Our very own home grown brand is back with a new series of balanced power conditioners. According to James Soh, Plixir’s owner and designer, the Cube series was introduced to offer a premium product to customers that wanted a very high quality power conditioner, but were unable to afford the top-of-the-line Elite series of products.
The quality of finish of the Cube is top-notch, and a far cry from Plixir’s first models and significantly better than the present Elementa series. In fact, it would be fair to say that the level of finish and build is on par with the Elite series. However, to bring the product to a lower price point, the Cube uses a more affordable Noratel transformer that uses trickle-down technology from the Elite’s XQ transformer.
Size wise, the squarish footprint (240 x 270 x 245 mm) of the Cube enables easy placement and economical use of Singapore’s very expensive real estate space. It’s diminutive size is deceptive though, and the Cube weighs a back-breaking 30 kg.
The model on review offers 8 outlets of your choice (US, EU or UK) and supports equipment with total power of 2280 watts. A binding post is also offered in case you wish to ground any of your components to the Cube.
Like the rest of the Plixir models, the Cube runs warm to the touch (I measured about 8-9 degrees Celcius above ambient temperature) on standby. My review sample did not have any noticeable transformer hum or buzzing.
My initial impressions of the Cube were very positive - an extremely low noise floor and powerful bass. I initially thought that the Cube even exceeded the Elite series in this regard. However upon extended listening, I found this to be not the case for reasons explained later.
Sonics wise, the performance of the Cube sits squarely between the first generation Elementa (I did not have the current Elementa series on hand for comparison) and Elite series. Tonally it is not as neutral and has a pronounced bass emphasis and darker midrange and top-end. While the basslines from the Cube appeared more impressive than the Elite at first, I found that the bass was not as tight and lacked the articulation and detail of the Elite. Double-bass had impact but you could not hear the inner detail - you heard more of a single note rather than the resonance from the body of the instrument and the vibrating strings. Similarly, the midrange and treble were smooth and refined, but lacking in the last bit of inner detail, expressiveness and air that only the Elite could deliver.
For most audiophiles, the Cube would be more than enough. I could have lived happily with it had I not personally owned the Elite BAC - perhaps ignorance could be bliss for an audiophile.
Cube or Elite ? The choice to me very much boils down to matching. Audiophiles who find their system too lightweight and shrill would love the Cube. Audiophiles who have dialled-in their system to perfection would be better off with the Elite. Like everything in hi-fi, horses for courses !
The Cube fits nicely into the gap in the Plixir series. The Elite BAC still remains at the top of the heap, but the Cube remains a very worthy model for consideration, especially in the right system. The high level of finish, compact footprint and competitive performance means that the Cube deserves a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED label !
Cube 8 BAC