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SM Pro Audio - M-Patch 2
Old 5th September 2007
  #1
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yoink's Avatar
SM Pro Audio - M-Patch 2

In looking for affordable passive volume attenuators it was suggested on this board to look into the SM Pro Audio Nano Patch and M-Patch. I was curious if anyone had some experience with the M-Patch 2 or comparable devices?
Old 5th September 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I have the M-Patch 1. It works great, totally transparent. Built nice a solid too. I use it evey day.
Old 5th September 2007
  #3
JRo
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I have the M-Patch 2 and it does it's job wonderfully. The Mono-Stereo switch is great and it looks nice too haha

I use it in-between my soundcard and monitors as just a big volume knob .. sometimes I'll plug headphones into it. Works great, you don't even have to plug it in! (unless you use the headphone amp)
Old 5th September 2007
  #4
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Finnish's Avatar
 

I use it every day. It's good
Old 5th September 2007
  #5
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miqer's Avatar
 

it fits beautifully underneath my 22'' wide tft...

they say the headphone amp is not great... but I have not noticed...

m.
Old 5th September 2007
  #6
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yoink's Avatar
All I'm looking for is the ability to switch between two sets of speakers and use a volume knob, so it seems to fit the bill perfectly without all the bells and whistles of other products - which I absolutely don't need.

Thanks for the input regarding the headphone amp too, I wasn't planning on using it - although I guess if I need another headphone output, it's nice to know it's there.
Old 6th September 2007
  #7
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asagaai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoink View Post
In looking for affordable passive volume attenuators it was suggested on this board to look into the SM Pro Audio Nano Patch and M-Patch. I was curious if anyone had some experience with the M-Patch 2 or comparable devices?

I think this has been the best bang for buck of gear I have ever bought-you guys missed the most useful thing about it-the mono/stereo switch for mixing.

GJ
Newcastle/OZ
Old 2nd January 2013
  #8
Here for the gear
I'm working sometimes on the MPatch 5.1 and the volume knob (or something else) is worn-out - the volume is changing not always in the same way for both speakers (I'm working in stereo environment). and it's not here for very long...

maybe it's the one here - maybe it's a broader problem...
Old 2nd January 2013
  #9
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Silent Sound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by palu View Post
I'm working sometimes on the MPatch 5.1 and the volume knob (or something else) is worn-out - the volume is changing not always in the same way for both speakers (I'm working in stereo environment). and it's not here for very long...

maybe it's the one here - maybe it's a broader problem...
I've got similar problems with my nano. Especially at lower volumes, the volume doesn't stay consistent between the two speakers. Also, the mute button went out after about a week or so. Now it's just a crackle sound button. Still, I haven't replaced it because it seems to work alright at louder volume settings where I tend to mix at anyway, and I just roll it all the way down as a mute. I've looked into replacing it but a better and more reliable solution seems to be quite a bit more expensive. So I'm just gonna stick with it for a few more years, assuming it doesn't completely wear out first.

My overall rating is a C-. It passes, but just barely. And I went through a couple of other volume knobs, some that were more expensive and still worse quality, so apparently this is the kind of device that's not easy to make cheaply. So while I won't recommend the SM Nano Patch, I haven't found one that I would recommend yet either.
Old 2nd January 2013
  #10
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malekmusic's Avatar
i had a m-patch2 in my studio and it really changes the sound. while patched in it sounds darker and has more lowmid-mud. when the soundcard is directly connected to my focals the sun is shining. i returned the unit, because i thought maybe it was broken but the second one behaived exactly the same.
Old 2nd January 2013
  #11
I had a lot contact problems with the switches of the M-Patch2 (the newer V2 has unfortunately the same cheap switches). For me it helps to open the box and use some component cleaner.
The newer V2 of the M-Patch has now a interchangeable volume knob to a 12-step switch attenuator which solves the problem with different volume for the channels.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #12
I had problems with 2 different M-Patch models. I just think the components are cheap, and I really can't recommend them. Customer service is good though.
Old 3rd January 2013
  #13
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EricF's Avatar
 

There have been a LOT of threads about the M-Patch units. The feature set is perfect for a lot of people, but the durability and accuracy at low volumes seem to be a very common issue. The price point reflects the build quality.
Old 7th January 2013
  #14
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It's great. Does what it says, pro build. Clever product as well, perfect feature set.

It also has an aux in for iPod, laptop, etc.
Old 7th January 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnypete View Post
It's great. Does what it says, pro build. Clever product as well, perfect feature set.

It also has an aux in for iPod, laptop, etc.
I won't argue that it has a great feature set for many people. The "pro build" part seems to be the problem, however.
Old 7th January 2013
  #16
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Svenarne's Avatar
 

Love it! When it breaks I will buy another!
Old 8th January 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricF View Post
I won't argue that it has a great feature set for many people. The "pro build" part seems to be the problem, however.
OK, thats fair. I should have said "good enough" build. I'm sure the Mackie Big Knob is more what I would consider a "pro build", but it is also twice as much money. It still feels significantly better to me than Behringer, Hosa or the cheaper ART stuff.

I'm not a pro mixer, just tracking instruments and songwriting/producing with some tiny Genelecs in my apartment, so it seems like it's working well so far.

Sent from my Droid
Old 8th January 2013
  #18
Works very well for me. I have what I'd consider a pro-standard set-up. The M-Patch 2 works well, attenuates evenly down to zero volume and yes, the mono button is useful, I tend to use the one on my mixing desk as it's closer to me.. Lol.
I have Mackie gear as well and generally love their gear and quality build, although I don't own the Big Knob specifically. I think it's odd that people poo-poo Mackie on GS but the Big Knob appears to be immune from criticism.

Sent from my GT-I9300T
Old 8th January 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrakarl View Post
Works very well for me. I have what I'd consider a pro-standard set-up. The M-Patch 2 works well, attenuates evenly down to zero volume and yes, the mono button is useful, I tend to use the one on my mixing desk as it's closer to me.. Lol.
I have Mackie gear as well and generally love their gear and quality build, although I don't own the Big Knob specifically. I think it's odd that people poo-poo Mackie on GS but the Big Knob appears to be immune from criticism.

Sent from my GT-I9300T
OK well I just wanted to shy away from giving certain kinds of descriptions cuz im not an engineer or mixer. I own the mpatch 2 and what ur saying sounds right to me, i use it at low volume and it sounds good to my musician ears.

Dont get me wrong, i dont feel that the mpatch is cheap at all, i was just saying if ur really that picky about a monitor controller (?) than the build on the mackie, which i havent seen, is maybe slightly better.

Sent from my Droid
Old 8th January 2013
  #20
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javd007's Avatar
Best bang for your buck piece of gear I own. Well that and auratones.
Old 8th January 2013
  #21
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excellent bang for the buck.

Use mine with the Lynx Hilo.

I find it to be transparent enough.

Cheers
Old 8th January 2013
  #22
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André E.'s Avatar
 

I bought my M-Patch 2 several years ago and it's been in use daily. I've had no issues with the device whatsoever and can *not* confirm that it changes the sound at all.

My only gripe is the volume pots aren't stepped and there's no mono/stereo indicator (except for your ears but I have had the occasional "why does my mix sound so narrow" moment after a long day only to realise the M-Patch was still set to mono. D'oh.)

It's really great value for money and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
Old 8th January 2013
  #23
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I used an M-Patch 2 for some years before it started to act funny. Volume inconsistencies between left and right, crackling mute button (which practically stopped working after a few weeks) and some other goofy behaviour. Eventually I had to get it out of the signal path because it caused crackling noise (probably due to the mute button switch acting weird). I replaced it with an M-Patch Nano because I was basically only using it for one set of speakers. The Nano works allright (so far) but there's still a volume inconsistency between left and right at low volumes.
Old 8th January 2013
  #24
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André E.'s Avatar
 

The problem with channel imbalance at low volume is quite common with budget potentiometers and it's one reason why it's so important to, every now and then, measure your monitors' balance. For more info on this, this post sums it up quite nicely:

CHANNEL IMBALANCE in your Volume Pot - Some Thoughts - diyAudio
Old 8th January 2013
  #25
Gear Addict
 

The mpatch is functional and cheap but and I used one for a long time. but upgrading to a dangerous monitor st was like getting new speakers. The last thing that the mpatch2 is - is transparent.

It affects frequency and transient response as well as stereo image. If I was truly on a budget and looking to get transparent volume control for speakers I would look at the ubk box or the spl boxes.
Old 8th January 2013
  #26
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skinnypete's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by africantigercow View Post
The last thing that the mpatch2 is - is transparent.

It affects frequency and transient response as well as stereo image.
Really, it does all that? I thought it was just a passive potentiometer, I didn't think there was that much of a chance to screw up the sound. I will have to check that out to see if I can hear a difference on my 4" monitors, in my untreated room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by africantigercow View Post
If I was truly on a budget and looking to get transparent volume control for speakers I would look at the ubk box or the spl boxes.
Well that depends on your budget obviously because those pieces cost three times as much. $500 seems like a lot to spend on a volume knob, that's how much each of my monitors costed!

Sent from my Droid
Old 9th January 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnypete View Post
$500 seems like a lot to spend on a volume knob, that's how much each of my monitors costed!
You cared enough about your quality of monitoring to spend $1000. Why throw that quality in the trash with a crappy controller?
Old 9th January 2013
  #28
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It affects frequency and transient response as well as stereo image. If I was truly on a budget and looking to get transparent volume control for speakers I would look at the ubk box or the spl boxes.

You may not be aware, but all active electronics color the sound in some way! Our Monitor Controllers do without active elements, thereby allowing audio signals to be attenuated transparently and without coloration.

As the marketing jargon states the m patch does not have active electronics so therefore is transparent. So this alone should not mask or smear your sound.

Anyway if you own this product you will know the difference.

Cheers

Cheers
Old 9th January 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
You may not be aware, but all active electronics color the sound in some way! Our Monitor Controllers do without active elements, thereby allowing audio signals to be attenuated transparently and without coloration.

As the marketing jargon states the m patch does not have active electronics so therefore is transparent. So this alone should not mask or smear your sound.

Anyway if you own this product you will know the difference.

Cheers
It seems that a number of people who have A-B tested their monitors with and without the MP2 seems to disagree with the manufacturer's claims. Passive does not always equal transparent.
Old 9th January 2013
  #30
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beau_mckee's Avatar
I've been using an easy workaround solution to the low volume issue with these units. Simply turn down the output volume from your sound card/ interface in your operating System or DAW, thus the the volume knob will need to be turned up a little higher which avoids the problem area.
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