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The MC3 from Radial Engineering is a studio monitor controller that enables an engineer to quickly select between reference monitors, sub woofer or headphones and compare how the mix translates via various playback systems. The unit is 100% passive and delivers "straight wire" performance, eliminating any coloration and distortion that can be introduced via active electronics.
Several features make the unit stand out. The first is a switch that quickly sums the output to mono to check for AM radio compatibility. Secondly, the sub output can be switched to a 180° polarity reversal in the event help is needed to deal with room nodes in the mix position. Additionally, each output is equipped with a top-mount "set and forget" dial to fine tune outputs for the ideal balance.
Two 1/4" headphone outputs with a volume control allow for sharing mix monitoring. To facilitate the trend towards portable device listening, a separate 1/8" headphone output takes ear buds for checking mix levels. A separate Dim switch is also adjustable to enable the engineer to temporarily drop the playback level without affecting the mix level settings. The unit may be configured for either balanced or unbalanced setups.
Passive studio monitor switcher with headphone amplifier
Control two sets of monitors and a sub woofer
Straight wire resistive audio circuit ensures distortion-free signal transfer
1/4" TRS input and output connectors
Mono sum for AM radio compatibility and phase check
Individual "Set and Forget" controls to fine tune levels on the top panel
Dual output headphone jacks allow for sharing a mix with the producer
1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo mini headphone output for use with ear-buds
Dim switch reduces the playback level in the studio without affecting the monitor playback settings
Sub switch allows for activating the sub woofer separately
180° reverse switch used to reverse the polarity of the sub woofer to counter the effect of room nodes
Balanced or unbalanced operation
Double sided military grade circuit board with full ground plane to reduce radio frequency interference
Extra durable switches with metal outer casing are rated at over 20,000 cycles for added durability
I-BEAM reinforced enclosure makes it impossible to torque the PC board and eliminates cold solder joints
Bookend design creates a protective zone around the switches and potentiometers to keep them out of harm's way
In the Box
Radial Engineering MC3 - Studio Monitor Controller with Headphone Amplifier
1 x 1/4" TRS phone LEFT (balanced/unbalanced line level) 1 x 1/4" TRS phone RIGHT (balanced/unbalanced line level)
4.4kΩ balanced, 2.2kΩ unbalanced
Maximum Input Level
2 x 1/4" TRS phone LEFT Monitors A/B 2 x 1/4" TRS phone RIGHT Monitors A/B 1 x 1/4" TRS phone AUX 1 x 1/4" TS phone SUB (full range unbalanced output with phase reverse) 2 x 1/4" TRS phone Headphone 1 x 1/8" TRS stereo mini Headphone
Varies with level adjustment
DC to 20 kHz, +0 dB/-1 dB
Stereo: -108 dBu Sub: -95 dBu Headphones: -87 dBu
0.001% @ 1 kHz/0 dBu output
0.001% @ 1 kHz/0 dBu output
-51 dB @ 55 Hz
Monitor selection status LEDs
+15V DC/400 mA via included external power adapter
14 gauge steel chassis and outer shell, baked enamel finish
5 x 3.5 x 2" (127 x 84 x 48 mm)
1.3 lb (0.6 kg)
DIM switch with master volume provides variable attenuation up to -72 dB Level control for DIM, Mon-A, Mon-B and Sub outputs