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Mackie Onyx 1640 anyone ?
Old 24th November 2004
  #1
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Mackie Onyx 1640 anyone ?

Hello... I'm considering buying the Mackie Onyx 1640 analogue mixer . Any truth to Mackie's claim that the Onyx Pre's are as clean and have as high headroom as "boutique" outboard pre's ? And what about this Pultec EQ ? Any good ? So can you say that the onyx pre's and eq's are even better than the 24 or 32 8 bus consoles that mackie makes ? If I have Apogee AD16-x converters, could I improve my mixes going out analogue with two of these mixers ? Thanks, Luke
Old 25th November 2004
  #2
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Mann.... this must be selling pretty badly.... nobody knows anything about this mixer ? Anything..... any ideas...... please ?
Old 25th November 2004
  #3
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Guess it's still too new to have been spread on the market yet?
Old 25th November 2004
  #4
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One guy who was interested in buying one, passed on it, becuase he said it looked cheap..... maybe Mackie skimped on cosmetic stuff since they put in higher quality electronics.... I've looked all over for reviews...but even the online retailers have no reviews.... looks like they're not selling ..... I guess I'll have to buy it, and then post to tell everybody what it's like.... please send me 10 bucks, members... to help offset my costs !! hahaha
Old 25th November 2004
  #5
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chadly's Avatar
 

I'm curious as well. I'm not really in the market for one, but they're still pretty new.
Old 27th November 2004
  #6
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cdog's Avatar
Re: Mackie Onyx 1640 anyone ?

Quote:
Originally posted by lukejs
And what about this Pultec EQ ? Any good ?
They're ****ing great if you can find one
Old 1st December 2004
  #7
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Cdog..... Can you elaborate ? Is this from personal experience, or something you heard from someone else ? thanks !
Old 1st December 2004
  #8
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Re: Mackie Onyx 1640 anyone ?

Quote:
Originally posted by lukejs
Hello... I'm considering buying the Mackie Onyx 1640 analogue mixer . Any truth to Mackie's claim that the Onyx Pre's are as clean and have as high headroom as "boutique" outboard pre's ? And what about this Pultec EQ ? Any good ? So can you say that the onyx pre's and eq's are even better than the 24 or 32 8 bus consoles that mackie makes ? If I have Apogee AD16-x converters, could I improve my mixes going out analogue with two of these mixers ? Thanks, Luke
"even better"? That's not saying much. "look Ma, that roadkill over there was run over just last tuesday. It's even fresher than that one that was runned over last Sunday!"
Old 1st December 2004
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
sushiluv's Avatar
 

There´s no Pultec EQ in the Onyx series.

it´s a PERKINS EQ, however, in a german reviewmagazin called "Keyboards" it got hyped. they were very happy with it.
Old 1st December 2004
  #10
Lives for gear
 

"even Better"

Yes..... even better..... I guess your right.....this isn't saying much.... Those mackie 8 bus mixers aren't as hot as Macke claims.... they say they compete with mixers costing 100k or more....... probably a bunch of BS from what I've heard ! Thanks for your input....great analogy about the roadkill !!!! hahahhah
Old 1st December 2004
  #11


Just curious, Berol: What do you prefer to Mackie in the $2k/16 channel price group? Behringer?



-tINY

Old 1st December 2004
  #12
6293
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TINy-
tascam dm24, around $1000 now. w/ two analog utput cards around $1800 w/ TC works effects, dynamics/4-band eq on all 16 tracks and the ability to use all sorts of digital equipment. Not to mention the firewire card.

Soundcraft, Yamaha, A&H. Tac Scorpion. man a list could go forever., there are alot of used boards you could get for $2k that would be very pro boards.
But the point is that Mackie made all of these the other guy with the 1604. I'd bet the Onyx series kicks ass.
Old 7th December 2004
  #13
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Quote:
Any truth to Mackie's claim that the Onyx Pre's are as clean and have as high headroom as "boutique" outboard pre's ?
I'm sure they are, but that doesn't say anything for how they actually sound.

-Duardo
Old 7th December 2004
  #14
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

I'mjust sayin', I did a session last week on a mackie 24*8 for the first time in years and man, that EQ just sounds like crap. I'm no gear snob, I've used & continue to use all sorts of gear from $10 toys to incredible vintage stuff but if I ever have to use that eq again, it'll be too soon.
Old 7th December 2004
  #15
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theres a review in SOUND ON SOUND.

thats 1. many more to go.
Old 21st December 2004
  #16
Gear Nut
 
gear chick's Avatar
 

Re: Mackie Onyx 1640 anyone ?

Quote:
Originally posted by lukejs
Hello... I'm considering buying the Mackie Onyx 1640 analogue mixer . Any truth to Mackie's claim that the Onyx Pre's are as clean and have as high headroom as "boutique" outboard pre's ? And what about this Pultec EQ ? Any good ? So can you say that the onyx pre's and eq's are even better than the 24 or 32 8 bus consoles that mackie makes ? If I have Apogee AD16-x converters, could I improve my mixes going out analogue with two of these mixers ? Thanks, Luke

I think it's Perkins EQ, and I've heard people love it, though on the 1640 there is no Q. The Onyx should have better pres and EQ than the 8 bus boards they make. It's supposed to be their flagship electronics.

Surely someone here has compared the Onyx pres with class A pres. Please share! This claim that Mackie makes should be verified one or the other. They should be called on this if it's not true.
Old 21st December 2004
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Hopefully this is the case.... that it incorporates better electronics and has a great mic pre and eq...... but the main reason I want it is not only for tracking, but for passing my tracks from my daw and outboard DA converters in order to mix outside the box. So hopefully the quality of the analogue mixing has also improved over the 8 bus series. Hey... I checked out your site, Gear Chick. You've "got it goin on" !!! Great lyrics....and voice....great musician !!!
Old 21st December 2004
  #18
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gear chick's Avatar
 

Thanks Luke, I have plans to use it as a front end to my 2480CD just to plug everything into.

Mackie-apogee-2480CD-Masterlink
Old 21st December 2004
  #19
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sounds like a good setup. Which Apogee converter are you going to use, and does the 2480cd have wordclock ? Will you use ADAT to pass digital audio from the Apogee to the 2480cd ? I am just still starting my studio, and went the other route.... buying everything separately ( Mic Pre's, apogee AD16-x, sonar 4 DAW software, powercore, and uad dsp cards) Mann... your setup looks sweet because it's almost all self contained, and the fact that you can hook up a monitor and mouse to the 2480cd is neat..... not such a pain in the butt like my setup... I've got pc scsi , Lynx aes16 interface, external converters, dsp cards and trying to get it to all work together will be a pain !! I'm just starting my studio, and am not looking forward to all the bugs I"m gonna find !! Your system helps you concentrate more on your music, and not so much on the tech stuff... good luck with it, and can you tell me when you are planning on getting the Onyx 1640, because I wanna see what you think about it before I buy !!! hahhah Thanks, Luke
Old 22nd December 2004
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Surely someone here has compared the Onyx pres with class A pres. Please share! This claim that Mackie makes should be verified one or the other. They should be called on this if it's not true
There's nothing to call them on. There's no way to verify their claims. Their preamps spec out as well as they say they do, but their quality is entirely subjective.

Not only that, but Class A pre's can sound drastically different from one to the next as well. You can't make a meaningful comparison between one specific preamp and a whole group like that.

-Duardo
Old 23rd December 2004
  #21
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gear chick's Avatar
 

Hey Luke,

I'll probably get the Apogee 200 and go s/pdif out to the 2480CD, and just go stereo out of the Mackie to the Apogee 200. This should work fine for tracking up to 2 tracks at a time, which is pretty much my method. I might also try some higher end mic pres to supplement some of the Onyx pres , and bypass the Onyx pres through the inserts. I'll definitly post what I think when I get the Mackie. I'm in no hurry to purchase at the moment due to other financial priorities.

Duardo - Of course all class A pres differ in sonic character, but are the new Onyx pres even in the same league as pres like Millenia, Manley (expensive Boutique) pres as Mackie claims. Certainly the Slutz here will have an opinion eventually.
Old 23rd December 2004
  #22


The other school of thought is: If the specs are meaningful and tight enough, any equipment meeting it will sound the same.

Like
- response 20-22K +/-0.5dB
- THD+N < .001% for all conditions

If you hit specs like that, you can add "character" with a module in the computer.....



-tINY

Old 24th December 2004
  #23
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gear chick's Avatar
 

I think your describing the Liquid Channel. It sounds good in theory, but does it sound good.
Old 24th December 2004
  #24
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Yes... I think tiny is probably right...that the specs could be great ...and give you a great , clean sound...and if that's what you want, then the Mackie pre's may be just perfect. I heard a classical recording made by a guy with a Mackie with xdr pre's and Rode NT5 small condensors, and it actually didn't sound half bad !! So I think the new Onyx pre's will be clean and if clean is what you want , then great. If all mic pre's would be judged by total harmonic distortion, headroom, and gain, then nobody would buy Neves, since it's the distortion that gives them their character. As for the price, I think you couldn't go wrong with the Mackie Onyx 1640 ( I worked out a price of 1150 from my supplier Gear Chick...pm me and I'll tell you where to get it... let's buy'em together and maybe I can even negotiate a better deal ( $ 1,100 would be sweet !!! ) .
Old 24th December 2004
  #25
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by tINY


The other school of thought is: If the specs are meaningful and tight enough, any equipment meeting it will sound the same.


That school of thought has been proven wrong time & time again. 2 peices of gear with nearly identical specs can sound radically different. The specs we use most of the time are just not sufficient for predicting how something will sound.
Old 25th December 2004
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Re: Re: Mackie Onyx 1640 anyone ?

Quote:
Originally posted by gear chick
This claim that Mackie makes should be verified one or the other. They should be called on this if it's not true.
I think a lot of people are simply no longer interested in giving Mackie a "fair shot" on their "better than everything else" claims, as they've been making them for years and they've never been true.
Old 25th December 2004
  #27
Quote:
Originally posted by Berolzheimer
That school of thought has been proven wrong time & time again. 2 peices of gear with nearly identical specs can sound radically different. The specs we use most of the time are just not sufficient for predicting how something will sound.


Which is why I say "meaningful" and tight enough...

Most of the "standard" specs that are quoted are not strict enough. Most of the pre-amps favored by folks have a fair amount of second order distortion and some ringing. What makes them sound "good" is how those non-linearities behave on different source material.

A lot of folks say that really clean recordings sound "sterile".

I haven't had a chance to play with a liquid chanel, but I have seen adds for plug-ins (software) that do the same thing.




-tINY

Old 17th March 2006 | Show parent
  #28
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skygod's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY


The other school of thought is: If the specs are meaningful and tight enough, any equipment meeting it will sound the same.

Like
- response 20-22K +/-0.5dB
- THD+N < .001% for all conditions

If you hit specs like that, you can add "character" with a module in the computer.....

-tINY

You know, I am never sure what specs like those mean. I mean, going back to the days of analog reel-to-reel I was always concerned about wow and flutter and then I would religiously compare the wow and flutter specs from one mfg to another, but then when all tracks were loaded it never seemed to make a difference, because I never had the right test equipment or know how to anyway as a non technician to know the difference. Yet there was noise introduced somewhere in the recordings and I knew that I knew that I just knew that the wow and flutter specs were meaningless alone.

This is the problem I have had with the Greg Mackie marketing machine ever since the original rack mount mixer 3204 or something LM (can't remember the nomencalture). I just feel that these folks are not being completely honest up front all the time and couch that in their own Mackie culture version of humor as a distractor ....

The Onyx on the surface is a huge bang for the buck if you take really good care of it and don't take it out too often and bang it around. Think about it, a 5x1640s = 64 channels of pretty cool EQ and pretty good preamps, 20 Subs, god knows how many pre and post auxes, 10 mains etc for $7000. You can get the mod done at:

http://www.frontendaudio.com/Mackie_...xer_p/2787.htm

(go there and read it yourself and it explains the diff), and try to get that many features and channels in a higher end name brand desk -

but then there is another problem that you will have to live with. It is the architectural design of the desk -- motherboard versus single strip = maintenance nightmare over time (sending the entire mixer in for repair) + crosstalk between channels inherent to all motherboard mixers

The specs Tiny listed above are probably good for a single channel at 0dB? I am not even sure if this is at unity gain either. Mackie in this regard is like Peavey of which I am an ardent user of all their product lines for over 30 years, but who are very weird about their specs, esp in live sound equipment, and I am never sure if their continuous rating is the actual peak, because then you have progam and peak. O please ,,,, just say what the **** it really is instead of all this cryptic meaningless marketing hype and bull****.

I have heard of a 24 channel Onyx loaded post eq during a recording that began to clip. But how can this be when:

- response 20-22K +/-0.5dB
- THD+N < .001% for all conditions

the key operational language is "for all conditions"
Yeah thanks for the vanilla ice cream Greg. Now blow me for dessert.

Then there's the issue of no meter bridge. Why has this been such an issue for Mackie even on their 1604, 24, and 32 channel VLZ series? Are these mfg'd in the USofA using American union wage labor that is kicking your arses so horribly or overseas slave labor for pennies an hour in Taiwan or China or the Phillipines like everybody else who says they're not. Jesus Christ, this is a recording mixer were talking about. How much profit are you greedy bastards already making at the cost of how other many important corners you already cut out on the best design you have produced to date?

I'm always in need of another sub-mixer for something, but I honestly dunno -- I just can't get myself to spend any Mackie or digidesign money since their products first appeared. There's just 'something not right' about these companies that I can't put my finger on, and I still search the forums hoping and waiting for something good from either of these groups to change my mind.

But then you might get lucky and buy one that lasts forever and works perfectly, and then you can say, hey skygod, **** off and die you're full of ****. But thats all good too!

/regards/
Old 17th March 2006 | Show parent
  #29
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Grasshopper's Avatar
 

I don't know how helpful this is but I was at a local show a week or two ago and they were using one for the live sound. The sound was crap. Nothing sounded good. That very well could have been the sound guy cause he didn't look like he knew what he was doing.
Old 17th March 2006 | Show parent
  #30
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Hmm...lots of speculation going on for sure on the Onyx! It's one of those boards that, at any price, will do a good job and you can make a record with it. But "in its price range" it does excel. I own a 1640 so I'm not just here as a dealer. I use it every day.

The preamps are tight and focused, period. Not "colored" heavily or overly clean / dirty, but tight and focused with plenty of punch (if your source and mic are delivering punch of course). They play well with condensors, dynamics, and ribbons just fine (my R84 likes the Onyx preamps, as does sE's R1 and Beyer's M160 and an old Grundig).

The EQ is way better than entry level stuff, in fact the high shelf is so nice many snobbish guys would like to have it. The mid-adjustments are narrow to start, but widen the harder you push them. They overlap to a nice degree, and sound very nice! So you can scoop drums etc to your heart's content.

The low end shelf is very standard, fixed 80Hz stuff but does what it says.

Talkback, 6 aux, pad on the output brings it down to mic level to plug into your favorite preamps if you want to play with makeup gain and mix externally through some high end preamps, the build quality is decent enough and feels solid.

The conversion in those firewire cards is also very decent stuff, clean. Much better than you would expect for 16 channels in and 2 out at this price.

Mackie made the board so that the EQ / insert isn't in line to be recorded. Their idea was live board recording of live gigs and maybe not project studio use. Well...they guessed wrong and many people want to use these EQ's on their studio recordings. After having mine modded by a close friend of mine (who happens to run a pro studio in town and does tech work!) we decided to incorporate that into our offering. So we sell modified Onyx mixers that have access to the EQ (& insert) on the small mixers.

The 80 series Onyx mixers have the capability to record the EQ on the DB25 outputs (no firewire option on those). I believe the new 4 buss Onyx units coming out also have an internal jumper to record the EQ as well.

My thoughts anyhow, and if anybody wants to hear the EQ etc you can contact me about emailing a clip for me to run it through my modded board at your specified settings.

War
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