The 5C was originally developed as a HiFi auxiliary speaker in 1958 by Jack Wilson. Now grandson Alex Jacobsen has rekindled the family business. Launched at AES 139 last October, these little boxes received much interest at NAMM 2016. Displayed as a “wall of sound”, Alex explained the research he undertook to bring these iconic speakers back into production.
The 5C was recognised in the 70’s & 80’s by studio and broadcast engineers for their ability to represent how a mix would translate outside of the studio. They soon became a common sight on top of mixing console meter bridges all over the world.
I’ve heard an original Auratone in the past and they’re not flattering, but clearly separate a good mix from a bad one. They’re not intended to be your main monitors and are instead often used in a mono configuration as a system for checking how your mix might sound on someone’s TV or radio. Unfortunately production stopped and they soon became sought after on the second-hand market. The concept has since been picked up by Avantone, who produce semi-similar units, including a handy active model.
However, the “original” Auratone 5C is now back, and judging by the interest they’re receiving they’ll be here to stay for another generation. Alex Jacobsen has made every effort to ensure this new line of units is as close to the originals as possible.
I can’t wait to hear a pair of originals side by side with this new edition. Prices in the UK are around GBP 275 +VAT for a pair, which isn’t much if you want to own a widely-recognised and industry-approved reference monitor.
More Information: http://www.auratonesoundcubes.com
Here’s a YouTube video from NAMM 2016, from the Auratone booth: