Queries and answers on the BeCubes family
Picture 1: BeCube MonoAmp D - White
We are approaching the launch date for the BeCubes and more and more questions are coming. Here it is a quick guide to navigate through the family and make yourself familiar with the BeCubes
Basics on BeCubes
Q: ok, what exactly are those cubes?
A: stylish pieces of HiFi equipment, the idea is to make available the technology and sound quality of very expensive HiFi gear with a competitive price tag and a home friendly design.
Q: do I need them all? I see there are different cubes.
A: call them BeCubes, they get nervous when people misspell the name. This is your second question and your second misspell in a row. Behave!
Q: ok ... let me rephrase. Do I need them all? I see there are different BeCubes.
A: that's better. No, you don't. You just pick up what you need according to your current HiFi gear and listening preferences. BeCubes are modular so you just add one in case you need to add functionalities to your listening system.
Q: cool, so if I need to listen to vinyls I add a BeCubes while if I prefer high resolution streams I do add something else. Correct?
A: that is correct. BeCubes share the power supply (the basic box) and you can connect up to three different BeCubes to it to build your system up to your requirements.
Q: what is this story about the cubic shape and colours?
A: do you like it? we love it. The shape is simple and takes very little room, it is a 15cm cube, the chassis is all aluminium and can be anodised black or plain anodized aluminum. As an option you can order the RAL color of your preference in matte or glossy finish. We paint them with several layers and protective coating. We do prefer matte finish as BeCubes were designed with that tone in mind. In future you will be able to purchase also front covers in different materials.
Q: can I mix colours in a single BeCube?
A: if you mean ordering a BeCube with front panel in green, base in red, knobs in yellow etc ... yes, you might contact us to discuss.
Q: though question, can I mix BeCubes with other manufactures gears?
A: yes, no problem at all. BeCubes accept balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs so you can connect them with anything from consumer electronics to high quality pro audio equipments. They do have XLR and RCA outputs.
Determining what BeCubes you need
Q: I listen to vinyls only, what do I need?
A: good! Me too. Vinyls are forever. You will need a BeCube Power (the shared power supply box) and a BeCube Phono. That will put you in a position to listen to MM cartridges with options on gain and load. If you prefer MC cartridges just add a SUT n°3 (standard permalloy) or SUT n°2 (high permalloy) and you will compose a complete set up for vinyl records. SUTs are pretty flexible and can interface with so many cartridges. Clearly you will also need a line preamplifier such as a BeCube Line in case you don't have any (and use the same BeCube Power).
Picture 2: BeCube Power - Blue
Picture 3: BeCube Power - Black - both sides
Q: I listen to CD's/DVD's/SACD's only, what do I need?
A: you can connect your CD player to a BeCube DAC (you will need also a BeCube Power) either via an optical S/PDIF or electrical S/PDIF connection. The BeCube DAC will have volume control and source selection so can work as a stand alone digital preamplifier.
Q: what if I use an USB high resolution source?
A: no problem, BeCube DAC will have a asynchronous USB input. BeCube DAC will have 4 inputs a nd XLR/RCA outputs.
Picture 4: BeCube Phono - Green
Picture 5: BeCube Phono - Black - both sides
Q: what if I use an USB high resolution source?
A: no problem, BeCube DAC will have a asynchronous USB input. BeCube DAC will have 4 inputs and XLR/RCA outputs.
Q: what about power amplifiers?
A: in the BeCube family you will find the MonoAmp, a compact and self contained high power class D amplifier capable of driving almost any speaker. The are mono and sold in pairs and they do not need an external power supply as the Phono, DAC and Line.
Picture 6: BeCube MonoAmp D - Red
Picture 7: BeCube MonoAmp - Black - both sides
Q: any preamplifier?
A: the BeCube Line. It can accept 4 XLR or RCA inputs so you can control 4 different sources (analog) and has XLR/RCA outputs and it is remote controlled by an app (it does not have the old fashioned IR remote). Can also be used to drive two different amplifiers in biamp.
Q: what would be the most complete system?
A: a BeCube Power with Phono and SUT, DAC, Line and then a pair of MonoAmp. You will only have to add players (turntable, CD, streamer, TV, etc...) and your preferred speakers.
Q: I listen to headphone, what should I get?
A: a BeCube HP Amp will be available. It will have RCA inputs and RCA output and will drive any headphone out there, it will have it's internal power supply so you'll just have to add your preferred source (DAC, Phono). You can even use the HP Amp as an high quality preamplifier should you need so.
Q: anything else I should know before purchasing BeCubes?
A: please select your mains voltage and power cord. In case you would like to distinguish yourself and add a touch of color to your home, please indicate your preferred RAL code in the notes. RAL codes are available at https://www.ralcolor.com
I love patina green RAL 6000 and traffic blue RAL 5017, matte finish.
Q: what is available now?
A: as of December 2018, SUT, Phono, Power, MonoAmp are developed and will shortly be launched on our ecommerce web site. The Line is almost ready to go and the HP Amp is now at a good stage. We are still working on the DAC.
Q: so what can I purchase?
A: SUT n°3, Phono, MonoAmp, Power will be offered at a reduced price shortly for a limited period (early bird offer) in the first quarter of 2019. The Line will follow after 3 months along with the HP Amp. The DAC will be available sometime in the second half of 2019.
Q: future products?
A: yes, a streamer will come and we will add a very nice rack to support all the BeCubes. Speakers will be available as well. Stay tuned for more news.
Q: what is this early bird offer? That sounds like a good deal.
A: it is, for a limited time all the new products will be sold directly from us at a discount. More news on our blog in the coming weeks.
Q: any dealer to purchase from the BeCubes?
A: we will have selected dealers selling BeCubes.
Q: if I purchase from Audiodinamica and I don't like the BeCube ... what can I do?
A: all our products can be returned no question asked if you don't like them (you will only be charged shipping costs, terms and conditions apply). But you will like them, we are sure. You cannot return special painted BeCubes, well ... contact us and will handle the issue somehow.
Q: any special deal?
A: yes, we may have some B-Stock items on sale with a discount. B-Stock are returned items, ex-display after shows and even prototypes sometime! All B-Stock are fully tested and will be clearly described in details when available. Check them out, you might miss a big deal.
Technical questions on BeCubes
Q: what's the difference between XLR and RCA connections?
A: XLR are professional grade connectors and allow for sturdier connections, moreover balanced lines are inherently more robust against noise. RCAs are more widely diffused in consumer electronics (simpler and cheaper). The BeCubes will work perfectly with no impairment of performance either way, they are all based on differential pairs so they do work always balanced.
Q: should I use balanced cables or RCAs?
A: we suggest balanced cable XLR terminated. Try XLRs with your turntable.
Q: can I use RCA and XLR inputs simultaneously?
A: no, you cannot. You would mix the signals. BeCubes will not explode but they will get nervous.
Q: can I use RCA and XLR output simultaneously?
A: yes, you can. BeCubes have a buffer low impedance output and can drive low loads. RCA output is half of the XLR so volume will be lower.
Q: can I mix BeCubes with other unbalanced electronics?
A: yes, you can. BeCubes will still work balanced. Please note there is not a balanced to unbalanced conversions in the BeCubes, they are always balanced regardless of the input and output connections.
Q: what parts are you using in BeCubes?
A: discrete low noise dual jFETs (they are tightly matched), low noise 0.1% metal foil resistors, metalized polypropylene capacitors, audio grade electrolytic capacitors in the power supplies, alps potentiometer, neutrik connectors, permalloy transformers (SUT), gold plated switches for signals or relays.
Q: what's inside the BeCube Power?
A: the mains transformer and a low noise pre-regulator with separate +/- voltage for signals, digital and auxiliary circuitry.
Q: what's inside the BeCube Phono?
A: a super low noise regulator and two separate signal boards (left and right channel) with fully differential and buffered circuitry. The RIAA network is split and discrete.
Q: what's inside the BeCube Line?
A: a choke based supply board (the best way to give music more energy and dynamics) and two separate signal boards (left and right channel) with fully differential and buffered circuitry. The Line has an input switch based on relays and a motorised quad sections Alp potentiometer.
Q: what's inside the BeCube MonoAmp?
A: a compact classD module with integral power supply. Low noise, low distortion, big power, low heat.
Q: what's inside the BeCube HP Amp?
A: it is under development, we can anticipate it is a DC coupled two stages discrete amplifier with jFET input and MOSFET output.
Q: what's inside the BeCube DAC?
A: we are evaluating different chips and solutions. It will handle DSD and PCM signals on S/PDIF and USB and will be buffered to work as a stand alone digital preamplifier. It is balanced.
Q: what's inside the SUT?
A: the SUT n°3 has a pair of 50% permalloy transformers soldered on the board, SUT n°2 will have a pair of 78% permalloy transformers and upgraded audiophile grade resistors.
Picture 8: BeCube SUT N°3 - Silver and Green
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Gianluca Sperti