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Designed by Tim Farrant using a design concept by engineer Nathan Eldred of Atlas Recording, here we have a new monitor controller. Straight out of the USA, this is another product from a relatively small pro audio manufacturer, but with experience behind them from such units as the APA range. Often these types of companies spot a hole in the market and produce something really well built. This new monitor controller looks promising.

There is quite a range of monitor controllers out there and in recent months I’ve heard quite a few. They vary in price hugely, with some being well outside many users’ budgets. However, the quality of these products and the effect they have or, hopefully, don’t have on the sound also varies immensely. Although I haven’t heard this new Grendel unit yet, I suspect this might be their key to holding a market share.

It appears the unit is well built with emphasis put onto the electronic design and components used, which is the most important consideration when choosing a monitor controller. There are several controllers out there that look great, or have a nice feature set, but you’d be better off without them. With an introductory price of 1249 USD, this certainly provides us with an option that separates the rubbish from the over-priced.

Where the unit might fall down is in the ergonomics. It doesn’t look very special and has been built into a 1U rack case. This is fine for several situations, but considering this is something you will want in front of your mouse & keyboard, or even ontop of a console, a desktop style box with a large knob on top might have been better for most users.

This aside, it certainly comes with enough functionality to suit most modern monitoring scenarios. DA conversion isn’t on offer but I like this as it allows users to make their own choice of interface. The unit has four different inputs, ranging from XLR, phono and a 3.5mm balanced input for monitoring off mobile devices which is so important today. Three sets of monitor outputs and a headphone out should be enough for most studios. Click on the link below for more information.

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