Mackie CR1604 vlz or Soundcraft Spirit M8??

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by one2ku, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. one2ku

    one2ku Guest

    Hi all.

    I'm looking to get my first mixing board. I have found two of them that I am very interested in. The Mackie CR1604 vlz and the Soundcraft Spirit M8. I found pretty good deals on both and would love to hear some opinions on them before I purchase. I make electronic music (techno/house/hip-hop/etc..).
    All input is much appreciated.

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The differences between the two are more in the features than anything else. For the most part you're comparing apples to oranges ....

    I would say the Soundcraft probably sounds a bit warmer but that's not always good ... and neither board is really what would be termed as Pro quality for studio applications.

    The Mackies are great for PA work and good for monitoring when tracking. I use them as well for the mic pres and eq's when forced to do so, but they are absolutely not my first choice for a "go to" pre.

    Neither one of those mixers has a lot of dimension or depth ... or the ability to pass full low end or provide correct phase response.
  3. one2ku

    one2ku Guest

    Hi Kurt.

    Thanks for the reply.

    This is all new to me. So your info is very helpful.
    Could you tell me which boards would be Pro Quality for studio applications and recommend something that is very close to Pro quality but less expensive. Basically something that would be a good fit for my level. Are Allen & Heath Pro quality?

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I am afraid there really isn't much of anything that really is pro quality, despite what many will be likely to claim, that is affordable. There's lots of stuff that is real ok but not what I would call "Pro".

    Unless you purchase an old used large format console (Which for the most part is usually a maintenance nightmare) you're looking at $20K plus for a decent console ... and that's for digital ones. SSLs and newer Amek/ Neves sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The space constraints, parts used, manufacturing approach and power supply expense, forces limits upon makers of small table top mixers which affects these type of mixers performance.

    There is a very interesting PDF on the John Hardy site at; called "Outboard Mic Pre-Amps: What's the Deal?" I suggest everyone read ... it's very informative.

    The best solution most of us have arrived at is to use small mixers to monitor playback only, mix in the DAW or with a high quality line summing mixer like the Speck Lilo, and to use quality outboard pres, EQ's and compressors going into the DAW.

    I'm not saying that you should not use or purchase a small mixer if that's what you want ... in the real world you will more than likely be perfectly happy with one. I just like to point out that these kinds of mixers do not live up to the hype that the manufacturers spread. Once you read the article by Hardy, you can rest assured that you are armed with the correct information and you can make your decision without any confusion or false expectations.
  5. 8_left_turns

    8_left_turns Active Member

    Jun 3, 2005
    So Cal
    mackie 1604

    I think the mackie 1604s do awsome for recording
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I have had 3 mackie boards. One of the orig. Mackie 1604's, and a 24 track 8-Bus console, and a 1642 vlz.
    Now I have an Allen & Heath MixWizard3 and it's about as good if not a little better.
    I am doing like Luke said, (hehe)I mean Kurt said, I "use outboard pre-amps".
    And the mixer only gets used for tracking and connecting effects to my reverb units.
    I did have a few repair issues with the Mackies, but obviously it didn't stop me from buying their gear.
    No problems with the Allen & Heath so far (knock on wood)
    There's always something like maybe getting a Midas board or console. As far as the next step away from compact mixers, with compact pre-amp's and compact power supplies.
  7. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    if you're looking at mackies you mind as well get the new onyx series. much better pres
  8. Antho

    Antho Guest

    So 'Its that guy again' , you only found the Allen & Heath a 'bit' better than the Mackie?

    I've heard the pre's in the Mix Wizard are considerably better than the apparently is the general signal.. I haven't had the chance of side by siding them.

    I was considering a Mix Wizard, one the the 3 models, but would not consider it if it were only a bit better than a Mackie. I'll have to
    A/B them Asap.

    And yes Kurt I have listened intently to your statements re: pres :)
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