Cube monitor at the 139th AES Convention, which starts today.

Overseen by new Auratone owner and president Alex Jacobsen – the grandson of Jack Wilson, who founded the company and invented the original Auratone monitor – and other members of the Wilson/Jacobsen family, the new Sound Cubes can be seen and heard on the stand (#935) of its US distributor, TransAudio Group.

TransAudio will also be giving away a pair of the speakers every day of the show to one sweepstakes winner.

Designed by Wilson in his California garage in 1958, the Auratone Super Sound Cube was beloved by studios and recording trucks worldwide in the 1970s and ’80s owing to its affordability and use as a common denominator for monitoring. The new 5C Super Sound Cube has “the exact same sound and magical properties of vintage Auratone cubes”, says TransAudio.

“When I first heard that the [new] Auratones were being provided by Alex, I asked for a vintage pair and a new production pair to play around with in my office,” comments Brad Lunde, founder and president of TransAudio Group. “I put up some great mixes and some terrible mixes and some individual tracks and it’s obvious why so many engineers swear by Auratones. They make good mixes obviously good and bad mixes obviously bad. Moreover, and unlike cheap Auratone knock-offs [Avantone’s Mixcube springs to mind – Online Ed], Alex’s new production sounds exactly like the vintage Auratones. There was no attempt to improve or alter the sound at all.”

“It took a lot of time,” says Jacobsen (pictured). “I pored over box after box of my grandfather’s specs, drawings and records. I found new suppliers in the USA and carefully tested all of the huge number of possibilities to find combinations that were repeatable and that had the exact same sound as my grandfather’s vintage Sound Cubes. Our standards are strict because these are Auratones – they’re not a knock-off!

“It was daunting, but I got help from other members of the family, including my mum, who remembers helping my grandfather in the shop in the 1970s.”

“In an age when more and more consumers are listening to music and watching programming using computer speakers, earbuds, car stereos, Bluetooth speakers and so on, Auratones have a new relevance,” explains Lunde. “Auratone Sound Cubes are a more professional and consistent way to check your mixes than running out to your unique car or listening on your unique boom box – and at $350 a pair, the price is right. In fact, they’re a great option for engineers on the go: it’s easy to take a small pair of Auratones and a small power amp and have an in-the-box recording or mix station set up anywhere. And the beauty, of course, is that when it sounds good on the Auratones, it will sound good anywhere!”