I just wrote a long response but Safari crashed. So, in a nutshell:
I read a long time ago that when you reduce your daw fader, the master, with every 6db drop, you lose 1bit of depth. Wether or not this is true, I don’t know, but whatever I read was convincing. Personally, I would never control my speakers solely from the program. My speakers cost too much to be put into that potential threat. Cubase will crash and depending on what is coming out of the speakers at the time and if the sound gets locked into something, you will see the woofer on your speaker move way past it’s designed range of motion then you will have to replace your woofer or whole speaker.
Now, with monitor controllers, the cheaper you buy the crappier they are. Period. You have to watch out for the impedance, crosstalk and left/right balance. For instance, I used to use a Presonus central station for a monitor controller. When I bought it, I put a scope on it and checked the L/R balance through the range of the pot. It was very uneven. I found the average spot at the top, set my monitor level and fine-tuned the L/R levels to be as close as they could get. Then I used a marker and wrote right on the thing where my reference level was. I then turned the pot down and marked where the balance was close for listening at lower levels. I don’t use it anymore for monitor control. After a while it failed, the mains section of it. I replaced that task with a Kush Audio “Main Gain” but still use the Central Station for the cue feeds to the various rooms.
If I can make a suggestion, if you are going to buy a monitor controller, buy one that you will only have to buy once, like a Kush Audio main gain. There is nothing at its price point that performs as well. Not only does it manage impedance, it is linear in its response throughout its entire range. Beware of the smpro stuff. I have never read anything really good about their monitor controllers. I have read a lot of problems and returns. For a project studio, maybe they will work, but in a critical environment, no way. Your monitor chain should be the strongest chain in your entire setup. You can record with anything, even if the mic or whatever doesn’t perform that well. The fact that you can hear it because you have a good monitoring chain lets you doctor it up so it can be used. It lets you hear what it really is.
Everything is relative though to all the links in your rig. If your in the market for a monitor controller, but the best you can afford so you can avoid having to upgrade again. That to me is important: “Never have to upgrade again.”