ONYX 4-bus series


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The replacements for the venerable old Mackie 4-bus series are here.


If they can roll these things out quickly enough, that's exactly what fits the bill for our school (the 32.4) and we're looking for a new mixer right now. It would be nice if we could be able to test it and get it for a discout...I'd be glad to take one right now! We never would have use for 6 auxes, and we need the mono out, and we need the individual pre/post switchable auxes. And we never use all of our eight groups we have right now on our 16ch console. I also like the built-in compressor/limiter.

• 24.4 and 32.4 models
• ONYX mic preamps
• 4-band Perkins EQ
• 6 x 2 matrix provides 2 additional mixes
• 6 Aux sends with Pre/Post switches
• 100mm Panasonic™ Faders
• Built-in stereo compressor/limiter
Have you considered models by Allen and Heath or Soundcraft? The A&H GL2400 or GL2800 would fit your needs, as would the Soundcraft GB4 or Live 4^2 (the latter of which I have personally used for three years and love). Before you buy, take a look at these models and some others to decide which one is right for you.

The bottom line is, while Mackie may seem appealing for its feature to price ratio, other manufacturers build higher quality equipment that will last you far longer than the Mackie will.

Edit: I forgot to mention a common gotcha in mid-size consoles. Every manufacturer treats their stereo channels differently when stating how many channels are on the board. Mackie treats every stereo channel as two mono channels - e.g., a 24 channel board has 20 mono channels and two stereo ones (see the 4-bus). A&H treats each stereo channel as a mono channel - a 24 channel board has 22 mono channels and two stereo ones (see the GL2400). Soundcraft doesn't count them at all - a 24 channel board has 24 mono channels (see the Live 4^2). Just make sure you know what you're getting before you buy.
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personaly I am a fan of allen & heath. the one theatre has one that we have had for about 10 years and was used before we had. it has just started to die int the last year as someone spilled something on it. I have used mackies as well, they are not bad for thier price, but they do not seem to last nor do you have as much control as i think is needed most of the time.
Cheaper. One word. Cheaper. In price, not in quality. Also, these suckers have the meters, the individual pre/post auxes and the AFL switch on auxes, aux mutes, the built in compressor, the meters on the channels, and the LOWER PRICE.
From what I can see, the GL2400-32 is about $100 cheaper.

BTW, the compressor looks like it's totally useless to me, and the GL2400 has all of those features, minus the (useless) compressor.
soundlight said:
Cheaper. One word. Cheaper. In price, not in quality. Also, these suckers have the meters, the individual pre/post auxes and the AFL switch on auxes, aux mutes, the built in compressor, the meters on the channels, and the LOWER PRICE.

If you define quality has having features, then yes, the Onyx boards are quality. However, when they break after a few years, you'll find that under the hood they're all one huge circuit board that is very expensive to replace. The advantage to some of the other brands is that their circuit boards are split up, so that you only have to replace part of the board (usually an eight channel card in this range of consoles). In very high end consoles, such as Cadac and Midas mixers, each channel is its own unit and can be replaced quickly.

Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying you should avoid Mackie at all costs. I'm just saying you should fully investigate your options beforehand, and make a decision based on a number of factors such as features, construction quality, repair history, and price - not just on price alone.
mbenonis, you are wrong on some parts of your post. The new Mackie Onyx consoles are split up in eight channel sections for easy replacements. Also, these new boards are tougher and built stronger and we absolutely love our new Onyx 4880.
I wasn't aware that Mackie has started to split up their circuit boards - every Mackie product that I've seen in the past was designed with one circuit board (which often broke). My apologies on this point.
mackies are crap, i never want to use another one, my middle schools sound board was possesed, and those are the same exact boards as the mackie sl
I know Mackie isn't an A&H or a Midas, but I havn't had any problems with my ONYX, and, had I not gotten a flight case for it, it'd probably be beaten to a pulp by now, but it still works. Plus, for a lower end board, the onyx pres and perkin's EQ are second to none. I'd say that board would probably fit the bill for a high school theater.

As far as getting it with a compressor, I'd say that were I in that situation, I'd be using them. For our musical I had to bring in a few compressors for those whose vocals were all over the place. Having it in the board is one less unit I need to carry with me.

In short, I like the ONYX. I think it's one of the few things Mackie's done right. But, as most pros don't like them, you may want to consider the Allen & Heath GL series as a back up plan.
As has been stated, I'm doing high school stuff. Not everyone can afford the best. I have used multiple mackie boards, and our local rental house has a mackie 24.4 that has been to hell and back in the same case and has survived every bit of it, and still functions perfectly every time they let us borrow it (which is once a year for only a few hours for the outdoor festival when we don't feel like lugging the board down from the booth). While those who are used to A&H and Soundcraft or even Midas as standard, well, at least it ain't a Behringer, Nady, or Alto. *shudders*

In my backup are the A&H GL series, Soundcraft LIVE8, and the Onyx 8-bus series.

Also, I worked a religious event this weekend that hired out the auditorium, and they brought a mackie powered mixer and mackie monitor/main combos. I must say that the sound was very clean, and the speakers worked nicely as monitors, pointing up from the pit. The monitor mix was handled from there, and a line-out from the mackie was sent to the mains system through a mic line, providing crystal-clear sound.

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