Cube Audio Mini Nenuphar Loudspeakers, EMIA Audio Electronics, TW Acoustic Raven GT Turntable with Schroeder Reference SQ and Schick Tonearms and Soundsmith Sussurro and Ortofon SPU Royal N Cartridges

July 2, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

Jon Ver Halen’s Refined Audio room was the opposite of the Audio Company’s VAC/Von Schweikert room. It was small, had one grim light, gray carpet, gray walls, no banners, and two little black directly-heated triode amps with two tubes driving single-driver full-range (Cube) speakers in small, plain boxes. No Hollywood glitz socialite glamor, but the sound was rich, highly detailed, and pure. Here’s why:

The $10,900/pair Cube Audio “Mini Nenuphar” speakers use only one paper-cone, full-range driver with no crossover. These single-driver speakers were powered by mono single-ended amplifiers with #50 direct-heated triodes putting out maybe 5W. These $17,500/pair black monoblocks were designed by my old friend and runnin’ buddy Dave Slagle of EMIA Audio. He built them from scratch, including winding all the transformers. (Dave builds entire audio systems from scratch – including cartridges.)

The source was a TW Acoustic Raven GT turntable ($10,500) with a Schroeder Reference SQ tonearm and Soundsmith Sussurro fixed-coil cartridge. The Raven TT had a second tonearm, a 12” Schick model, with and Ortofon SPU Royal N cartridge. Other important bits—all designed and built by Slagle—included an EMIA step-up transformer ($2700), a phono preamp ($15,000), and a $3900 passive auto-former line stage (with remote). Cables were unspecified.

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