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Upgrading Mackie HR824's
Old 19th November 2006
  #1
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Upgrading Mackie HR824's

I run a small project studio and my main monitors are the HR824's. In addition, I have the Yamaha HS50 + sub as my 2nd set. I have been getting more mix work lately, and think it may be time for an upgrade.

My mix room is small: 11x13x8. It is treated with plenty of RealTraps. Most of my work is pop/R&B and hip hop, though I do have hard rock clients.

I'm curious if there are any other guys in my situation that have upgraded their Mackies and are happy. I'm somewhat hesitant because I have been using them for so long and have been getting good, consistent mixes lately. I am also interested in hearing if there is a transition period getting used to the new monitors in which mixes have suffered.

I'll spend up to 3k if necessary. Looking forward to hearing suggestions!
Old 19th November 2006
  #2
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foldback's Avatar
If your Mackie monitors are in good shape operationally, $3000 is not going to buy you a huge improvement IMHO. I'd spend the money on other cool toys (more mics and outboard).

I have a set of Meyer HD-1 which cost about $6000, they go from 32hz to 22khz and sound fantastic. They are sitting near a pair of HR824 which sound extremely similar. The Mackies have a little something extra in the mids but nothing to throw off your mixes.

If you're already doing good mix work on the Mackies I'd keep them. There are a lot of people bashing Mackie on this board (and rightly so) but there's nothing wrong with your HR824 as a tool for mixing. They are very flat response, too bad more young mixers don't understand the importance of having flat response monitors.

I am speaking from using the HR824 that are older (4 years), not the new Asian built ones. I have not heard any comment yet as to how they sound. Probably people will say the new ones suck.

Monitors are a tool. From your description of room treatments it sounds like you've got a clue. Do you have some other speakers for checking your mixes on? A set of NS-10M? or some big consumer hifi speakers for comparing your work on?
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
If your Mackie monitors are in good shape operationally, $3000 is not going to buy you a huge improvement IMHO. I'd spend the money on other cool toys (more mics and outboard).

My Mackies are in great shape and are around 5yrs old. I need to spend some money before the end of the year (for tax purposes) and I thought that new monitors could potentially help my sound more than another piece of outboard. Maybe I'll look into the TubeTech CL1B that I have been wanting for a while.
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #4
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Don S's Avatar
 

I just sold mine and am very happy with the accuracy of Dynaudio BM6A. The Mackies are a very good value, since I had to spend a thousand more to get rid of the mid range problems that accompany the 824.
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
I just sold mine and am very happy with the accuracy of Dynaudio BM6A. The Mackies are a very good value, since I had to spend a thousand more to get rid of the mid range problems that accompany the 824.
Thanks for the info! I see the BM6A's sell for $1700 which seems very reasonable to me. Does anyone else recommend these over the Mackies?
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #6
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Don S's Avatar
 

I did some pretty intensive listening at Dale Pro Audio. After choosing them over eerything else (except lipinskys) the sales guys told me most people go to the BM6a after owning the 824.
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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Thanks for the info, Don!
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
Funny, this thread describes my situation exactly, including the room size. Mostly rock, country, and "jam bands" here, though.

I just finished a 5.1 mix and bought/borrowed 3 more HR824s to get it done, all newer models. Mine are older ones. I didn't know about the manufacturing change, but I did think that mine sounded better when I compared them side by side. So I guess foldback is right - I'll be the first to say that the older Mackies sound better. The new ones power on and off without popping, which is nice.

And I did some tracking on the BM6a's 2 weeks ago and thought I might like to get a pair and try some mixes on them.

Best of luck - let us know how it goes if you get the Dyn's. I'm particularly interested in what will happen with the low end now that I'm used to all that goopy, gloppy 824 bottom.
Old 20th November 2006
  #9
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anteupaudio's Avatar
 

Hi,

I spent a long time with the 824's. Back a few years ago (when I was mixing mostly rap and R&B) I loved them. The low end on them was great and they can really take a beating. When I got back into doing more rock and pop oriented stuff, I got into some serious trouble with the Mackie's. The 824's have a bump in the midrange and a dip somewhere between 100-250 (it's been awhile). What this means (especially working on rock stuff with heavy guitars) is that you'll get a mix up where the guitars are right in your face and the bass is nice and solid in the control room but take it out to the car and the guitars (and sometimes the vocal) are knocked down considerably and the low end seems "loose". After losing my mind about this for a few days and asking around a LOT a friend of mine (who's done a lot of major work) recommended Paradigm Mini Monitors. I laughed at him since these are $400.00 per pair non-powered monitors made for home applications and in addition to the 824's I had a set of Genelec's sitting in a closet collecting dust. He found a place in town who sold them, bought a pair and told me to pick them up saying that if I liked them I could buy them and otherwise he'd keep them at the studio for himself.

Long story short, I hooked them up and heard EXACTLY what I was hearing in my car, on my B&W's at home, and in the little JVC boom-box I check things on from time to time. I'm amazed at these little monitors and how well they translate. I have used them exclusively for the past couple of years. For this price (if you already have an amp laying around) you could KEEP your 824's and add a pair of these. I've had so many engineers (some of them pretty major hitters) through my studio in the past year or two who have fallen in love with these monitors. I highly recommend checking them out.


Michael

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine View Post
I
I'm curious if there are any other guys in my situation that have upgraded their Mackies and are happy. I'm somewhat hesitant because I have been using them for so long and have been getting good, consistent mixes lately. I am also interested in hearing if there is a transition period getting used to the new monitors in which mixes have suffered.

I'll spend up to 3k if necessary. Looking forward to hearing suggestions!
Old 20th November 2006 | Show parent
  #10
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Thanks for the info on the Paradigm Mini Monitors, I'll have to check them out.

I am really leaning toward checking out the BM6A's though.
Old 2nd December 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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I'm thinking of ordering the BM6A's, but I just realized they have a 6.7" woofer compared to the Mackie's 8.75". Also, the 824's have 50% more power to woofer(150w vs 100w).

Can the BM6A's crank comparably to the Mackies?
Old 2nd December 2006 | Show parent
  #12
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StudioTinPanAll's Avatar
 

if you want to hear improvement you'll have to go to the next "level" i think
for the money the mackie's are really good

if you're prepared to pay you could try Focal, Barefoot, Adam, etc...

why not a second pair bigger (main) speakers like Genelec 1037 or 1038
(then you'll hear serious differences in accuracy, power, midrange, clarity, ....)

grtz,

wim
Old 2nd December 2006 | Show parent
  #13
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine View Post
I'm thinking of ordering the BM6A's, but I just realized they have a 6.7" woofer compared to the Mackie's 8.75". Also, the 824's have 50% more power to woofer(150w vs 100w).

Can the BM6A's crank comparably to the Mackies?
I have a sub with my BM6As. With the sub they put out the same amount of sound, just more detailed. I don't miss the Mackies at all. Plus it's refreshing to hear (clearly) the lower octaves. But with a sub, the cost is 2500. Definately worth it IMHO!
Old 2nd December 2006 | Show parent
  #14
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What sub are you using? I have a Yamaha HS10W sub, do you think this combo would work?
Attached Thumbnails
Upgrading Mackie HR824's-yamhs10w.jpg  
Old 2nd December 2006 | Show parent
  #15
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine View Post
What sub are you using? I have a Yamaha HS10W sub, do you think this combo would work?
I'm using the Tannot TS-10. Any sub should work as long as you can control the crossover, volume, and phase. The Tannoy also has a 80 Hz filter/bypass switch to take it out quickly. I mostly work with classical music and don't always have it on.
Old 25th December 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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analogbass's Avatar
 

I much prefer Dynaudios, Tannoys & Genelecs to Mackies. Mackies are good, the others are better.
Old 25th December 2006 | Show parent
  #17
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goldphinga's Avatar
 

thats your opinion. i prefer the mackies.
Old 25th December 2006
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine View Post
I run a small project studio and my main monitors are the HR824's. In addition, I have the Yamaha HS50 + sub as my 2nd set. I have been getting more mix work lately, and think it may be time for an upgrade.

My mix room is small: 11x13x8. It is treated with plenty of RealTraps. Most of my work is pop/R&B and hip hop, though I do have hard rock clients.

I'm curious if there are any other guys in my situation that have upgraded their Mackies and are happy. I'm somewhat hesitant because I have been using them for so long and have been getting good, consistent mixes lately. I am also interested in hearing if there is a transition period getting used to the new monitors in which mixes have suffered.

I'll spend up to 3k if necessary. Looking forward to hearing suggestions!
Since you're in "ain't broke" territory, I'd recommend going slow. See if you can't get a pair of loaners from your pro shop (it's often worth a few extra bucks to shop someplace where they trust their customers enough) and see how things work out over a few days.

And, if economically feasible, I'd suggest keeping your familiar Mackie's at least through the transition to your new monitors as primaries.
Old 25th December 2006
  #19
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john caldwell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine View Post
... I'm somewhat hesitant because I have been using them for so long and have been getting good, consistent mixes lately...
You answered your own question here, I think. If you and your clients find your mixes not only consistent and but mixes that translate, this would suggest that you have learned your monitors and your room. It may be that no other monitor, in any price range, will improve upon your current result.

The consensus on the best monitor is that there is no concensus, other than: Learn the tool that you have and how to work on that tool. You've alreday dealt with your room apparently, so you have thereby avoided the most common pitfall of buying better hardware without addressing your mixing environment.

Some years ago I upgraded from HR824's to much more expensive Klein & Hummel monitors. What I should have done instead was to first address my room's treatment, and then simply learn the Mackie monitor better than I did. I think the HR824 is a very nice speaker, and that you'll spend much much more to get better mixes than you're now getting, in all likelihood.

Best,

John-
Old 25th December 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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analogbass's Avatar
 

Quote:
thats your opinion. i prefer the mackies.
LOL ya it is my opinion.
Old 25th December 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Have you searched for other threads? There's some good ones. I wrote quite a bit about my 824s in a couple threads a few weeks back. I switched to Event ASP8s and I'm very happy with them. If you have more to spend check out ProAc. I recommend VintageKing, they'll send you a couple pairs of monitors to try out in your own room.
Old 25th December 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 

The HR-824's are the best bang for the buck; and, if you're getting good results, why not go for the CL-1B?
Old 26th December 2006 | Show parent
  #23
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DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

Five years with HR824s ... --> recently bought ADAM A7s.

Like growing a new set of ears.

Lovin' it!
Old 26th December 2006 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anteupaudio View Post
Hi,

I spent a long time with the 824's. Back a few years ago (when I was mixing mostly rap and R&B) I loved them. The low end on them was great and they can really take a beating. When I got back into doing more rock and pop oriented stuff, I got into some serious trouble with the Mackie's. The 824's have a bump in the midrange and a dip somewhere between 100-250 (it's been awhile). What this means (especially working on rock stuff with heavy guitars) is that you'll get a mix up where the guitars are right in your face and the bass is nice and solid in the control room but take it out to the car and the guitars (and sometimes the vocal) are knocked down considerably and the low end seems "loose". After losing my mind about this for a few days and asking around a LOT a friend of mine (who's done a lot of major work) recommended Paradigm Mini Monitors. I laughed at him since these are $400.00 per pair non-powered monitors made for home applications and in addition to the 824's I had a set of Genelec's sitting in a closet collecting dust. He found a place in town who sold them, bought a pair and told me to pick them up saying that if I liked them I could buy them and otherwise he'd keep them at the studio for himself.

Long story short, I hooked them up and heard EXACTLY what I was hearing in my car, on my B&W's at home, and in the little JVC boom-box I check things on from time to time. I'm amazed at these little monitors and how well they translate. I have used them exclusively for the past couple of years. For this price (if you already have an amp laying around) you could KEEP your 824's and add a pair of these. I've had so many engineers (some of them pretty major hitters) through my studio in the past year or two who have fallen in love with these monitors. I highly recommend checking them out.


Michael
Funny, I went from Mackie HR824 to Paradigm speakers as well, but not because I didn't like the Mackies, but because my father actually owned them so I needed some of my own in my new studio. By making this transition I didn't lose anything, because the acoustic environment was much easier to handle in my new studio so I could place cheaper speakers in there and still get better results. I would love to have the Mackie HR824 monitors in my current studio...

I am pretty sure that the Mackie HR824 near-field monitors are good. I think you need to spend in the 5000$ - 10000$ price range to take your near-field monitoring to a whole other level. I would focus more on complementing these with some really good mains.
Old 26th December 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
The 824 is a very good speaker at above 100Hz, but the bass ports allow the driver to resonate below that freaquency, so a sub crossed over at 120Hz would help.
Old 26th December 2006 | Show parent
  #26
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I sold my Mackies last week and ordered the BM6A's. They should arrive next week when I return from vacation. I'll post back and let you guys know if I made the right decision.
Old 3rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #27
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Just got the BM6A's today and my first instinct is that I am very disappointed. They are way less loud than the Mackies. Bass is not a problem since I have a sub, but the gain is low. I have a SPL 2381 monitoring unit and I need to crank the volume 100% and it is still not very loud. Not too mention the fact that I took a major loss selling the Mackies.

Seems like one of my worse gear decisions ever. I hope the dealer lets me return them and now I have to find another pair of Mackies.

Bummer.
Old 3rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #28
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Don S's Avatar
 

Dopamine,

I'm sorryto hear this! Especially since I reccommended them. How loud are you monitoring? I usually stay around 80 - 90 db. I would give the BM15A a try if you're dissapointed with the volume. Is that the only thing you don't like about them? I also would give a couple days. Make adjustments with the EQ knobs in the back. It took me a day or two to appreciate what wasn't smearing the mix.
Old 3rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 

It just a gain issue. I don't monitor loud on a regular basis, but I do like to have that option. I feel like I'm driving a Ferrari that tops out at 60 mph.

I have my CD player patched directly into my SPL monitoring unit. On the Mackies, even older CD's from the 70's really crank. On the BM6s, even w/ my sub engaged the volume just isn't there.

I should have heeded the former posted who advised me to hang on to the Mackies and see how the transition went. Live and learn...
Old 3rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #30
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goldphinga's Avatar
 

Sorry to hear about this. Thing is its fashionable on here to bash the mackies but ive tested them extensively against bm15's and 6's, and against the old genelec 1030 and new 8050 and i still preferred the mackies every single time. Ive never seen the good side of the dynaudio range, they just sound boxy to me......

Every speaker has its own little quirks and the mackies are no different, but despite the bashers they are a great speaker and if you know your room and the speakers well you can get world class mixes using them.

Get another pair as soon as poss or maybe test out some adams as they are the only other speakers i would consider to replace the mackies.

Good luck
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