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TC ELECTRONICS Level Pilot

TC Electronic Level Pilot

2.55 2.55 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

A small footprint and a million dollar feeling by this tiny monitor controller.


19th March 2014

TC Electronic Level Pilot by Call_me_Switters

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
TC ELECTRONICS Level Pilot

When I first build my studio, the crowd on the desk was huge! Keyboards, synths, drum machines, midi controllers and tons of...other garbage! So in a tight budget and with an even tinnier space I looked for a decent monitor controller. My first choice was Big knob. But the footprint was huge and I didn't really needed all this connections and complexity. Also the main feature that I was seeking the acclaimed "big knob" was plastic and with a rather cheapish feeling. Then I stumbled in his cutie! It is metallic, feels like a tank and it has a fairly accurate and smooth response. I made some extensions on the cabling and made some space above my mouse pad. With Level Pilot I can have monitor control in my fingertips literally.
As my mixing setup is growing I wish I had a second monitor selector and a dim/mute button, but for this money I can't have any complains,especially when the job (main monitor volume control) is done great and in a style that I found only in real high end monitor controllers.
So if you are looking for a simple controller with great feel in a budget, TC level pilot is a steal!

  • 1
27th March 2014

TC Electronic Level Pilot by Equalies

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
TC ELECTRONICS Level Pilot

What it does:

The TC Level Pilot does only one thing: it controls analog level. Its main purpose is to help you change the listening volume of your speakers. The great thing: it's pure analog, so you can go out of your audio-interface at full bit resolution and control the signal level with the knob before it goes to your studio monitors. You can only use it for two channels and there's no possibilty to switch between speakers.

Build quality:

XLR-connectors, cabels and the knob itself are built very solid. It just feels right, the knob moves smoothly and it doesn't have the cheap plastic feel of some competitors' devices. A little piece of rubber at the bottom and the weight of the unit itself help it stay at its position on your desk.

What I like about the concept:

It's reduced to one single purpose and it's affordable (street price around 80 €). It doesn't try to incorporate 100 unnecessary functions just to impress people. The sound quality is good (means: little coloration) and you feel perfectly in control with that beautiful big silver knob on your desk.

A concept with compromises:

Its bang for buck. Really. But you have to accept some compromises:

1) First of all: every potentiometer starts to crackle if you use it a lot. My first level pilot lasted about 1,5 years. It started to crackle so I got a new one (warranty of course...). The new one is now about 2 years old and still running perfectly.

2) If you wanna listen at really low levels, the L/R balance won't be perfect. Without going into technical detail: That's no wonder, considering that the whole unit costs about 80 bucks. It gets worse over time, but the overall balance at medium and loud levels is absolutely flawless.

3) It would be really nice, to have a dim-option. I really like to jump from quiet to loud listening levels from time to time. One button on top of the knop would be great and very useful. You wouldn't have to move the knob so much which would therefore enhance the unit's lifetime.


To sum it up:

I'd rather get this very simple but solid unit than any other cheap device that offers more functionality but less quality. I can't stress this enough: the knob just feels great. Nevertheless, as my studio now progresses from amateur to professional, I'm gonna build a custom stepped level control, so the L/R balance will be perfect at any listening level. But I've been happy with the TC device for a long time and can recommend it to anybody who is just starting out. You will be very happy with it, as long as you don't need all those extra functions that competitors are offering.

  • 1
3rd October 2016

TC Electronic Level Pilot by disect

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 1
TC ELECTRONICS Level Pilot

This product should not be sold anymore. I am one of the many people who have had issues with crackling over time. I understand it is not expensive, but clearly there is an issue that TC have not resolved. Read the forums even on this website.... It makes no sense that this product has such good ratings when there are many posts on gearslutz about how this product degrades over time (EVEN AFTER 2 MONTHS!). Sorry but I just joined this forum so I could review this.

I'll admit it feels and looks nice, but what is the point when it starts to crackle after a couple of months of studio use. It actually does have balance problems at very low levels too. Waste of time and money.

edit: Looks like there is a cheap and easy fix:
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/How+to+...ic+noise/28905
^ Just tried this and it fixed it....for now anyway. Happy ending

  • 1
16th April 2019

TC Electronic Level Pilot by danbronson

  • Sound Quality 1 out of 5
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 1
TC ELECTRONICS Level Pilot

I've owned this thing for probably 5-6 years now. It has crackled a bit when being turned since day one. That hasn't stopped me from using it (it stops crackling when you stop turning). But recently one of my monitors started cutting in and out. It seemed to be exacerbated by big bass transients in the music (bass drums, etc). I was worried that a driver had blown but decided to try a shorter signal path first. I took the TC out and not only did this fix the problem, but my audio quality is now noticeably better. I had never noticed how much it was degrading the signal. This thing is going in the trash. It's a cheap unit, so I'm not too bummed. But this is an instance of you get what you pay for.

 
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