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Mackie 1604 VLZ3 Compact Mixer

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Mackie 1604 VLZ3 Compact Mixer

How do you improve on perfection? The Mackie 1604-VLZ Pro has been the long-running favorite of audio professionals the world over for its sound quality, ease of use, and rugged dependability. Thousands of recordings have been tracked and mixed solely on a 1604. Designing a mixer to take its place was a tremendous challenge, indeed. But our engineering team thrives on this kind of stuff, so they tackled this one head on, creating one of the best compact mixers we've ever offered: the Mackie 1604-VLZ3.

While keeping the features and functionality of its predecessor, the Mackie 1604-VLZ3 offers even greater headroom than the original. We could have stopped right then and there, but we're obsessed with perfection. So we redesigned the Mix Bus and made a few circuitry upgrades to the EQ, giving the 1604-VLZ3 a highly intuitive, more musical feel. Whether you need a live mixing board for club work, or a full-featured workhorse for home and studio recording, you owe it to yourself to check out the new Mackie 1604-VLZ3. You'll think it's perfect, too.

Our new XDR2 (Extended Dynamic Range) second-generation mic preamps are better than ever. They offer incredibly low noise, with individual mic pre THD below 0.0007%, and overall mixer THD less than 0.0025%. With 60dB of available gain per channel, the 1604-VLZ3 can handle inputs ranging from a whisper to a scream, and can even handle hot line-level signals up to +22db, without any added coloration. You simply won't find preamps this good on any other mixer in this price range.

Don't let its size fool you. The Mackie 1604-VLZ3 mixer is packed with premium features on every channel; 75Hz Low-Cut filters, four Aux Sends, inserts, phantom power, constant-loudness Pan controls, OL (overload) and signal present LEDs, sub and main mix assign switches, and assignable AFL/PFL Solo switch. And since you can never have too many output options, we provided a Control Room/Phones source matrix, Master Aux section with EFX to Monitor, tape outputs, high-volume headphone amplifier, channels 1-8 direct outs, and balanced XLR and balanced/unbalanced TRS outputs.

High-quality equalization is a must for any good mixer, that's why we didn't cut any corners when it came to our 3-band Active EQs-and why we include them on every channel. Tremendous resources went into optimizing the center points of the channel EQ. As a result, we put the Lows at 80Hz and the Highs at 12kHz. Midrange compensation is handled by a peaking control with a two-octave variable frequency center. This means the Mids can be swept from a low of 100Hz, all the way up to 8kHz-with a boost or cut of 15dB. This gives VLZ3 mixers practical, useful equalization, providing not only sonic enhancement and correction, but also the tone-shaping facility to actually improve the musical nature of the original signal.

High-quality equalization is a must for any good mixer, that's why we didn't cut any corners when it came to our 3-band Active EQs-and why we include them on every channel. Tremendous resources went into optimizing the center points of the channel EQ. As a result, we put the Lows at 80Hz and the Highs at 12kHz. Midrange compensation is handled by a peaking control with a two-octave variable frequency center. This means the Mids can be swept from a low of 100Hz, all the way up to 8kHz-with a boost or cut of 15dB. This gives VLZ3 mixers practical, useful equalization, providing not only sonic enhancement and correction, but also the tone-shaping facility to actually improve the musical nature of the original signal.

Every VLZ3 mixer is built tough-as-a-tank. Our legendary solid-steel chassis can take the kind of abuse that would turn our competitors' flimsy boxes into twisted chunks of debris. Instead of cheap, unsealed potentiometers, we use co-molded pots, which offer substantial strain and impact relief. By design, our control knobs “ride” just above the surface of the chassis, so if something falls onto the mixer, the impact is transferred from the knobs to the chassis-not to the potentiometers or circuit board. Finally, we use thick, horizontally mounted fiberglass PC boards to eliminate the potential for damage and brace them with a shock-absorbing support structure. They've survived earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons, so Mackie mixers can certainly handle whatever you throw at them.

Above all, the 1604-VLZ3 offers superb sound quality, wide dynamic range and headroom, and low noise, so you can create professional quality recordings and/or broadcast-quality soundtracks. Whether you need a high-quality 16-channel mixer for the stage, the studio, or even the road, you won't find a a more perfect one than the 1604-VLZ3.

Specifications

New ultra-low noise VLZ3 design with highest possible headroom 
16 studio-grade XDR2; Extended Dynamic Range mic preamps with:
Ultra-wide 60dB gain range
130dB dynamic range
+22dBu line input handling
Extended low frequency response
Distortion under 0.0007% (20Hz - 20kHz)
Phantom power for studio condenser mics 
16 high-headroom line inputs, 16 channel inserts 
Advanced DC pulse transformer RF rejection 
60mm long-wearing logarithmic-taper faders 
4 Aux sends, level, pan, -20dB/Solo and Overload/Mute_LEDs on each channel 
4 stereo Aux returns, 8 Direct outs, 4 Group/Bus outputs 
3-band Active EQ with sweepable midrange 
18dB/oct. 75Hz Lo-Cut filter 
Control Room/Phones multi-input source matrix 
Balanced 1/4" inputs and outputs (except inserts) 
Rack-mountable design with three physical configurations via rotating I/O pod 
Sealed rotary controls to resist dust and grime 
New Multi-Voltage power supply for worldwide use 
Rugged steel chassis 

 

    Matt | Purchase date: 15 January 2013
    Rating

    I own a Mackie 1604vlz pro but after 12 years it has seen it's day, the ribbons need a good clean and perhaps I can get it back to normal again.

    Although it never went in for repair so pleased for it to have lasted so long.

    I thought to buy another but the VLZ3 version. This is about £150 cheaper than the VLZ Pro 12 year old price. I wouldn't think this VLZ3 will last as long though. The build quality doesn't seem as robust as the VLZ Pro. However I'm going to take my chances and see what happens. Apart from that VLZ3 has great features and exactly the same as a VLZ Pro. Great for outdoor gigs and homestudio use. A good buy for it's price.

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