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Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:29 am

Hi,

I am looking to buy a monitor controller to be able to switch between two pairs of monitors.

The cheapest quality option that I've found so far is the SM Pro Audio M-Patch 2 V2 :-

http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/products/monitor-controllers/m-patch-v2#features

There are other cheaper units like the Samson C-Control and Behringer MiniMon Mon800 but these use active circuits and colour the sound. Also both these only have one pair of balanced speaker outputs and I'd like at least two!

I don't really need all the extra features that the M-Patch 2 V2 has and would prefer a simple passive switch device if possible?

What else is available that could do this but preferably cheaper than the M-Patch 2 V2?
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:09 pm

Been doing a lot of looking around online and it looks like the cheapest quality passive monitor switch is around £100!?? Seems like a lot of money for this!!

Am considering a DIY route if there is nothing cheaper??

I don't need any fancy extras just a simple switch to toggle between monitors!
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:12 pm

The SM Pro Audio Nanopatch?

Image

About £38

Whoops - sorry - this has two sets of outputs but no switching between the two


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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:14 pm

Martin Walker wrote:The SM Pro Audio Nanopatch?

Image

About £38


Martin

Thanks Martin. I had a look at this but this isn't a monitor switch. It's a volume control.
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:21 pm

http://www.studiospares.com/speaker-spares+accessories/qed-3-way-speaker-switch/invt/404580/

Something like that perhaps? It is just a switching device though.
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:28 pm

Richie Royale wrote:http://www.studiospares.com/speaker-spares+accessories/qed-3...

Something like that perhaps? It is just a switching device though.

Even that is ridiculously expensive for a simple switch! Can you use a soldering iron?
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:29 pm

I use the QED SS21 Audiophile 2 way, it is very high quality and has worked faultlessly for 4 years.

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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:47 pm

Yes I'm guessing something along the lines of the QED although this doesn't have standard jack and XLR I/O!?

Other options I've found are :-

Hosa SLW333 - £102 inc p&p

Coleman LS3 - £114 inc p&p

This seems like a lot of money for a simple switch!?

Surely there are products on the market that don't cost this much!?
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:13 pm

dickiefunk wrote:This seems like a lot of money for a simple switch!?


But you're not just paying £100 for a simple switch, are you?

You're paying 20% VAT (£16.70). Probably 25% retailer margin (£20) and another 20% distributor margin. Maybe 10% for the shipping/packaging costs etc

So the ex-factory price is going to be something more like £38

And when we get back to that ex-factory price, we are still not paying for just a £2 switch. There's a (heavy) metal box, probably custom-made, that has to be drilled, painted, labelled and assembled (£8). And then there are at least six connectors, adding another £5.

So that leaves £23 for the manufacturer to invest in the adjustable workbench with safety-approved ventilation and lighting, as well the temperature controlled soldering station, and all the other tools that his employees require... and the wire, and the solder, and the nuts and bolts...

And then the staff will also want paying for the ten minutes they spend wiring and assembling the thing, and the manufacturer will have to pay their tax and national Insurance, and provide toilets and cleaners and a kitchen and then pay more staff to deal with all that, and then pay corporation tax on his profits.... if he actually makes any!

Sure, it would be a lot cheaper to make it yourself, if you have the skills and tools.

But mad as it initially seems, for a decently made switchbox intended for a (low volume) professional market with balanced I/O conenctors and noiseless, reliable switches, £100 actually isn't unreasonable.

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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby SimonZ » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:50 pm

Hi dickiefunk,
Any unused outputs on your interface ?
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:16 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But mad as it initially seems, for a decently made switchbox intended for a (low volume) professional market with balanced I/O conenctors and noiseless, reliable switches, £100 actually isn't unreasonable.

It's understandable. But still completely unreasonable.
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:51 pm

SimonZ wrote:Hi dickiefunk,
Any unused outputs on your interface ?

I'm not saying it's unreasonable for a company to sell them for £100 I'm saying that it's a lot to spend if I could make a DIY one for significantly less.

I've never even held a soldering iron but I'm pretty tempted to learn when I get the time.

SimonZ wrote:Hi dickiefunk,
Any unused outputs on your interface ?

Yes I have two spare outputs.

I can do a switch within the Saffire's MixControl though it's not as convenient.
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby SimonZ » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:01 pm

dickiefunk wrote:
Yes I have two spare outputs.
I can do a switch within the Saffire's MixControl though it's not as convenient.

OK, yes, much nicer to be able to just reach out and flip a switch. :-)
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Goddard » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:20 pm

This topic came up in another forum I frequent, so reference there might be useful for a photo showing the simply-wired innards of a Pro Co Switch Witch powered monitor selector:

http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=2638884
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:59 pm

I would quite like to give the DIY route a go but am not really sure where to start or to buy the components?

I have a 1u blank rackplate in the bottom of my rack and I would quite like to mount a switch on the front of this to toggle between monitors? Not sure what components I would need to be able to make this?

Any suggestions?
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:12 pm

switch with a sufficient number of contacts, a bunch of input and output connectors, and some wire!

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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:21 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:switch with a sufficient number of contacts, a bunch of input and output connectors, and some wire!

H

Thanks Hugh,

Sorry for the really basic questions. I'm 99% new to electronics so don't know what type of switch or the number of contacts I'll need? Are some switches more suitable than others(higher quality, longer life)?
I'm guessing that I'll need to XLR inputs and 4 XLR outputs. What would be the best quality for these?
As for wire what would you suggest for connecting the switch to the sockets?

Thanks
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Jack Ruston » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:57 pm

Mate I would seriously consider the ethos of 'stick to what you do well, and pay someone else to do what they do well'. Just buy yourself a simple transparent passive unit that does what you want and you'll have earned the money you've spent in a shorter time than it'll take you to mess around with this stuff and then worry that maybe you got it wrong.

The only exception to this for me is kits that come with instructions and all parts included. That's at least quite fun and you know you're going in the right direction.

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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby dickiefunk » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:15 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Mate I would seriously consider the ethos of 'stick to what you do well, and pay someone else to do what they do well'. Just buy yourself a simple transparent passive unit that does what you want and you'll have earned the money you've spent in a shorter time than it'll take you to mess around with this stuff and then worry that maybe you got it wrong.

The only exception to this for me is kits that come with instructions and all parts included. That's at least quite fun and you know you're going in the right direction.

J

Yes I think you're probably right. I have no experience with electronics and don't have hardly any tools for this job.

I'm thinking I'll probably end up going with one of these three :-

SM Pro Audio M-Patch V2

http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/products/monitor-controllers/m-patch-v2

Coleman Audio LS3

http://www.markertek.co.uk/Catalog/Level-Attenuation-Control/Coleman-LS3-Audio-Line-Level-Selector

Hosa SLW-333

http://www.studiospares.com/splitter-combiners/hosa-audio-selector/invt/596400/

Does anyone know which if these would be the highest quality?

Also, if I were to go with the SM Pro Audio M-Patch V2, would having another volume control in addition to the one of my Focusrite Saffire Pro24 interface add any extra hiss/noise?
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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:29 am

Coleman stuff is well built with quality audio in mind. The Hosa box has a rotary switch which means you can't have two monitors on at the same time (I'd count that as a plus, but others might not!), and the SM Pro has a lot of facilities that you don't want or need.

Personally, I'd go for the Hosa box...

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Re: Studio monitor controller/switch?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:21 pm

Hi df!

Have we ever established whether you want to switch between two active monitors (i.e at line level) or two passive loudspeaker pairs (power amp levels)?

If its' line level then the Hosa 3-way model Hugh likes the look of is available here on eBay for just £49.95 inc P & P:

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hosa-SLW-333-Audio-Speaker-Switcher-Stereo-1-4-Jack-3-X-1-4-Jack-/180995455624#vi-content

However, if you're attempting to switch one power amp between two sets of loudspeakers, this might make a better alternative:

www.hificables.co.uk/11028/Qed-SS21-2-Way-Audiophile-Speaker-Switch.html


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