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Mackie Big Knob - Does it colour the sound?
Old 14th January 2011 | Show parent
Lives for gear
nukmusic's Avatar

Hey, maybe the Mackie Big Knob will get "BLACK LION-ED" heh
Old 24th January 2011 | Show parent
Mackie Big Knob failure

I have used a Mackie BK for a while and found its feature set to meet my needs perfectly but it has been getting noisier and often drops a channel requiring connector fiddling. The sound quality was never great but I was used to it.

I've ordered a Presonus Central Station but the BK got so annoying that I connected the monitors (Adam A7s and an Adam Sub8) directly to my (BLA Signature modded) Digi 002R while waiting for the CS. I had not used the 002R monitor outs for some years and never since the BLA mods.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how much better the sound was directly from the 002R. (cue stereotypical "removal of blanket" analogy) If I didn't need some more inputs, outputs and talkback I'd be perfectly happy with using the 002R.

It'll be interesting to see how much better (if at all) the CS DtoA will be than the BLA modded 002R. When I'm using external A2Ds (API A2D and Mackie 800R) the 002R is clocked via spdif from the API A2D which is clocked from a BLA MicroClock but when I'm mixing, I just use the 002R's internal clock.
Old 24th January 2011 | Show parent
Gear Maniac

Build Quality

Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
well - you can build your own - and mackie big knob is rather more than that in the UK! It's about the same price as Central station! (well £50 in it).

Central station sound quality is very good - it's passive so it'd be hard to see it do much !! It's BUILD quality is the issue. But yes - forget the big knob.
I agree. I don't think these units color the sound too much. Especially if it is a passive unit. What does happen with these cheaper products is they fall apart. Buttons get stuck, the stereo image starts to drift, ports go dead or crackle, etc. If you invest in something more expensive like a Coleman Audio product you are going to get something that will last near forever.

Keep build quality as well as sound in mind.
Old 12th January 2013 | Show parent
Here for the gear

Well I just got the new UA Apollo, fantastic btw so far the DA beats the Aurora IMhumbleO, I'm telling you this because I didn't notice any difference while I was using my big know with it. Now that i've compared both sources, not only it colors the sound but narrows the stereo field in a significant way. I'm gonna use for monitoring as a headphone amp and B monitors, but I'd never mix with it again-
Old 9th February 2013
Here for the gear
Djazzla's Avatar

Colman ls3 is the best one to get. I love it
Old 9th February 2013
Here for the gear

Also worth having a look at the Radial MC3.

Radial MC3 Monitor Controller
Old 10th February 2013
Lives for gear
Quantum7's Avatar
I stopped using my Mackie Big Knob also because of the annoying noise that started getting louder over the months. I am upgrading to this in the summer: The Dangerous Monitor ST - Dangerous Products - Dangerous Music
Old 10th February 2013
Deleted 99dc753
Originally Posted by AndyZippy View Post
Hey all,
Contemplating a Mackie Big Knob for my home mixing suite, to switch between the sets of monitors, mono check and mix in DAW and Cd player. (A lot easier on the mixing desk in the studio!)

Does the mackie big knob do it's job well, without colouring the sound? If not, are there any similarily priced alternatives??

I use the central station by presonus for several years.
To my ears it does not colors the sound, but the build quality of the outside parts, knobs, metering, case etc. is very cheap china stuff..... I wonder myself about this every time touching it. A+H for example with the mixing boards is delivering real quality from china- a thing that presonus cant match for reasons I do not know.

They have a cheaper version in their arsenal based on the central station.
If you can live with cheap build case, knobs etc. the inner life is very good at this price point.
I was not able to measure any factors that should color the sound.

One thing that is really bad at my central station is the main monitor knob just starts to work right after I raise it 1/3 of the potentiometer way....
before this it has left right issues which I can compensate on the main out of my desk.

In this price range you cant expect high quality parts.
If you want to go the last mile buy a dangerous-d-box but this is 1200 Euro so not in the range of a big knob.

Anyway I hope the info helps you to pick a unit that suits your needs.

Presonus Monitor Station - Thomann UK Cyberstore

You also could try the new copy of SPL by Behringer but its Behringer you can get a good unit or a faulty one.

Behringer Xenyx Control 1 USB
Old 4th July 2013 | Show parent
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
Hey, maybe the Mackie Big Knob will get "BLACK LION-ED" heh

Home Page :: Black Lion Audio
Well this could be a great idea!

I currently use an Avocet II and I love the sound, but honestly I don't like its user interface.

I like the Big knob, everything is on hand, practical, but as you already mentioned, its made out of poor components.

I would kill for a "high end" modded Big knob!
Old 6th July 2013
Here for the gear

Interesting read haha.

I have the nano patch at the min as I have a small speaker set up. I'm looking at upgrading my monitor controller and speakers. The presonus looks good although not cheap also the SPL looks good. I was thinking about getting a mackie big knob, a studio engineer I know has one. Does it colour the sound that bad?
Old 6th July 2013 | Show parent
Originally Posted by PaulPearson View Post
I was thinking about getting a mackie big knob, a studio engineer I know has one. Does it colour the sound that bad?
I've worked with a Big knob in the past and currently I'm using an Avocet II, I haven't done an A/B comparison, but I do remember a small amount of hiss on the Big knob.

I already contacted black lion about this, and maybe, I will be the beta tester of the first 'Big knob' mod.

I'll keep you informed!

Best regards.

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