I was in a local studio not long ago and they had Mackie'824s. At first I thought they sounded really good, although they seemed to have an exagerated bottom end.
I asked the engineer about the sub, and he replied " There isn't any. We shut it off, there was to much bottom end." As it was, everything I was hearing was from the
824's. Somewhat skeptical, I played the part that I needed to play for a session, and then went back to my own studio with some doubts about my own monitors - EV
Sentry 100's and some YSM 1's. About 6 weeks later I heard the final mix of that project and whaddya know? The mix had a very poorly defined and weak bottom
end. The room they were in was a well designed room and was designed and tuned by an outside consultant; so what gives? All reports I have read and heard from
users indicate this is a great monitor...
Any number of things could be the problem. The mix engineer could be deaf or worse yet, a moron. The room could suck! In spite of being designed and tuned by an outside consultant who also could be a moron. It could be the speakers. Worst case scenario, it could be a combination of all four elements. It's hard to say. Any time I don't see a pair of trusty old NS 10's in a control room, I wonder, "What's up?" .... Fats
It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!
The 824's only begin to have smooth low end if they are in the middle of a wheat field 1000 feet away from any boundarys. A terribly inaccurate loudspeaker. I had a set here once and they were 13dB up at 55hZ.
The reports of them as a great monitor lie with small project studios that have operators with a lack of real world experience.
In my World, I master for audiophile standard speakers and cheap boomboxes and sony walkmans. It can be done to fit that wide of a spread. I guess the Mackie engineers want everyone to listen with full bass boost to enjoy a recording in the consumer end.
They sound good to some..but very slow and thick on the bottom and cannot reproduce the sound of a snare drum at eye blinking power. They will fry trying.
They are voiced with a lack of 3K power, too much thick bottom and a tizzy screechy tweeter that is crossed over way to low of a frequency to allow for accurate reproduction.
In my Studio...anything that has +/-1.5dB or more deviation from 100hZ to 10K (which is boombox quality freqency range) is simply made for some other asshole..not me.
I actually got a curve on a cheap boombox from 100 to 10K that was in the +/-2dB range.
Put 20 hZ through the 824's and they do not know what hit them.
My Room is calibrated around an accurate loudspeaker..I simply could not live with those.
Your statement dictates that the project did not have a separate mastering facility look at the project. Shame on the producer, director and the bean counter.
An injustice to (I feel sure of) fine artists doing their art.
Thanks Bill & Fats for your replies, I would be happy to hear feedback from any other users on these boxes as well.
Somehow I feel somewhat more at ease that what I was hearing was correct. My own monitors, EV Sentry 100s and YSM1's have their own shortfalls as well, although they don't seem to be as bad as some I have used and heard; I guess I am somewhat adjusted to them. At one point I was considering auditioning a pair of HR824's with the intent to purchase, but now I don't think I'll go there. Perhaps I'll design and build my own nearfields. There are a lot of good drivers available these days.
Bill, I have spend a majority of my life designing and building loudspeakers. I was doing it 7 years before entering the professional recording arts and I have been in recording, mixing , mastering for 22 years.
Let me work with you on your design (no charge of course)so you can get the most for your hard earned dollars.
I also have some driver sources you may want to consider...mainly from Europe.
Hi Bill, I don't think I've ever had a faster reply!!
I appreciate your offer for help on this, and We'll have to discuss this further. I am an electronics technician by trade and I have built some boxes before, albeit for live sound reinforcement. Some drivers I was considering are Solen. Any Thoughts?
Solen is a distributor.
Seas, DYnaudio, Vifa, Morel I have done extremely well with. Eton is another one.
I get them at Jobber..I suppose you do too.
When it comes to passive crossovers.....well I am King (in a way)
Do not forget Audix, Peerless...and I actually have some drivers (woofers) that I designed in 82 that are still available. The key is the enclosure and crossover...and drivers that prove to be linear dynamic.
It is possible to construct a moderate sized set (no sub) that can do 22hZ to 24KHZ +/- 1 dB with a lot of work..under 900 dollars.
Look at this
Those are mighty fine looking speakers Bill, But alas - somewhat beyond my humble means. This is why I was considering building my own, mostly because I know what I am getting for my money, and also because I enjoy building and using my own gear. I have built some pretty respectable preamps and mics that I use in my own studio, (although I have to admit the 414 is still one of my favorites.) I guess monitors are the next step.
Even though those are 12K dollars, I feel satisfyed for around 900 dollars you could do 85% of them, enjoy full bandwidth to the low 20's and high teens and not break the bank with the 1600 each drivers. I have done it.
Well, where do we start? I guess deciding upon a sealed box or bass reflex, and then selecting some drivers. With the response range you are talking I am assuming at least a 3 way box. Correct me if I am wrong but it would be quite difficult to make up that flat a response and bandwidth using only two drivers. Would you use active crossovers with zoebel networks in the boxes, or passive crossovers? I would like to keep the poweramps out of the boxes.
Just off topic a little, I have an old ultralinear tube power amp my dad built years ago that sounds great that I have often thought about using for monitoring. I did some tests on it and the thing is flat from about 18Hz to around 35 Khz. The output transformers are made by Meisner and are really good quality. The only concern I have is damping factor is not what you get with Transistor outputs, and power is about 50W RMS. But hey, many great recordings were turned out in the fifties and sixties. Or maybe the quality is despite the gear limitations they had then?. Otherwise I'll continue using the little Hafler.
No Problem...I have ran out of juice toight..will post more when I get up....no problem..lots of good will come of this..
Thanks Bill, I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your expertise. Forums such as this are a wonderful thing because they are able to bring like-minded people to a level of communication that must have been difficult if not impossible in pre-net times. It breaks down the barriers of technical isolation so the wheel doesn't have to be reinvented in many different places over and over again.
I would like to extend a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season to You and All!
If only mankind could learn to use knowledge for constructive purposes instead of destruction,
we would achieve long lasting peace.
Ity is good to know that my conclusions were not so wrong. At the EQ forum guys fucked me up but I see that I am not teh first one.
I did a test. I was playing a song through a pair of Monitor Ones with a Tascam PA150 at moderate to loud level.
Then we a/b tested with a pair of Mackie´s HR824. Costing up to 6X more, I just coul not fell a big leap. Of course the bass was more defined, lots o things down to 40 Hz, active and so, but just did not JUSTIFY so much $$$.
I know you guys hat the Monitor Ones but after almost 5 ears of continuous use, I had to become accustomed to it.
Iwas thinking of upgrading my monitors to ADAMs, but I see lots of guys complaining on them either. I have also thought of the HR624´s, maybe not so much out of control bass...
I also felt lack of 3k, I changed positions, rolled off bass, etc etc. Of course my room should had been excited to bad modes due to extreme hyped bass, but I was very disappointed with the overal quality. How can that have a THX certificate? It would be great to have Santa Claus sending me a pair of them for Xmas and birthday, but I do not know If I will buy that...
I suspect that THX certified means a speaker rated as such, is certified as a playback system rather than certified as a monitoring system. I wonder if Lucasfilm has any Mackie speakers at Skywalker? I would venture a guess and so no. Just more mud in the water. ........ Fats
Man, you have just said what I wanted to hear!!!!
BTW.. what are your monitors "Uncle Cedar"?
Alécio, your nephew
NS 10's, Tannoy DMTIII 12's, and Auratones. On a transformered passive switcher off a Haffler P 3000. Good 'nuff. I wouldn't want anything less. A lot of other nicer stuff available but this works just fine. ...... :D Fats
I own a set of the 824's and also own an old set of Altec 9844's (2x12 w/horn). I use the 824's to check for the boom mentioned above Bill.
My room is great, and was tuned as well using an old Urie Sonopulse w/akg 451 as the reference mic.
The mixes on the Altec's ring out just like you hear them in the control room .. boombox, home and car .. dead on.. only showing up the problems with each (boom box .. no bottom, etc).
I also feel that the crossover on the mids of the Mackies is a bit less than real (too smooth). However (!) they do help give me a 2nd perspective on a mix, but I trust the Altec hands down everytime.
An interesting point.. sometimes I'll toggle back to the HR-824's on playback of a mix if the client wants to hear more (in my mind false) bottom .. it's interesting to watch as 1st they like the change to the HR-824's but end up liking (in 8 out of 10) the Altecs, once they start hearing how things are getting masked in the Mackie. I'll never change out the Altec's, but the Mackies are fair game.
I find it interesting to read other peoples insights and experiences with these monitors. I can only conclude that the HR824's do not accurately reproduce program material from a mixing and mastering viewpoint. From what I can gather they would make fine Hi-Fi boxes for the rec-room or den, but they don't really have a place in the control room unless someone learns to interpret and work around their shortfalls. To my mind this is dangerous, as any musician will tell you if you learn to play with improper technique it takes much longer to relearn later the proper way. Life is short, and I need to make things as easy on myself as possible, so I think a box with a flat, accurate, response is the way for me.
As a speaker builder and designer for close to 30 years (yes raw drivers as well) their are these types of small speakers that can be put into these perspectives. Every speaker will fit into at least one catigory and some fit into many (very few)
1.Small full range driver in small box.
Typical boom box speakers on a 60 to 80 dollar CD/CASS?AM-FM radio. ** consumer speaker**
Frequency response is very acceptable from 100hz to 9K
2. Accurate full range small driver (4 to 5 inches) in small cabinet.
These are like Auratones, Galaxies, Audax, Fostex.
Dynamic stability and can handle 70 watt peaks without damage and distortion, stiff cone, lage motor structure. Beefy. ** Pro speaker**
80 to 11K is typically good.
3. Audiophile 4 to 5 inch driver in TQWP.
This is a combination of a large quarter wave tuned pipe and a small driver with a medium sized motor. Fostex is a great driver the FE103. Whole web sites are based on this design.
Response: 40 (!) to 13K ****Audiophile consumer****
4. Others. Bose cubes, small combos, etc..
** Consumer **
5. 6" to 7" 2 way.
Cheap Jensens (20 a pair wholesale) Technics ported (50 a pair wholesale)as examples.
Paper cone tweeter that cost 50 cents, woofer at about 3.50 cents with long throw surround.
60 to 14K
These are not bad to listen to after you are finished. Just know how they sound on all material.
6. 6 to 7 inch 2 way ported and sealed.
Most monitors like Alesis, Event, Mackie, and many others. Use consumer european drivers, beefy tweeters, cheap crossovers.
Made to look pro and marketed that way. Dynamic compression, exaggerated bass, sizzle highs, sucked out 3K.
""PRO SUMER** the nasty word!
Terrible translation for professional realum.
FQ is 55 to 20K
7. Small thick enclosures, large motors, presicon tweeters, lighweight diaphrams.
NS10 Yamaha, Dunaudio, and monitors
of presicion quality. expensive crossover components.
60 to 17K Flat (+/- 2.5dB)
Well that is part one of the small speaker saga.
My definition of a professional monitor is one that can handle 10% clipping for hours, can reproduce 115dB snare shots with as little as 70 watts, and last for 10 years and stay in calibration. Crossovers are usually expensive and the tweeter usually has more magnet than most woofers in the 5 to 7 inch range.
Acid test. Record a snare lick. Play it back set to flat. Can it sound exactly like the snare?
I agree, if you know you have a snare sound that is real, play it on any speaker, it'll give a huge hint at where you are.
The Mackies produce a "further back" sound of an "up front" snare. I'm not so sure if this is as a result of the speakers and box or the crossover.. any ideas on that one?
I would be interested in seeing what it takes to compete with my old Altecs in a "nearfield" product. There isn't anything I have put into the Altecs that sounds off .. I don't track rap or opera (my only two!) .. rap because I hate drum loops and opera because I truly fall asleap.. so I'd do a bad job, duh, with those two.
A long time ago I had a pair of Jensen Electrostatic speakers .. just a 12" with this large electrostatic array up top.. 4 "squares" each tilted out a bit, like a diamond pattern. These sounded great.. but were stolen.
for what it's worth, I am currently comparing monitors for my new facility, and shot out the Genelec 1030a's, 1031a's and Mackie 824's. I am not satisfied with any of them, but, surprisingly everyone who listened here (myself included) preferred the Mackies. Perhaps they would work for a surround installation, with a 3 way system for mains. We will have NS10's and auratones in addition to these. Any suggestions on what else to check out.