Mackie Big Knob Reviews4.2/5.0 based on 38 customer reviews
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from Rapid City, SD USA
January 2, 2013Music Background:
Excellent Control BoxI got my Big Knob for my studio and it worked good. But I got a !6.4.2 mixer and a presonus HP60 and I didn’t need the Big Knob in my Studio. So I got The Big Knob put in my living room put with my sound system and it worked good binging my sound from my 16.4.2 to my sound system. I used the Big Knob to get the balanced Sound in my 16.4.2 to unbalanced in my sound system.
from Nashville, TN
July 23, 2012Music Background:
Big Knob is a solid pieceThe Mackie Big Knob is solidly built, tight and substantial controls, easy talkback, and looks great. A winner.
April 1, 2012Music Background:
great gear.simplified my monitoring needs. big knob is awesome! I have 4pair of monitors and 5 headsets. this helps keep things in sync and routed up. well, i have a h4 headphone amp and sla 4 amplifier that is route to this big knob if you wondering how i connect everything.
from Atlanta Ga.
March 19, 2012Music Background:
Musician. recording and live sound engineer
Love this thingI have had mine for close to four years now. I did have to send it back to Loud Technologies because of the power cable, But they sent me a new one before I sent the old one back. Great customer service. It is an integral part of my workflow and couldn't imagine a session without it.
August 24, 2011Music Background:
Guitar player, hip hop producer, hobbyist
No coloration noticed hereI hate to say I'm Blown away but I honestly am very impressed with the Big Knob. I've tried 2 other products in this same price range and ended up sticking with the Big Knob. The Big Knob is simple, straight forward, built like a tank and does what's it's suppose to do. I've heard some complain about coloration....I don't hear it. I'm running HSM80's in an treated room and the Big Knob sounds great in my environment.
from Orlando, FL
July 6, 2010Music Background:
recording engineer, mixer, producer, www.secombs.com
Practical, Well-Made, Sounds great!The Big Knob has really improved my work flow. It has all the features and connectivity you need for a small-medium studio. It's extremely well-made; all knobs feel very secure and connections are solid. The headphone amps sound terrific and have a ton of gain. This unit is the center-piece for my pro tools LE setup and I couldn't imagine tracking or mixing without it. The talk-back feature is so useful and has worked flawlessly.
I would highly recommend this to any engineer who needs control over multiple monitors, headphone amps with talkback, or simply wants a nice volume control unit for a single set of monitors.
from Corona, CA USA
June 28, 2010
You Must Have Big KnobThe Big Knob is an absolute must have. Love having my main monitors and sub on separate channels to A&B my sound. Built like a tank. All equipment should be built like this. Very transparent sound. I have top end cables and tested in and out of the system. I can not imagine the Big Knob not being apart of my studio. Just the right amount of control with out being a mixer.
October 10, 2009Music Background:
A M A Z I N G-Can't Live Without it...This is one of the best buys that I've ever done..Saved a lot of money and gave me lots of happiness.Smart playback and routing solution for a DAW based Studio is what i like the most on its design philosophy.Built like a tank its sure to last long...
October 2, 2009Music Background:
VERY USEFULLyeaaa...it`s very usefull...and I realy like it so much..I can`t work without it and I`ve used to it and its big knob!! high quality ...
from Linden AB
August 1, 2008Music Background:
Musician, Recording Engineer
Where have you been all my life?I bought the big knob thinking I'd just try it out for a while and then end up putting it on ebay... But after a month of having this thing at my finger tips, there's no way you could pry it away from me.
Makes A/B-ing mixes and monitors so simple. With three monitor outputs, I set up two sets of studio monitors and then routed one output to my home stereo. No more burning CD's to check mixes in another room! The time it has saved me has more than paid for itself already.
It's built like a tank, doesn't seem to color the sound at all and has more inputs than I can find uses for.
Be prepared to shell out some extra money for cables to hook the big knob up though. That's a LOT of inputs.
from columbus, oh
May 12, 2008Music Background:
wow. i can't live without this thingThe BEST money i have spent in my studio. my mixes are 10 times better now that i check them on other speakers with the simple push of a button. i actually know what my monitors sound like now. buy cheaper monitors and this thing, if you are on a budget your mixes will be better. The headphone amps in this little guy kill buy the way. also, to all you guys complaining about the talk-back button, read the directions, you are pushing the wrong button and or have it wired incorrectly. This isn't an issue if you use the "talk-back to phones" button.
from NYC / Philly / NJ
March 11, 2008Music Background:
Producer / Songwriter / Engineer
2 years and still satifiedI have owned my Big Knob for 2 years and I still feel like I just bought it yesterday! The sound quality is excellent, it is quite and solid as a tank. In it's price range, I recommend this over the Central Station any day and Mackie didn't have to pay me to say this!
from Dallas, Tx
January 11, 2008Music Background:
recording engineer, producer, musical artist, hobbyist
The Big Knob is Big Deal (No Sarcasm)Just hooked everything up last night. I can't believe I haven't been using this since the beginning of my music "career"! Of course, it didn't exist 10 years ago, but still. This piece of hardware has made my recording 100 times easier and extremely resourceful. There are several neat recording tricks I know I can do with this that I haven't experimented with yet, but what it immediately offers was well worth the price. The volume knobs are smooth and the sound is excellent. If you do any mixing or recording from a home studio, you should get this product. It'll make things much easier for you. A common tip from the pros: any successful mixing engineer uses multiple monitors to check mixes on. This is an essential piece of gear for that reason alone.
La Forest Gray
from El Paso, TX
August 28, 2007Music Background:
Great piece of equipment....This is a great piece of equipment, has all the features that I need to route 4 set's of monitors & a sub, using DIGI 002. The sound quality is outstanding, no-coloration, sturdy & does exactly what I need it to do.
from New York
March 24, 2007Music Background:
The Big Knob is a swiss army knifeI'm not a studio guy, instead I'm more of an audiophile / music geek. The big knob does more to control audio on my desk, headphone rig, and apartment than any other piece of gear I've seen. It allows me to switch between or combine my Apogee Mini-DAC and onboard sound card, choose what gets routed where, and wire music to different places in my apartment. All in all, this is a phenomenal product. I'm generally a purist in terms of signal path, but I can't find any real problems with inserting the Big Knob in it.
from Richmond, VA
January 29, 2012Music Background:
Gets the job done!great for switching between seta of monitors for mixing. I love it!
March 11, 2010Music Background:
Pro Musician 20+ yrs
ONLY SERIOUS HOME STUDIO PERSONNEL NEED BUY!!!!!I have had mine 3 years now. Leave it on...cut it off?? It doesn't matter. This thing is well built and it does what it says it can do!!! It has paid for itself at least 5 times already!!! Don't hesitate!!!
November 8, 2008Music Background:
Awesome must have Daw Tool!I love this thing. Switching my monitors has never been so easy. Signal is clean with no added color. Love the mono, mute, dim buttons. Thumbs up to Mackie!!!
This is one piece of gear I would not want to mix without.
August 4, 2008Music Background:
An EssentialHad this for a few years now, front and center at my mixing desk. It's essential for the modern digital studio. This finally made sense of the monitoring portion of my setup. I love it and I you couldn't pry it out of my studio.
March 15, 2013Music Background:
Musician and recording hobbiest
A solid piece of gear at the right priceFirst, I have to acknowledge Nick L., my Sweetwater sales engineer. I have never dealt with anyone in my over 30 year history in musical equipment sales who has demonstrated again and again an unrelenting effort to see that my expectations are understood and met and who has advised me each time with a level of expertise, openness, honesty and patience i have never experienced in a salesperson. It is clear to me that he values my satisfaction over desire to push product out the door. You are the man, Nick! Making my decision on this purchase was the toughest decision i've made, I read reviews on this and other products in this price range. I figured if I researched it enough it would eventually reveal the right decision. Setting aside the opinions I felt were on either side of the love hate spectrum, the reviews I focused on revealed a fairly well balanced set of trade offs either way I went. It all came down to the features and characteristics I valued most combined with the future roles this unit could play in my studio after I graduate to a truly pro monitoring system. I decided on the MBK because the I/O options blow the competition out of the water and there seemed to be a greater consensus that the quality of construction in this unit was also superior to its closest competitor. I recognize there are alot of sensible people out there who know far more than I who feel that the only feature to consider in a piece of gear in the monitor path is the one that has the least impact on monitor output. This characteristic seemed to be a dead heat in light of each having power in the signal chain. I was willing to accept some compromise there only because my studio is a hybrid recording and live sound system. We play without headphones and we record each instrument in real time by direct in. I needed this unit to straddle both studio and live sound worlds to make this initial investment worthwhile. Absolutely fits the bill in that respect, so 5 stars there. I discovered fairly quick that this unit does impact the monitor output frequencies which kind of surprised me because I dont consider myself a purist or an audio professional and I kind of expected that my amature ears would not hear that differences that would be obvious to a true audiophile. Well I was wrong - I could hear the fog draped over my sound. 2 stars for that. On the otherhand, I had been prepared for it by the reviews and so I got what I had been informed to expect. Because of that, I am very happy with this unit. Quality in construction is something I value greatly. 4.5 stars for that, considering the alternatives in this price range. This thing instantly and easily resolved some vexing monitor routing I had wasted hours of time constantly changing. Solid 5 stars there. I never expected to resolve a nasty hum I was getting out of my cheap old PA amplifier that we use for live sound reinforcement - but I hoped running its signal through the "studio outs" to to control my passive PA speakers might help - wow did it ever! I actually enjoy listening to them now!! Big 5 plus stars on that extra bonus! I could go on about the other features, every one of them functional, flexible and solid - but those would be secondary to what I valued most for this piece of gear, for me in my own peculiar setting and my own particular values. I hope this helps others in their quest to fulfill their own!
Steve Waide, Big Rock Studio Technologies
from Stone Mountain, Ga
March 29, 2012Music Background:
Professional Audio Engineer
Mackie Big KnobThe Mackie Big Knob does what it is supposed to do without adding any coloring or changing the way the audio coming from the DAW sounds. I highly recommend this unit for anyone needing to add speaker routing to their DAW system.
February 18, 2012
Excellent productThis product is well worth the price. Perfect for what I needed. Very happy with the +4/+10 switches and the flexibility.
February 13, 2012
Big knobIt makes life so much easier !
June 23, 2009Music Background:
Good investmentI can`t live without it..highly recomend it.very good investment.
from Carson ,Ca.
April 22, 2009Music Background:
Beat Creator , DeeJay, Hustler, Str8 Up Gee....WESTCOAST STREETHOP MUSIC ....
Solid!!!Solid , It Work`s Great I Would Recommend It To Anyone ....
from Philadelphia, PA
February 28, 2009Music Background:
Recording/Mixing/ Live Engineer
Big KnobI've had one of these for about a year and I couldn't imagine not using it in my studio. Very flexible although a few improvements could be made. Hope to see these in the (someday) Big Knob Mk II !
1. Dim level control
2.Dedicated TB o/p
3. Aux TB i/p
4. Option between phono and another line level i/p for the 4th i/p
And the phono preamp is not the best but if you are doing critical listening on vinyl, you will be using a dedicated pre and use one of the 2 trk inputs anyway.
All in all, I love this thing though and if it broke I would buy another right away.
Hope this helps
Juan Pablo Lagos
from San Pedro Sula, Honduras
January 5, 2008Music Background:
Producer and Musician (R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Jingles)
AWESOME!!! Great piece of equipment. SOLID!!!I was deciding between the mackie Big Knob and the Presonus Central Station. I ended up going with the Big Knob and have no regrets.
All in all excellent product. Was using a Mackie Onyx 1220 mixer as my master control for my studio but the Big Knob totally fits the role better. Interacts perfectly with my DAW and RME Fireface 800.
Big Knob is very well constructed. The feel of the buttons and knobs are excellent. You have a lot of flexibility with the ins and outs. Definitely nicer feel than the Remote control of the presonus.
The only thing that may bother some people are the cables in the back of the unite but it isn't anything that can't be fixed with a snake or a few cable ties.
I was worried about the sound quality because of the active (amped) outputs but the sound is very clear and balanced. Just make sure you set it up properly. Don't max out all the gain knobs cause you can get a little coloration if you go overboard. As you would with any amp or gain control.
Its also the perfect size for my desk. Onyx 1220 was too big but the Big knob fits perfectly and at arms reach. Peace.
from Skien, Norway, Europe
September 22, 2006Music Background:
Big helpI needed a way to control the volume of my monitors, without using my mouse and clicking some virtual knob. Then I needed a monitoring/hedphone-amp solution. The Big Kob fulfilled my needs and then some. Cool to have phono inputs too, but I wish it had a digital input. And one downside is that if you wish to place this on your desk next to your computer keyboard ore somthing, youÂ´ll end up with in a cable mess.
from Jakarta, Indonesia
July 14, 2006Music Background:
Recording Engineer, bassist.
Excellent!!I tried presonus Central Station, it was great, but the price was just simply higher than BIG KNOB, so it was easy enough, and I went with Mackie.
The "big" knob is very cool and practicle, the turning motion is very smooth, and during low volume monitoring, the left-right balance are still symetrical. Mute, Dim, and Mono buttons are very practically positioned in the middle of the console below the big volume control.
The main reason why I went with big knob, is it has everything most "master section" offers, even exceeds them, with a price of around U$300.
Definitely no noticable coloration on the sound.
I used a similar product by SPL, everytime you press the talkback button, the speaker would create a twitching/static sound, and it cost waaay more than big knob.
from Austin, TX
December 22, 2012Music Background:
Musician, Composer, Mix Engineer, Producer
Unity... Unity... Unity... That's the secret!I own a Big Knob and it CAN be very useful. It's functionality is superb and it offers some great routing options and monitoring options (like the "MONO" button). I really love this thing. But... It took me a while to get it working properly. I'll spare you all the technical details of my process for getting it working right and just give you the main piece of information that you need to know. Here it is: Unity is everything! I did several tests including a "Phase Cancelation" test and several listening tests with various material. What I discovered was that this thing can really color the sound. But... Only if you're using it to increase signal level. So... If you really work on getting your signal levels going into it right... And... Make sure that what's coming out of it is not more than that, It's actually quite transparent.
For the price, It's fantastic. It's well built, works beautifully, and again... It sounds great with great care applied to level going in and out of it.
Here's a "Quick Start" guide:
1: Set up a channel in your DAW that sends Pink Noise to the Master Bus and crank it so that it's at 0DB. No more!
2: Next... Make sure that signal feeds the Input labelled "DAW MIX" on the back of the Big Knob unit. Turn up that input's "Input Gain" knob (It's right under the label) until the "Input Meter" goes into the RED. Then... Back it off until it's not in the RED anymore.
3: Lastly... Set the monitor outputs to 12 o'clock. You can equalize the monitor levels with your power amps.
4: Your good to go.
January 28, 2011Music Background:
Replaced by a Presonus Central StationGreat feature set, does everything I want although there's no D to A which is to be expected given the great price.
Noisy, sound quality is poor and reliability suspect. mine crackles, pops and sometimes mutes one channel. Just to make sure it wasn't something else in my system I bypassed it (BLA 002R into Adams) and everything sounds so much better but I need talkback and more inputs and outputs than my 002R allows.
I like the fact that you can monitor multiple sources simultaneously which the CS and most other MCs can't.
Save up and buy something with better sound quality and reliability.
from Halifax N.S. Canada
April 6, 2008Music Background:
Talkback Defeciency Negates Positive AspectsEverything's worked fine with this unit ... except I couldn't believe it when I began trying to use the talkback to talent in the studio from the control room.
As others have pointed out ... the monitors are not muted ... so unless your settings are just so .. you will get at the least a very metallic hollow sound or worse crazy feedback. What a Bummer!!!!
from NYC, LA, Washington DC
July 24, 2007Music Background:
Mixer, Sound Supervisor, Chief Engineer
The One Big Mistake on this Mackie ProductDon't get me wrong, I love Mackie products and use them daily. It seems that with every item they produce they miss the boat on a key, yet inexpensive issue. This time it is a $2 relay and a resistor to dim the monitors about 15 db so you don't get feedback when using the talkback function. Please Greg! I beg of you... incorporate the mod in your design so I don't HAVE to buy the competitors product. You can do it. You have the power, you have the technology.
from St. Louis, MO
April 1, 2011Music Background:
Good fo Workflow Bad for SoundI've been using Big Knob for four years in my mix studio. After several tests I realized the big knob adds dark color to the monitors. This caused me to boost high and mid range and reduce low end in my mixes which which didn't translate properly in different listening environments. I'm using Focal Solo6 Be, Event TR 8, Yamaha 5 and a sub.
Test your sound: Connect your monitors directly to your DAW interface and play a song then A/B through Big Knob. You will hear a significant difference.
I'm going to try a device that Coleman makes for using multiple monitors.
April 1, 2005
Cool toy!!I have two computers, three sets of monitors, a headphone distribution amp, and was fighting a talkback problem with improvised solutions. The Big Knob solved them all.
It's built like a tank, does not color the sound at all, and gives me complete routing control. It couldn't be easier to use. I have a LOT of Mackie gear. This might be the coolest toy yet. Well done.
from Ontario Canada
February 1, 2005
Mackie Big knobThe big knob is a great unit. It's just what I need to complete my DAW setup. It is very clean and queit. It's built like a brick S**thouse. Rock solid. The only thing I wish Mackie had done was to use a breakout box for the connections
and have a single multi-pin cable going to the Big Knob.
worth every cent
February 1, 2005
Bought this and the Presonus. Thought the presonus would win but...Mackie:
First, Big knob feels better, more solid switching.
Input trim controls on each source (you're gonna want these)
Simultaneous input monitoring (ever want to play along with a CD or other 2 track source) Mackie, YES. - Presonus, NO.
The Presonus remote seems cool though I'm still waiting.
Noticable crosstalk across outputs.
No mono source input.
No input trim.
Only one source at a time.
All in all the Mackie is more flexible.
from Clifton, NJ
February 1, 2005
It's Simple .. It Works!I bought it about 3 months ago and it's probably the best investment I've ever made for the studio. 4 inputs sources, 3 outputs sources for your monitors so that you can switch between them, talk back feature to studio and headphones output. This thing rocks and will make your life in the studio another day in the park.