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Apogee + Big Knob Passive vs Big Knob Studio
Old 11th October 2017
  #1
Apogee + Big Knob Passive vs Big Knob Studio

Hello, GS folks.

Recently I've acquired IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors for occasional mobile production.
However I liked them so much that I decided to integrate it to my main setup alongside PreSonus Eris E8.

Primary interface is Apogee Duet. It can output only to one set of monitors, so I hooked up Traktor Z1 as an interface for iLoud.
While it works, it's not very convenient to switch interface in Ableton every time I want co use another pair of speakers.

So some speaker management is required. I spotted Mackie Big Knob Passive. It's quite cheap and probably will do what I need, however they also got Big Knob Studio with two headphone outputs, which can be very useful as I got two headphones as well (DT 880 Pro and HD 25 II) which I use on different stages of production. It has built-it USB audio interface as well.

Questions are:

- Would Big Knob Studio perceptibly color the sound fed from Apogee?
- How is Mackie DAC compared to Apogee? I work ITB, do recording from rare to never. I don't care much for input preamps and ADC. Could always use Apogee for recording if Onyx won't cut it.

Please share your thoughts.
Old 11th October 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
DeltaCharlieEcho's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by greedy.mf View Post
Hello, GS folks.

Recently I've acquired IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors for occasional mobile production.
However I liked them so much that I decided to integrate it to my main setup alongside PreSonus Eris E8.

Primary interface is Apogee Duet. It can output only to one set of monitors, so I hooked up Traktor Z1 as an interface for iLoud.
While it works, it's not very convenient to switch interface in Ableton every time I want co use another pair of speakers.

So some speaker management is required. I spotted Mackie Big Knob Passive. It's quite cheap and probably will do what I need, however they also got Big Knob Studio with two headphone outputs, which can be very useful as I got two headphones as well (DT 880 Pro and HD 25 II) which I use on different stages of production. It has built-it USB audio interface as well.

Questions are:

- Would Big Knob Studio perceptibly color the sound fed from Apogee?
- How is Mackie DAC compared to Apogee? I work ITB, do recording from rare to never. I don't care much for input preamps and ADC. Could always use Apogee for recording if Onyx won't cut it.

Please share your thoughts.
I know it's not a helpful response but definitely do a review of those iLoud speakers. I'd like to know if they're worth the money for mobile work.
Old 11th October 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I just bought some iLoud speakers for my boys gaming PC and for him to listen to Spotify and I think they're fantastic.

I want a pair for myself now.

Lot's of clarity - limited bass response of course but still they sound BIG for such a small monitor.
Old 11th October 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greedy.mf View Post
Hello, GS folks.

Recently I've acquired IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors for occasional mobile production.
However I liked them so much that I decided to integrate it to my main setup alongside PreSonus Eris E8.

Primary interface is Apogee Duet. It can output only to one set of monitors, so I hooked up Traktor Z1 as an interface for iLoud.
While it works, it's not very convenient to switch interface in Ableton every time I want co use another pair of speakers.

So some speaker management is required. I spotted Mackie Big Knob Passive. It's quite cheap and probably will do what I need, however they also got Big Knob Studio with two headphone outputs, which can be very useful as I got two headphones as well (DT 880 Pro and HD 25 II) which I use on different stages of production. It has built-it USB audio interface as well.

Questions are:

- Would Big Knob Studio perceptibly color the sound fed from Apogee?
- How is Mackie DAC compared to Apogee? I work ITB, do recording from rare to never. I don't care much for input preamps and ADC. Could always use Apogee for recording if Onyx won't cut it.

Please share your thoughts.
I've got a Mackie Big Knob as well as a Crane Song Avocet and compared to the Avocet it does colour the sound a bit and collapse the stereo field a bit.

But not as much as you would think considering the price difference between these two controllers.

Personally I think the Big Knob is a fine unit and definitely wouldn't get in the way of me making a great mix of a song.
Old 11th October 2017
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
oopfoo's Avatar
Got rid of my first-gen Big Knob because of noise. Has this issue been improved?
Old 12th October 2017
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Lunar Attic's Avatar
I have been using the Big Knob Passive for a couple of months now. Very useful, very simple and very cost effective.

Two inputs (three if you count the mini jack) and two outputs. Mono, Mute and Dim switches and a Big Ol Volume knob (that even comes with a spare locking screw).

Hard to beat for the money. If you really don't need any of the bells and whistles that come with the bigger Big Knobs, this is the one to get.

T
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
DeltaCharlieEcho's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Attic View Post
I have been using the Big Knob Passive for a couple of months now. Very useful, very simple and very cost effective.

Two inputs (three if you count the mini jack) and two outputs. Mono, Mute and Dim switches and a Big Ol Volume knob (that even comes with a spare locking screw).

Hard to beat for the money. If you really don't need any of the bells and whistles that come with the bigger Big Knobs, this is the one to get.

T
Well I'm sold, my E5s show up tomorrow, this will probably be ordered in the next check.
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
I've got a Mackie Big Knob as well as a Crane Song Avocet and compared to the Avocet it does colour the sound a bit and collapse the stereo field a bit.

But not as much as you would think considering the price difference between these two controllers.

Personally I think the Big Knob is a fine unit and definitely wouldn't get in the way of me making a great mix of a song.
Do mean Big Knob Studio with DAC?
If it is acceptable quality, I intend to use it instead Duet.
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Attic View Post
I have been using the Big Knob Passive for a couple of months now. Very useful, very simple and very cost effective.

Two inputs (three if you count the mini jack) and two outputs. Mono, Mute and Dim switches and a Big Ol Volume knob (that even comes with a spare locking screw).

Hard to beat for the money. If you really don't need any of the bells and whistles that come with the bigger Big Knobs, this is the one to get.

T
Good, thanks

Studio's bells and whistles would make my workflow even more streamlined and also contribute to decluttering the desk.
However if it comes with a price of significant sound degradation I'll pass on it in favour of Passive .

That's why I'm interested in direct comparison of Hi Quality DAC + Passive vs Studio

Last edited by greedy.mf; 12th October 2017 at 08:09 AM.. Reason: removed pseudo-pun
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaCharlieEcho View Post
I know it's not a helpful response but definitely do a review of those iLoud speakers. I'd like to know if they're worth the money for mobile work.
The are.
I don't know of direct alternative. Maybe Genelec 8010, but with iLoud you get two for the price of one. Mackie CRs aren't the level. And they are not so robust with drivers open.

Highs are not so articulate but bass is there, hard to believe. Get it coupled with quality headphones and you're set for mobile.

There is little latency around 1ms because of DSP, but even with playing on midi controller attached with 128 buffer it isn't perceptible. Not a deal breaker for me.
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greedy.mf View Post
Do mean Big Knob Studio with DAC?
If it is acceptable quality, I intend to use it instead Duet.
Ah I see they've move on in design.

Sorry I have the original Bog Knob.

Either way .... I'm sure you'll be OK.

I have a very expensive monitoring system, but I spend 90% of the time mixing on a pair of Sony PC Speakers that cost my ยฃ30 on eBay!

Expensive converters and boutique monitor controllers like the Avocet are nice to have eventually, but speaking as someone who uses a HEDD 192 and an Avocet I can tell you in all honesty - they are not essential.

The older and better I get at creating music the more and more I focus on the music!

Get enough gear to get creating and then slowly build up your more "boutique" tools.
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
DeltaCharlieEcho's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by greedy.mf View Post
The are.
I don't know of direct alternative. Maybe Genelec 8010, but with iLoud you get two for the price of one. Mackie CRs aren't the level. And they are not so robust with drivers open.

Highs are not so articulate but bass is there, hard to believe. Get it coupled with quality headphones and you're set for mobile.

There is little latency around 1ms because of DSP, but even with playing on midi controller attached with 128 buffer it isn't perceptible. Not a deal breaker for me.
I'm currently running 3 levels of headphones the Sennheiser HD 206, Bose (old silver can set that I can't even find a model for), and Sennheiser HD 280 PRO. Thanks for the reply
Old 12th October 2017
  #13
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Never tried the Big Knob,

But the Drawmer MC2.1 is the best monitor control I've ever used. No feelings of needs to upgrade.

The only thing I don't love is its headphone amps, but I've got other devices for that, so no big deal.
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaCharlieEcho View Post
I know it's not a helpful response but definitely do a review of those iLoud speakers. I'd like to know if they're worth the money for mobile work.
Fwiw I love them. I have them in my bag right now as I commute to a session tomorrow
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Never tried the Big Knob,

But the Drawmer MC2.1 is the best monitor control I've ever used. No feelings of needs to upgrade.

The only thing I don't love is its headphone amps, but I've got other devices for that, so no big deal.
There is a new one available as well. For like $299.

Also for the OP, get something like a passive switcher instead of a big knob. Or the new drawmer. Both work great
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
DeltaCharlieEcho's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
There is a new one available as well. For like $299.

Also for the OP, get something like a passive switcher instead of a big knob. Or the new drawmer. Both work great
FYI there is a passive Big Knob. Haven't read any bad reviews on Reverb, Sweetwater, or Guitar Center (I am aware that guitar center is pretty much the amazon of music gear and the reviews aren't exactly 'reliable').
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
There is a new one available as well. For like $299.

Also for the OP, get something like a passive switcher instead of a big knob. Or the new drawmer. Both work great
Damn, yeah, Drawmer CMC2 all day for that price!

For my current setup, there would really be no functional difference with my rig between that one and the MC2.1 other than form factor. They really didn't take much away at all. "Advanced Features" they call them. Stuff I don't often use.

Good move by Drawmer, opens the doors to a lot of customers I think.

Wish this would have been around back in my SM Pro M Patch days...

For a console user this might even be a better form factor...
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Damn, yeah, Drawmer CMC2 all day for that price!

For my current setup, there would really be no functional difference with my rig between that one and the MC2.1 other than form factor. They really didn't take much away at all. "Advanced Features" they call them. Stuff I don't often use.

Good move by Drawmer, opens the doors to a lot of customers I think.

Wish this would have been around back in my SM Pro M Patch days...

For a console user this might even be a better form factor...
Drawmer CMC2 looks good.
Too bad it has only one HP output.
Old 14th October 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
I have a big knob passive. Its nice in general, but at the lowest volumes, the two channels do not track--one fades out before the other. I guess for the money its ok.
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Blue Bee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
I have a big knob passive. Its nice in general, but at the lowest volumes, the two channels do not track--one fades out before the other. I guess for the money its ok.
Can you further elaborate? I'm not clear on what this issue is you have happening and am very interested in this unit
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by branbolio View Post
Can you further elaborate? I'm not clear on what this issue is you have happening and am very interested in this unit
This is common in the cheaper stereo-pot passive monitor controllers. As well as some inevitable sound coloration.

Which is why a lot of people step up to active controllers with fancier quad pots, rotary switches, encoders, things like that.

Anyway I have found this to be true in my experience.
Old 14th October 2017 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by branbolio View Post
Can you further elaborate? I'm not clear on what this issue is you have happening and am very interested in this unit
When I turn the volume almost all the way down, one channel is louder than the other.
Old 15th October 2017 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Lunar Attic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
When I turn the volume almost all the way down, one channel is louder than the other.
Leave the volume up and use the Dim switch.

T
Old 19th October 2017
  #24
I've checked Big Knob Studio in the store on the weekend.

HP amp is nice, but DAC is perceptible different from Duet, which I brought with me. Left my breakout cable at home so I couldn't verify is Big Knob colors sound coming from Duet.

Probably gonna buy it anyway, because the knob itself feels very good. And convenience of two HP is always a plus.
Old 24th March 2018
  #25
Gear Head
 

Hi guys! Any news about dac apogee duet vs big knob studio?
Regards Filippo
Old 2nd April 2018
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I purchased one and did have noise. After a bit of research I found that a HUM-X was needed based on feedback I received here. I just happened to have had one, installed it, and noise was gone. If you do get the hum know that it can be eliminated. Unfortunately, that will set you back $75.
Old 21st April 2018
  #27
Gear Addict
 
ac_music's Avatar
 

Any more recommendations on a DAC or monitor controller within minimum 2 stereo monitor outs and 2 headphones? The Drawmer looks good, but only 1 headphone out??
Old 26th April 2018 | Show parent
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_music View Post
Any more recommendations on a DAC or monitor controller within minimum 2 stereo monitor outs and 2 headphones? The Drawmer looks good, but only 1 headphone out??
SPL Crimson 3
A bit ugly, especially white, but specs are good.
Old 26th April 2018 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
ac_music's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greedy.mf View Post
SPL Crimson 3
A bit ugly, especially white, but specs are good.
Looks good (even in white), Iโ€™ll check it out.
Old 26th April 2018 | Show parent
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by filo View Post
Hi guys! Any news about dac apogee duet vs big knob studio?
Regards Filippo
As I wrote previously as an audio interface Big Knob is no match for Duet.
I didn't bother with testing solely as a monitor controller.

Also I've read some complaints about volume knob movement being too light, without much resistance. It is somewhat true IMHO.
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