Mackie Big Knob Passive by andrew caramia
Ive had a few monitor controllers in my studio- tc level pilot, NOS mcOne passive (first unbalanced version- now updated with the mcOne-B), NOS mcOne active (balanced and powered), vintagemaker 2x2, presonus monitor station.
My favourite and best out of these was the NOS mcOne passive. I sold it after a while because even though the jack connectors were balanced, the internals were not. This had the unusual effect of RF on my event 2030 monitors. My other two pairs of monitors were fine! And i really liked the build, the large smooth knob, and clean sound.
The NOS powered version had decent features, but i felt that it coloured the sound too much and introduced a slight amount of noise compared to the passive version. Im yet to be convinced powered is better than a decent passive controller.
The TC level pilot was clean and smooth, but not enough I/o.
the presonus was slightly coloured, and strangely sounded cleaner (but with less bottom) using the digital inputs rather than the passive section. great pro features but a simple unit like the NOS is all I needed at the time.
The vintagemaker, although descrete, hand built and lovely stepped pot, had a weird ‘stereo shift’ when lowering the volume.
So in comes the mackie big knob passive.
Im very impressed- heavy and sturdy build, smooth (but light to touch) knob, tight jack i/o, nice switches (mute, mono, dim), and sounds as clean as the nos mcOne. Dim switch is great for lowering the volume without messing with the stereo field (a common problem with most passive controllers, some are worse than others but the mackie is one of the best ive tried).
The only thing i wish for is 3x3 instead of 2x2 like the NOS. If it did, it would get 5 stars for features. It does have a third mini unbalanced stereo input for media players, but plugging into that knocks out the secound jack inputs. I hope they bring out another version with more i/o... id snap it up in a second.
Well done mackie, and for the price, they should sell bucketloads!