The Big Knob...

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Bassomatic, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    No, not talking about that TGP'er you love to hate, but rather the Mackie monitoring/talk back thingy.

    Anyone own or use one of these guys in the past? My old Mackie 24/4 died on my recently (it's only been a glorified monitoring mixer for years), thinking about replacing it with TBK. Anyone hear reliability issues since production moved to China?
     
  2. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    I had one for a while--never found a thing wrong w/ it. The multiple outs and the talkback feature were nice to have.

    I never had issues, and haven't heard of any w/ the Knob. Did have some minor gripes about pots on the vlz models, but not this line.
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Did you find it changed the sound? I've heard that.

    You also may want to check out the unit by Presonus. Same type of thing, but a passive signal path. Slightly more expensive.

    Loudboy
     
  4. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I just changed from the Big Knob to the Presonus Central Station

    the difference wasnt HUGE but the Presonus definitely sounds better to me.

    More open and 3D and less HARD sounding when you are really pushing levels like at final mix stage
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    That's what I don't dig about the "Mackie sound."

    Not sure if the Big Knob has it as much as the consoles do, tho.

    Loudboy
     
  6. mcholley

    mcholley Member

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    +1 for the Presonus Central Station- I have used both, and the Mackie product was the loser of the battle.

    Mark
     
  7. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    I wouldn't say that it "changed" the sound, but there is a slight color to it. I've also heard good things from the Presonus.

    I never had a problem with a harsh sound, but I'm not sure how "push" a unit like this. It's just a monitor controller.
     
  8. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't think the Central Station is anything to write home about. I've never tried the Big Knob but if most accounts put it below the Central Station, yikes!
     
  9. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    that's sort of my experience, as well.
    i earned the online wrath of a presonus rep by opining that the central station was exceedingly - meh.....
     
  10. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    Compared to what? Crane Song Avocet? Dangerous? SPL? It gets spendy in a hurry.

    I seriously doubt that the monitor controller is the weak link in most home or project studios. I've heard plenty of nice work come from folks using either.........
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Did you want it for monitor & input switching, or talkback, or all? There is a way to rig a talkback system in ProTools just using Aux sends which probably would work with your system (Nuendo, am I right?) as well.

    I'm thinking you could easily do the same for monitor switching, just creating a separate send and output pair for each set of monitors and muting whatever you don't want to hear.

    Just a suggestion without knowing your needs, which is always a huge help. ;)
     
  12. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    w/o trying to sound the least bit pissy, i'd say that the weakest link in any studio is the recordist. to my way of thinking, the last place one wants to be compromising their signal chain is in the monitoring area. how can one make valid and repeatable choices in an expedient and efficacious manner if they are not getting as clear and uncoloured translation as possible?
     
  13. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I agree w/ this. For me, I had just dumped my LE rig and went PTHD. I got new convertors, etc.. and was CURIOUS so I bought the Presonus and did a shootout. As I initially said, there difference wasnt huge - but it was there. I could have easily done great work w/ the Big Knob. But for a few hundred more - a have a more transparent interface and , thanks to the remote, a smaller footprint in my workspace
     
  14. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the responses, folks. Keep 'em coming!

    I just need two switch between DAW, DAT, POD Pro (not even, really, as I can always patch the latter. Perhaps a secondary set of monitors when funds permit. What I really need is a knob (non virtual) with which to change my monitor levels. What I would really like to avoid. if possible, is coloration.

    If the Presonus is a passive design, it should be less colored than the Mackie, no? I'm on a fairly tight budget so things like the Dangerous are off limits for the moment.
     
  15. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree with the latter sentiment, but if I'm spending the money anyway... I'd really like to know peoples impressions of the various options out there.
     
  16. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    That is exactly how I used the Central Station. 95% of the time, it was relegated to volume and source switching duties. I would pass on both if you don't need the extra features, some of which aren't up to the task anyway. I couldn't stand the CS headphone amp, for one. I used one for 3 years until I finally built a better box. A DACT attenuator and switches for in/out would be cheaper and better, imo. You can package it in any kind of box you prefer, rack or desktop. That's just one example. Goldpoint has one already assembled if you prefer.
    http://www.goldpt.com/sa2x.html
     
  17. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    No problem--I'm not the sensitive type :D

    Sure, I agree w/ you, but there are some caveats. If the room has been treated, the converters are solid, the monitors are quality, the power is clean, etc.

    I just think as a matter of priorities, the difference that you'll get by using the Big Knob vs. another controller in the price range is negligible in the grand scheme of things. Having used one, I firmly believe that--I thought it was a quality product w/ some nice features. I'd probably still be using it, but my setup required me to go another route (pun intended).

    One that I wouldn't recomment would be the Samson thingy.

    Bass--you probably need to try one out if you can.
     
  18. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    My plan is to build one up from scratch, but I'm going to go with an active design rather than passive. With good op-amps (I have a bunch of Forssell JFET 992s) there should be negligable colouration, and there won;t be any need to keep track of impedance issues. My plan was also to use a 50 step Daven rotary switch for the volume control, and two other rotary switches (1 for source selection, and another for speaker selection). Maybe a dim, and mute switch.


    Cheers

    Kris
     
  19. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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  20. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    provided that one is using convertors w/ adequately low output impedance and the powered speakers or power amp have adequately high input impedance, the goldpoint attenuators/switchers are exceedingly transparent w/o the harmonic thinness that some passive attenuator/switchers have. as i recall, the goldpoint stuff is fairly reasonably priced, as well.
     

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