ICON QCon Pro by blayz2002
I took chance on this a few years after selling my Mackie MCU and XT's, when I had to put my music hobby on hold. When I was ready to get back into it, I couldn't live without a control surface, I missed the tactile channel control and dedicated transport.
I saw the iCON QCON Pro on a few retailers website at a very attractive price compared to the MCU's, but I'd never heard of iCON or their products. I did the usual Gearslutz research and didn't find much. So I though hey if it's crap I'll return and fork out for the MCU.
No need for that! It covers all the bases of the MCU, has a more readable scribble strip all the buttons for selecting track, pan, eq, send and plugins, plus automation read/write/touch etc. Buttons for the standard select/mute/sole/rec per channel, and master fader.
Only downside is the it comes with a built in option for connecting one of the iCON audio interfaces (of which I don't think they have any pedigree) which is unnecessary and adds to the bulk of the unit. Also the edges are a little unfinished, and some people have complained about finish and build quality. Other than that it's a sturdily built unit, that looks better in the flesh (so to speak).
In operation the faders are quiet enough, the channel meters could be better (I would look to them for accuracy) more a feel for level and balance. The buttons are solid and the jog dial is smooth enough (although I think the MCU feels better and is more tactile).
I've had no problems hooking it up with Logic Pro, using the Mackie Control Protocol, and I believe it's fine with most other major DAW's, but I'd advise checking.
I think iCON are getting ready to release an new version (QCON Pro 2) which looks better with better metering. So research that before purchasing.