I've owned mine for about 3 years, now. In all that time, I experienced no problems in function and sound.
I have thoroughly enjoyed using this excellent sounding mixer,
never had a problem soundwise. I am very hard of hearing and
for me, it sounds better than my $500+ hearing aid.
Now, don't let my hearing loss disclosure lead you to think
that I am some bum who cannot hear at all.. (LOL) -
on the contrary, I have almost 40 years experience wearing hearing
aids and I can tell you that what I hear through my mixer is astonishing
compared my (now digital) hearing aid.
Also, I've had people with excellent hearing say that it sounds clean.
the 3 band EQ DOES work extremely well and can only be improved
upon via quality outboard EQs.
I've used it to play/record to and from my PC and TEAC
Reel to Reel tape deck. I play my vinyl records through it,
I've played my Fender Strat and Gibson Les Paul through it, my
electrified Classical, using on-board pre-amp. Preamp and
input audio Very, VERY clean!!
I've also used my Shure SM57 Dynamic (w/onboard pre- turned on)
that I use for miking my Fender guitar amps and MXL 990/991 condenser
mic kit and MXL 960 Tube Condenser Mic for acoustic and vocal application -
Excellent mics, btw, for those on a small budget.
I feel that I have an EXCELLENT little analog set-up with perhaps
a couple of additional outboard audio gear to add some more capability -
Dual 31 Band EQ, Compressors, Tube Pre-amps for flavoring.
Out of the box, the 802-VLZ3 mixer is just pretty darned good,
It is durable and versatile. For the small format audio studio, my first recommendation.
The only thing that I can think of, at the moment, is the plastic wall-wart (AC
adaptor) is a bit too fragile.
Nothing that couldn't be rectified with some tape and JB Weld (though
Mackie could probably fix this problem with slight redesign using better
You CAN replace these AC adaptors, though for about 20 bucks.
example: Mackie 0028090 00 Ac Adapter for Mackie Mixers. | Full Compass
Also, the black area in the upper right corner DOES get pretty warm but
not so hot to the touch that you burn yourself. -
I don't know if it's something Mackie already knows about or even if it is a problem, at all, with these models. I haven't asked and
Mackie could say that it is normal and not something to be concerned about.
I HAVE read elsewhere that that spot DOES get warm, so, that may
Otherwise, it's an excellent choice for the $200 price point, and I would buy it again if broken, lost or stolen.
Honestly, I am so impressed by it, it hope nothing happens to it - I have
used it daily with about as much time as 8 hours straight,
I am so used to it that it fits like those worn out shoes you just can't
let go of.
That's about all I can think of - hope it helps the next prospective buyer
in the market for an excellent low priced compact mixer. Reviews
Sound On Sound Review - Mackie 802 & 402 VLZ3
Tape Op Review - Tape Op Magazine > Reviews > Gear > 402-VLZ3 & 802-VLZ3 compact mixers
Acoustic Fingerstyle Review - http://www.acousticfingerstyle.com/Mackie402VLZ.htm Videos
Mackie's Introduction to the 802-VLZ3 - Mackie 402-VLZ3 & 802-VLZ3 Ultra-Compact Mixers - YouTube
The Mackie MixBusters: 802-VLZ3 (Durability tests) - The Mackie MixBusters: 802-VLZ3 - YouTube Extra Videos Highlighting the VLZ3 series
Sonic Labs: Mackie 1202 VLZ3 (Next size up) - Sonic Labs: Mackie 1202 VLZ3 - YouTube
Mackie 1402-VLZ3 - 14 Channel Studio Mixer - AudioSavings.com - Mackie 1402-VLZ3 - 14 Channel Studio Mixer - AudioSavings.com - YouTube
Mackie 1604 VLZ3: Bob DiFazio Introduces A Very Popular Mixer - Mackie 1604 VLZ3: Bob DiFazio Introduces A Very Popular Mixer - YouTube
Mackie 2404-VLZ3 & 3204-VLZ3 4-Bus FX Mixers w/USB - Mackie 2404-VLZ3 & 3204-VLZ3 4-Bus FX Mixers w/USB - YouTube