Everybody flaming the Mackie 8 Bus
View Poll Results: Buy a Mackie 8bus?
Yep, it's fine!
44 Votes - 38.94%
Better look at Soundcraft / Soundtracs
37 Votes - 32.74%
Go Behringer! :-)
3 Votes - 2.65%
Never!
29 Votes - 25.66%
Voters: 113. You may not vote on this poll

vls
Thread Starter
#1
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #1
Gear maniac
 
vls's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Everybody flaming the Mackie 8 Bus

Hi!

I'm interested in buying a Mackie 32/8bus console. Almost everybody at this forum flames when this console is the topic. Now I need facts why i really should / shouldn't buy this console and what i can expect from it.

Thanks ;-)

Volker
#2
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 

While I think gear is important to some degree, nothing is as important than the guy/gal behind the console. A talented person can work with everything listed in your poll and get desired results.
#3
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #3
Pragmatic Snob
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vls
Now I need facts why i really should / shouldn't buy this console and what i can expect from it.

it has a lot of preamps and faders and knobs so you can mix on it like a real console, so it's cool from a workflow perspective. it's just that the more knobs you turn, the worse everything will sound, so it's uncool from a "how does it sound" perspective.

it sacrifices headroom for noise performance, so if you're running a big mix you'll need to keep the input levels really low.

also, it sounds like crap. not a flame, just a fact, as much as anything subjective can be a fact.


gregoire
del ubik
#4
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
jchas's Avatar
 

I use one - I rarely admit to it to avoid the flames. I primarilly use it for summing as i've got some good outboard pre's and the more you adjust the e.q. the worse the results. But, for the price of a used 24/8 I would say you could do a lot worse.
They generally need no maintenance and are built like a tank.
#5
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
firby's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vls
Hi!

I'm interested in buying a Mackie 32/8bus console. Almost everybody at this forum flames when this console is the topic. Now I need facts why i really should / shouldn't buy this console and what i can expect from it.

Thanks ;-)

Volker

There has been plenty of good music done on a Mackie 8 buss. I feel fortunate myself to have gotten a Tascam board when I went out to get a mackie. The eq is usable, pretty good and neutral and the gain stages are no doubt better. That being said, get a board and start it up!
#6
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I've had my 24 x 8 for about 10 years...no problems, no maintenance other than a good dusting every so often. Sounds great in my setup, so if someone is saying it sounds like crap, there maybe something else wrong in the system.

I'm running lots of sample sound modules, a 5.1 system, my DA-88 all into it, and it's routing heaven. Ton's of options. I even use the Mix B section for my headphone amp, works great, I can route whatever I want into the headphones.

At the time I bought it, it was the only 8 buss with an optional meter bridge. I wanted the meter bridge, and that has been a great thing for me.

There's some people out there that say the pre-amps aren't that great, but I think they are good enough for most applications, especially my sound modules. For vocal recordings and acoustic guitar recordings though, I've set up my own two channel strip using some rack gear I have, which is a better routing for the two channels, but not needed for everything. So I bypass the Mackie with that and go direct into my computer.

As I said, I also use it to control my 5.1 monitor configuration, and it works out great for me.

So all in all, I can say the Mackie 24 x 8 was a good move for me. I use it everyday, and have and continue to get my money's worth from it.

Having a 10 year run with no problems is pretty good. I knew somebody who had a 48 channel Tascam board, which was problematic, and a high tech headache, so I consider myself better off in that regard.

Of course, everybody likes to think that their board is the best, and lot's of people trying to sell other boards, so opinions can be varied, depending upon who you talk to. One guy I know, swore up and down his Soundcraft mixer was better than mine, but it did not have a meter bridge, nor was one available. That was a feature that is important to me.
#7
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #7
Church of UAD
 
Matt Hepworth's Avatar
This thread should be in the Low End forum. Yes, it's fine for the $1500 you put into a used one - hard to beat at that price, really. If you take twice that amount, you're looking at yet another tier in sound quality, and that's where most of the flames come from. People that are experienced enough to hear that next level and appreciate are the first to start to hate it. Keep in mind that even a $10k console is considered cheap by most here.
#8
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Well, new mine was around $3500 plus another $700 for the meter bridge, which at the time, ten years ago was a good chunk of money, and waaaaaay less that the high priced boards with many of the same capabilities.

For the home studio, it works out great. If you want to play the " pro studio"/"impress the clients" game, good luck, you'll be spending half a million and still get people saying Joe Blow's board down the street is better than yours, and yours will be outdated in no time, as soon as the "new improved" model comes out.
#9
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
jchas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch
This thread should be in the Low End forum.
Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch
Yes, it's fine for the $1500 you put into a used one - hard to beat at that price, really.
But for the $900 or so that i've seen them going for (in 'very good condition') it's
even harder to beat. Having bought mine when they first came out, and spending about as much as djwayne, I admit I was enamoured by their sales pitch (the best thing since sliced bread), but in all honesty it has treated me quite fairly.
#10
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

Back in the day, my roommate bought a 24/8. I had a cr1604 and an otari 8 track. We could never get the results from the 24/8 to be as good as the results from the cr1604.

I'm not flaming the 8-bus, just making the point that it's biggest selling feature was increased functionality. To me sound is everything.
#11
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #11
Church of UAD
 
Matt Hepworth's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne
Well, new mine was around $3500 plus another $700 for the meter bridge, which at the time, ten years ago was a good chunk of money, and waaaaaay less that the high priced boards with many of the same capabilities.
Yes, I'm referring to the used market only. $3000 can get you a Ghost these days.
#12
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #12
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

ONYX

Go Onyx 8 buss series, they even have a 4 buss series coming out that is priced crazy cheap. I think the 24x4 is going to street around $1600?

Those Onyx mixers have nice preamps, EQ's, and tons of headroom.

War
vls
Thread Starter
#13
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #13
Gear maniac
 
vls's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
Go Onyx 8 buss series, they even have a 4 buss series coming out that is priced crazy cheap. I think the 24x4 is going to street around $1600?

Those Onyx mixers have nice preamps, EQ's, and tons of headroom.

War
Hmm... but the (wanted) 32x8 onyx is really expensive and out of my price range... and the eqs arent fully-parametric :-/ (and furthermore no meterbridge)...

Volker
#14
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Yes used is a different story, I saw one that was almost mint for $1,000 last year....but when you buy new, you know what you're getting and you can be assured nobody spilt their beer or coffee into it. How would you know if it was cleaned up real good ???

10 years ago there was a limited choice between the Mackie, the Soundcraft, and the Tascam. My buddy was bragging up his Soundcraft, but it had no meter bridge, and I certainly did not hear any major sound differences with recordings made with his board vrs mine. About 2 months after I bought it, Yamaha came out with their digital board, and of course everybody said I should have waited to buy that board...you can't win no matter what with some people. "You could have had a digital board instead of a stinky analog board" was one of the comments I got.


I didn't like the layout of the Tascam so it came down to either a new Mackie or an old 16 channel broadcast board for $1,200 that had more snaps, crackles, and pops than a bowl of Rice Crispies. So I went with the new Mackie, and have no regrets. Remember the cheaper the board you buy, the cheaper the components will be, Mackie offered a good compromise, and I was NOT in the market for a more expensive board for a home studio, the Mackie was good enough and remains so. The one I bought was one of the first ones made, so I'm sure they put a good effort into it's construction. I haven't had any problems with it, no cold solder joints, nothing.
#15
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 

The meter bridge was mandatory for me, and I was dead set on having one. Back then people would say, "But I mix with my ears not my eyes", well I am not sorry I held out for it, because I can spot a distorted, over driven, or dead track instantly, and when you're mixing lots of channels, this becomes important.
#16
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
 

There are better deals around.
If you get a Mackie then it is either because you got it cheap, you particularly like *that sound* or you lack imagination.

For around the same money you can get a Souncraft Ghost- which sounds better to my ears.
Then you can have Creation Audio Labs mod it up with burr brown IC's, at your convenience and channel by channel if you want.

OR.... you cab go for a used Amek and recap it yourself for only a little more.
OR- what I did... get a D&R modular inline and recap it for 50% the price of a Mackie.
(Ok, I am still hunting for a master module- I will find one... well I hope I do)

The problem with the Mackies is they are essentially one huge circuit board, as opposed a modular system where you can easily service/replace a part of the console without having the console go out of service.
Modular is the way to go.

Be careful with getting a $1200 board off ebay- make sure you can run its through its paces, unless you can service it yourself.
A lot of those boards are poorly maintained.
#17
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 

The 48 channel Tascam I mentioned above, was modular, and the modules did indeed need to be fixed and or replaced. And it wasn't that old and it was a very expensive board......I was damn glad I didn't own that board.
#18
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Back at the time, Mackie had a very impressive list of artits who had the Mackie 8 bus in their personal studios, so I figured if it was good enough for Areosmith and Whitney Houston, it was good enough for me.

Who knows what their using at this time, as there are a lot more options available, but for me, it's still working out just fine.
#19
15th May 2006
Old 15th May 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Yes, do be careful of the cheap prices on e-bay, you may not know what you're getting. I heard of one guy who had a cat that took a leak on on his mixer and he hosed it down trying to get the smell out of it...dfegad



..are you sure you want to buy a used board.......?????
#20
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Regarding the $1000-1500 Mackies you'll find on E-bay....yes you may find them occassionally, but I wouldn't sell mine for that. Mine's simply not for sale.
#21
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #21
Gear maniac
 
cheeky b's Avatar
 

I had a 32/8 with 24 channel expander - I ran a lot of midi stuff and didn't want to keep patching leads. It replaced a Soundtracs topaz 24/8 which was a way better sounding board but didn't have enough channels or direct outs. I was in mourning for a couple of months when I realised the sound difference, with the Soundtracs if you pushed a lot of level in - like from an MPC3000 for example - it sounded fat, warm and punchy the Mackie not so.

However I made some records with it and no one complained about the sound, I never, ever used the pres - they really aren't that good - and that was probably half the battle. and I only used the EQ in conjunction with software EQ, hybrid mixing.

I sold the entire thing, including custom cast iron stand and meter bridges for $2500 Australian - $2000 US. Not the best bit of business I've ever done but I needed the space.
#22
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Geez, even Peter Gabriel has a 32 x 8 Mackie 8 bus in his "Bunker" studio......check out his equipment list here......

http://realworldstudios.com/

*
*
*
*
*
*
*If it's good enough for Peter Gabriel.....it's good enough for me.
11413
#23
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #23
11413
Guest
 

been there done that.. never again

it cant pass audio without damaging it irreparably.
vls
Thread Starter
#24
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #24
Gear maniac
 
vls's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
new situation: new (hiwi) job, more money....
Need suggestions for analogue consoles up to 2500€ used:
- Mackie 32 8bus
- Soundcraft Spirit Studio 32
- Soundtracs 32 / 8 / 2
- Soundtracs Topaz Project 8
- Tascam ?

help me ;-)

Volker
#25
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #25
Gear maniac
 
needlz's Avatar
 

I have been pretty damn happy with my Topaz 24/8. I wired a nice patchbay directly into the PCB I/O points with mogami and changed out the el cheap-o TL07x chips with nice LT ones along a recap. It's no Neve but for a cheap (picked it up damaged on ebay for 400 + shipping... all it needed was some new faders and a serious Deoxit bath) desktop console I think it sounds tit although I really would rather a sweepable eq for dialing in problem areas. I used to have a Mackie 24/8 which I quickly unloaded after refurbing the Topaz. I found the Mackie EQ and pre-s to be almost unusable in terms of coloration... I really hated the way it flavored what I put through it. My vote would be to hunt down a topaz/ghost/old soundcraft.
#26
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

-It's a budget desk.
-It's Low End.
-It can do a lot for the money.
-It's the SM57 of mixing consoles.
-There are a lot of them out there, everyone has used one, and it sounds OK.

Would you like something better? HELL YES!
Can you afford something better? Maybe, maybe not.
There are lots of options...search Low End.
But the thing DOES work. This is Gearslutz- expect the Mackie to get flamed, just like other low end gear.
#27
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Gee that's odd, mine sounds very clear, transparent, unless you really push the master section, then I'll get some minor board hiss until I pull it down.

The EQ works fine for me.

I've found that the trim pots do need to be adjusted for various inputs, but once that's done, I get plenty of signal.
#28
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Well if you want to compare a $3,500 mixing console to a $300,000 board, don'tcha think that's a little unrealistic ???

Hey if you've got the bucks and desire to get into the higher priced boards, good for you.


Mine does the job and fits nicely in my budget, it's paid for. I don't want a big monthly nut hanging over my head, especially now that I'm doing most of my mixes ITB anyway.
#29
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #29
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

take care of it and it will work great..........no problems with any I have used.
#30
16th May 2006
Old 16th May 2006
  #30
Lives for gear
it is not the sm57 of mixing consoles. they're both inexpensive, and that's where it ends.

onyx series aside(haven't heard them), the general consensus is that the less you 'use' them, the less they suck. Soundcraft is in another league IMO.
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