After punishing these awesome active Mackie 3 Way speakers, I can attest to their ability to handle rooms of up to 400 people, music genres from acoustic to hip hop, and even professional club DJs banging the latest electronic and funk. With the HD1531's built-in EQ you can easily give it a bump in low end when needed or take a bit off the mids when dealing with various acts. The great thing about these speakers really is the full-range offering. I really felt confident that there was plenty of room to work with no matter the venue I threw at it or the artists playing through it. From using many Mackie powered speakers in the past, I think this is probably one of the best all-around powered speakers on the market and absolutely one of the best Mackie has in their line. At 1800 overall watts, specs say a lot, but the HD1531s really do pack a punch!
The definition & clarity of these speakers is great! I've been using them for about 3 years on everything from acoustic gigs to full-band shows. They have performed flawlessly. Paired with a couple of subs they sound even better.
still have hope
I was one of the first in the state of Va. to buy the HD1531's. At that time I order the sub's to match and had to wait 7 more months. I have used the tops to do a few jobs. I picked up the speakers in Jan. 2010. Took a few to get all the new cables and power cores set up the way I needed. The 15" went out during a show. Sounded like AM radio. After a month I received my replacement speakers. This was in March. By April I was up and playing again. Every where I played, everyone loved the sound and Quality. Before I got the Mackie 1531's I bought the BOSE system and the QSC powered speakers. None could come close. On July 11th I was playing a job and both speakers blew. Wish me luck I have my new 1531's in the boxes. I hope the bug have been worked out by now. It's hard to do a show hoping your speakers won't blow. Overall the speakers are still the best sound for the money. When they work.
The mackies Sound incredible great sound. Need to do a better job on it being more reliable. I bought 4 of these speakers for a church and after 3 month my 3 out of 4 speaker started sounding like a am radio . mackie is slacking a bit . Get it together.
Avoid. Mackie admits that a lot of these blow.
I bought a pair of these in September of 2010 to be the mains on a portable PA for my school's Rock Ensemble. They sounded great in our small rehearsal space, where I was only putting vocals and some keys through them at pretty low levels. I liked the smooth highs from these and some of the other Mackie powered speakers I have used.
In April 2011, when my group moved into our auditorium to rehearse for our end-of-the-year concerts, however, these speakers didn't cut it. On Day 3 of rehearsals, one of the woofers started sizzling something awful. A day later, the other one started doing the same thing.
I know what you're thinking: I must have pushed them too hard, or put too much low end through them, or sent some transients, or fed them a square wave from an overloaded device. I have a degree in sound recording and have been doing live sound professionally for over a decade, working on various systems and can tell you that I did none of the above. The sad thing was, I was going out of a Mackie board and I wasn't even close to pushing the speakers hard in any way.
So after doing a last-minute rental of some amps and speakers to cover my concert, I looked into my options with the Mackies. I called Mackie and they said that I could take them to the closest authorized Mackie repair shop and, if the speakers appeared to have failed under normal circumstances, they could repair them under the warranty. The problem is, after reading a lot of stuff online (including the other Sweetwater reviews!), it sounded like getting these repaired would not be a long-term solution to the problem, as they would be just as likely to blow again in the future. When I asked the Mackie customer service rep about problems with this model, he said that they have had a large number of them blow, but they weren't ready to admit to any design or manufacturing flaw. Well, anybody in live sound knows that an unreliable piece of gear is worthless, so I decided to go through Sweetwater to see if I could return them. I sent them back to Sweetwater, and Sweetwater talked Mackie into taking these back and giving a refund for them. Only problem is that I still had to cover shipping and handling back to Sweetwater and back to Mackie. So in the end, I had to run out and rent a replacement system ($200), ship these back to Sweetwater ($240) and lose the cost of them getting shipped back to Mackie ($200). The time, the money, and the headache from the ordeal was pretty disappointing from a brand that I usually regard highly. Mackie, thank you for offering the warranty repair, and thank you for eventually accepting these back, but please just admit when there is a problem with a product and find an easier solution for it. If these have a poorly matched or poorly manufactured LF driver, offer to replace the driver with a better one instead of just a new bad one.