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Mackie VLZ PRO Series Mixers versus, well, every other M

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sserendipity, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. sserendipity

    sserendipity Member

    Could someone point out what exactly is wrong with this article?

    Mackie Pre Amp Shootout

    [ July 22, 2003, 04:28 PM: Message edited by: Kurt Foster ]
  2. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Hell - we had a whole thread bout this - do you mean besides the fact that it's an advertisement - one heck of a PR thingy they got going.....

  3. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Who cares.....
    A good 1073 beats all of them...and yet I had to record drums on a ringo record in a small room with four 1073's and a mackie 32x8...anything is possible...but manufacurer supported "shoot-outs" will always give the manufacturer a good result...
    ...so use a mackie if you have too...you won't go to jail for it, and there's nothing wrong...but a formula one will always beat a suped up mustang pon the track.

    [ July 22, 2003, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Kurt Foster ]
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Mackie ads are always crack me up. Most of the time there ‘s a lot of humor intentionally incorporated in them. I have never been able to get sound that I was satisfied with using Mackie pres but I also have to say I haven’t used the XDR PRO versions.. I have a pair of the 9098’s that are mentioned here and I find them also to be unremarkable. Too vanilla neutral for my taste. As far as a neutral mic pre, I prefer the Millennia HV 3 to either a Mackie or the 9098 pres. But I am using a U87 a solid state mic and not an M 149 which is tube.

    Nope never used it! Never heard it! I don't know nothin' about it.. It could be the best thing since sliced bacon! (really!) :D
  5. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    I don't mind my mackie pre's. They are unremarkable, but not terrible. The eq's are terrible. The crosstalk is terrible. Signal to noise? Blah. Blah Blah. Rating of one to ten?: Blah.

    What I can say about mackie is:
    You can record sounds with a mackie board.
    You can play souns back on a mackie board.
    It will sound good(not GREAT)if you tracked it well, so long as you don't alter the signal any with the mackie.

  6. drbam

    drbam Guest

    >>I don't mind my mackie pre's. They are unremarkable, but not terrible. The eq's are terrible. The crosstalk is terrible. Signal to noise? Blah. Blah Blah. Rating of one to ten?: Blah.<<

    Your comment seems to indicates that you own and use a Mackie but overall its "terrible." What other mixer/console do you use, and this also begs the question: why use a Mackie at if they are so terrible? :)


  7. Guest

    they be cheap (and their ads are funny).
  8. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    I do have a mackie 24ch 8 bus console. :) The yamaha is 20+ years old. The pre's are nice, the eq's are pretty good too.
    I find the mackie is acceptable for what I do now, as I use it sans-eq, for playback mostly. The pre's are ok, so I also use it for some tracking. Depending on the sound I want, I will put an instrument through one (mackie) or the other(yamaha). I use the yamaha more like a 16 channel rack pre, and insert eq's if needed( I have a tendency to be stubborn while setting up mic,s and I usually don't have to eq much at all). Right now I need to spend a lot of money, on pre's new mixer, computer, software, acoustics, advertising, training, projects, and not necessarily in that order. Since I am running a business, I have to make a decision as to what things will benifit my time, and my ability to be competitive, before investing. Right now replacing the mackie is not a priority, because it does not severely impair my ability to be competitive in my area market. Replacing it will become a priority when I start to pursue bigger, higher paying clients.

    If you are wondering why I got it in the first place.. ;)
  9. drbam

    drbam Guest

    Thanks for your clarification Steve. BTW, my last name is also Metcalf. Do you have any relatives from the Texas area? :)

  10. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    I have no relatives in that area as far as I know of. My branch of the family is very small, and local to the province of ontario. Only my immediate family live in the cambridge area, some relatives in owen sound, and a couple in the nations capital, Ottowa. We do however, originate from boston in the late 1700's.

    Maybe I should have been a geneologist?(if that's what you call it) :D :D
  11. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    I wonder why they didn't use a dynamic mic in that shootout? HHHHHHMMMMMMM
  12. TedB

    TedB Guest

    I have an older mackie 1202. I spent a day a/b'ing the pres with the Korg D1200, 2 channel Merc Edition Great River, Sytek and some homeade pres.

    We put up a ton of mics in the same position and recorded one take thru all the pres onto an HD24.

    in the end, only the great river was truly head and shoulders above the others. The rest really depended on application.

    BUT we got this great sound from a pair of SRO's in ORTF on a Larrivee D03 using the Mackie... blew everthing else out of the water. We couldn't believe it, and kept going back and saying, are we sure that's the mackie....?

    We also had one vocal with an SM58 that we liked over the other pres.

    My conclusion is that until I'm ready for a Great River or Pheonix, the Mackie'll do. you just have to know how to work it, and accept it when it's not doing it for you.

    On a budget, it's the best $300 I've spent, and I feel didn't really contribute to the "false economy" cycle. It's worked hard and lasted me, and will until I get the 3K for some new old iron.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I love that phrase. "false ecomomy cycle". That is a very good discription.. As you probably know, I have been doing a lot of mic pre comparisons in the past few months and my findings mirror yours .. But there are some mic pres available that don't cost $3k that are an improvement. The Sebatron vmp series pres, the Speck 5.0 and the JLM Audio TMP8 are all pres that, in my opinion, leave the Mackie in the dust. The most expensive of these is the TMP8, ringing in at $1850 list, but you have to bear in mind that this is an 8 channel mic pre that is very much like a Focusrite Red range ... 2 channel versions of the Sebatron vmp and the single channel Speck 5.0 are both well under $1000.
  14. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Why I like Mackie...they are cheap and good for line instrument mixdowns for a live show...

    The manual has the schematic where a bus signal goes to the exit on the freeway where they are located..

    Why I hate Mackie..

    Somehow they got my personal email address I use only for family?!! SPAM!

    They got my new home address somehow?!!!

    Their EQ section is terrible and truly ruins your sound!

    I always if using a Mcakie use the direct out(via the instert) to bypass that garbage!

    Opus :D
  15. TedB

    TedB Guest

    Yes, bypass the channel strip on the mackie's! talk about removing the sock...

    Kurt, thanks for the heads up on the speck and sebatron. I'll have to add those to my gear lust list. I just reread the preamp results in an older thread. I'll download them and check em out.

  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I am sorry I can't post some snips of the JLM pre.. it is very nice indeed. Unfortunatly I have run out of space on NWR and they won't give me any more without me having to pay for it. I wouldn't mind this if I were posting stuff for my own reasons (my personal recordings, for promotion) but since I do this as a service to RO readers, I can't justify the added expense to my personal and fixed budget. I am retired and every cent counts... Kurt
  17. TedB

    TedB Guest

    no problemo at'all. thanks for even thinking about it.

    As it is, I'm pretty far away from a next purchase. I'm kind of staying away from buying on purpose.

    I'm on the ear-training/experience warpath: getting the most out of what I've got: Korg D1200, ProRec Daw with midiman audiophile card (a/d converters are not very good), Vegas, WaveLab, various plugs, a couple of earthworks SRO's, an NT1000, various acoustic guitars, amps all in a cozy 15X8 room treated per Ethan's poor man's fiberglass bass traps/absorbers. All fairly low tech/non-pro stuff, but one HELL of a lot better than my very old fostex 4 track of yore!

    I figure if I can get a pretty good acoustic folk/rock sound out of that setup, and understand where and why the sound isn't great, then I'll merit that next pre and converter gear lust smack attack.

  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The difference a good preamp can make is astounding. Take a listen to the U87/ B1 & C3 comparisons I posted at Audio Projects / Streaming. The second sample is of a C3 through an Amek Neve 9098.. the last sample is the C3 through a Mackie pre.. That should help you get your bearings.. you can listen in real time, in lo fi stream, avoiding having to d load it.. Kurt
  19. TedB

    TedB Guest

    yep. if you remember I did my own little shootout with a great river, mackie, sytek, and some homemade pre's, and found the same thing, but the only real pre that knocked me over and sounded that much different than the mackie was the GR. I like transformers. Tubes can go blow themselves. :)

    Probably not surprising, but I'm beginning to become aware of the difference converters can make as well.

    I a/b'd the midiman audiophile converters against the Korg D1200's converters. chain was NT1000 or SRO via Mackie 1202 pres into the audiophile or Korg. Guitar and vox. ... and the most noticeable difference was in the highs from the rode NT1000 vox tracks when using the Korg... through the audiophile the NT1000's high end has always had edgy graininess to it. Recorded on the Korg, the high end had more of that sheen sound... much nicer high end. Hands down using the Korg's converters resulted in the sock-out-of-the-tweeter effect.

    All recordings were played back through the same monitors, same room and same D/A converters on the audiophile, which I suspect is where midiman spent their money (over the A/D's). the difference was truly astounding.

    Ultimately, I think a GR or pheonix pre with some Mytek converters would be about right.

    Just gotta save up and avoid buying interim solutions...

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