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June 2017 Giveaway

TC Electronic Level Pilot Reviews

4.5 stars based on 35 customer reviews
Questions about the TC Electronic Level Pilot?

Questions about the TC Electronic Level Pilot?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

Sweetwater Advice

  • Derek Senestraro

    What a great little device. I've got mine coming from my Apogee MiniDAC and it is the perfect solution for that piece. I love it and it is very well made.

  • Mike Conyers

    With balanced XLR ins and outs and a great potentiometer, the Level Pilot is an easy addition to every studio! Don't change your listening volume on your DAW or your A/D conversion device, grab a Level Pilot and give your mixes another listen.

  • from San Francisco July 3, 2016

    I love this product

    I've been wanting a Balanced Stereo Passive Volume control for some time. There are many single-ended versions available but I could never find a balanced one so I was about to build one myself. Level Pilot to the rescue! This product is perfect for my needs. It is well made and should last a lifetime. Kudos to TC Electronics for a great product!

  • from May 9, 2016Music Background:
    Recordist

    To electronic level pilot

    First l must say Aron R.was great to deal with.
    The analog remote monitor controller works even better than I hoped!As I said, SW's treatment was fair and I have no complaints about the price for something this good.

    Many to all of you all...

  • from newport, RI March 18, 2016Music Background:
    pro audio engineer, owner of Nondelusional Records LLC.

    i must have if your speakers have no level control

    was going to buy something more expensive, no need this is perfect.

  • from January 13, 2016Music Background:
    Sound Enginner

    Great Tools

    Great Tools For who do not want to by monitor Station
    i connect this in my rme adi-2 which do not have volume control for the monitor
    now i can able to control my genelec 8020 b easily or mute it while recording

  • from South Easton, MA December 27, 2015

    Simplicity

    i never thought i would be so happy over a volume knob, it added convenience, more control over my overall studio volume and some elegance to my desk.

  • from Pennsylvania August 25, 2015Music Background:
    Professional composer

    Always right on!

    The perfect solution that I didn't know existed until Brendan suggested it!

  • from May 13, 2015Music Background:
    Producer

    Buy it - It's important

    I'd say this is as important as your mouse and keyboard.
    It has enough amount of weight to be steady and nice on my desk and I really love how easy it was to set up up.
    Very happy to have bought it.
    Make sure you have all the 4 necessarily cables before getting this into you rig.

  • from April 10, 2014Music Background:
    hobbyist

    TC Electronic Level Pilot works like it should

    Easy to install, easy to use, doesn't seem to affect the sound, exactly what I needed.

  • from Rochester, NY January 5, 2014Music Background:
    recording engineer

    Great solution to my problem

    I needed to replace the monitor section on my console which was adding distortion that wasn't in the recording. I placed this between the main console outputs and the monitors and the problem was fixed. No distortion, great sound, good depth of field and stereo spread. Highly recommended.

  • from December 31, 2013Music Background:
    Dj and Producer

    Love it!

    Simple, feels good, sounds clean, looks nice, great solution for limited budget!

  • from Indianapolis, Indiana September 2, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Composer

    Take me to the Pilot!!

    This a a great product!! Awesome design. Feels great to use it. Does a great job too. I use two og these in my studio. Highly recommend!

  • from Buena Vista, CO April 7, 2012Music Background:
    Once Pro now Hobbyist

    Proper Gain Structure

    This is my second one and I'm using it in between my rack gear and my powered speakers (sort of a live rig in my studio). All the levels prior to the Level Pilot are "bouncing" to just the right gain points. I can then adjust the volume of my speakers with this single knob (speakers are turned all the way up). I can truly say that this results in a much better sound than adjusting the volume on some mid point in the signal chain. Also, it is great protection for my speakers. When the Level Pilot is all the way down, no program, pops, "mistakes" etc. make it through to the speakers!

  • from November 9, 2011

    Awesome

    Excellant product. Works great

  • from New York , NY November 1, 2011Music Background:
    music producer

    Always the best!

    It's just great, nothing else to say here, it works!

  • from hk August 26, 2011Music Background:
    musician

    like it very much

    very useful ,i love it!!!!!!

  • from GA, USA March 17, 2011Music Background:
    Audiophile

    The Best Preamp is No Preamp

    On a whim I decided to give this a try, knowing that a system without extra gear in the chain can sound pretty good. What I got was a very solid little product, with ultra smooth and precise tracking. Its the perfect size and it has a nice non slip coating on the bottom that prevents any slipping on the table. Sound wise it sounds better than every $1K preamp I have tried in my system. These include some pretty well known Audiophile brands. You get nothing but clear sound, nothing added, nothing taken away....the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Like the saying goes. The Best Preamp is no Preamp...The Level Pilot proves it.

  • from Minnesota, USA January 11, 2010Music Background:
    Composer, producer, mentor

    My best purchase of 2009

    It does exactly what it says it does. It's big but unobtrusive, passive (no power needed), uncolored and dead quiet.

  • from Charleston, SC April 10, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician

    EVERY DAW owner needs one of these!

    I am using a MOTU Traveler and this thing made it sound amazing! Huge change in the sound quality.

    I know, I know it seems strange to add something to the signal chain and have an increase in sound quality, but here's why: Almost all DAW interfaces change volume in the digital domain. This means that anything less than 100% means you are actually loosing bit depth and the sound is suffering.

    I have a B&W Nautilus monitoring system with a B&K Amp that doesn't have a volume control. The difference in quality between the MOTU unit controlling the volume in the digital domain to turning the Traveler all the way up and letting the Level Pilot do the attenuating is amazing. Bass, depth, clarity, soundstaging, everthing is better. I can even hear the difference in my cheapo speakers that I use to check mixes.

    Construction of this is great. Function is tremendous and it feels and looks cool. It's quite heavy and doesn't slide at all on the desk.

    Well done, TC Electronic.

    And those of you with DAW interfaces which control volume in the digital domain, you need to hear the damage that does to your monitoring sound!

  • from Pennsylvania, USA December 25, 2008Music Background:
    Project Studio Engineer

    Great "little" product

    If you use a D/A converter without built-in volume control, then, this is for you.
    I use a RME ADI-2 AD/DA convertor going out to a Coleman Audio LS3 speaker selector. The RME has a stepped 3 position volume control at -10, +4 and +19 dB.
    So it's always a battle trying to get the perfect listening level, but this TC Electronic Level Pilot has solved "ALL" of my volume control issues.

    It's a little bigger than the size of a golf ball so it doesn't take up much space, and solidly built.
    The touch reminds me of an Apogee Duet, it's has a nice weighted feel as you turn the knob, it's a Passive design so there's no alteration of your sound, cables and connectors are sturdy and are well labeled (Line In/Out - left/right) etc.

    If you own an Apogee Rosetta, Lynx Aurora, RME ADI ......... This is just what the Doctor ordered !!!

  • from Los Angeles, CA December 13, 2013Music Background:
    Television Production Mixer, Bassist

    Level Pilot Sounds Great!

    This device sound great. My DAC runs at full word length which sounds better than turning the volume down on the DAW. This device sounds much better than project studio grade active devices such as mixers and monitor controllers.The sound stage remains intact at all listening levels.

    The knob feels smooth and sits on the desk nicely. I wish they used higher quality XLR connectors but that's a really minor point.

  • from Washington, DC May 11, 2013Music Background:
    Recording and Live Sound Engineer

    Great, simple, high quality product

    The knob is great. Its nice that it's footprint is so much smaller than the Mackie big knob or presonus stuff. It can fit right in next to the keyboard and the mouse. Makes it very seamless.

    The turning operation is very smooth and the knob has a really nice tactile feel to it. Sound quality is great and the volume seems very linear from low to high. I love it.

    As others have said, the xlr leads are definitely too short to plug directly into powered monitors. But I prefer this, as I think it will actually add to its durability in the longrun. Longer cords would be more fragile and are going to wear out and get mucked up a lot quicker.

    I think its better to think of this as a breakout cable and extend them as needed. But it's not a problem for me, as I'm just going from my converters to my amp.

  • from Canyon Country, CA July 27, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    TC Electronics Level Pilot Near Perfect

    The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because the cables are way too short to connect to the speakers. Its a "Y" shape, but in this case the speakers would have to be no more than 5 inches apart!
    So it requires buying more cables to make it work.
    But the actual device is wonderful - the knob is perfectly quiet and smooth, easy to reach for, and just the perfect solution for me!

  • from June 4, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, Hobbyist home studio

    If a knob can be called glorious...

    You will be hard pressed to find a knob that is more satisfying to turn. If the base was lighter and the knob slightly easier to turn, I wouldn't complain. I had one several years ago that I had to return, but so far this one has been working great. As always, buy from Sweetwater and the process is painless if something happens.

  • from San Fransisco February 18, 2017

    Static = Dust

    For those who are saying that static is introduced after a while, it's just dust. Use compressed air and it will be as good as new.

  • from May 29, 2015

    East to fix

    Yes it got noisy after about one year of use. However the fix is simple. Carefully pull the rubber base off so as not to disconnect the wires. Spray some deoxit inside and it's good to go.

  • from Raritan, NJ May 9, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Studio Owner

    TC Electronic Level Pilot

    I would have given it 5 stars but they leave you with very short ends on the speaker end of the cables. Don't they know most studio monitors are at least 5-6 feet apart? lol
    Other than that, its a very solid product, works great on my 3rd speaker set in my studio control room. I recommended it!

  • from Dallas, TX February 22, 2012Music Background:
    Composer

    Wonderful while it lasts

    Been using this for just over 2 years (with maybe 6 months spread out where it was not being used full time) with an RME Fireface 400 and Dynaudio BM6's. Sounds flawlessly clean, I love the feel and weight of it. It's not shiny like in the pictures, but looks good all the same and is a perfect size. Small warning in case static build-up is an issue for you, it is a metal knob.

    The trade-off for the great sound is that the analogue component will wear out over time. About 10 months into using it I started to hear dirty crackles in the left channel when I adjusted the levels. As time went on this got worse, but once set, there was no noise. At about 14 months the static had crept into both channels. Now at about 24 months in, the high frequencies in the left channel are cutting out during sustained play. Confirmed this via Google searches, as the reviewer above mentions too.

    Have been trying to decide whether to replace this knob that I've liked so much, or get something else since I know it will wear out eventually (probably an annual purchase it seems.) Finally decided to get another for now, there just isn't anything passive like this at the price point, and the active controllers that are so appealing in their functionality do not sound so wonderfully transparent.

  • from San Diego, CA USA December 31, 2009Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Works well, will probably need cables

    There is one cable from the volume control itself, which splits into 4 XLR connectors near the end. On mine, the distance from the split to the XLR connectors is about 10 inches. For some reason when I was researching I couldn't find that distance specified anywhere. I could see that I would need cables to reach my audio interface, which is on the keyboard stand, but I had to use a spare mic cable to connect the left speaker. And my speakers are only the width of a large computer keyboard apart.

    Once hooked up it's very nice - the feel is good, the sound quality is good, and it's way easier than grabbing the right knob out of 12 identical knobs when I want to change volume.

  • from Winnipeg, MB December 16, 2015

    Works great but doesnt last long.

    I love this thing and ive had it for about 2 years but now theres a little static that comes through as im going up and down, not that much though, just wish there was none still.

  • from June 1, 2015

    Second Time Around

    Pleased with the performance for about nine months until the right channel started introducing distortion. I just ordered another one. We'll see how long it lasts.

  • from Santa Barbara, CA USA March 12, 2014Music Background:
    Lifelong musician, songwriter, performer with home sturdio

    A Necessary Evil

    If you need a handy desk top volume control for your monitors this gadget does the job just fine. Low profile, cute etc. For me it is an unwelcome band-aid for the Avid Artist control surface which has a monitor control right where you want it but won't work for PT - used to but doesn't any more (go figure). There was no mention of that fact when I bought it a couple of months ago which is why I am a little irritated to have to fork out for something that was touted to be there in the first place. That aside, the Level Pilot is a worthy, less expensive contender than the competition.

  • from Bemidji MN September 17, 2015Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter

    It's ok

    I confess this unit really filled a need in my studio. It gave me great control of my monitor levels. It's heavy, this is a good thing, it doesn't slide around and the movement of the knob feels really smooth. It's a pleasure to handle and gives a nice comfortable tactile feel to my volume. But . . . . . . I have owned it now about a year and and It's degrading pretty fast. I use it most days for around 4 hours and it seems to be dying. There is now a marked difference in my channels at low levels. My left channel cuts out entirely unless I turn the knob up to stronger volume. In addition to this it sounds increasingly dirty when I turn it. It has started to give me terrible static like an old analogue guitar amp once the the knobs get dirty. Perhaps I can clean it but I see no way to remove the knob housing so I could. This is becoming a more serious problem the longer I use it. So, in the end my experience with it could be quite a bit better. Maybe you will have better luck.

  • from New Orleans June 7, 2015Music Background:
    Producer, musician, mix engineer.

    Great, but...

    Love the ease of having this to the left of my keyboard. Adjusting volumes on the fly with my usually free left hand is great and convenient. Really love the improvement is brings to my workflow., but...

    About 2 months in, I started to experience terrible static while adjusting volumes, as well as the signal going in and out of each speaker as I adjust volumes, often causing me to turn up or down from where I wanted to be in order to make sound come through both speakers correctly.

    If it wasn't for that, I'd be 100% satisfied with this little guy, but instead, sadly, I'm now in the market for another monitor controller.

  • from Orem, UT July 4, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Producer

    Great for 8-9 months

    This is a great short term solution. I fell in love with this volume knob. Now 8-9 months later, it is making a lot of static noise as I adjust the volume. Do a google search on this and you will see that several people are reporting static after about 8-9 months of use with these. It's a shame, because everything else about this is absolutely awesome!

    I use my TC Level Pilot every day all day long. So for those who aren't using them for a full time job, it might last a little over a year.

  • from San Francisco, CA May 27, 2016

    beware

    this item is great in theory and even in practice until the left channel began to slowly die. Unfortunately it seems to be a problem with many of these. The left side doesn't even begin to produce sound until you're turned up some, then mine got noisy on top of it.

    With this being a rampant problem, I suggest you beware
    and look to something else

Questions about the TC Electronic Level Pilot?

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