I almost don''t remember when I bought my first Mackie Mixer. It''s been probably 20 years ago. I was never in the need of a big board ... although I''ve owned a 16 channel Mackie before (''big board'' ... lots of input channels, features, meters, inserts and aux busses). But...
I almost don''t remember when I bought my first Mackie Mixer. It''s been probably 20 years ago. I was never in the need of a big board ... although I''ve owned a 16 channel Mackie before (''big board'' ... lots of input channels, features, meters, inserts and aux busses). But I''ve used the 1402 VLZ series in my audio work with great success. I''ve always been impressed with the incredible flexibility and low noise in these mixers. I still have 3 or 4 of them around, including my first one. My most recent purchase was a 1402VLZ3 ... Nice Board!
So, when I went looking for a mixer for a small special application, Mackie was the first place I looked. I wasn''t disappointed. Mackie had a couple of smaller mixers either of which would have worked, but I think the 802VLZ4 had just the right combination of features for what the application required. It just arrived today, and I''m already impressed, even before I plug it in.
I usually opt for the Power Supply being inside the unit. Hook up the power cord and plug it in. In this application, though, I wanted the board to be as small as possible, and the outboard plug-in supply removes that part of the design from the internals of the mixer, allowing a smaller footprint. "Wall Warts" can also be a problem, but this one was designed to be thin, so as to not rob space on your power strip.
The 1402''s and many, many other mixers use ''sliders'' to control the incoming channel levels. The 802VLZ4 however, just uses "Volume Control Knobs". In the application I''m looking at, a small footprint is a priority, and using what most people would call "Volume Control Knobs" will take up less space than the sliders. (I love Mackie''s Sliders, but I just don''t have the room for them in this application, and replacing them with "Volume Control Knobs" just makes sense).
There''s a ton more I could say good about the Mackie 802VLZ4, but you can read a lot of it in their advertising info. But I do like the color coding on their knobs. Very nicely implemented.
One small drawback, when I got my other 1402''s, they all came with a really good manual. I really appreciated Mackie''s audio professionalism that they shared with the owners of their products in their manuals. And of particular usefulness is their "Schematic" or "Block Diagram" (Page 26 in the 802VLZ4 manual). It is a tremendous aid in understanding and using your mixer. I always made a copy of that page on my 1402''s and put it in a notebook to take with me wherever I went.
I was a bit disappointed to see a "Quick Start Guide" arrive with the new mixer with not much info. However, I had already downloaded their manual in PDF format from their website, and printed it out. I might suggest to Mackie that adding the Block Diagram to the Quick Start Guide would be a real quick help to someone setting up the new mixer, as when you have a flexible product, that flexibility also adds a bit of complexity, and the Block diagram helps figure it out real fast. Also, if a user is to rely on the PDF format for their manual, It would be an great help to format the PDF for 8.5 X 11" paper. (The manual is slightly larger).
Overall, I''m at 4.9999 stars with Mackie''s equipment.
I''m getting up in years, so I''m not seeing too many more new Mackie''s in my future, but if that requirement ever comes up (one never knows), that''s where I''ll be looking first.