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Need help choosing Monitor Controller
Old 7th October 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Need help choosing Monitor Controller

Hey guys! I'm setting up my own mixing studio in my house and am looking for a monitor controller. I want it to be as inexpensive as can be but still good quality. I have only used the Mackie big knob in the past, and it was good. I honestly couldn't tell if it was decreasing sound quality or not. As of now I only have one input, but need several outs.

Here what i want:

Switch among 3 monitors
Headphone out
Possibly Sub Out
Sturdy, Well built
Good sound quality
Under $300


The ones I'm considering:

Mackie Big Knob
Presonus Monitor Station
SM Audio M-Patch 2
Behringer XENYX Control1USB (Has built in interface, interesting)
JBL MSC1
Radial MC3 (very interested in this one)


Thanks for the help!
Old 7th October 2013
  #2
Gear Addict
 
bicarbone's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I own the Presonus monitor station. What I can tell is that the headphones output were miswired (left instead of right). I opened it and soldiered them the proper way. Despite the poor quality check, thix box is cleverly built and offers tons of features. I have a pretty strong feeling that it's not transparent enough for fine mixing, though, and is certainly the weakest component in my chain (Metric Halo ULN 2, dynaudio and littlepapercones monitors).

If I had to buy my first monitor controller now, I'd either save for Dangerous or Kush audio.

If I had only around 300 bucks, I'd probably buy the NOS McOne.

I'd stay away from behringer for sure. Don't know about the others.

I hope this can help you and not confuse you.
Old 7th October 2013
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
if your just looking for speaker management consider Coleman products as well. Well built, no coloring of sound. If you want it for DA duties than thats whole other discussion...start with the Dangerous D Box for that.
Old 7th October 2013
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey guy! Thanks for the replies so far. I'll definitely check out the Coleman stuff. I think they are a little out of my price range. I have heard good about the McOne.

Will the Monitor Station/Big knob/etc. really decrease my sound quality that much? I would just be using it for home studio use but still want quality.
Old 7th October 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
jeremycox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timothydavidson ➑️
Will the Monitor Station/Big knob/etc. really decrease my sound quality that much? I would just be using it for home studio use but still want quality.
There really aren't any solutions in your $300 price range. I've had issues with both the presonus and the radial--now I'm using the mixer for my conversion as a monitor controller. The kush is much better but you'd need to buy both pieces to fit your needs. At that point you are into the Coleman or Dangerous price point. The Dramer may be a good option if you can stretch your budget to $500... I haven't tried it but the reviews look good.
Old 7th October 2013
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Doctorgun's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Pro co switch witch.
Old 7th October 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jordanvoth's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I seriously hate my Mackie Big Knob. I hear it coloring everything, shoddy build quality. Like the Kush, hate where the connectors are located. I'd go Dangerous or Crane Song if budget was no concern but even the Avocet, there are known issues with them misbehaving. I'd go Dangerous, the ppi is worth it.

Budget wise I'd go with the Presonus.
Old 7th October 2013
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I don't know if i can afford the dangerous, but I saw that the Source has usb in. So that will function as a great DA, right?
Old 7th October 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
conflict151's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Check out the options from SM Pro Audio. inexpensive, well built, and passive. no need to connect anything and it is not the least bit colored.
Old 7th October 2013
  #10
Gear Addict
 
DSPDiva's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Definitely top choices would be the SM Pro M-Patch 2. or the Radial MC3. Both passive, so you won't have issues with it coloring your sound. I've worked with the NanoPatch+ which is just the smaller version and it works like a dream. Very simple and I've never had a problem with it. A friend has the Radial and he loves it. Also, the Mackie Big Knob and the Presonus color your sound. More noticeable in the Mackie, I don't care for that one in particular.
Old 7th October 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I'm a Dangerous Source user, and while I love it, it doesn't quite match what you're looking for (only two speaker outs, and no dedicated sub out), and it costs about 3 times what you're looking to pay. The DAC on it is quite good, though, and the headphone amp is great. If you're looking to pay the extra money, you could consider it, the Drawmer box, or the Kush main gain/function junction combo. Otherwise, go with something the above user suggests, I guess.
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