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Mackie HR-824

Mackie HR824

4.2 4.2 out of 5, based on 8 Reviews

The launch of Mackie into the Near Field Monitors. Was it any good?

9th December 2011

Mackie HR824 by guitarz

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Mackie HR-824

I have bought my Mackies HR-824 in 1998. They were having great reviews and after comparing them to all the same priced speakers from KRK, Dynaudio, Genelec I definetly thought they were a good bang for the buck.

They came in two well packaged boxes and they are quite heavy for their size. 32.5 lb. (14.77 kg)
They offered 150 watts for the low freq 8,75" driver and 100 watts for the high frequency 1" viscous edge-damped aluminum dome.

They play very loud and most of all they handle transients really well.
These monitors also go down very low thanks to a passive radiator. The claim is -3 dB @ 37Hz and its a fact that I never needed any sub to go with them in my small 13 square meter room.

It has adjustments for placement in the room, corner, wall or free standing and also +/-2 db at 10khz Shelving.

What I think is lacking in the sound is the mids zone that I feel is very shy. I have to resort to my Yamaha NS10m to check vocal levels and critical EQ in the mid band. Other then that it sounds incredible, powerfull and definetly has a wow factor for the clients when they hear them play loud.

I would not have them as a single pair due to the slightly retracted mid zone. The bass has quite some oompf to it, but same may argue as to the reality and tightness of this sound. I have became quite used to like it anyway.

23rd December 2011

Mackie HR824 by rack gear

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.25
Mackie HR-824

there's something to be said for ubiquity and I feel the HR824's are the love/hate monitors of their era as the NS10's were a generation prior. these are by no means the definitive monitors but the ubiquity of installations has provided a somewhat standard of reference, even if that reference is flawed.

the single greatest weakness to the HR824's are the midrange, which pretty much make having an second set of monitors a necessity. depending on how the monitors are installed the bass can also be hyped, but usually I find this to be the case due to user settings on the speaker itself.

in the end I figure if they're good enough for this guy, there's really no excuses as to how usable they are...

8th January 2012

Mackie HR824 by BumBataa

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Mackie HR-824

I own the second revision mk2, so I cannot comment on the first one.
These monitors are constantly bashed over here at gearslutz and to be honest I understand that particularly.
These monitors have a lot of bass and go pretty deep and this is in my opinion one of the main reasons that these monitors don't work for most of the people, but I will get to that later.

You can easily look up their specs so I will skip that and move to the points which I found out in my personal usage which could be more interesting than me copy and pasting their specifications.

First when I got them I was disappointed. They had lots of bass but it wasn't as tight and defined as I wished and nearly everything sounded pretty smooth and nice.
This changed dramatically as I moved them around and finally treated my room.
In a well treated room these monitors sound great, don't be fooled by all the mackie hate.
They reveal a lot of flaws in recordings, especially compression levels can be judged pretty ok with them.
Their bass is much tighter, the soundstage and depth is pretty accurate for monitors in this price range and you can listen to them for quite some time without feeling bothered.
This again is the reason they are bashed a lot.
People invest a fortune in their monitors and nothing in room treatment.
This is ridiculous and the reason Mackies are bashed I believe, because they put out so much bass they mask frequency ranges if used in a room which is not treated properly and the bass sounds muddy, flabby, undefined or whatever pseudo-acronyms people use to describe something sounding ****ty.

Now the cons:
These monitors will take you quite some time to get used to.
First, due to the dynamic and deep bass, you are easily fooled into thinking your mix is good, though it isn't.
It is a little hard to describe as they can sound really awful, if the sound source is bad or your mix, but you have to listen to a lot of reference stuff to know how a really good mix should sound on them and believe me it should sound amazing, don't stop before that!

On other monitors the mix will sound crappy all the time and if it sounds ok it will sound amazing anywhere else.
Here mixes which are halfway finished can sound good but once you know how these monitors can sound when playing a perfectly tuned mix you will not rest until it sounds that way.

Another problem is transient response, which is good but only in a properly treated room. Before that you will really run into trouble and even in a treated room I know monitors which can do that better.

Final conclusions:
If you looking for a monitor which doesn't give you headache all the time and if you produce a lot and need to sit in front of your monitors a long time and if your room is treated (!!!) these monitors are great.
Especially for Hip-Hop, EDM, Dubstep, film music or whatever is bass heavy.
Be aware that these monitors are revealing but on different levels than others.
If you look for a monitor which sounds like **** all the time and only sounds ok if your mix is finally finished you should look somewhere else.

Also I must say that I suggest you use a subwoofer for bass heavy music.
While these monitors can go really deep it's still a different thing with a sub.
Everyone will tell you that a sub can be problematic, but that's only half the truth. It can be but it will also tell you a lot more about what your music will sound like in the club.
If you will buy a sub I suggest you check the 624, the 824's smaller brother.
It is supposed to have a better midrange, though I believe it is more the fact that in an untreated room more bass from the 824s will mask that range.

9th January 2012

Mackie HR824 by skindogdms

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Mackie HR-824

Ah, the Mackie HR824, was not the first or last time I was sucked into purchasing expensive gear because of advertising... I thought, especially since I was really inexperienced, that THX meant that I was going to have incredible dynamics and sound. First, I was quite impressed with how loud and how much low end extension they had. They were surely fun to use and I felt, obliviously, confident. Then, I heard my mixes - well ok, not so bad, definitely better than using cheap home stereo speakers for the most part. Over the years and years I used the speakers I never had a mix that had the character I aimed for. There was always a problem with the low-end and over compression. Clients would always either say the bass is too loud, or the mix is too thin. This also had an effect on "loudness" when "mastering".

After having listened to, in my opinion, more properly designed monitors the Mackies seemed to sound like plastic. Couldn't really discern reverb details and make good eq decisions. They were fun, sometimes, to listen to music through. However, my final impression of the Mackies was of much discontent.

No thanks, for the money.

29th March 2012

Mackie HR824 by soundwize

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Mackie HR-824

Review of Mackie HR824, Genelecs 8040, Adam P11A, Event 20/20 BAS (powered), KRK V8, and JBL LSR 4326P powered monitors. Event 20/20 BAS sound very flat (uncolored) and with good frequency response, this is due to their materials being silk tweeter and light but sturdy polypropylene woofer, both easy to move with acoustic instruments but also easy to overload with anything heavy (Rammstein sounded overloaded at pretty much any volume). I would only use them as "reference" monitors, what they are actually called as by the manufacturer, they were really hard to mix busy electronic material on. Now onto Mackie HR824 and similarly sounding new Genelec 8040 - metal tweeters and sturdier woofers give awesome sound image, the sound is actually sitting in the middle or in the sweet spot, not "at the speaker" as with Event 20/20 BAS. Very rich and wide in bandwidth middle frequencies and bass, but high frequencies need to be "pushed" through the heavier metal tweeter and a lot of times because of that the high-hat sounds like "SH" instead of "S", that pushing also resulted in ear fatigue and shorter sessions. Adam P11A came out as a mixture of clarity across the frequency range and presence of the sound in the sweet spot, however there is a great deal of difference among Adam models as well, due to different woofer materials being used. (while ribbons are pretty much the same, except size, and they are exceptionally clean-clear sounding, but can also be rich and wide in bandwidth after their 1.8 KHz crossover frequency; kind of like a vinyl record). Some more expensive (tri-amplified) Adams sounded great and clean with vocals and acoustics, felt like Phil Collins was in the room with us, but once we switched to tracks with heavy 909 drum kicks and a load of Jupiters and 303's, something called Hexacone woofer couldn't handle the punch as well as lower-priced models with Nomex cones, such as P11A.
The "Keyboards" magazine test was pretty much in agreement with what I observed through some years of work and many Guitar Center visits -

P11A - Archive | ADAM Audio GmbH

it's the 3rd article on the bottom.

Some afterthoughts - it was a great pleasure to mix "at far" on some 15-inch speakers, probably paper, just because there is that much more sound in the room, but 7-inch well amplified Adam P11A outperformed bigger Event 20/20, KRK V8 (on which I couldn't eq), JBL LSR 4326P (these sound dull and not revealing even when compared to Event 20/20 BAS), and Adam P11A is very well on par with bigger Mackie HR824 and Genelec 8040, if not sounding more solid overall, especially when the mix gets busy.

29th March 2012

Mackie HR824 by Deleted User

Mackie HR-824

I have had a pair I bought used for about 3 years.. they work fine... I have a good room that is large and well treated with no acoustic issues. i bought these used for 500.00 for the pair and could not be happier for the $$.

since buying I have upgraded my converters and a few mic pre's. comps and EQ's as well as mic's I have no trouble HEARING the difference other upgrades make.. these are not a weak link.

proper placement is needed... I spent a good bit of time getting them the right distance from the rear wall and the right spread.. and on some very solid support... it all helps..

sound quality... I do 'hear' the speakers.. the top is a little synthetic the low end sounds like I am listening to a speaker.. they are not like 'being there'

BUT..they are pretty flat and my mixes translate well to everywhere.. a friend has a pair of HUGE Westlakes with Bryston amps. My mixes translate to them very well... his are a bit more like 'being there' but mixes hold together quite well. mixes also sound good in cars. more excitement would be nice but they are working for me just fine.

I would not call these loud.. but they are loud enough for me to mix on and i have spent many many 12 hour days working with them,,( I do loose my mind and objectivity ) but don't get ear fatigue like I did with NS10's or the old JBL 4311 etc

ease of use.. I bought a goldpoint attenuator and now they are a breeze.. having a KNOB volume control is a must for me... this allows me to leave the attenuators on the mackies at full so the balance is right all the time. ..powered monitors are pretty easy to use.. .. they do have low and high adjustments but i don't need them in my room so they stay in defeat mode...

I like the on off switch on the front..,,nice feature

I have heard a lot of dissing of these speakers over the years.. but I have not found anything for less that is as flat and works as well for me... for 3K its another story.. i am not thinking of these as 1.5K$$ speakers.. as I paid around 500 used for the pair... and this thread is not for the new mark II ..

30th March 2012

Mackie HR824 by luke241291

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Mackie HR-824

I was originally looking to get a much smaller pair of monitors than these, as I work in a pretty small room in my house without a great amount of acoustic treatment, and was looking at the focal cms range.
But then I saw a second hand pair of HR824s going on ebay pretty cheaply, and I've heard a lot of bashing of 824s on here, so I was a bit cautious of bidding.
I'm normally used to mixing on genelecs and ATCs, and over time I've found that I'm not really a fan of the newer (8030s, etc) genelec sound. I managed to track down a pair of 824s in my college and had a good listen, and found to my surprise that they're pretty similar to the sound of the 1031s.
Then I moved round to the back of them and found to my joy that they have pretty extensive room controls (Half/Quarter/Full space; low cut at 37, 47 or 80 Hz; HF boost/cut of 2dB)
I ended up picking them up for £450 in the end which I was very happy with.
When I got them home I found that with the 80Hz low cut switch they sound exactly how I want them to sound in my space - due to the poor acoustics of my room I tend to do everything bass related on HD650s - and by having them in a pretty close arrangement (3ft equilateral triangle) around me they sound absolutely phenomenal!
I'm very happy with them, the only problems I've had so far are that I find the volume control on them is a bit hit or miss, would be nice to have a knob instead, as such small increments make a massive change when turning them up or down; and that the auto-on switch can be pretty annoying if you're doing something particularly quiet, as they don't turn on until you turn them up pretty far, and then pop when they do turn on.
All in all though, I've found they sound absolutely great for what I want and have found that my mixes have been translating really well since I got them.

4th April 2012

Mackie HR824 by tws

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Mackie HR-824

I've used my HR824's for about 5 years. I was using the Behringer Truths before, and while those sound adequate for non critical listening, the 824s are worth the upgrade.

I like the auto power feature where incoming signal "wakes" the monitors the variety of sound and room positioning adjustments.

I've often considered upgrading to something more expensive, but after realizing how many great sounding songs and albums been mixed using these, I think the money is better spent on room treatment.

The bass response is solid and they have a great sweet spot.

I have not used the mk2 version of these speakers. However, I promise you a used set of the original version would be a great affordable pair of monitors.

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