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Mackie 1642-VLZ3 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • Customer
    from September 23, 2011

    mackie 1642-VLZ3

    great piece of gear...nice and quite...lot's of fx sends. Mackie is cheap now....no printed manual included....

  • aliengtr
    from bloomington, in May 6, 2009Music Background:
    recording musician

    1642 4 bus essential gear

    extremely clean, warm analog for digital recording setup, mic preamps are great, but I would never need more than 10 for my home studio, led's on a ch's help, weighs a ton, replaces a 1402 pro-vlz (sounds cleaner and a little more tight in a good way), the 4 buses make all the difference, tried behringer mixers (lame sound quality in comparison to the 1642),unless your recording a whole band live than the 1604,but this was just perfect for home studio,glad I didn't waste more money on 1604.This is plenty, listened to onyx 1620 (without 4 bus) ,but mic pre's less colored on vlz3s and you get the 4 bus, just perfect. Had a 32x8x2 mackie but mic pre's better here and eq is better and overall better sound (maybe because its new and works the way it should, 32x8 was always iffy maybe due to age).I looked seriously at onyx ,but in this price range it was the onyx 1620 which didnt do it for me.I wanted the 4 bus and less colored mic pre's.Not as warm as onyx mic pre's, but by the time I go through digital mixer, etc.. its just right.Anyway, highly recommended for front end of digital recording setup and or recordding/live setup for one person home studio,you wont be crying wishing you bought the 1604 or the onyx 1620!!! by the way you can "double bus" the 4 bus

  • J Fobs
    from Libertyville, IL February 15, 2008Music Background:
    Recording engineer, hobbyist

    Excellent Board!

    I bought the 1202vlz3 at first.The rotary knobs-bad. I then bought the1642vlz3, and I love it. What really mad eme decide was all of the inputs and outputs-more than I'll ever need.

  • D.J.
    from Monterey, TN U.S.A. October 27, 2008Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer, Vocalist

    Super Small Venue or Rehearsal Board

    This is a great first or second board for the band that plays mostly smaller venues or prefers to run their own sound from the stage. I originally bought mine to replace an older 1402 VLZ that we used for rehearsals, as we found ourselves needing a few more XLR inputs from time to time. I can honestly say that for the relatively small jump in price from the 1402 up to this board, you definitely get your money's worth. With this board, you obviously get more channels, but specifically 4 more XLR inputs than the 1402 provides. You also get 2 more auxes, a 4-band EQ (versus the 3-band on the 1402), channels 1 through 8 direct outs, and the ability to group channels. I wouldn't trade this board for anything else in my rehearsal room. There are arguments to be made for many different boards when it comes to the one you will actually use at a live show, but I would still put this one up against anything comparable in a small venue where you don't need all the extra channels to mic a drum kit.
    One other reviewer noted that the preamps were not the best, and I will agree that the preamps in this board do not measure up to the Onyx preamps in Mackie's Onyx series of mixers. The preamps in this board are, however, SUPER for the price you are going to pay for this board. You have to compare apples to apples here, so when you look at the cost of an Onyx model (like the 1640 with the better preamps) versus the cost of this board you will see quite a disparity. A more valid comparison would be to compare the preamps of this board with a similar-sized offering from Peavey, and I can personally testify that the Mackie pres beat anything in their price category.
    The bottom line is that this mixer offers you a heck of a lot of features for the money, and I personally love mine. Try one out, and I doubt very seriously if you will even consider giving it back.

  • Robert Auld
    from New York, NY March 15, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Mic preamps are VG

    Just a note about the XDR2 Mic Preamps in this and other Mackie mixers: they are very good pre-amps with plenty of gain. The only way I can see you having level issues with them is if you are using a very low output ribbon mike--those sometimes need a little more gain than many modern mic preamps provide. Adjusting the mic pre-amps for plenty of gain without clipping is no problem--if clipping is noted, the equipment downstream from the mixer is probably improperly adjusted, causing you to drive the mixer too hard. Remember, a mixer is always part of a recording and/or sound system, and the gain structure throughout has to be properly set up if you are to obtain good results.

  • Tim
    from Kalispell, MT September 25, 2008Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Good board, poor preamps

    The board has good eq, a good number of aux sends for its size, and a good layout. But I was really let down at the quality of preamps it had. You can get enough gain but that's after maxing out the preamps and the faders, then you get clipping. You basically need a preamp on your mic or guitar or whatever your plugging in or a processor on the way out to your speakers. Either way I was a little disappointed in the quality of the preamps in this board. Would not recommend this board to a person who really wants a good quality, pro board.

  • RT
    from Philly, PA May 2, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Engineer, System design & installation

    Quality Control must be slipping

    I've been installing sound systems for the last 20 years. And in most cases I use Mackie mixers. Until now. The latest Mackie mixer, a 1642-VLZ3 was DOA. When you install systems, the gear you choose impacts your reputation. Until now, I've never had a problem, but Mackie's apparent decline in Quality Control has cost me. If you're thinking about this mixer, make sure you have plenty of time for Sweetwater to send you a replacement.

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