Old 01-26-2015, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Auratone 5c Appreciation Thread.

I don't know how many here are using or have used Auratone 5c Cubes in their studios but those who have know why they are on the meter bridges in most well known studios.
When you get your mix right on a pair of these, it will translate well pretty much everywhere.

For those who are using them, post up some pics (keep them a reasonable size though so we don't have to endure the annoyance of the horizontal scroll to read the posts!!

I have two pairs of Auratone 5c Cubes in my studio normally arranged in quad (surround) configuration. They form the midrange drivers of my custom monitors but I also use them alone in near field mixing. I drive them from a Yamaha RX-V1800 amp.

Here's a photo of my portable recording/mixing setup with a pair of Auratones:



...and here's a shot of them when used as the midranges in my mid fields:

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Old 01-26-2015, 03:48 PM   #2
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Mine are sitting on top of each other on one of the NS-10's. It took me a while to hear their full mono glory, but these days I certainly do. (external mono switch required)

[too lazy to take a photo right now ]
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:54 PM   #3
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Wish I had bought a pair cheap when they first came out!
First time I saw them was at Wessex in the 70s.... I thought they were for talkback!!!
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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no pix at the moment ...

but I have my early '80s AURATONES being driven with a fully restored/mint Dynaco S-70 tube amp. This is the first time using a tube amp for any reference monitors.

Without doubt, they are critical reference monitors.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:14 PM   #5
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Mine are sitting on top of each other on one of the NS-10's. It took me a while to hear their full mono glory, but these days I certainly do. (external mono switch required)

[too lazy to take a photo right now ]
Do you have the obligatory paper screen over those NS10 tweeters?
One of the things that really impresses me with the Auratones is their stereo imaging. If I hit the mono switch, it sounds like there's one 5c right smack in the middle, which is exactly how it should sound.
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Wish I had bought a pair cheap when they first came out!
First time I saw them was at Wessex in the 70s.... I thought they were for talkback!!!
lol
You COULD use them for talkback!!
As of 2014, it looks like the original Auratone company is manufacturing new ones that appear to be very similar to the 70s and 80s ones. http://www.auratonesoundcubes.com/
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no pix at the moment ...

but I have my early '80s AURATONES being driven with a fully restored/mint Dynaco S-70 tube amp. This is the first time using a tube amp for any reference monitors.

Without doubt, they are critical reference monitors.
Now THAT sounds like a VERY cool setup! I remember hearing a Dynaco St70 many years ago at a HiFi shop owned by a friend. That was in the late 80s and through a set of the biggest Tannoy dual concentrics I'd ever seen. The low end response was phenomenal.

St70 is EL34 push-pull outputs right?
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:43 PM   #6
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Yes ... the EL34.

I was never a 'tube amp' guy for things like studio monitors. I was always mindful not to have monitors sound 'better' or euphoric when making engineering decisions on them.

But the situation happened for me to get a fully restored ST-70.

Once I started reading up on this amp, and found the sub-culture of enthusiast and modder's .... I knew I was in over my head :|

I ended up getting the quad-matched Mullards from a highly recommended place in Arizona [US]. They were not cheap to say the least ... and they may not be what the audiophile guys drool about ... but I must say, I can definitely work with this combination

For grins, I even hooked the Dynaco up to my original 1980's NS-10s ... again, very workable. It might even sway me from the original Hafler, QSC, or Bryston / NS-10combo.

Anyway... I totally agree on the Auratone usefulness. When ya hit MONO ... you get MONO.

I was very fortunate [early in my career] to start work with a veteran producer that insisted working on Auratones.

Like most ... I hated them ...especailly compared with having huge JBL or TANNOY's for the house system.

It was definitely worth the growing pain/struggle to make those Auratones sing. When it did, the results in the big mains was usually mind-boggling.

It usually did not get similar appreciation going the other way.

My 'technique' went Auratones -> NS-10's -> to house mains.

But even during tracking or mixing, the Aura's clearly showed every thing from pitch issues, to backing vocal blend, snare level to lead voice ... ahh so many different issues became obviously exposed with them. I find them personally essential.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:58 PM   #7
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When I was a kid in the 70's, my dad brought one home from the studio he was working in at the time. It was an object lesson in critical listening.

He had a pair of Rectilinear IIIa Classics back then. Rectilinear was a local NY brand. They were towers: a 12" bass reflex enclosure, 4 supertweeters in a zig-zag array from top to bottom, and a sealed midrange with a metal dust cap. Some places in town used them for mains in their smaller rooms. They were pretty honest, and the reflex enclosure meant they were efficient enough to drive with a 40-watt Akai integrated amp. They could kick pretty hard when pushed.

The Auratone was wired up to a cord with a stereo 1/4" phone jack. He'd plug it into the headphone out, and get an instant mono fold-down.

He told me, "pay attention to the mix through one of these at low levels, and NOT blasting the big guns. If you can hear the details here, in mono, it's a good mix."

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Old 01-27-2015, 01:11 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=ReaDave;1467345]

lol
You COULD use them for talkback!!
As of 2014, it looks like the original Auratone company is manufacturing new ones that appear to be very similar to the 70s and 80s ones. http://www.auratonesoundcubes.com/

QUOTE]

I don´t think they will be available in Europe, will they ?
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:22 AM   #9
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Anyone tried the Aura-Subkick thing? Using an Auratone for (additional) kick mic duties?
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:32 AM   #10
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Behringer started making clones of these (and they're called the Behritone). I've heard they sound just as "bad" as the originals. Which is a good thing. I was thinking of picking one up to see if it could help my mixing.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:36 AM   #11
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Interesting to see what gear you can get in USA only.

I read several times that M-Auido´s Monitor BX5a is best sellimng Monitor in USA. Is it the quality or the price ?

e.g. http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/m_audio_bx8_d2_e.html


Here´s a review of Behringer

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb1...r-c5a-c50a.htm
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giano View Post
Interesting to see what gear you can get in USA only.

I read several times that M-Auido´s Monitor BX5a is best sellimng Monitor in USA. Is it the quality or the price ?

e.g. http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/m_audio_bx8_d2_e.html


Here´s a review of Behringer

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb1...r-c5a-c50a.htm
never heard that..and do not believe in the US that's the best selling.
I used to be an M-Audio dealer even and never heard that.. They do not sound that great.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:50 AM   #13
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Behringer started making clones of these (and they're called the Behritone). I've heard they sound just as "bad" as the originals. Which is a good thing. I was thinking of picking one up to see if it could help my mixing.
Don't believe it! The originals don't sound "bad" at all - the Behritones do. I've had the "pleasure" to listen to them at a friend's studio and they bear not the slightest resemblance with the real thing. They're thin and smeared.
My originals* are thick and focused. Even some hip hop heads "got it" when I checked a mix on the Auratones.

* mine are not labelled "Auratone" but a license product (?) made by AKG in the 70's. They serve the exact same purpose and probably sound the same or almost the same.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:55 AM   #14
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Thanks Dave, I didn't know Auratone was still in business.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Wish I had bought a pair cheap when they first came out!
First time I saw them was at Wessex in the 70s.... I thought they were for talkback!!!
The original ones weren't meant for studio's. The first manufacturer of these was a furniture and cabinet manufacturer in the US who made a lot of these boxes for background music in shops etc.

They only made it to the studio because a lowfi mono check for radio compatibility was needed. And then they somehow became a standard. Just like several other speakers.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Giano View Post
As of 2014, it looks like the original Auratone company is manufacturing new ones that appear to be very similar to the 70s and 80s ones. http://www.auratonesoundcubes.com/

I don´t think they will be available in Europe, will they ?
It's not the same company, nor speaker. And yes, they are available in Europe; but I don't see them around studio's here. A tiny bit overpriced, I'm afraid.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:23 PM   #17
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* mine are not labelled "Auratone" but a license product (?) made by AKG in the 70's. They serve the exact same purpose and probably sound the same or almost the same.
I would be really interested in pics of these. Or any other info you have. I reckoned I saw most of these speakers and their clones when I wrote a piece about them a couple of years back, but I've never heard of AKG making speakers...

The original manufacturer first had only one model. With different speakers, depending on what was available. Later on, they made several models with different looks, but all cubes. And still with the same mix of speakers.

And the newest incarnation of the brand even makes active ones.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:57 PM   #18
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Interesting information ... but I must say, in all my years [going back to the '70s], there was only one Auratone 'look' that I ever saw ... and every major studio had them. Some of them looked a little more 'beat' then others [maybe falling off the console bridge] ...

Even looking at all the trade magazines from that time [dB, ReP, MIX, StudioSound, Billboard, etc] ... Auratones sat on most ever meter bridge [and later paired with NS-10s] ... but they all looked the same. I don't know.

Unfortunately I cannot help with additional observations of the re-releases going on. Maybe someone knows a link to credible comparisons that might have been done. So many have asked this question. Somebody must have done a report back ?!?
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:39 AM   #19
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I would be really interested in pics of these. Or any other info you have. I reckoned I saw most of these speakers and their clones when I wrote a piece about them a couple of years back, but I've never heard of AKG making speakers...
They're called the "LSM 50":

< see, Dave? No tissue on the tweeters
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
....But even during tracking or mixing, the Aura's clearly showed every thing from pitch issues, to backing vocal blend, snare level to lead voice ... ahh so many different issues became obviously exposed with them. I find them personally essential.
That's pretty much my experience as well. I don't think I'd WANT to do a mix these days WITHOUT my Auratones!

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Originally Posted by ginormous View Post
....He told me, "pay attention to the mix through one of these at low levels, and NOT blasting the big guns. If you can hear the details here, in mono, it's a good mix."
Wise advice... and VERY true!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giano View Post
I don´t think they will be available in Europe, will they ?
No idea really. I don't see why not though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
Anyone tried the Aura-Subkick thing? Using an Auratone for (additional) kick mic duties?
I haven't tried that. I could imagine them working well for that task though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solaris1982 View Post
Behringer started making clones of these (and they're called the Behritone). I've heard they sound just as "bad" as the originals. Which is a good thing. I was thinking of picking one up to see if it could help my mixing.
Auratones don't sound 'bad'. They actually sound very good and very honest. They will sound harsh if a mix is harsh but that is why so many engineers rely on them. They will reveal all the faults of your mix and will not flatter you by smoothing out the faults (unlike most HiFi speakers and many cheaper studio monitors).
Along with the reviews others have posted, here's another one with a direct comparison of the Auratones, the Avantones and the Behritones.
http://www.trustmeimascientist.com/2...ritone-review/

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Don't believe it! The originals don't sound "bad" at all - the Behritones do. I've had the "pleasure" to listen to them at a friend's studio and they bear not the slightest resemblance with the real thing. They're thin and smeared.
My originals* are thick and focused. Even some hip hop heads "got it" when I checked a mix on the Auratones...
+1.
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Thanks Dave, I didn't know Auratone was still in business.
Nor did I until I did a Google search and found their website.

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Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
The original ones weren't meant for studio's. The first manufacturer of these was a furniture and cabinet manufacturer in the US who made a lot of these boxes for background music in shops etc...
Funny you mention that. I got my Auratones from a restaurant we were doing a background music system 'upgrade' for. They were using Auratones for their old system and clearly had no idea what they had there!!
Worked for me though. The owners were going to toss the 'old speakers' in the bin! They were rescued from that fate and I scored four perfectly working Auratones for my studio as a result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
It's not the same company, nor speaker. And yes, they are available in Europe; but I don't see them around studio's here. A tiny bit overpriced, I'm afraid.....

.....And the newest incarnation of the brand even makes active ones.
Are you sure you're not thinking of Avantone?
The Auratone website states the following right at the top of the site:
Quote:
Home of the Original 5C Super Sound Cube
Family Owned for Over 50 Years
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Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
Interesting information ... but I must say, in all my years [going back to the '70s], there was only one Auratone 'look' that I ever saw ... and every major studio had them. Some of them looked a little more 'beat' then others [maybe falling off the console bridge] ...

Even looking at all the trade magazines from that time [dB, ReP, MIX, StudioSound, Billboard, etc] ... Auratones sat on most ever meter bridge [and later paired with NS-10s] ... but they all looked the same. I don't know.

Unfortunately I cannot help with additional observations of the re-releases going on. Maybe someone knows a link to credible comparisons that might have been done. So many have asked this question. Somebody must have done a report back ?!?
I'd be interested in hearing a pair of their new (2014) ones. They look almost identical (except for the black face plate) to the classics (70s and 80s models) everyone knows. They're under $300 for a pair and I'm tempted to buy a pair and do a comparison myself. I actually want a couple more anyway. That way, I don't have to keep moving one pair from midrange duties in my mains in order to listen to them on their own.

I currently have four of the original 5c's arranged in quad surround but I'd ideally like to set them up in 5.1
Quote:
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They're called the "LSM 50":

< see, Dave? No tissue on the tweeters
Ha! Cool

Last edited by ReaDave; 01-28-2015 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:53 PM   #21
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One thing I'd like to share here is that although Auratones are not known for their deep bass response, they actually ARE capable of reproducing a fairly smooth response down to around 30 - 40Hz. Obviously they're not going to shake walls but given that they're typically used in very near field applications, they don't need to shake walls!!

I have an EQ preset in RME Totalmix that I've created to compensate for the LF rolloff of the Auratones and I can get them to quite smoothly reproduce quite a full spectrum with a decent amount of transient response and quite low distortion.
In fact, if I run a tone generator into them and sweep it down to 30Hz, the response shows very little in the way of peaks and dips. If I stand around twelve feet away, I can clearly hear the 30Hz sine wave!

The first time I did this, I had to double check and make sure my subs weren't running. I actually put my hand on the cones just to be sure!! Once I'd done that, I then checked the surrounds which contain a 12" driver in each to make sure THEY weren't running! I couldn't believe the amount of useful energy that low coming from such tiny boxes!!

Seriously, if you haven't already, try it. You'll be stunned! Auratones are MUCH more useful than just for checking a mono mix or the midrange balance.
After using mine now for many years, I'd be at a loss without them.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:02 PM   #22
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Gents, the reason Auratones and NS10s are so good for mixing is because they have one thing in common...does anyone know what it is?
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:05 PM   #23
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Gents, the reason Auratones and NS10s are so good for mixing is because they have one thing in common...does anyone know what it is?
ooh me sir!


short impulse response, due to driver, closed box and limited bandwidth.

i like to think they ride fast and hard like a sports car, good if you are interested in where the bumps in the road are.


points off for a car analogy i know, but i like it.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:07 PM   #24
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You win BenK-msx! That was too quick.

I have the waterfall plots in my Mixing Secrets book, it's amazing.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:14 PM   #25
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yay.. - distractions of a prerelease to look at and newly hookedup internet access on my DAW when i should be making noise.

did readthe famed SoS article on ns-10s before i built my single one and it was mentioned there - both them and the auratone were in same ball park, very short response. anything with low end swamps you with boom for numerous milliseconds.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:46 PM   #26
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Great additional posts Guys ... thanks!

"I have an EQ preset in RME Totalmix that I've created to compensate for the LF rolloff of the Auratones and I can get them to quite smoothly reproduce quite a full spectrum with a decent amount of transient response and quite low distortion."

That is something I'd never tried. I would be curious to see the details of the curve you made ... but I would not want to blow up my Aroma-Tones.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:01 PM   #27
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My old boss called them Horror Tones.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:40 AM   #28
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One thing I'd like to share here is that although Auratones are not known for their deep bass response, they actually ARE capable of reproducing a fairly smooth response down to around 30 - 40Hz. Obviously they're not going to shake walls but given that they're typically used in very near field applications, they don't need to shake walls!!
True dat! Recently I listened to a dub mix with a real deep bass, and as you say: it was all there, no NS-10-like feeling of "oops, where's me bass gone?"
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:10 AM   #29
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My old boss called them Horror Tones.
An affectionate term.
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Great additional posts Guys ... thanks!

"I have an EQ preset in RME Totalmix that I've created to compensate for the LF rolloff of the Auratones and I can get them to quite smoothly reproduce quite a full spectrum with a decent amount of transient response and quite low distortion."

That is something I'd never tried. I would be curious to see the details of the curve you made ... but I would not want to blow up my Aroma-Tones.
lol @ Aromatones!!!
If you're using them in very near field application, you shouldn't have any issues with damaging them with a little EQ compensation. In fact, watching the cone excursion with the EQ applied gives a reasonably good indication as to whether or not you are going too hard with the sub bass anyway. You'd be surprised just how much you can limit the dynamics of frequencies below 60Hz and still retain all the psycho-acoustic properties of full dynamics. The ear hears the dynamics in the upper bass while the brain thinks all the dynamics in the full spectrum are still there because there is still energy in the sub bass region.

Here's a screen grab of my EQ compensation curve. Keep in mind, this is from the RME Totalmix EQ which sounds FAR different from ReaEQ even with the same settings. I actually wish RME would release their EQ as a VST plugin. I REALLY like it a LOT.

Notice the flatness of the response below 50Hz. This is actually ideal for the Auratones because it results in a natural rolloff under 50Hz which helps to tame cone excursion and enables them to be used even at levels too loud for near field application (which I do NOT recommend for extended periods for obvious reasons anyway).

13dB of boost may initially seem excessive but it sounds natural and results in quite a smooth and reasonably flat response given the Auratone LF rolloff.

Note too that I've added a very gentle rise on the HF centered around 20KHz to compensate for the lack of dedicated tweeter. This is very subtle and is not immediately noticeable which is how it should be in the HF IMHO. The Auratones already sound quite good in this area and don't need much compensation.


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You win BenK-msx! That was too quick.

I have the waterfall plots in my Mixing Secrets book, it's amazing.
I'd be really interested to see those plots. Any chance you could post them here?
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True dat! Recently I listened to a dub mix with a real deep bass, and as you say: it was all there, no NS-10-like feeling of "oops, where's me bass gone?"
lol
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:33 AM   #30
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Dave see plots here - few pages in 10/11 for waterfalls.
www.soundonsound.com/pdfs/ns10m.pdf
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:58 AM   #31
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Great stuff Ben. Thanks for that.

That's quite telling really. Interesting that the ATC SCM20 also has a very quick response. That is something I am not surprised about though. ATC has a good reputation in areas similar to the Auratones and Yammy's, i.e., their natural midrange response and great imaging.

The Auratones seem to have the most uniform time response of all but the NS10s with the ATCs very close.

Something else I usually do with my Auratones when in close proximity is to place some acoustic foam in front of them to stop midrange reflections from the desktop smearing the image and response curve:

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Old 01-29-2015, 09:18 AM   #32
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Those impulse responses are quite telling too. Nothing touches the Auratone in that lineup, including the NS10s.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:53 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by JHughes View Post
Gents, the reason Auratones and NS10s are so good for mixing is because they have one thing in common...does anyone know what it is?
In two words, "acoustic suspension."

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_suspension)


PS: As opposed to "ported" or "bass reflex."
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:18 PM   #34
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Those impulse responses are quite telling too. Nothing touches the Auratone in that lineup, including the NS10s.
ok ok !

i chose to buy a nice new/unused ns10 bass driver and then found a used cab and crossover for my mono reference, so made my bed!
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:05 PM   #35
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ok ok !

i chose to buy a nice new/unused ns10 bass driver and then found a used cab and crossover for my mono reference, so made my bed!
You're being all cryptic on me now Ben!! lol
Might be a UK thing but what do you mean by 'so made my bed'?
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:30 PM   #36
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Sorry, bit opaque of me.

'I've made my bed.. (And must lie in it)'


I must suffer the result of my choice - I guess covers it!


we can't have the place overun with Americanisms can we.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:39 PM   #37
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Sorry, bit opaque of me.

'I've made my bed.. (And must lie in it)'


I must suffer the result of my choice - I guess covers it!


we can't have the place overun with Americanisms can we.
Ah! Gotcha! Should've got that one right away. I hear you on the Americanisms too. They don't even know how to spell 'colour' and they have some strange word for tap (the kind we have in our kitchens and bathrooms)!! lol

I don't think you'll go wrong with the NS10 driver. I'd love to see some pics of your build though if you have any to post.

My comment about the impulse response of the Auratone vs Yamaha wasn't meant to belittle the Yammy by any stretch. The waterfall plots tell a major picture and in that regard, the Yammy and Auratone are on a par and way ahead of most of the rest of that particular lineup.
I'd never seen the impulse response of the Auratones though so that peaked my interest. Judging by how they sound, I have no reason to doubt that impulse plot either.

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Old 01-29-2015, 08:51 PM   #38
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In two words, "acoustic suspension."

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_suspension)


PS: As opposed to "ported" or "bass reflex."
Indeed!
I'm not a fan of bass reflex designs, as you might tell from the pics of my main monitors I posted at the beginning. Everything here that is for critical listening is based on the Acoustic Suspension design. The two bass cabinets in my mains are Crown ES212 boxes with 2x10" acoustic suspension drivers in each. The cabinets are HEAVY and solid as a rock. They are easily capable of rattling door knobs and windows from a 10Hz sine wave and not a tuned port in sight (or out of sight for that matter). I've done that numerous times in demonstrations for friends.

Their bass response is tight as a drum and you feel a sharp, solid punch from a well recorded kick drum that hits you in the chest when they are cranked up. The same recording produces a dull thud by comparison on most bass reflex designs.

Bass reflex designs nearly always sound flabby in comparison to sealed acoustic suspension designs and the waterfall plots for most of the monitors in the PDF that Ben posted reflect that.

Edit - There's a great link in that Wiki article that is well worth a read too:
http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/record.../villchur.html

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Old 01-29-2015, 09:09 PM   #39
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Well noone can spell anymore so nevermind!

my ns-10 looks mostly like an ns-10 now, ebay cabinet was tatty and drab but a shoe blackening pen fixed that v nicely in fact and it came with the crossover which was main thing. Is complete except the bonafide tweeter, got an old hifi one in there for the time being, but the treble is not really what I'm listening for, its the 1k and below I use it for and seems to do the trick, hooked up to old pioneer a400 hifi amp, which powered all my mixes as a kid, particularly clean and unflattering, so I have unflattering x2!

was tempted initially to do a kind of auratone with the ns10 driver, just put it in a square sealed box - but more I read the more critical the cab volume and layout is to the design so to eliminate screwing that up I kept things original.

I'd used them in college uh 15 yrs ago now but not really for final mixing and hated the fact my bass disappeared on them but soon learnt they aren't for playback but for making better mix decisions.

Edit: did have a PIC as not long ago got the cab- not v clear but is ok. Sits atop my corner slab with a clear run to my head..
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4lA...p=docslist_api

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Old 01-30-2015, 02:51 PM   #40
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They're called the "LSM 50":

[img] < see, Dave? No tissue on the tweeters
Thanks for the pics. Very interesting. Any idea where AKG sourced those?
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