With the Monicon, Palmer introduces to the market a monitor controller that just concentrates on the essentials. Furthermore, it seems well crafted and is also still quite inexpensive. All the more reason to take a closer look at the Palmer Monicon. And we have done just that at Amazona.de.
Whoever produces and mixes music with a computer and has no other signal sources in the studio, can in principle connect the audio interface directly to the studio monitors. But sometimes adjusting the monitoring volume with a real knob instead of using a mouse pointer is a little more comfortable. With the Monicon, Palmer is now releasing a simply built monitor controller onto the market to do just that.
Craftsmanship and connections
In this case, simply built does not mean by the way that the Monicon is a small plastic box: once you take the monitor controller out of the box, you have an absolutely stable and robust metal housing that remains securely in place, weighing about 750 grams. The outside edges are finished with two wooden panels and on the bottom, the Monicon sits on four sturdy feet. With its dimensions of 164 x 62 x 85 mm, the Palmer Monicon is extremely compact and should therefore still find room on every workstation.
The forward tilted panel houses a large approximately 3.8 cm rotating knob, with which the volume is adjusted. To the left, two pressure switches labelled Mono and Mute. Two balanced XLR / combo jacks are located on the back panel, as well as a 3.5 mm stereo jack input, which are used to route the arriving signals to the Monicon. On the output side, two balanced XLR jacks and a 3.5 mm stereo jack are available. Palmer has not provided more than that for the Monicon, but for the actual task of monitor controller, this is quite sufficient.
Since the Palmer Monicon is a passive monitor controller, nothing is amplified internally. Therefore, you can only lower the volume level. The Monicon does not need a power supply either. With the XLR / combo jacks, and the parallel stereo input, all the usual ports are available which are generally needed when working with computers and audio interfaces. RCA connectors, which play an important role especially for DJs, would have been a nice addition, but I think that you can get by very well with adapters and they are therefore not required.
The three controls are virtually self-explanatory. With the volume controller, the signal can be adjusted between 0 dB and -85 dB, while the two pressure switches mute the output signal completely (Mute) or allow you to check the mono compatibility of the mix with the help of the Mono switch. Audible noise or sound changes could not be detected during the test. The Palmer Monicon represents a simple, well-functioning and very well crafted solution making it easier to regulate the volume in the studio. Maybe in the future, Palmer will bring a slightly larger version of the Monicon onto the market. If you’re looking for a better comparison while working and listening simultaneously to several signals, it would be nice of course, to have a controller of this kind that could accommodate two or three speakers at the same time.
With the Monicon, Palmer brings a new passive monitor controller onto the market. The craftsmanship of the controller is very good thanks to the metal housing. All controls can be easily and safely operated. Regarding connectivity, everything which may be required in the day-to-day operations of the studio is available; however DJs would have liked additional RCA connectors. The sound quality is absolutely fine and using the Mute and Mono buttons the mono compatibility can be checked or the signal completely muted. The price of around € 59 is fine given the quality craftsmanship.
• very good craftsmanship
• neutral sound
• small and compact
• no RCA jacks (DJs)
• RRP: € 75
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Source: Amazona, Germany, July 2014