Radial Engineering MC3 by travisbrown
A little sneak peek on the forthcoming Radial MC3 monitor controller.
I finally got my hands on one of these at NAMM 2012 after hearing about it for months. Radial just got the green light to begin production, with it hitting the street at the end of February. And about time. For those who want a simple straight wire (passive) monitor controller with a adequate headphone amp, mono collapse, sub output, all in a small and idiot-proof format, this is the one to beat. Built into the usual Radial 14g steel chassis that houses their other utility and DI boxes, you could probably throw this thing at a brick wall and do more damage to the bricks, so tossing this into a cable box or bag for travel will cause no real consternation. It is primarily meant as a portable solution for mobile/live tracking setups. It would work equally well in the small project studio, though the small form factor might pose some ergonomic annoyances. For the real production workspace or permanent install, something with a layout like the Kush GainTrain or similar would be a better controller.
Features of the MC3 include:
- switching for two sets of monitors with attenuation for each.
- adjustable dim switch
- mono folddown
- defeatable sub output
- switchable balanced/unbalanced inputs
- studio headphone output plus extra output optimized for super low impedance earbud-style headphones.
The couple deficiencies I saw with this are:
- the lack of stepped attenuator for the monitor control. This seems to always be the culprit behind stereo image collapsing or shifting as you attenuate down to low levels.
- non-preemptive switches. While this does allow you to activate both sets of monitors, it doesn't allow you to switch between sets of monitors with a single action. At best it would be a two finger operation.
MSRP on this is going to be $249, which places it competitively among the more economy-priced monitor controllers but with the build quality one has come to expect of Radial.