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Looking for suggestions on a high end version of the Big Knob Monitor Controllers
Old 25th February 2018
Gear Addict

Looking for suggestions on a high end version of the Big Knob

I’m tracking full bands far less these days and doing a lot more film score work and production in genres that don’t require tracking lots of live instruments. So I’m moving from my studio and building out my nice big garage in to a production room.

I’m having it designed by a respected designer and I’ll be upgrading my monitoring. I’d like to pair that with a monitor controller upgrade. I don’t need anything fancy. Just a volume knob, a switcher for 2 sets of speakers, maybe a mono? A mute? I just want it to sound GOOD. Active/passive, I have no preference.

I’ve been using the Central Station for a few years and for the price and functionality, it can’t be beat. It gets the job done. The records I’ve made with it sound just as good as records made in studios with monitor controllers more expensive than the monitors themselves.

But I don’t need all that functionality, and I think a better controller will ultimately sound better, so what the heck. More toys!

Any suggestions?
Old 25th February 2018
Lives for gear

I've been happy with the dangerous dbox
Old 25th February 2018
Here for the gear

I got the Heritage Audio RAM 2000 recently and it's been working great for me!
Old 25th February 2018
Lives for gear
Matti's Avatar
Maybe Drawmer Electronics - CMC2 Compact Monitor Controller or their bigger ones

Old 25th February 2018
Old 25th February 2018
Gear Maniac

Yes, the Drawmer CMC2 looks like a neat little unit. As for the Big Knob, I've seen a few for repair and didn't get approval because the cost of the repair would have been more than they're really worth. A fundamental problem is that they employ very ordinary switches which are not intended for low level use. At minimum listening levels the signal can simply drop out.

The other problem noted was that the sheer weight of the huge bundle of cables ending up at the rear of the unit dragged the Big Knob towards the rear of the work surface. It needed grippy rubber feet to prevent this gradual retreat.

The one change I'd make to the CMC2 is to give it flatter knobs so that it'll fit in a bag a bit better.
Old 25th February 2018
Crane Song avocet has been pretty much the standard in many highend setups
Old 25th February 2018
Gear Maniac

Absolutely! A gorgeous piece of kit. But £2500 a pop may be a little rich for the OP.
Old 25th February 2018
Gear Nut

Coleman do some nice units too
Old 25th February 2018
Gear Addict
Prism lyra is obvious choice
Old 25th February 2018
For straight ahead passive switching with level control
Goldpoint SA2X Level Controls / Passive Preamps is worth checking into.

The Imperium stuff also gets high marks for the price range.
Imperium by

The CS trades functionality for sound quality
Old 25th February 2018
Gear Maniac

Yes, now that really is 'stripping it down to it's essentials'! But after perfecting the monitor level control there's so much else in the entire chain that has disfigured the signal before it even gets to the 'volume control'. Nice units though. Don Audio, and others, sell similar stepped attenuators.

If I could change something about the Avocet I'd give it balanced headphone feeds on the backpanel, or even on the DSub if there isn't enough panel space. Even better a balanced feed that can select any internal signal, even if it isn't controllable from the remote.

I make my own speaker switchers with nothing in the signal path but a high quality low level relay, but they're for addition to mixing consoles that already have level, mutes, mono, etc. in their master section.
Old 25th February 2018
Engagement Manager
Sniperschool's Avatar
I have a couple of Avocet's and a Crookwood M4 system but am also now using an Imperium

When you don't need the routing options of the other 2 the Imperium is pretty hard to beat
No headphone amp though so you'd ned to add one if it's something you use

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