Res. With wine connoisseurs it could suggest Special Reserve to indicate a higher-grade selection. With hifi buffs it's always resolution. Some find that we can have too much. That prompted a brief editorial and one linked to it. You might read them before proceeding. Finding our ideal balance on how a hifi talks to hara, heart and head is intensely personal. Too cerebral to you could mean intensely fascinating to me. What you call perfect emotional persuasiveness your friend could call too heavy and thick. Such deciders are always in play. Cube's resolution baseline simply sits higher than the norm. That makes personal adjustments more critical and decisive. Here choice of amp is key. It's how we set our course. These widebanders are responsive expressive types. They need little amplifier power or damping. It's why tube and transistor amps of higher output Ω are popular; why very fast highly damped specimens might sound too dry; why amps with adjustable negative feedback could sound best in their lowest setting; why 25 watts are a beau coup.
Going just by Cube's own descriptions, Jazzon's amppetite is still less critical so more omnivorous than Nenuphar v2. In my comparison, v2 was less critical than v1. This suggests a time line of 'normalization' during which Grzegorz & Marek learnt how to have more of their cake so more listeners with more diverse amps eat it. It's how I looked at the likely tenor of this assignment before Jazzon landed in Shannon airport. In the main downstairs system, I'd contrast Enleum's AMP-23R with one or two of my FirstWatt specimens to see how Jazzon and Nenuphar v2 changed with either. Given Jazzon's profile and rising response at 150Hz as per Cube's graph, I expected it to cotton to my preferred amp for 'normal' speakers—Enleum's revised Bakoon AMP-13R—even better than its bigger pricier stablemate.
Now you have my headspace going in. Let's see how/where reality and expectations match up and don't.
Upstairs Jazzon could see Goldmund/Job's 225 or Crayon's CFA-1.2, for my Zu Soul VI comparison a Simon Audio 100wpc AIO CD receiver. And no, I wouldn't be swapping Neo v2 drivers from Nenuphar to Jazzon cabs to roll a 10" Nenuphar Mini¹. My colleagues at fairaudio.de have a review on the real 8" Mini. Nor will I use tubes. Though popular with widebander fans and rightly so, I no longer own such amplifiers.
Finally, threading in a sub like Cube's own with a proper high-pass on the widebanders has far more of an impact on sound quality than v1/v2 offsets; likely even F10 Select. Already our €1'390 2 x 9.5" Dynaudio 18S upstairs makes the point. It's the great equalizer and overrider on smaller differences. Its impact is far bigger than DAC, preamp, cables or small advances in transducer sophistication. So the smart money does first things first. It's how reader Vincenzo Picone runs his Nenuphar v2; high-passed at 50Hz with an icOn 4Pro SE, low-pass at 50Hz to Cube's Sub12, Enleum AMP-23R on the widebanders.
But all that's a story for another day. It's one I've told repeatedly to say no more here. To common sense it's basic math. Also, this thread has a lot of useful comments by Cube owners to triangulate further.
¹ On whether a Neo v2 in the Jazzon cab could even be ordered, "we want to keep the Neo drivers for Nenuphar and future even higher-ranked models. The whole idea of the F10 Select driver is that it works in smaller cabinets which can be offered at a lower price." In those terms Jazzon begins to look like a most current 10" version of Magus and the even earlier Bliss C. With Jazzon's brand positioning we also understand (or should!) that if Cube were to ever offer models priced well below it, they could no longer use their own drivers. But if they didn't, would such speakers still deserve the Cube Audio badge? These are challenges my leftover marketing grey cells ponder from my past days at Mesa Engineering, Soliloquy and Meadowlark Audio.
Jazzon in Cube Audio's test system with LampizatOr Amber DAC and Tektron Italia TK211S-I Ref amplifier.
When Grzegorz announced Dublin arrival, he added that due to supply-chain issues, they'd used slightly bigger Nenuphar crates with adjusted liners to not delay dispatch. Custom Jazzon packaging wouldn't land at the factory for another few weeks. And that's how it's done. Whenever delivery means anything non-standard—finish blemishes due to a heavily used journeyman unit perhaps, absence of spikes due to an inventory gap, no owner's manual or power cord, temporary packaging—a simple email explains it. All is workable as long as there's upfront disclosure. It's only when there's none that easily avoidable issues or unwanted comments result.
Whilst awaiting the door bell—a phone call had warned of van delivery for a heavy crate so could I help the driver get it out without liftgate—I read up on Martin Luding's German Nenuphar Mini review. "Zero issue tracking vocal timbre modulations most differentiated and emotional. The slight midrange emphasis had particularly vocals and acoustic guitars sound ultra direct and intimate." He qualified that these attributes outdid max resolution and that he heard stronger focus on the tone-wood aspects of stringed instruments not their vibrating steel and a tendency for more vocal sonority due to midrange warmth. Special strengths were abundant spatial cues particularly on live recordings and ultra-precise imaging of exceptional depth. He found the treble surprisingly extended for a widebander if not as airy or endlessly decay tracking as familiar multi-ways. Down low he focused on very quick rhythmically adroit upper bass and noted that bass transients weren't ultimately dry or punchy. He suffered no faux suggestion of low bass from any fattened-up upper bass and in his 17m² room heard rapid roll-off below 40Hz. Acknowledging inherent macrodynamic limits of a single 8-incher without dedicated woofer, he still found SPL stability significantly higher than expected so well within his needs. He also noted no detail loss during late-night low-level sessions. He heard "obvious character aimed at advanced pleasure listeners not in search of extreme SPL, low-bass orgies or pricked-ear descents into recorded micro noises". Instead he found Nenuphar Mini focused on musical coherence and timing. Mild but attractive midrange emphasis reminded him of classic Brit monitors. He noted overall linearity and as core attraction picked holographically panoramic soundstaging. His amplifiers were 60-watt class A Grandinote Demone without signal-path capacitors for 1.5Hz-350kHz bandwidth with a damping factor greater than 230.
For Cube that was business as usual. I'm always curious how different listeners react to widebanders. What differences to their familiar multi-ways strike them most, good or bad? For this listener the chief attraction seems to have been true point-source dispersion, resultant timing accuracy and what that did for imaging and soundstaging. Now it was time to mint my own impressions for Jazzon. With wooden crates strapped two up to one pallet, breaking them apart in thankfully no rain outdoors was key. Once unpacked, Jazzon being smaller than Nenuphar particularly on depth also proved a bit shorter and shallower than Aurai's downstairs Lieutenant. Above the review pair. Since the 2×15" sub was set up, I ran a few -6dB/80Hz hi/lo-passed laps before going all in with just one driver for everything bypassing the big woofers.
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