May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

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Fretless
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May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Fretless » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:20 am

Some NVA history turned up on my doorstep yesterday in the shape of a pair of Cube2 speakers. :dance:

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Once upon a time there was a small-scale builder of high-quality audio components called Nene Valley Audio. Having stopped operations for a while to pursue other interests a new line was launched in the new millenium and garnered much praise at Hifi shows throughout the land.

Unfortunately after one of these shows an entire demo installation was removed by persons unknown and passed on as a PA system for a nightclub. Having gathered dust in the dim corners of a warehouse for the best part of a decade, this equipment has finally been recovered and returned to its rightful owner.

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For quite a while now I have been pondering about another little bit of vintage NVA - my own Cube3 speakers (c. 1990, MDF cabs, new Doc-Mod doped woofer and current-spec Visaton tweeter) and thinking that it would be interesting to get my hands on a newer acrylic model - preferably a Cube2. To my pleasant surprise the 'recovered' Cube2's were offered at giveaway price - how could I refuse?

So, what has turned up in the usual nuclear-holocaust-proof NVA packaging? THE original, prototype set of acrylic-cab Cube2's. No logo and proudly battle-scarred from their adventures (some scratches on side-panels) but solid and in good working order.

A busy weekend will delay a thorough SQ evaluation. First impression is: what I had hoped for - and more. Full write-up later.

Can't wait. Thanks Doc. :grin: :guiness;
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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wiicrackpot
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by wiicrackpot » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:03 am

Hap'E'daze Frettie (in hairy bikers mode), looking forward to your review. 8-) :grin:
Frank...made me do it.

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Ithilstone
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Ithilstone » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:28 pm

OK no point in showing off...

BTW guess who bagged C1 from that lot? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Nothing to see here...

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:26 pm

Two sets of C1 at ebay (old site) at 30% off = bargains.

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Fretless
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Fretless » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:56 am

My own history with NVA started in the mid-80's when I px'd a Nytech CA252 (lovely amp - now much sought-after) for the relatively unknown Nene Valley Audio P50/A40 (stereo) combination. Those were glorious times to be a hifi-nut with a wide range of small manufacturers offering great audio products. That NVA amp had something special and, coupled with a first-series pair of Arcam One speakers, provided me me with musical satisfaction for the following 30 years - only to be replaced in 2015 by a new NVA P50sa and A40 (monoblocks).

In the same period I also got to attend a demonstration of the 'experimental' NVA Cube loudspeaker system. Memories are vague - but these were imposingly-big black casings with the driver mounted in the top plate - weird! Until they got fired up and an incredible archway of music opened up above and around those boxes. This aural experience stayed with me as how music should sound from a hifi and gave me a goal to aim for - one day, my own set of Cubes! :pray:

Many years passed and other activities pushed Hifi aside. Eventually a new desire to improve the stereo led me back to the re-vamped NVA and accompanying HFS forum. Here I learnt the black art of Doc-modding speakers and giving a fresh life to ageing audio equipment. Also a pair of venerable Cube3 speakers came into my possession. With new-found skills and some encouragment I fitted these with doped kevlar drivers and current-spec tweeters, then they took up residence in the system and finally I had my Cubes. :dance:

But a nagging doubt kept pulling at me. Although these little boxes DO have that Je ne sais quoi factor that semi-omni's display there was something missing. A sense of weight, depth, authority. Things I had heard from the big, black entities all those years ago and had stuck in my mind as 'The Cube Sound'. Perhaps it was my own refurbishing ineptitude but I knew that there was more.

So - up to the present day and the vintage MDF Cube3 have been replaced by the improved acrylic-housed Cube2 and what a difference! There has been no time to experiment with optimal placement, the new Cubes are in the same spot as the old but the character has undergone a dramatic metamorphosis becoming shaper-edged, more weight and solidity, the sense of authority has arrived - the room-filling and enveloping sound-field from memory has materialised and is even better-defined. No harshness but a smooth clarity.

And the Music! Even with just a short while to get acquainted, these speakers have had me completely forgetting hifi and revelling in a new trip through some favourite tracks, eyes closed and submerging myself in the sounds. Where the little 3's could occasionally struggle to be convincing, the 2's don't even bother to start, the performance is just - there! It's hard to describe and I won't bother as I'll only fall into cliches (again). Music is emotion and these plastic cases don't offer any resistance to that - they simply let the emotive content pour straight through them and into the heart of the listener.

The Cube series are going through another transformation with a new-design Acrylic cabinet coming and other developments - so I'm still way behind the times. However it has always been mostly about the music for me, a music fanatic who needs a hifi to give me the best possible access to what an artist has recorded - and with these Cube2's the stage-door has been thrown wide open and I'm in the theatre, front-row centre.

I'm Lovin' It. :banana-angel: :banana-guitar: :banana-angel:
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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Quarknosis
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Quarknosis » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:50 pm

:clap: My experience of the Cube 2 pretty much mirrors yours. I should do a review but I am finding it so hard to describe the changes from the Cubettes because I am now too busy enjoying listening to music to critique the speakers.
NVA BMU - NVA Phono 1 - Systemdek IIX/Rega RB250/Denon DL160 & Philips CD 104 with NOS mod - TIS & SSP mkii - NVA AP70sa - Epos ES11.

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Fretless
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Fretless » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:50 pm

I have been informed by reliable sources within NVA Worldwide Customer Services that my old-model Cube3's sound similar to current Cubettes. :grin:
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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Fretless
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Fretless » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:32 am

The old Cube3's had been raised an extra 25cm with breeze-blocks under the stands and I have taken these away.
Dramatic improvement in the acoustic field of the Cube2's with a massive, tactile bass that you can feel even at relatively low volumes. Overall imaging is better as well.

You know things are running well when you close your eyes and can't work out where the speakers actually are.
:music-listening: :music-listen: :music-listening:
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:02 pm

You see this is the problem, you only know what you know. You may think you have the best and can't be bothered to try again, but as in this case to point, until you try you really don't know.

Fretty has brought joy to his music, so could you.

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: May the Cube2 be with you ..... too !

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:28 pm

Quarknosis wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:50 pm
:clap: My experience of the Cube 2 pretty much mirrors yours. I should do a review but I am finding it so hard to describe the changes from the Cubettes because I am now too busy enjoying listening to music to critique the speakers.
Please try and do me a review, it is my only means of promotion, as every one else - forums etc are deliberately blocking us, What are they scared of, are they giving good service to their members - obviously not.

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