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Mackie Big Knob PASSIVE
Old 22nd February 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Mackie Big Knob PASSIVE

Hey guys. has anybody used the new mackie big knob passive on your rigs? does it color the sound?

TIA

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BigKnobPass
Old 23rd February 2017
  #2
Gear Nut
 

The product announcement just came in this morning from Sweetwater and it's not in stock yet, so you probably won't get an answer...



Quote:
Originally Posted by flipbizkit View Post
Hey guys. has anybody used the new mackie big knob passive on your rigs? does it color the sound?

TIA

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BigKnobPass
Old 23rd February 2017
  #3
Looks very handy. I could use something like that...maybe two..
Old 12th March 2017
  #4
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ponzi's Avatar
I have some interest in this. I am wondering if it colors the sound. I think there is a pi-filter circuit that will attenuate with constant impedance. I called Banjo Center yesterday and they did not have one in stock.
Old 12th March 2017
  #5
I just bought the Mackie Passive Big Knob last week for my Neve summing mixer. So far, it works well. No coloration of sound. Most other similar solutions seem to be around $250.
Old 13th March 2017
  #6
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

I am just interested in responses because if it doesn't color the sound, it is a no brainer at this price point. Seems super handy and looks like it shouldn't take up much room.
Old 13th March 2017
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Jeb A's Avatar
 

I couldn't find much in the tech specs tab. My card doesn't like to see low impedances, it will alter the low and top end to some extent.
Ref. mono sum, I like it active.
However the price is appealing.
Old 14th March 2017
  #8
Here for the gear
Second that. I'm also interested for a simple passive solution for my current setup ( Apogee Symphony I/O - 1st gen) with 2 monitor sets and limited desk space. looking forward to in depth reviews on this.
Old 27th March 2017
  #9
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

I am very interested in this. The passive design is promising if they did it right.

I have run my DAW output through the effects return of 1402VLZ PRO for years along with my 'net PC on the other return and feeding the monitors with the control room out. No problems with it but I would like to add a second set of monitors to A/B with but I don't see a way to do that with the 1402.
Old 9th April 2017
  #10
Just picked this up. Will give a report in a few days!
Old 10th April 2017
  #11
Ended up getting it hooked up today. Don't notice any degradation of the sound, which is the most important thing. Monitors sound the same. There's no audible noise/hiss/hum added (it is passive after all but still worth noting). All good things, especially for the price.

Might just be me, but when turning the knob all the way down, as it begins to get very quiet it appears that the left monitor goes quieter a little faster than right side. At any comfortable listening level above "super quiet" it's fine, but it does appear to be a little bit unbalanced when super quiet. But again, haven't run any tests or anything. Maybe it's something to do with my room or monitor positioning.

It's not a big enough deal to hook the monitors back up to the interface and see if the same behaviour persists.

Overall, for the price, I'd give it a thumbs up. Sturdy casing too.

Edit: there is some noise if I turn it up with nothing playing...it's more noticeable on my B set of monitors. And of course it's inaudible with anything playing. Still think for the money the big knob passive is worth it.

Last edited by samzilla; 10th April 2017 at 12:33 AM..
Old 10th April 2017 | Show parent
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by samzilla View Post

Might just be me, but when turning the knob all the way down, as it begins to get very quiet it appears that the left monitor goes quieter a little faster than right side. At any comfortable listening level above "super quiet" it's fine, but it does appear to be a little bit unbalanced when super quiet. But again, haven't run any tests or anything. Maybe it's something to do with my room or monitor positioning.
I believe that's fairly typical of anything other than a stepped attenuator— (Got this from a Dangerous Music product manual, FWIW).

Perhaps the dim switch with the pot not so far down hold the L-R balance better?
Old 10th April 2017 | Show parent
  #13
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ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I am very interested in this. The passive design is promising if they did it right.

I have run my DAW output through the effects return of 1402VLZ PRO for years along with my 'net PC on the other return and feeding the monitors with the control room out. No problems with it but I would like to add a second set of monitors to A/B with but I don't see a way to do that with the 1402.
Thank you for this suggestion of using the effects return. I checked the circuit diagram of my Mackie preamp and the effects return bypasses a bunch of circuitry, like the tone controls, compared to going into the line inputs. So, that is what I am doing now. I use my moto ultralight with no attenuation and run it into a small Mackie which is simply acting as a volume control to the monitors.

Update: I just got a Big Knob passive from Amazon 5/16/2017. Initial listening tests are encouraging. I use my motu avb turned up all the way to 0db, and let the Big Knob attenuate it from there. Its more convenient, and I am not completely confident in the sound quality of digital volume controls--not sure if they use digital math to reduce the volume--and hence number of bits and sound quality--or have stepped attenuators. In any case, IMHO, the motu avb is best thought of as something that is almost kept out of sight, as those tiny controls are not very convenient. Also, all the controls on the motu are accessible from the web interface.

Last edited by ponzi; 17th May 2017 at 01:44 AM..
Old 2nd November 2017
  #14
Got mine today and hooked it up before my session. I've been using an Aurora 16 for 8 years controlling it with the software mixer. All of the options were always so expensive. The Big Knob Passive is perfect for my budget and is already helping me work faster.

I do have the issue where the left side fades out quicker than the right, but happens at 1% on the knob where you'll never work. When I need the volume that low, i engage the Dim switch then fine tune it futher with the knob and this is no longer an issue. I'm only controlling my subs and NS-10s (sub has pass-thru), and only using 1 pair of inputs, so I'm not using this to its full potential, but it's great so far and I have room to grow. Great product and great price.
Old 12th March 2018
  #15
I also have a slightly unbalanced behavior at low volume. That's normal. After some month it started crackling (very slightly) when turning the volume knob. Guess that's more or less normal too for that price range?
Old 12th March 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I've had no problems with mine, don't usually run the knob that low for the balance issue to be there so a non-issue for me.

As far as crackling when turning the knob, that is most likely a dust/ dirt issue. Some contact cleaner should take care of that.
Old 12th March 2018 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
Midwood.Studio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilla_studios View Post
I believe that's fairly typical of anything other than a stepped attenuator— (Got this from a Dangerous Music product manual, FWIW).

Perhaps the dim switch with the pot not so far down hold the L-R balance better?
yeah, stereo potentiometers are impossible to get perfectly matched across the whole travel of the knob. You might also find that over time your L/R balance might drift.
The dim switch aught to help this problem if you find balance becoming problematic at the lowest volume settings, but the less you're moving that volume knob, the more stable the stereo balance will be.
Old 24th March 2018
  #18
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Scoox's Avatar
The imbalance is likely to exist throughout the entire range of the potentiometer, but the human ear can't hear it unless it's something very definite like sound vs no sound. That's why you only hear it when you turn it down. Notice that this kind of volume controller is just an attenuator, so you're really supposed to run it with the knob turned up to 85% or thereabouts, and then adjust the volume in your audio interface to a comfortable level. Then you can use the passive knob as an output level trim, or to completely cut off the output in an emergency.

Since the imbalance problem seems such a common complaint, wouldn't it make sense to slap a couple of trim pots on these things and let users calibrate it?
Old 27th April 2018
  #19
Gear Head
 

Anyone got plop/click when restarting or shutting down the computer?
I thought the electric circuit would prevent this. Running balanced signal path from my RME 9632.
Also I'm wonder about the knob resistance. Feels cheap as its really light. That seem not be the case in those reviews I found.
Old 28th April 2018
  #20
Gear Head
 
Eichburger's Avatar
 

I just bought one to replace a Nano Patch + but am getting some issues.

If I understand things correctly there should be no loss between input and output of the unit with knob turned all the way up. In fact I am getting a considerable loss. Also, that loss varies hugely depending on what I have connected to the input. So with my computer sound card on the input (Big Knob output connected to sound card input and using DAW to meter, all connections balanced) I'm getting a 2dB loss. With my mixer on the input the loss is 3.3dB. The most dramatic loss is with my Joe meek Compressor (compressor circuit bypassed) I am loosing a whopping 7.3 dB!

Is this unit faulty?
Old 6th June 2018
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Hi
I have an apogee element 24
I have 2 power speakers.
I have one Mackie knob passive 2x2
May you guys teach me how to hook them together????
Old 6th June 2018 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterdepp View Post
Hi
I have an apogee element 24
I have 2 power speakers.
I have one Mackie knob passive 2x2
May you guys teach me how to hook them together????
XLR > TRS Cable From the MAIN OUT on your apogee to the SOURCE INPUT A on the mackie.

TRS Cables from MON OUTPUT A on the mackie to your powered speakers.

Easy as can be.
Old 30th July 2018
  #23
I'm currently running my uln2 as stereo channel inputs into my zed14 that outputs to my monitors. I'm wondering if the zed14 doesn't affect a bit the sound... do y'all think the big knob would make a difference?
Old 31st July 2018 | Show parent
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by elgordito View Post
I'm currently running my uln2 as stereo channel inputs into my zed14 that outputs to my monitors. I'm wondering if the zed14 doesn't affect a bit the sound... do y'all think the big knob would make a difference?
Ok I just did some analysis of a loopback going through the mixer and holy crap, this mixer is not designed for studio work...

Just out of curiosity, has anyone done any analysis on the mackie big knob?
Old 31st July 2018
  #25
Gear Head
 

Yes I did with (actually with two unit as I thought the first one was faulty but its intended :D) the decision to swap the pot with a stepped attenuator. This units got a really bad stereo tracking and a lot of unnecessary crosstalk. But well for the price its common. I like the unit size and form factor so I will invest in an Eizz pot that fits the case. Since the the unit is for my second pair and third pair of monitors its not crucial for now. I can post the RMAA results if needed
Old 31st July 2018 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarsonis View Post
Yes I did with (actually with two unit as I thought the first one was faulty but its intended :D) the decision to swap the pot with a stepped attenuator. This units got a really bad stereo tracking and a lot of unnecessary crosstalk. But well for the price its common. I like the unit size and form factor so I will invest in an Eizz pot that fits the case. Since the the unit is for my second pair and third pair of monitors its not crucial for now. I can post the RMAA results if needed
I'd love that as well as the compatible part that you'll use as in the past I've thought of doing my own attenuator gizmo but haven't had the time. I'm actually now more likely to get it if I can upgrade the interiors..
Old 31st July 2018 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elgordito View Post
I'd love that as well as the compatible part that you'll use as in the past I've thought of doing my own attenuator gizmo but haven't had the time. I'm actually now more likely to get it if I can upgrade the interiors..
Yeah its a bit tricky as most stepped attenuator are too large and the Mackie case has only around 3,5-4cm room to fit another pot. But only if you modify the inside of the case through shortening the thread legs that are holding the main board. Its possible but not a regular swap job. I gonna start with the mod around next week. Still got to order the pot. Its not a popular pot thats why not really easy to find a near by supplier.
Those are some pics I took after opening the case and the loopback measurment from the first unit. The RME unit I used for the test got a crosstalk around -109db as an info
Attached Thumbnails
Mackie Big Knob PASSIVE-image.jpg   Mackie Big Knob PASSIVE-image.jpg   Mackie Big Knob PASSIVE-image.jpeg  
Old 8th August 2018
  #28
Is it possible to identify the original pot?
Old 10th August 2018 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilith View Post
Is it possible to identify the original pot?
I found the company that produces them but this model was not listed. Seems its a custom made pot for Mackie. Its a 50k. I don't remember the company name. If I open the case again for the swap I can post it.
Old 10th August 2018
  #30
I'm curious to know how the mod works out. I am getting close to doing a box with a balanced stepped attenuator and source switching. Probably will end up being more expensive than this Mackie box though...
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