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Mackie 1604vlz pro vs. mackie 1642 VLZ3

Discussion in 'Recording' started by carpcake, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. carpcake

    carpcake Guest

    What do you think? Should I buy a Mackie 1604 VLZ pro for $599.00 or the new Mackie 1642-VLZ3 for $599.00. I realize the "pro" has more inputs but I have heard complaints about the "ribbons" coming loose. I have been looking for reviews on the 1642 but can't find any. I am looking for a good mixer with 8 direct outs to use with my firepod. What do you suggest? Thanks! :?
  2. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    neither, mackie's suck period you will paym ore to get it repaired than you will want to. buy something else
  3. carpcake

    carpcake Guest

    what would you suggest in the $700.00 range? :?
  4. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    North Carolina, USA
    I don't know...I've never had a Mackie let me down, but I've only been doing this for a couple of years or so. Me likey Mackie. ANDY
  5. 8th_note

    8th_note Guest

    I have a Mackie 1642 VLZ and it has performed flawlessly so far (about 3 years). I've steadily upgraded my preamps but I made some very good sounding projects on this mixer when it was all I had.

    I've read some first-person horror stories on getting a Mackie fixed and I've also read first-person kudos for Mackie on the same threads. It's got a 5 year warranty so if they really fix it when it breaks you should be OK. I haven't moved my mixer around much so maybe that's one reason I've had good luck with it. If you're going to be toting it around for live stuff then that could be a concern.

    If you're primarily looking for 8 direct outs I would suggest going with the 1642 VLZ3. The preamps are probably a little better than the regular VLZ and it has all the inputs & outputs you'll likely need.

    Mackie gets trashed a lot but all in all, it's a decent value. Your other option for a mixer in that price range would be a Yamaha. I haven't tried one so I can't comment on the comparison but the Yamaha's tend to be a little lower in features.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You have a Presonus Firepod. It already has 8 microphone preamps that are on a par with the Mackie's. You would be wasting your money unless you actually need a mixer?

    Better you should purchase yourself a single quality/Vintage/retro microphone preamp that has something more to offer? If you want that sound that has produced all of the hits, try a used API or Neve microphone preamp. Then, you will hear something you've only dreamed of before.

    I've used plenty of Mackie's. When using these inexpensive mixers, I really don't have a preference. To me, they are all adequately mediocre and I am still unencumbered making lovely recordings on just about anything. One is no better or worse than another in these affordable mixers. But your idea of plugging a Mackie microphone preamp into your Firepod, is like plugging a Mackie microphone preamp into another Mackie microphone preamp. That sort of like gay sex. No matter how much you love somebody, you're still not going to have a family.

    Childless but not gay.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:

    I could not disagree with multoc more strongly. Mackie has made some wonderful, cost-effective products for many many years, and I own quite a few of them (and have been happily making a living with them as well, with ZERO complaints from clients.)

    There were indeed some problems with the ribbon connectors in some of the VLZ line, and were(are) replaced as needed. My 1604 VLZ Pro had that problem (after being in service for so long it was out of warranty by the time the problem surfaced..) I've owned every one of the VZL sizes (1604, 1642, 1402, and 1202) and have had ZERO problems with them in over ten years of beating them up, throwing them in and out of road cases, or simply sitting in my studio as monitor mixers or keyboard sidecars.

    The ONYX line is a huge step forward (I'll put it head to head with just about anything out there...I own three of these as well), and I would imagine the VLZ3's are some kind of similar upgrade (Although I'm suspicious as to why it's even needed; the VLZ Pro line was perfectly fine for what its sold to do, and the ONYX is the next step up for those that want more. (Better pre's, better EQ, etc.) Perhaps the VLZ3 line is just an ONYX under the hood, without the firewire option.

    Don't be fooled or intimidated by those with agendas that involve taper length, the "Sound" of a particular EQ, or the color of the knobs. There's nothing at all "Wrong" with the VLZ or ONYX line, it just comes down to what you want/need to do with any mixer per se.

    YOu want a big board that will impress your friends with lots of lights, long faders (size matters?), and many other extras you may or may not need, then a Mackie might not be for you; spend your hard earned bucks elsewhere.

    On the other hand, if you're looking for great bang for the buck, built like a tank reliability and clean, clear, no BS sonic quality, get a Mackie and get started on what you really want to do: Make music.

    Or to put it another way: If you can't get a good recording out of a Mackie, you're in the wrong business.
  8. 8th_note

    8th_note Guest

    Remy makes a very good point. I'm unfamiliar with the Firepod but now that I realize it has 8 built-in preamps I would have the same question. I'm running a Delta 1010 which has no preamps so for me the pres in the Mackie were important.

    You'll need to determine what features of a mixer you're after and see if there's a better way to get those features without buying preamps and eq that you don't need.

    Even though I seldom use the preamps in my Mackie any longer it still does a few very good things:

    1) It provides the routing for my monitor setup and it has a headphone jack that provides the output for my 5 channel headphone amplifier.

    2) I use one of the preamps in the board for a talk-back mic when the singer is doing vocals in the adjoining room.

    3) When I only had 4 channels I would sometimes put a couple of mics on a drum kit into a subgroup for recording which allowed me to have a little more control over micing the kit (i.e. have each tom miced).
  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    You could always adopt. :wink:

    fwiw I own lots of Mackie gear, including two small mixers that I bought used. Nothing has gone wrong with any of it so far except a bent fader on my 1402 after I dropped a (cased) Les Paul onto it :roll: (the fader still works fine)

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