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What to use between converters and monitors
Old 11th December 2002
  #1
What to use between converters and monitors

So I've been running my monitors out of the Digi 001 main outs, when it finally occurred to me that I should probably run them out of my Apogee D/A.

The catch? The only volume control is on the software itself and unless you turn everything at about -46, it's amazingly loud.

I don't have a board at all. I use Motor Mix, sort of. Okay, the Motor Mix is for show, I really use the mouse, but that's not my point...

Any suggestions as to what I should put between the outputs of the Apogee and the inputs of my monitors? Should I bite the bullet and get a Mackie board just for this or is there something better? Or at least... is there something else?

All I need is some volume control, with no extra noise.

Jasper
Old 12th December 2002
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Furman makes a one space box that covers that. It's a speaker switcher, 2-track router and headphone amp. I forget the model but I used to own one and it was pretty decent. I think Coleman also makes a box that that. A Wackie 1202 would also get the job done and lets face it, you can always use a small mixer for something.
Old 12th December 2002
  #3
Gear Nut
 
plexi's Avatar
 

Here`s something for ya : DAC1
Old 12th December 2002
  #4
Quote:
Furman makes a one space box that covers that. It's a speaker switcher, 2-track router and headphone amp.
I used to like Furman products until they started lopping off the power cords. (Little Furman joke for you.)

Thanks. I'll check that out.

Quote:
I think Coleman also makes a box that that. A Wackie 1202 would also get the job done and lets face it, you can always use a small mixer for something.
Yeah, that's a good point and the Mackie 1202 is a lot less money than the Coleman I saw at Sweetwater. I would hope the Coleman has better sound, but I wonder how much better.

And I saw a Drawmer DA6 at the Atlas Pro Audio site that looks like it might work as well.

Quote:
Here`s something for ya : DAC1
That's more than I need. I already have a PSX-100, so the D/A is taken care of. But thanks.

Appreciate the feedback from both of you.

Jasper
Old 13th December 2002
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Jasper

Yeah, that's a good point and the Mackie 1202 is a lot less money than the Coleman I saw at Sweetwater. I would hope the Coleman has better sound, but I wonder how much better.
What about all the extras? Does it have a mono switch, DIM, can you plug 2 or more sets of monitors into it? All of those come in real handy. My console has one set of monitor outs (so does an 80C, WTF?!) and the guy I bought it from was using the Furman and gave that to me. Well, I had this problem with freelancers using both DIM's and volume controls and not really thinking about it. Then they'd wonder why they couldn't get any level, see both switches engaged and pop 'em both out while hitting "play". After losing a 3rd set of drivers I launched the Furman and now I have the mains running off the consoles "studio" output which gives me a level and mute but no mono or DIM. It's a bit of a drag but what can ya do?
Old 13th December 2002
  #6
I don't want to belabor this topic, but it seems upon closer scrutiny of these devices they all have good qualities, yet don't do exactly what I need.

First, the Coleman. It has four XLR inputs, and three XLR outputs (all stereo). The catch? You can only use one output at a time. Ideally, it would be nice to run outputs to my headphone amplifier and outputs to the monitors simultaneously. It costs about $825 at Mercenary Audio, so it's a little expensive.

The Drawmer DA6 has only one input and six outputs, but you can run as many outputs as you want. It also offers stereo XLR connections and has mono summing for each output pair. The downside on this is that it would be nice to have at least two input sources to switch between (I would agree that, unlike outputs, it isn't necessary to have inputs running simultaneously. Although if you were on mushrooms...) These babies cost about $790 from AtlasProAudio.

The Mackie Board could work, but the XLR inputs are MIC ins and run through the preamps. Another problem? No way to sum to mono -- as far as I can tell, anyway. (Although, I guess you could just pan everything hard left or right and come out mono through one speaker, which I kind of prefer anyway).

The Mackie's line inputs are TRS, so I'd have to get a couple of transformers for my XLR cables, since the Apogee PSX-100 doesn't have 1/4-inch outputs. Fortunately, the Mackie Main outputs are XLR, so that could be fed to my monitors, and the "control room" out could be fed via 1/4-inch connections to the headphone amplifiers, which has 1/4-inch inputs as well. Also, there are separate controls for main out and control room out -- and that's a good thing. These run about $300 used on eBay. Cheapest alternative.

Now to the Furman's. It has either two channels or four channels of input, but only two dual mono channels of output. There's no mono summing and it's expensive. About $950 at some place I saw online somwhere... I forget.

The Drawmer and the Coleman are the closest to what I'm looking for. If the Coleman could run simultaneous outputs with separate gain controls it would be exactly what I'm looking for -- switchable from four stereo sources, three alternative speaker buttons, separate volume knobs for headphone and speaker mix, all XLR connections. What I would have to do is what I'm doing now -- run the XLR outputs from the Apogee to the headphone amplified, and then run the XLR outputs to one of the source inputs of the Coleman.

Or, I suppose I could run a 1/4-inch stereo out from the Coleman headphone output into the headphone amplifier's stereo main 1/4-inch input. But that's a bit Rube Goldberg and I'd have to find a one foot, 1/4-inch stereo to stereo cable (helo, Radio Shack).

Or... I could get the Mackie for now and wait until something exactly like I need hits the market, if ever. That would be the least expensive way to go, and I'd save a rack space as well. Like Jay said, there's always some other use for a small mixer.

At least I have a lot of information now. Thanks.

Jasper
Old 13th December 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
atticus's Avatar
Mike,

We have this little guy, the Junior Audio Director Plus. It's got flexible routing, a headphone amp, it sums to mono, and it's very uncolored. Might be what you need?
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What to use between converters and monitors-jraudiopl.jpg  
Old 13th December 2002
  #8
Definitely in the same ballpark with the ones mentioned above. But I'm really looking for something with XLR I/Os.

Thanks, David.
Old 13th December 2002
  #9
I'm spoiled.

I have a custom built Crane Song monitor box that's the prototype of the monitoring portion of our mastering console. All discrete class A and relay driven. Dim, mute, mono, selectable inputs, meter out, and a beautiful gain control...

3db down points of 2Hz and 400 kHz.

heehee

Dave Hill rocks. Just pure genius.
Old 13th December 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
I'm spoiled.

I have a custom built Crane Song monitor box that's the prototype of the monitoring portion of our mastering console. All discrete class A and relay driven. Dim, mute, mono, selectable inputs, meter out, and a beautiful gain control...

3db down points of 2Hz and 400 kHz.

heehee

Dave Hill rocks. Just pure genius.
Brad pisses me off more and more each quote. Can we see a pic at least?
Old 13th December 2002
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Jasper
..what I'm looking for -- switchable from four stereo sources, three alternative speaker buttons, separate volume knobs for headphone and speaker mix, all XLR connections.
How about a passive attenuator? Would you consider diy?
Old 13th December 2002
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
I'm spoiled.
And shouldn't you be working on my record now instead of posting?
fuuck
Old 13th December 2002
  #13
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
And shouldn't you be working on my record now instead of posting?
Your session started at 10:00, Jay.

Clock-watcher.

heehee

(lunch break now, fwiw)
Old 13th December 2002
  #14
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mike Jasper
[B]
First, the Coleman. It has four XLR inputs, and three XLR outputs (all stereo). The catch? You can only use one output at a time. Ideally, it would be nice to run outputs to my headphone amplifier and outputs to the monitors simultaneously. It costs about $825 at Mercenary Audio, so it's a little expensive.

*** The guy who runs Coleman also makes custom gear and can probably mod or build what you want. $$$

Now to the Furman's. It has either two channels or four channels of input, but only two dual mono channels of output. There's no mono summing and it's expensive. About $950 at some place I saw online somwhere... I forget.


*** Which Furman? The one I'm talking about is way less then $950. I tried to get on their website but it keeps stalling. I'll look up the model number later. I remember it being around $400 or $450.


all XLR connections. What I would have to do is what I'm doing now -- run the XLR outputs from the Apogee to the headphone amplified, and then run the XLR outputs to one of the source

*** Or you could make cables to go from 1/4" to XLR. It's really not a big deal. And if you don't want to make them yourself you can order them from just about any quality cable place. I've made lots of adapter cables in the middle of a session.
Old 14th December 2002
  #15
How about the DMS-3 designed by Inward Connections, sold by Boutique Audio?www.boutiqueaudio.com


Inward Connections also designs the best summing box on the planet...SBM 2.
Old 16th December 2002
  #16
Jay writes:
Quote:
*** Or you could make cables to go from 1/4" to XLR. It's really not a big deal. And if you don't want to make them yourself you can order them from just about any quality cable place. I've made lots of adapter cables in the middle of a session.
Yeah, you're right. But I'd rather have XLR cables. Just a more secure connection.

thethrillfactor writes:
Quote:
How about the DMS-3 designed by Inward Connections, sold by Boutique Audio?
Yeah, it looks great and all but it lists for $3200. I'd really like to keep this under a grand.

And so I ordered a Coleman M3. I'll let you know how it works out. Although it doesn't have simultaneous outputs in the XLR outs in back, I can feed the headphone amp from the stereo 1/4-inch headphone mix (about a one-foot patch cable). It sums to mono, and lets you hear the Left and Right speakers independently. I think this is closest to what I'm looking for, although it was a tough decision between this and the Drawmer DA6.

Jasper
Old 17th December 2002
  #17
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
The Furman SRM-80 was the thing I was talking about. Not the newer confidance monitors. If can locate one of those I think it would be perfect or almost close to perfect for you. It's also way cheaper then the Coleman.
Old 17th December 2002
  #18
Quote:
The Furman SRM-80 was the thing I was talking about. Not the newer confidance monitors. If I can locate one of those I think it would be perfect or almost close to perfect for you. It's also way cheaper then the Coleman.
Jay, can you direct me to any information about this? A Web site or something.

Meanwhile, I'll check Google to see what I can find. But yeah, I was looking at a whole nother unit from Furman.

Jasper
Old 17th December 2002
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 

I could be wrong but I don't think they make them anymore. I'd keep an eye on ebay... one's bound to turn up there sooner or later.
Old 17th December 2002
  #20
I think you're right Tim.

But I did find a link that gives a good description/review.

http://www.proaudioreview.com/par/ju...rman-Web.shtml

Jasper
Old 17th December 2002
  #21
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I didn't see it on the Furman page so maybe it is gone. I also checked Slickwater and didn't see it there so you'd have to look to the used market. I have a friend who might sell his since he went back to a console. If your interested let me know and I'll get you the contact info.
Old 17th December 2002
  #22
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I just finished reading that link. Like Dr. Fred said, he's an audiophile kinda guy and can hear things most people can't. I and several other people who own the Furman either can't hear a difference with it in the path or notice a slight difference. Then again, we record rock music so we're probably half deaf anyway.
Old 17th December 2002
  #23
Quote:
Then again, we record rock music so we're probably half deaf anyway.
I heard that. Barely.

Yeah, i will keep my eyes open for that Furman. My mind's still open on this.

Jasper
Old 10th February 2004
  #24
I should probably follow up on this. I wound up buying the Coleman Audio M3. It broke down in two weeks, Glenn Coleman fixed it, and it's been great ever since. For about a year.

Yeah. I'm kind of late with the follow-up, I guess.

Jasper
Old 10th February 2004
  #25
Hi Mike, Good to see you here again!
Old 11th February 2004
  #26
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

One of the more amusing things I ever did was to make a dealer take a little Mackie mixer out of the monitor chain and plug their Meyer HD-1s straight into a Pro Tools interface. The improvement was not subtle at all and a lot of jaws hit the floor. Monitor paths are a much bigger deal than most people suspect.
Old 15th February 2004
  #27
Hey... what about the A-Design ATTY box?
Check it out... might be all you need for under $100 and very transparent...
Old 16th February 2004
  #28
Where can you find the A-design box?
Old 16th February 2004
  #29
Old 16th February 2004
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Gie-Sound's Avatar
!
check out: http://www.spl-usa.com/smc/smc_E.html

... very handy
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