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Mackie HR824mk2 8-inch 2-Way Studio Monitor (Single Speaker)
|Price:||$699.99 & FREE Shipping|
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
- High resolution Active studio reference monitor
- Ultra-linear frequency response for accurate mix translation
- 8.75-inch high-precision, low-distortion LF transducer
- 1-inch titanium dome, ferrofluid cooled tweeter
- Optimized Waveguide for wide, even sweet zone
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M-Audio AV42 | 20-Watt Compact Studio Monitor Speakers with 4-inch Woofer (Pair)
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|Sold By||Cascio Interstate Music, Inc.||BeachAudio||Precision Audio||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||18.3 x 14.4 x 21.6 in||8.9 x 11.44 x 13.07 in||11.02 x 7.91 x 13.27 in||14 x 11 x 10 in||5.76 x 7.08 x 8.4 in|
|Item Weight||36.05 lbs||18.3 lbs||20.28 lbs||10.2 lbs||7.49 lbs|
Our HR824mk2 and HR624mk2 high-resolution Active studio reference monitors represent the evolution of revolutionary thinking. Our engineers, joined by audio gurus from EAW, worked hard to conceive of a way to preserve the all-important character of the original HR, while delivering performance—as well as appearance—that’s better than ever. And even moreso than the original HR824 and HR624, which were designed apart from each other, the HR824mk2 and HR624mk2 are part of the same family, true siblings in design and sound. Sharing the same engineering, they are created to work together, whether in surround systems, or as part of complementary monitoring setups in different sized rooms
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Power to the amps can be set to be on continuously, or to fall into a low-power standby mode after about 8 minutes of zero signal. The speakers will come out of standby once a signal is reapplied. Unlike some similar setups, the Mackies will come to life when given a signal that produces a barely audible sound. This keeps the amps going during long periods of very quiet music playing, There is no chance of having sound drop out then come back on. It does take about five seconds for the amps to come out of standby, and there's no audible thump or other noise. The music just comes back.
The soundstage is wide and defined. The highs off the tweeters are open, with no severe beaming. Listeners can crowd around the speakers and not be left out of the sweet spot. The bottom end is very tight and solid. The Mackies have a passive radiator for the low, this is a big 6x12" flat oval diaphragm behind the amp circuitry, For most mixdown work save for sfx processing or exaggerated bass-heavy techno music, a sub will not be necessary. For testing, I fed one of my favorite tracks (Peter Gabriel's "The Time of the Turning/The Weaver's Reel" from OVO) which has a sustained low bass note of around 30Hz, and I was able to cause the woofers to bottom out at high volume. I wasn't surprised at this, that particular track needs extraordinary low-end capability from the entire music system to play it successfully, and the Mackies did very well well until about 3/4 volume. If kept below that critical level, the lowest-of-the-lows are reproduced faithfully, and better than expected from a full-range, 8" driver. Mids are open and clear. Vocalists and solo instruments pop with smooth clarity. It's very easy to play these speakers at uncharacteristically high volumes quite comfortably because of the well-defined sound reproduction, and this is where you'll hear a lot of the rough edges hidden in the mix. Badly mic'd drum sets will sound like worn machinery in the background, those squeaky bass drum pedals and hi-hats, toe-tapping and loose items vibrating from the amps, all those things you'd think are under the main mix will be there. It's up to the engineer to decide of this is either bad technique or added authenticity.
These speakers are also easy on the eyes as well. Unlike the originals, with the semi-gloss black painted birch woodgrain cabinets with squared off corners, the MkIIs have a gorgeous piano black finish that's practically flawless, with the smooth, heavy die cast aluminum front bezels in deep matte black. The tweeter domes are protected behind mesh grilles, and a transparent circular diffuser can be seen in just the right light behind the screen. The woofers have very rugged poly cones and dust caps, it would take quite a lot of force to damage the woofer cones. The amp shield, which doubles as a heatsink, now flows with the lines of the cabinet rather than looking added on as in the previous model. Air movement from the rear passive radiator flows around the numerous vent slots, this keeps the amp's operating temp quite low. While playing various music to test out and break in the speakers at rather high volumes, the amps never got overly warm after hours of playing. The speakers can be used horizontally or vertically, the Mackie logo can be rotated to match the mounting position. A set of mounting holes are provided to attach wall or desk mounts or floor stands. These are heavy beasts, weighing about 35 pounds a piece. The cabinets are extremely solid and acoustically inert.
The amps can be connected using balanced XLR, balanced or unbalanced 1/4" TRS phone plugs, or unbalanced RCA phono plugs. The power comes in via a detachable IEC two conductor cable. Mackie includes nice long power cords, close to ten feet in length. All of the aforementioned setting are accomplished with small slide switches that are easy enough to set are recessed enough to prevent accidental changing of settings. There is a pot on the back to match the gain of the amps to the source and to other monitors if used. Mackie thought of of everything in my opinion, and came up with a worthy successor to the original HR824 series. If you are a seasoned pro or a serious home recording enthusiast, you'd be hard pressed to find a better set of monitor speakers for the money.
There are many speakers and amplifiers available for purchase by audiophiles, and many have substantial prices, i.e. above $2000 for each piece so that two speakers plus one amp would cost $6000. Some people simply perceive higher priced product offerings as being more desirable, while other people want to buy what they consider to be "high actual value received for money well spent" products that they find perform just as well as those higher priced products while costing less money. People in this latter group do not want a "high perceived value", but rather a "high actual value". I am in the latter category. I consider the Mackie HR824 to be intended for those who want a "high actual value".
The Mackie HR824 is a powered and servo-feedback controlled studio monitor. Most engineers will likely understand servo-feedback control. If you do not, you can Google or Bing "servo-feedback control". I have found that cone bass loudspeakers or subwoofers which lack servo-feedback control will not blend with membrane speakers such as the Magnepan Tympani. Likewise one could use a Velodyne 15" servo-sub with non-servo "full-range" cone loudspeakers and discover a similar blending problem. Servo-feedback control simply provides a more detailed as well as a more accurate output from a cone loudspeaker. Of course that servo-feedback controlled cone loudspeaker will by necessity have its own amplifier.
The HR824mk2 had crept up from $600 each to $650 each, and now they seem to have crept up to $680 each. I found no reasons for this price creep except that the mk2 "may be" (temporarily?) out of production. Perhaps a "mk3" version is in the wings? I have no idea.
The preliminary details:
Each Mackie HR824/HR824mk2 comes with its own anechoic frequency response calibration graph. I now have SIX individual Mackie HR824/HR824mk2 anechoic frequency response calibration graphs, and all are very smooth with slightly different but gentle output-versus-frequency variations of plus or minus 1 dB. If a speaker has a ragged anechoic frequency response, its response will not be any smoother in your listening room. There are switches on the rear to adjust the speaker's output, for example to compensate for placement in a corner, near a wall, or away from all room surfaces.
The HR824mk2 features a beautiful gloss piano black finish on its very solid wood enclosure. The piano black finish of a new mk2 speaker is covered with a removable clear plastic film. My concern is that dings to the piano black finish would be very visible, and more visible than dings would be on a wood-veneered cabinet, so I left that plastic film on and I simply cleaned it with Black Magic liquid car wax for a pleasing result. I placed the speakers on slightly oversized pieces of black boat trailer bunk fabric. The HR824mk2 is simply a lot sharper looking than the original HR824, and it looks sharp even though it does not have a grill cloth.
The performance details:
"The cast aluminum Zero Edge Baffle(tm) is black anodized AL and is curved and shaped to minimize diffraction resulting in clear imaging." I had really doubted this. Then I found that a centered announcer's or singer's voice reproduced by a pair of HR824mk2's and heard from 20 feet away seemed to come from a 1" diameter circle, while a centered announcer's or singer's voice reproduced by a pair of the original HR824's and heard from 20 feet away seemed to come from a 5" diameter circle. Also the HR824mk2 tweeter seems to be a little finer sounding than the original HR824 tweeter, but both remain smooth and pleasant.
The HR824 and the HR824mk2 are both neutral and uncolored. I bought our original HR824 speakers as new closeouts for $400 each after the HR824mk2 was announced, and the original HR824 work very well. But in a direct comparison the HR824mk2 offers better aesthetics and does the better job. I am sure that the HR824mk2 and the original HR824 provide very accurate performance that is well beyond the money spent.
Update 23 Oct 2011
I have concluded that these Mackie HR824 speakers in our 30 ft long kitchen will provide a slightly smoother and more solid response in the lower bass, when used with a single (servo) subwoofer [we use a Mackie HRS120], if that sub is crossed in around 80 Hz rather than at 40 Hz. This may be caused by a mild cancellation issue between the two HR824 speakers [that are about 5 feet 6 inches apart] that occurs when they reproduce frequencies between about 50Hz+ and 30 Hz. This should not occur with a single-source sub.
Do experiment by using a test CD such as is offered by Stereophile. As I listen I also measure with an RS Digital SPL meter on Fast C-weighting. "Data Hold" can be handy, "Integrated Average" may take some practice.