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Monitor controller highest quality for reasonable price ?
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Immersion
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26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Monitor controller highest quality for reasonable price ?

I am building a studio, it looks like I am forced to buy a monitor controller against my will, I was about to buy one of the SPL's controllers cause I thought they were ultra transperent etc, but reading on this forum a totally new reality emerge, where it seem that they are not transperent at all and can't be compared Dangerous audio, which is not even comparable.

I have invested a lot of money in the signal path, Trident HG3, Phoenix audio DRS 8, Lynx aurora 16, eventide H8000fw. So it does not make sense to buy a [deleted by mod] monitor controller which will destroy the signal chain.

I am looking for a monitor controller to match my signal chain, the problem is , I can't afford much more, I have bougt a lot of my studio on loaned money, and to spend big money for a dangerous monitor controller ST feels to me llike a very boring investmet cause it does not improve the sound or anything. it just deliver a non-destructive signal.

All I want is a volume knob, so because my need of less functionality and just the volume knob it can' hopefully bring down the price, I have no use for milion of ports and functions I just want the signal to be ass lossfree as possible for as cheap money as possible.

A price like 1200 seem to me reasonable. I am aware that I get what I pay for, but I hope there is some unknown gold corns out there...which give you a lot for the money.
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26th December 2012
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At that price the DACS Clarity HeadMaster seems to be the obvious choice - about £1,000 I think and less than your 1,200 limit.
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Immersion
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26th December 2012
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[deleted by mod]

how is the Kush audio The Gain Train ?
Does it have the high end audio quality ?

Last edited by Trev@Circle; 6th January 2013 at 12:03 PM.. Reason: Unecessary
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26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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26th December 2012
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I've mixed a bunch of projects with the MTC2181.
It isn't the best of the best but it is far from terrible.

It doesn't come close to 'destroying the signal chain'.
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26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
[deleted]

how is the Kush audio The Gain Train ?
Does it have the high end audio quality ?
I think you just have more American manufacturers in the hardware pro audio world than those from other countries.

As for the Gain Train... I think it's top notch and ultra transparent, but I may be biased because I designed the circuit. I feel it's at the same sonic level as the Dangerous (personally I feel it may be even more transparent, although I have never done a direct comparison), or the Cranesong Avocet. Of course it doesn't look as fancy and doesn't have the same extensive feature set, but it is super prisitine. It's all direct coupled (no coupling caps), has audiophile grade op amps (LME49860), has an oversized power supply, and has a very short signal path. And then there's the infamous knob. I'm not sure you can do much better for $1000.

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26th December 2012
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26th December 2012
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Giant +1 on the Coleman. It's passive (you don't even need to plug it into power unless you're using headphones or summing to mono!), and totally transparent.

I bought one for $400 used, look around!
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26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
I hope it is not what they say about gearslutz, the people only recommend stuff from their own country, like americans only like american stuff and diss all german stuff vice versa..

how is the Kush audio The Gain Train ?
Does it have the high end audio quality ?
I don't think so - I just like good quality, whatever country it comes from.

My own monitor controller is of US manufacture. My microphones are mainly German, my recorders are Swiss and French, etc...

I recommended a British monitor controller as it was about the best at the budget mentioned.
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26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio X View Post
+1 on the Dangerous ST: http://www.dangerousmusic.com/products/monitor-st

Coleman is very good as well, but not having a remote or having a remote with a bunch of wires sticking out is a drag.
I know Dangerous audio is the benchmark pretty much...
But the price..is just too much..considering how much other things I can get for that money.

All I wonder is how the Kush gain train compare to the Dangerous audio stuff ???

On the forum all I can find about the kush gain train is self promotion by the kush company and designer flooding the forum with self promotion.

I have now been reading through the whole forum all threads about the Kush, 80 of all posts are posted by people who is from the company who have ben involved in the design.
another 15% is from a guy who promote his webstore. the rest 5% is from users, but none of the seem to have been able to compare to the out of reach hind end stuff like dangerous audio etc.
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26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
I don't think so - I just like good quality, whatever country it comes from.

My own monitor controller is of US manufacture. My microphones are mainly German, my recorders are Swiss and French, etc...

I recommended a British monitor controller as it was about the best at the budget mentioned.
I have been reading the monitor controller threads, and first time I Hear Clarity HeadMaster, will see what it is. thanks!
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26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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What about a Benchmark DAC1. Sounds neutral to me.
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26th December 2012
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This one is very good 8ch but it's un-bal:

MSB DACs

You can make cables up that are + on one ch and - on another (for 4 ch), at 399 it's a steal. Digitally controlled switched resistor network means no sq loss, no phase shift, no distortion, no drift between ch at any setting, but you get 8192 steps unlike switched resistors. Downside is it goes up and down a little bit slowly, but the upside is it has a remote.
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26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaz28346 View Post
What about a Benchmark DAC1. Sounds neutral to me.
The Benchmark DAC 1 is an excellent 2 channel DAC with built in volume control knob to feed monitors and it's within OP's budget.
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26th December 2012
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If I were you I'd bite the bullet and get the Dangerous Music Monitor ST. When you invest in anything else for your studio it will always go through that step in the chain...tracking mixing mastering etc (I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know). So it is the most boring and potential most important step in your signal path.

If you were less deep in with your other purchases I'd say Coleman. But at this point I'd go Dangerous. My 2 cents. Good luck!

Ty Robins
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26th December 2012
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BTW, I was very recently in your position (beginning of dec) buying new a/d-d/a, pre amps, and monitors. After a lot of research and consideration I went with the Dangerous music monitor ST.
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26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyrobins View Post
BTW, I was very recently in your position (beginning of dec) buying new a/d-d/a, pre amps, and monitors. After a lot of research and consideration I went with the Dangerous music monitor ST.
THanks for your advice, problem with dangerous audio users, they have often no experience in the mid segment, such as Kush audio Main Gain, I assume you have no experience with them either ?
I can understand that a lot of people can't take this small device serious cause it isn ot a 19 inch rack format..but what I have been reading it is on par with the high end segment but for the fraction of the price.

I will probably buythe dangerous audio in a few years at least right now I have a tight budget, cause there is so many things I want to buy..the H8000FW sucks up most of it..and to spend the money on an Dangerous monitor St would totally feel awful... so I am mainly intersted to find the unknown "gold corns" out there..cause I know there is...

I am sure a lot of people buy the dangerous audio monitor ST just to be on the safe...without looking about cheaper alternatives...

personally I think that every studio monitor should come with some kind of external monitor controller...it is really nonsense that we should have buy expensive gear for over 2000 dollars just to control the ****ing volume...unfortunately it is true.
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
On the forum all I can find about the kush gain train is self promotion by the kush company and designer flooding the forum with self promotion.

I have now been reading through the whole forum all threads about the Kush, 80 of all posts are posted by people who is from the company who have ben involved in the design.
another 15% is from a guy who promote his webstore. the rest 5% is from users, but none of the seem to have been able to compare to the out of reach hind end stuff like dangerous audio etc.
I'm a user and fellow forum member like you. I try to design things that I think are cool tools that yield a level of performance that historically have required a big financial investment. I have nothing to gain at this point by sharing my thoughts on what I think is a good product. I was paid a long time ago for my work.

Go to the Zen Pro Audio site and you can download sound clips run through the Kush unit and some other monitor controllers. That might help you make up your mind.

Brad
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27th December 2012
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I'm a user and fellow forum member like you. I try to design things that I think are cool tools that yield a level of performance that historically have required a big financial investment. I have nothing to gain at this point by sharing my thoughts on what I think is a good product. I was paid a long time ago for my work.

Go to the Zen Pro Audio site and you can download sound clips run through the Kush unit and some other monitor controllers. That might help you make up your mind.

Brad
I am quite sure you you said you where involved in the design in some previous post ?
For that reason I did skip to read all of your post..I guess I need to read them now if I was wrong.
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post

to spend big money for a dangerous monitor controller ST feels to me llike a very boring investmet cause it does not improve the sound or anything. it just deliver a non-destructive signal.
See I completely disagree with this, Idea? No offense..If you spent allot of money on your whole signal chain than the only sensible thing to me is to get your room and monitoring to a higher level. The Dangerous allows you to hear accurately. Along with acoustics and monitors I feel its one of the most important items ,and exciting tool to spend money on. Clarity
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulOcchialini View Post
See I completely disagree with this, Idea? No offense..If you spent allot of money on your whole signal chain than the only sensible thing to me is to get your room and monitoring to a higher level. The Dangerous allows you to hear accurately. Along with acoustics and monitors I feel its one of the most important items ,and exciting tool to spend money on. Clarity
Well Of course I agree with you, but I also believe in the free market and competition, all should discover what the market has to offer, not just follow others and buy the dangerous audio stuff just because it is the only good stuff...


All I hear from the high end folks is that no other product have a chance, dangerous audio is superior and no one will ever come close... I can understand why people who have invested big money in their products really..have the need to look down on the cheaper product when they have invested big money in dangerous audio...it is like the people have closed eyes, cause it is the industry standard and you have to use what all other use in the industry. If you have big pockets I understand that it is an easy choice... to just buy the best..but for a lot of people... we do not want to pay more then we have to for the sonic quality.

Of course I agree the
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27th December 2012
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Dangerous, Crane Songe, Grace, Shadow Hills, etc are all priced where they are for good reason.
The sound quality, obviously, but for other features that are useful for mixing and especially tracking.
You can probably get away with stuff like Kush, where it's less about features (if you don't need them), and the emphasis is on the sound only.

Totally disagree with the OP's comment about the monitor controller 'not improving the sound'. Well, in that case, why buy the HG3's? Just buy some Behringer monitors and call it a day.
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27th December 2012
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I'm considering the Dangerous Source.

Good features and cheaper than the competition.
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post


All I hear from the high end folks is that no other product have a chance, dangerous audio is superior and no one will ever come close... I can understand why people who have invested big money in their products really..have the need to look down on the cheaper product when they have invested big money in dangerous audio...it is like the people have closed eyes, cause it is the industry standard and you have to use what all other use in the industry. If you have big pockets I understand that it is an easy choice... to just buy the best..but for a lot of people... we do not want to pay more then we have to for the sonic quality.

Of course I agree the
I see how you feel this way.. What I know is myself and many professionals who make a living making records have chosen the Dangerous gear, not necessarily because its superior, but because we have tried many controllers and decided the Dangerous worked best. There are many great alternatives, I happened to pick the Monitor ST with DAC for its Transparency and features.

The "closed eyes" thing, meh, I don't disagree. "Industry Standard", Arguable. But if your looking for quality and features it always cost a little more no matter what controller you buy.
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Dangerous, Crane Songe, Grace, Shadow Hills, etc are all priced where they are for good reason.
The sound quality, obviously, but for other features that are useful for mixing and especially tracking.
You can probably get away with stuff like Kush, where it's less about features (if you don't need them), and the emphasis is on the sound only.

Totally disagree with the OP's comment about the monitor controller 'not improving the sound'. Well, in that case, why buy the HG3's? Just buy some Behringer monitors and call it a day.
Well the things is I have no real need for all functionalities, a volume knob only I do not want to pay extra for all these functions I will never use.

A monitor controller is not there to improve the sound, it's main function is to not break the signal chain and sonic quality, but not to add something extra, it is the job of the sound interface/soundcard to provide the sound quality, the monitor controller should only forward the sonic quality of the sound card to the speakers...not to add something extra, if the monitor controller adds color all your productions will sound false, cause what you here is not really what that sound is like.

As neutral sound as possible is what should be desired, kush audio main gain is said to be extremlt natural sounding...problem is...a very few people seem to have tried.. and those who tried it have no tried high end stuff and can't compare with the high end stuff, which makes their opinion less relevant... most people who review the kush audio goes from a budget or another mid range product, I still want to know how it compare to the high end stuff.

in terms of functionality the main gain is perfect for me, it has all functions I need, and it feels good that I do not have to pay extra for stuff.

The remote on the Dangerous audio ST to me looks very toyish...
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
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I am quite sure you you said you where involved in the design in some previous post ?
For that reason I did skip to read all of your post..I guess I need to read them now if I was wrong.
Kush audio is the real deal. The ubk fatso is a classic in its own right and everything else they make regardless of price is "high end" sound.

I think it is a testament to their accessibility that they interact and post so freely on GS.

Don't let the brown fool ya. :-)
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
As neutral sound as possible is what should be desired, kush audio main gain is said to be extremlt natural sounding...problem is...a very few people seem to have tried.. and those who tried it have no tried high end stuff and can't compare with the high end stuff, which makes their opinion less relevant... most people who review the kush audio goes from a budget or another mid range product, I still want to know how it compare to the high end stuff.

in terms of functionality the main gain is perfect for me, it has all functions I need, and it feels good that I do not have to pay extra for stuff.

The remote on the Dangerous audio ST to me looks very toyish...
Actually many people have tried the Kush Audio Main Gain. Just because they aren't all posting their thoughts on Gearslutz doesn't mean that people aren't using them.

I have a friend who has the Dangerous ST. I would be happy to bring mine over to his place and do a shoot out against a Main Gain and post my thoughts. But what's the point if nobody takes me seriously simply because I was involved with the design. Like I said I gain nothing financially from any Kush sale. At this stage I'm just another user. You'd think that my consistently sincere and honest posting history over the last eight years on this site would mean something, but perhaps not. Time's are changing I guess.

The remote on the Dangerous is actually very nice and pro. It really looks cool sitting there on your desk/console. The shape of the volume knob is a little weird to me, and doesn't feel as good in my fingertips as other things, but it does the job.

Brad
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27th December 2012
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I got the Presonus Central Station w/remote. Best $400 I've spent as of late. Sound just fine to me.
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
I know Dangerous audio is the benchmark pretty much...
But the price..is just too much..considering how much other things I can get for that money.
I would also consider the Dangerous Source for $899
The Dangerous Source - Dangerous Products - Dangerous Music

Similar quality with less features than the ST for an affordable price.
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