Coolermaster Musketeer 2 (LLC-U03) Review

Admin - 2007-03-13 00:32:38 in Gadgets, Modding
Category: Gadgets, Modding
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: July 20, 2004
Coolermaster
Coolermaster
Introduction
Cooler Master has had a slue of slick looking multi function panels in the past year, and today we will be looking at the second addition to the Musketeer line the Musketeer2. With the original Musketeer you had a slick looking panel using analog gauges; this really makes the Musketeer stand out from any other multifunction panel on the market. The first Musketeer had gauges to for temperature, fan voltage, and the ability to read the sound pressure level and adjust the volume accordingly. On the Musketeer2 we have the same volume adjustability, but now you can control both the left and right channel, along with analog gauges for both channels. You also have an analog gauge to show the level of hard drive activity. Let's take a closer look and see if the Musketeer2 is what you need to add some flare to your case.



Specifications
Dimension: L165'W145'H42.3
Lift Dail Display: -20 to +3dB
Middle Dail Dispaly: 0~100%
Right Dail Display: -20 to +3dB
Sound Pressure: -20 to +3dB (up to the input level of the sound card)
Voltage Adjestment: 6V
Current: 200mA
Color: Silver/Black
Weight: 800g

Closer Look

Inside we find the Musketeer2 sandwiched in between two Styrofoam blocks. This will insure the musketeer2 survives the sometimes brutal delivery trip, and reaches you unscathed.



After taking the Musketer2 out of the box I found all the needed cables and hardware to get up and running. Inside we have 80cm HDD LED cable, PCI bracket with VU-IN and VU-OUT cables attached, dual 3.5mm stereo plug, PCI and 3.5' bracket for changing the LED color, screw pack, and Musketeer2 manual. Also included is a HDD LED out extension cable if your case's HDD LED cable is too short to reach.

 

Looking at the musketeer2 from the front we see the three stylish analog gauges that really set the musketeer2 apart from any other multi function panel on the market. I really like this look as it differs greatly form digital displays, giving the Musketeer2 a classic look as opposed to a digital gauge. In the rear we have all the needed connections to get the Musketeer2 in to action. Now for the fun part, installing the Musketeer2.
Installation

After taking the Musketeer out of the box I thought installation would be slightly complicated, but after getting started it's actually very simple. After removing the 5.25 bays plastic panel disconnect the HDD LED cable from the motherboard and fish it thru the 5.25' bay to the front of the case. After connecting the case HDD LED cable to the HDD out on the back of the musketeer use the included 80cm HDD LED to connect to the HDD LED in and connect the other end to the motherboards HDD LED pins. Then simply slide the Musketeer2 and attach with the supplied screws.


After mounting the musketeer2 in the 5.25' bay find an empty PCI slot and attach the supplied PCI bracket with audio IN-OUT and connect the 80cm cables to the back of the musketeer2. Then take the 3.5cm stereo cable and plug it into the audio out of your soundcard and plug the other end to the input of the PCI bracket. Also the front volume sliders do not protrude out far at all allowing me to close my case door.


Then simply find a spare 4 pin Molex connection and plug it into the Musketeer2. Now we are ready for testing. Testing

Testing the Musketeer2 was pretty straight forward. Upon boot up you're greeted with an array of flashing colors. Check the link to the video below to see the lights in action. Checking the gauges everything looks good the HDD gauge jumped around until windows fully loaded. After getting into windows I fired up some music to check the VU meters, but I was met with only sound on the right channel while the left VU meter was showing sound on the analog gauge. After messing with the font volume meter the left channel kicked on it seemed as I had a short in the left channel volume slider. At any time I tried to lower the left channels volume I would completely lose all sound on that channel. No biggy I just set the volume all the way up and had full stereo sound. The volume slider worked ok I guess using my headphones; I either had full blast or barely no audio at all.

Download: Video 1 (462KB)
Note: You will need the Xvid Codec installed on your PC to watch the video. If you do not have the codec you can download it here or on this page.


Conclusion

Well I must say I wasn't too thrilled about the musketeer2 when I first opened the box, but after getting it up and running I was very impressed. The Led lights are very bright and you have the ability to choose 7 colors which are Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Yellow, Pink, white, and a light Blue color or you can set the Musketeer2 to flash between all the colors. One thing I didn't like is when booting the machine the color defaults to red, this wouldn't be a problem if I was able to install the 3' bay LED button, but with the LED switch located in the back of the case in a PCI bracket makes changing the colors a pain if you cant easily reach the back of the case. The Musketeer2 worked flawlessly other than the short in my left channel slider. I have to give it to Cooler Master the Musketeer2 is by far the sleekest looking multi function panel I've ever had the joy of testing, and the analog gauges gives the Musketeer2 a classic look. Is the Musketeer2 a needed item? I would say no it is more form than function, but it sure did add some flare to my Antec Lan Boy case. Also the Musketeer2 also comes in black if silver doesn't go with your current case.



Pros

 

Cons