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A/B Switcher: Presonus, Mackie?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by stevesherrick, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. I am looking for an A/B switcher that will allow me to use various sources and monitors. Two of the units that are in my price range are the Presonus Central Station and the Mackie Big Knob. It would be great to hear some opinions on these units. Here are some of my concerns and maybe you guys can debunk them.

    1. Do they offer truly transparent sound?
    2. Do they have crosstalk problems?
    3. Is one more robust than the other?
    4. Are there any "gotchas" that I should be aware of?
    5. Are there better options in the $500 and below range?

  2. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    I would definitely go with the Central Station over the Big Knob. I recently bought a Central Station and couldn't be happier. To address your questions:

    1) It is very transparent. I did a lot of research on this point and it was almost unanimous that the central station has the big knob beat in this department.

    2) Haven't noticed any crosstalk

    3) No problems here

    4) Haven't found any yet

    5) I would highly recommend the central station over anything under $500 (Big Knob, Samson C-control)

    I've seen it used everywhere from project studios to pro mastering applications (in the same rack with manley and gml components). Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks. The Presonus has some useful features that the Big Knob doesn't such as a SPDIF digital input. So I was leaning towards getting it if the concensus is that the sound is transparent. That's good to know you have had a positive experience with it.

  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Central Station for sure. PASSIVE signal chain.

    The D/A was a bonus - I didn't even know it was there until I installed it...
  5. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    The Presonus works great EXCEPT that with the two units I have had here the cue output is OUT OF PHASE to the input and speaker outputs which will cause problems to people singing with headphones. Check my post about AKG headphones and absolute phase..... Switching is silent and the only odd thing I have noticed is that because it is passive, when you switch in the sub (spkr C) the mains (A&B) decrease in volume slightly. Love the meters and cal option, and the remote is cool.
  6. This will strictly be used as a way to switch between two audio inputs and possibly at some point have a second set of monitors to A/B with. It sounds like with that scenario I will have no problems. Everyone seems to be happy with the quality and that is a key for me.

    Thanks for the advice on this. It's much appreciated.

  7. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, CANADA
    Home Page:
    You can get a Coleman Audio MP3 used for about 450$. It is completely passive and sounds really good. 3 ins, 4 outs, volume knob with .5db increment, headphones plug, mute L and R and a mono switch.
  8. I thought the street price on this is about $800 which puts it out of my range. It does look like a nice product, especially the precise stepped attenuation. But the Presonus is half the money and people seem happy with the quality.
  9. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, CANADA
    Home Page:
    Hi again,

    For the Coleman, you sure can find some around 450$, I did and someone that I know did pay 465$. Just a matter of timing I guess.

    Good luck with your choice !

  10. I'll poke a round a little more and see if I can find one for under $500. Then I'll compare the two feature sets and see which one to go with. Thanks for the heads up on the Coleman.

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