Mackie BIGKNOB - Control Room Monitoring Distributor

Mackie BIGKNOB - Control Room Monitoring Distributor

Mackie BIGKNOB - Control Room Monitoring Distributor

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Product Highlights

  • Precise Level Control
  • Flexible Source Selection
  • Three Pairs of Monitor Outputs
  • Input Meters
  • Monitor Outputs with Level Control
  • Talkback Section and Headphone Control
  • DAW Mix Output
  • Balanced or Unbalanced Connectors
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Mackie BIG KNOB overview

  • 1Description

The Mackie BIG KNOB is a compact, moderately priced, tabletop control room speaker selector and router unit, that effectively replaces the monitoring section of a mixing board in the often console-less professional and project DAW recording studio. The versatility of this unit invites possible use as an audio control center for a more elaborate home stereo or Home Theater system, as well.

The BIG KNOB actually has one, in the form of a large, robust, high precision volume control knob that services a generous array of selector switches and monitoring options. Speaking of volume, this is a very high output piece of gear, with lots of headroom.

The BIG KNOB switches are all equipped with activity LED indicators, and the built-in Talkback mic, dual Headphone outputs, and main Studio Outs all provide an independent volume control knob. The rear panel Monitor and Studio Out connector sections, in addition to each of the source inputs, are equipped with individual trim controls, as well.

All function switches, selector switches, and connectors are very clearly labeled and ruggedly housed; the emphasis in the design of the BIG KNOB is on intuitive setup, simplified navigation, and clean sound. The refreshingly sleek and modest appearance, ergonomically and logically presented, indicates a sense of real world understanding and experience on the part of Mackie's engineering team.

Tabletop control room monitoring source and speaker selector
Large, robust, high-precision volume control knob
Monitor A, B and C selector switches with LED's and connectors for 3 separate pairs of powered studio monitors, subwoofers or power amplifiers
Dedicated trim controls for all Monitor output connector sections
Dual headphone outputs, each with independent volume control; dedicated headphone mix bus and separate headphone amp outputs
4 Input Source Select switches with LED's
Mute, Dim and Mono monitoring switches with LED's
Built-in omnidirectional condenser talkback mic
Talkback control section with separate level control and individual 2-track and headphone or studio routing selector switches
Phono preamp with trim control for direct connection to turntables
Dedicated DAW mix input with trim control
Trim controls for all Source input connector sections
Stereo Studio Outs with dedicated switch and volume control, separate trim control for Studio Out connector section
Balanced or unbalanced +4/-10 operation for all connectors; balanced/unbalanced selector switches for 2-Track A and B, DAW Mix and DAW Phones Mix input sections, 2-Track A and B, DAW Output, and Phones Amp output sections
Dual Voltage power supply
In the Box
Mackie BIGKNOB - Control Room Monitoring Distributor
  • Power Cable
  • Owner's Manual
  • Limited 3-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Mackie BIG KNOB specs

    Input Impedance Line Input:
    24 kOhms (Balanced)
    12 kOhms (Unbalanced)
    Phono Input:
    47 kOhms/220 pF
    Output Impedances Line Output:
    300 Ohms (Balanced)
    150 Ohms (Unbalanced)
    Headphone Output:
    150 Ohms
    Sensitivity (0 VU) 80 dB SPL nominal (Talkback Microphone)
    Maximum Input Level Line Inputs, Balanced: +28 dBu
    Line Inputs, Unbalanced: +14 dBu
    RIAA Input @ 1 kHz, Nominal Gain: 79 mV
    Maximum Output Level Line Outputs, Balanced: +22 dBu
    Line Outputs, Unbalanced: +8 dBu
    Noise Unity Gain: -86 dBu max., with DAW, 2-Track A, B Assigned*
    Monitor A, B, and C Outputs: -90 dBu typical*
    Studio Output: -90 dBu typical*
    DAW, 2-Track A and B Outputs: - 90 dBu typical*
    Phono Input: -71 dBu max. (all outputs)**
    Equivalent Input Noise: 0.89 uV, -119 dBu max.
    *20 kHz Bandwidth, +4 dB level setting, 150 Ohm source
    **Nominal 41.8 dB Gain @ 1 kHz, inputs shorted
    THD + N >0.015%, 20 Hz - 20 kHz @ +4 dBu (Line Level, Inputs to Outputs, Unity Gain)
    0.015%, 20 Hz - 20 kHz @ +4 dBu (RIAA Input, Nominal Gain)
    Crosstalk Adjacent Inputs: 90 dB @ 1 kHz
    Left to Right/Right to Left: 70 dB @ 1 kHz
    Muted/Level Off: 90 dB @ 1 kHz
    Input Connections 2 x 1/4" TRS Phone DAW Phones Mix In, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS (L/Mono, R) 2-Track A In, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS (L/Mono, R) 2-Track B In, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS (L/Mono, R) DAW Mix In, Bal/Unbal
    2 x RCA Phono (L, R) RIAA Phono In
    1 x 1/4" TS Phone Talkback Footswitch In
    Output Connectors 6 x 1/4" TRS Phone Monitor A, B, C Out, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS Phone 2-Track A Out, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS Phone 2-Track B Out, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS Phone DAW Out, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Phones Amp Out, Bal/Unbal
    2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Studio Out, Bal/Unbal
    Speaker Output 1/4" TRS Phone, +4 dB/-10dB Switchable (Powered Speakers Only)
    Speaker Switching 3 x Selector Switches with LED's
    Meters 6-Segment LED:
    -24 dB, -8 dB, -4 dB, 0 dB, +8 dB, OL
    Talkback Mic Yes, Internal Omnidirectional Electret Condenser
    Talkback Mic Input No
    Headphone Output Yes, x2
    Dimensions 13.5 x 3.2 x 5.9" (343 x 89 x 150 mm)
    Weight 3.5 lb (1.6 kg)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 8.15 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 18.1 x 8.9 x 5.3"

    Mackie BIG KNOB reviews

    BIGKNOB - Control Room Monitoring Distributor is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 12.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like a rock I owned a Big Knob for 8 years and wore down the buttons and knobs --and retired it to my backup system and it is still functioning. Meanwhile I bought a different brand --that was more flashy--but soon found the levels were hard to trim and LED meters were less reliable...and the actual giant Big Knob Volume controller knob was sorely missed. So i have replaced the inferior controller with my 2nd Big Knob. For those who want to have a monitor control strip that feels like a console --but is tucked away in a small solid metal box.....and its accurate and loaded with common sense options....stick to the Mackie Big Knob.. Solid as a rock Larry
    Date published: 2016-03-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Big Win with the Big Knob! I was looking for a solid piece of equipment to select between different sets of monitors, give me the ability to include various sources, and be really easy to install and use. Mackie did it, plus a talkback function, and the ability to switch to Mono in one button press - absolultely essential for me early in the mix process. It's important to note that this is an active piece of audio equipment, so you might find it ever so slightly 'colors' your mix. I am running a small set of nearfields (Event Tuned Reference 5s) and a larger set of midfields (Event 2030s). Honestly, it's hard for me to tell regardless. The layout on the back is easy to understand. My only suggestion would be a hint in setting levels with this item (it took me a while to figure this out, but this worked):1) In your DAW, set up a track with a pink noise generator running - set the output to 0dB on your DAW - no more, no less.2) With the Big Knob volume off (zero), you should see the input LED indicator light up.3) On the back of the Big Knob, adjust the DAW Mix control until the LEDS hit the red; then, back it off just until they don't.4) Adjust the input of your monitors to about 12 o'clock. After stopping the pink noise, bring up a session or track with which your familiar and play it back, adjusting your speaker input as necessary (make sure you have turned the Big Knob volume up to hear something!). You might need to make a few fine adjustments here, but this will give you the most usable and accurate level for your equipment (if you have passive monitors, you might need to do some attenuation from your amplifier as well).Hope this helps!
    Date published: 2014-06-30
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Typical Mackie Quality Not using all the features - just needed it for talkback to headphone wearing talent. Works perfect and adds plenty of gain if you need it. Adjustable trim pots and db switches to facilitate any level you want. Tried first to get a talkback box on the cheap - that Samson model - made a loud snapping click when you released the talkback push to talk button. B&H promptly refunded my $ for that one and I bought the Big Knob.
    Date published: 2013-09-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exactly What I Needed The BIGKNOB is a essential equipment for home and small studios. With many inputs and outputs, is versatile and helps a lot in the DAW routing. Has a modern and compact design with robustness. I very recommend!
    Date published: 2011-08-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT speaker/headphone selector It works as intended. Doesn't color the audio. Solid build.
    Date published: 2013-07-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from No Regrets, A Solid Performer Allows me to route 4 different sources to different speakers and a subwoofer. Select speaker choices one at a time or punch in and play them all. Haven't used the headphone talkback feature but will if I put in a vocal booth. Weighty and well built. Plenty of trim pots on the back to fine tune between. There is a newer model that adds mic preamps and USB but this unit works for me now.
    Date published: 2017-11-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice upgrade Aside from a simple selector switch I don't have working knowledge of other similar units. I am very pleased with this one though. Lot's of in's and outs. Many ways to configure and route your signals. Im running non-powered mid-fields, and a set of non-powered auratones. To have speaker I could share an amp would be cool. Picked it up DOTD. Nice solid build.
    Date published: 2018-02-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Device For the price, this exceeded my exceptions. Build quality is excellent. Tons of useful features that make studio routing without a console easy and convenient. No overt coloration when all signals are properly matched and gain staged, despite some reports.
    Date published: 2017-06-21
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