from Summer/Fall 2003 issue of
The Audio Critic.
Esoteric Sound SuperConnector
Sound, 1608 Hemstock Avenue, Wheaton,
IL 60189. Voice and fax:
E-mail: EsotericTT@aol.com, Web: www.esotericsound.COM..
SuperConnector, $299.00. Tested sample on loan from manufacturer.
don’t have a lot of recorders, you won’t need this neat little switch-box,
at the thought of it. On my desk
right now are a PC that doubles as a hard-disk recorder, a CD recorder, a DAT
recorder, a cassette recorder, and an open-reel tape deck.
them all used to require plenty of plugging and unplugging, because the
component I was recording onto one day often became to be the source I was
recording from the next.
SuperConnector eliminated all that connection-swapping-and the mistakes I
sometimes used to make while doing it. This
simple, passive switchbox, designed specifically for jungles of recording gear
like mine, lets you dub from anything to anything else while you monitor any
or recorder thaes hooked up to it. One-way
switchboxes that add extra inputs to an audio
are common, but this is the only recorder-oriented switcher I know of that's
device is a small box, 10-1/2 inches wide, 6 inches deep, and 1-3/4 inches (one
rack space) high, mounted on a 19-inch rack panel.
On the back are 17 pairs of gold-plated RCA jacks: inputs for three
stereo sources (marked "Tuner," "CD," and "TV")
plus input and output jacks for two processors (such as an equalizer and a noise
reducer), four recorders (labeled "DAT," "Cassette," "RCDRl,"
and "RCDR2"), and your audio systems tape monitor loop
Amp"). I have one more
recorder than that, but no problem: on the front are three-conductor input and
output phone jacks for a fifth recorder ("Ext").
the front panel are two big knobs and three small toggle switches.
The knob on the left selects which of nine sources you'll record from
(the three rear-panel source inputs, the five
or the feed from your audio system). The
selected source is fed to all the recorders, so you can make up to five
recordings of it at once. With the
"Monitor" knob, on the right, you can
the output of any recorder or of the SuperConnector itself.
the toggle switches select processors (labelled
"EQ1 " and “EQ2" on
the front panel, though the corresponding jacks are labelled “Processor I
" and "Processor 2"). The
third is a
switch. Because all three switched
circuits are in line with the record outputs, they affect the signal you’re
I've never used the processor loops except to check that they worked properly.
The stereo/mono switch, however,
has been a god-send for dubbing from monophonic LPs and 78-rpm records.
Stereo phono cartridges pick up the record groove's lateral and vertical
undulations, but on monophonic records the vertical component is just noise.
Switching to mono
the noise level markedly. (This is no surprise, as most of Esoteric Sound's
products are oriented toward record collectors.)
not much you can say about a passive component's performance.
Either it screws up the
or it doesn't. The SuperConnector
doesn't. The rear panel has some
gaps that theoretically could compromise the unit's shielding, but even with
this switchbox sitting right
my PC, I've heard no sign of interference.
SuperConnector has one severe potential problem (which the manual explicitly
warns about): If you inadvertently set its "Source" switch to play a
recorder whose own output selector is set to "Source," you'll create a
feedback loop. The loud squeal this
will send through your speakers could damage them-not to mention your
with your neighbours.
the SuperConnector is a delight. The
controls work logically and are clearly marked, and the jack identifications are
printed clearly on top of the chassis. I
like the feel of the plastic-covered toggle switches but not of the
square-ribbed knobs-admittedly a quibble. For
my desktop setup, the projecting rack ears are a nuisance, nearly doubling the
SuperConnector's width. But for
home studios, the obvious intended market, they’re
the price may seem a bit high for a component that's nothing but a bunch of
jacks and switches. However,
because the market for a specialized switcher like this is small, the
has to be hand-built. And having
built switchers for my own use, I know how much work is involved.
cheap at the price-if you need one.
Return to Magazine Reviews