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Arlo37
12-03-2007, 08:47 PM
After much deliberation I've decided to go the route of active speakers vs. an acoustic amp (thanks VERY much to the thoughtful and well considered opinions of many people in this forum: this site continues to be a fantastic education for me. I am very grateful).
I now have a line on these Mackies & Yorkies (hmmm... could be a tune in that). Both used systems seem fantastic to me. My needs are modest: amateur long time singer/songwriter with occasional gigs (with a band) in the past with aspirations of stepping it up and playing out more (solo or small combo).

Realistically, I may never leave my basement but then what are dreams for?

Thanks in advance for what may follow...

trpullen
12-03-2007, 09:06 PM
The Yorkville is great!!!

2 year no questions asked warranty, great sound, lightweight.

drive-south
12-03-2007, 09:21 PM
I don't think you can do wrong with either. I own the Mackie SRM450's.
I haven't seen any Yorkville dealers around MA.

trpullen
12-04-2007, 08:27 AM
The Mackies have a history of overheating and shutting off when used either as floor monitors (no air circulation) or in direct sunlight. If either of those are possible for you, I would avoid them.

I suspect, being in Canada, that you might be able to swing a better deal on the Yorkies but...that is just a guess.

rainsong
12-04-2007, 08:56 AM
+ 1 for the Yorkvilles!:D

whataboutbob
12-04-2007, 10:21 AM
there's a Yorkville dealer in eastern MA called Audio East.

I own 2 Mackie 300's and a Yorkville powered sub. My Mackies have been going strong with heavy use for several years. (I can't say the same for my Mackie mixers). But I'm very impressed by Yorkville and they get nothing but praise from everyone. All things being equal I'd probably take the Yorkville.

Herb Hunter
12-04-2007, 01:55 PM
I've not heard of any overheating Mackies so it may or may not be an infrequent occurrence.

Based solely on the manufacturer's specifications, the Mackie high frequency driver has slightly better dispersion characteristics.

The Yorkville has a built-in mini mixer. The Mackie does not.

Though 4 pounds lighter, the Yorkville is roughly 1.5 inches taller and 1 inch wider but 1.5 inches shallower than the Mackie.

If the built-in controls are useful to you the Yorkville would be the one to get. Otherwise, the better dispersion of the Mackie might make it a better choice though I'd want to confirm that benefit as the two companies may measure dispersion differently. In any case, they are both good units and probably close in performance. I'd be happy with either one.

trpullen
12-04-2007, 02:17 PM
I've not heard of any overheating Mackies so it may or may not be an infrequent occurrence.

Do a quick search over at http://www.prosoundweb.com/forums/

konavet
12-04-2007, 02:39 PM
I have a pair of the Mackie 450's for mains and a pair of the 350's for monitors. I haven't had any overheating problems in the 3+ years that I've had them. I am happy with the sound quality, but I haven't compared them to any other systems, so I can't really say about the Yorkies. Audiences do comment that the sound is good and clear.

trpullen
12-04-2007, 07:42 PM
The 350s do not exhibit the same problem when used as monitors (as the rumors have it).

I love the sound of the Mackies but also love the sound of the Yorkies and even under very hard conditions (95+db outside with 2 and 2 subs) they have been rock solid for 4 years.

wedge199
12-04-2007, 10:36 PM
(Realistically, I may never leave my basement but then what are dreams for?)
This comment applies to me as well. :)

I recently purchased a Yorkville M1610 (2 x 800 watts) power mixer and a pair of Yorkville Elite EV12 (400 watts passive). My studio is a fair size with high ceilings that lends very well to the natural echo or bounce that this room provides.
I went with the recommendation at Long & McQuade and purchased these only after renting the same for a month – I could have just kept renting different speakers but I was fully satisfied with the EV12’s.
My advice is to rent the ones you are considering – only cost me $95. Including cables and stands for the month (speakers only since I already had the mixer) I can’t be sure about the Mackie SRM450 but the Yorkville NX550p is easily obtainable for rental at Long & McQuade.

Note: My performances to date are limited to open mics and I have not used the equipment that I now own outside of my studio. I just sing and play a variety of acoustic instruments only. A Traynor AM150 acoustic amp will easily handle a bar type situation for vocals as well as the instrument for 200 people. The PA and speaker system will easily handle an outdoor event upwards to 350 people – after that a sound technician really becomes a necessity as does active speakers and separate monitors. Mine is just a simple acoustic guitar setup that has the potential of a professional solution if I ever go that route – yours might be more inclined to electric guitars and effects that I do not foresee personally.

Regards, Jack

Nick B n Kona
12-05-2007, 01:25 AM
Check out the Carvin LM powered speakers - great features for about half the price of the Mackies.

songsender
12-05-2007, 05:55 AM
I've not heard of any overheating Mackies so it may or may not be an infrequent occurrence.

Some time ago (years?) my band tried out some of the Mackie SRM450s for use as monitors while gigging and with the intention of using them as practice speakers.

They overheated and shut down half-way through our first set. We stopped to try to figure out what was going on - they cooled down (unknown to us at the time) and came back on. We started playing again and they shut down 1 song later.

We struggled through the evening and took them back - never to return to them again.

After-the-fact I did some research and found out that this model has gotten a reputation for shutting down when driven hard in a monitor configuration.

LOVED THE SOUND - just couldn't count on them in our application.

drive-south
12-05-2007, 05:56 AM
I bought a used set of Mackie SRM450's last summer and used them on one gig, outdoor on the hottest day of the year. They were set up in driect sunlight all afternoon and ran fine. I ended up trading them back into the store for a brand new pair because the used ones were cosmetically beat, and one of the stand mounts was cracked. I've used the new ones on one gig (indoors) and they worked fine. I've got a gig this Saturday and the Mackies will get some much needed excercise (I guess I will too!).
We mainly run vocal mics and acoustic guitars through the PA. Electric guitars, bass, and keyboards go through combo amps.

Has anyone checked out the new line of active speakers from QSC? I've heard some pro-sound people rave about them. They are a bit more than the Mackies and also a bit heavier (the cabinets are made of wood).

I'm considering buying a set of Mackie SRM350's to use as monitors. I own an old set of Klipsch stage monitors. They are in very heavy road cabs and require a power amp.

I'd rather spend my money on guitars.

Dilbert
12-05-2007, 06:23 AM
We use a pair of SRM450s with the main band and for the duo. We put 3 voices, 2 brass and the piezo side of my Parker Fly through them. We have not had any issues with them at all and have also noticed that they prduce a good clear sound. I have had no experience of the Yorkvilles as I am not sure they sell them in the UK.

Herb Hunter
12-05-2007, 07:05 AM
Drawing sweeping conclusions from anecdotal evidence is a frequent occurrence in forums. My experience has been that a few prolific posters seem to dwell on problems that may not be representative or that may have long since been corrected. I've noticed this on automobile, aviation, photography, and guitar forums.

If an original version of a product from a respected company had some teething problems that were catastrophic, is it reasonable to assume that several years later the problem has not been corrected? Has the SRM450 amplifier or its cooling system, whether active or passive, been redesigned? Are people using the latest versions experiencing problems?

I've never owned a Mackie product. People I know who own Mackies speak highly of them. I've never seen one fail. I don't doubt that some people may have experienced serious problems. However, the question is what percentage of Mackie users have had problems. It may be a low percentage or it may be a significant percentage. Forums don't provide incidence of failure statistics.

Arlo37
12-05-2007, 12:35 PM
As I expected, there's been a fine response to this post. Commentary on spec's is always valuable, as are problems that actual users have experienced. I will certainly continue my research based on these fine observations. One recent post caught my eye: "I'd rather spend my money on guitars". Good point and one that I've always agreed with.
This pa system does represent a move toward raising the bar and playing out which is something I've avoided for decades. Presenting original songs is by far the scariest undertaking I could possibly imagine. My sense is that this also has the potential of the greatest growth for an artist: I'm committed to digging deeper into being creative, first and foremost.

I look forward to working with a pa system, and many of the suggestions have helped a lot. The knowledge lurking in this forum is awesome: an embarrassment of riches (to steal a phrase).
And finally to steal another quote, regarding why I do this in the first place...

It's never too late for a happy childhood! Tom Robbins

Thanks again for the feedback!

p.s. I had a great childhood.

dustybottoms
03-03-2010, 01:33 PM
i'm in the same boat right now. Have played them both live recently and can't decide. I think the Mackie's have a little better bass response. The yorkville can get a little farty but I think the it is a more solid speaker overall. Decisions decisions...

ronmac
03-04-2010, 06:20 AM
I have used both Mackie SRM450 and Yorkville NX550P speakers (separately and together) for live shows (providing PA gear for regional festivals and event) over the past several years. Over time I sold all of my Mackie stock and replaced it with more Yorkville stock.

This year I am converting all of my FOH to QSC HPR122i for tops and relegating the NX550 to side fills and monitors. The wooden cabinet QSC models are much cleaner and smoother than both Mackie and Yorkville molded cabinet models.

I continue to use Yorkville wooden cabinet EF500P for more demanding rock work.

trpullen
03-04-2010, 09:00 AM
Agree with Ron here. The Yorkie wins over the Mackie. The QSC (at least for tone) wins over the Yorkie. I can't comment on the durability of the QSC but the Yorkies are bulletproof. They are like awesome sounding Peavey in that respect.

ferg
03-04-2010, 09:53 AM
This pa system does represent a move toward raising the bar and playing out which is something I've avoided for decades. Presenting original songs is by far the scariest undertaking I could possibly imagine. My sense is that this also has the potential of the greatest growth for an artist: I'm committed to digging deeper into being creative, first and foremost.


Arlo,

A bunch of somewhat disconnected thoughts on the matter...

I've been writing and recording original music in my home for the last 15 years or so. About 5 years ago, I started shopping for a PA system for exactly the purpose you're describing, and, after I bought one, that PA system was put to good use - as a karaoke system when had the occasional party at my house.

However, about a year and half ago, a friend of mine (percussionist) asked me to play a set with him at a party, which I did. From that moment on, I finally started putting an "act" together with a different friend of mine (also percussionist). We started playing all of the local open mics, having an actual rehearsal schedule, and, finally getting some (okay, a few) gigs.

As much as I consider myself a songwriter first and foremost, I have found the performance to be extremely rewarding. I'm sure you know as well as I do , that is often difficult to get the attention of a generally inattentive audience with original music. It doesn't always happen, but when it does, you'll know why you're "putting yourself out there." Even if it doesn't, you will get satisfaction from performing your own creations in public.

I have found, however, that simply getting the gigs is difficult. I played in cover bands in college and shortly thereafter, and back then, in the Delaware bar scene, NOBODY wanted you if you played originals (unless, of course, you were somehow already *known*). So, we played covers and sprinkled in a few of my songs here and there. I guess in some regard, though, this prepared me for presenting my own material to an audience. I thought this would be different out here on the west coast, but it's not. Even at the coffee shops, it seems they want you to play covers. I had to convince an owner of one of the 2 places we play that people *would* respond to the original music (and proceeded to show him by doing a few open mics first) - and this is a place that doesn't even pay you (well, the very cute waitresses carry around a tip jar...but I think that's lame...like taking money from your friends). There are some singer/songwriter showcases around, but you have to get invited to those. My plan is to keep playing where we're playing, working hard, looking for other opportunities, and hope to develop some sort of following.

I know it's a leap to get out there with something more stripped down or even solo, but I'm much more comfortable playing my own stuff in public than covers. There's no "original" to which audiences can compare your performance - you ARE the original...not to mention that minor goofs might be unnoticeable. Also, my originals (for the most part - I have written songs for other performers) are written explicitly for my voice and my guitar playing. I'm not really "reaching" on any of them (save here and there).

tdrake
03-04-2010, 02:06 PM
I know it's a leap to get out there with something more stripped down or even solo, but I'm much more comfortable playing my own stuff in public than covers. There's no "original" to which audiences can compare your performance - you ARE the original...not to mention that minor goofs might be unnoticeable. Also, my originals (for the most part - I have written songs for other performers) are written explicitly for my voice and my guitar playing. I'm not really "reaching" on any of them (save here and there).

It's funny, but I'd say the opposite. I figure there are two basic variables for every song I play: the song itself and the performance.

When I play my own stuff I feel responsible for both, and that's a lot of weight.

When I play a cover I know I'm choosing a great song (cuz I only cover songs I love and love playing), so I feel half the weight.

However, I don't really cover covers ;); I work hard to make sure they fit my own style and try to find something new, weird and different in them...well, that's a lie, I guess: I really just play songs the only way I know how, but I like to pretend I'm doing it on purpose. :)

Writing songs is sublime. Performing is a blast. Sometimes the two intersect and sometimes they don't, but the more ways you can enjoy the music the better, says I.

...and anyone else notice this thread is actually three years old? :confused:

ferg
03-04-2010, 02:16 PM
It's funny, but I'd say the opposite. I figure there are two basic variables for every song I play: the song itself and the performance.

When I play my own stuff I feel responsible for both, and that's a lot of weight.


That's a good point, however, I feel much more confident in my ability to perform my own songs. I guess that's what I'm saying.


However, I don't really cover covers ;); I work hard to make sure they fit my own style and try to find something new, weird and different in them...well, that's a lie, I guess: I really just play songs the only way I know how, but I like to pretend I'm doing it on purpose. :)


Yes! I do that, too. If people want to listen to the CD, they can listen to the CD. Who says I can't stick Run DMC lyrics in the middle of a Talking Heads song?

I think it makes it more interesting for an audience to hear a new spin on a song with which they were already familiar, and that's a good reason to do it. However, a one-guitar act has arrangement limitations, and I, as a performer, have ability limitations, and those are good reasons to mix it up as well. I've been known to throw in the occasional kazoo solo now and then (yes a kazoo mounts nicely in your standard harmonica holder).


...and anyone else notice this thread is actually three years old?


Looks like DustyBottoms wanted some info on these speakers and searched the forum, found this thread and just started adding to it. That's the way it should be done - keeps all related info in one place...until someone hijacks a thread about a speaker comparison to blather on about his eventual foray into performing live...

ZenFlyGS
03-06-2010, 09:32 PM
For what it's worth, I've bought a pair of SRM450's 10 years ago and have been gigging them at least once a month since. I've never had one overheat used as mains, monitors or with my guitar synth.

One possible difference would be the country of manufacure changed over time, however, I have a friend who bought 2 used recently of the more recent vintage and has had no problems with them and he has 2 of the SRM150s as well.
My drummer has 2 that are less than 1 year old and a SRM 350 he uses for a monitor ...no problems.

Not sure where this stuff starts, and not suggesting it isn't possible, but this is my experience.

I'm thinking of adding a SRM350 for monitoring my Taylor ES.

SpruceTop
03-06-2010, 10:10 PM
For what it's worth, I've bought a pair of SRM450's 10 years ago and have been gigging them at least once a month since. I've never had one overheat used as mains, monitors or with my guitar synth.

One possible difference would be the country of manufacure changed over time, however, I have a friend who bought 2 used recently of the more recent vintage and has had no problems with them and he has 2 of the SRM150s as well.
My drummer has 2 that are less than 1 year old and a SRM 350 he uses for a monitor ...no problems.

Not sure where this stuff starts, and not suggesting it isn't possible, but this is my experience.

I'm thinking of adding a SRM350 for monitoring my Taylor ES.

I had a pair of Mackie SRM450 speakers and never had a lick of trouble with them. Mine were 2006 models and they sounded and performed well!

I think many rumors are based on some fact and the fact is that Mackie SRM450 Active Monitor speakers are one of the first self-contained, plastic-box active speakers and there are so many of them out there in use and although most perform flawlessly, some have probably been cantankerous at times. Being a CNC machinist, I liken Mackie SRM450 speakers to Mazak CNC Machine tools, which has or had a similar rap as Mackie. There are so many Mazak CNC lathes and mills out there in the world that there ARE horror stories but these are only a few of the massive total number of Mazaks ever used or currently in use.

Regards,

SpruceTop

trpullen
03-06-2010, 10:33 PM
The "rumor" is true. The first gen ones of them would overheat if pushed very hard when on Stands BUT would overheat under nearly no stress if used as floor models. I saw it happen on an outdoor gig once on a hot day and several times in the monitor config with different sets. I believe they fixed the problem but don't know where along the timeline.

Herb Hunter
03-07-2010, 06:05 AM
...The first gen ones of them would overheat if pushed very hard when on Stands BUT would overheat under nearly no stress if used as floor models. I saw it happen on an outdoor gig once on a hot day and several times in the monitor config with different sets. I believe they fixed the problem but don't know where along the timeline.

What percentage of the original versions overheated?

ronmac
03-07-2010, 07:00 AM
I don't think that anyone can answer that question...

It did happen often enough that it was a perceived question of quality in a lot of folk's minds. I encountered it several times myself, and learned to work to the "tipping point" to avoid issues.

The Mackie design has the heat sink for the amplifier mounted so that, in an upright position, the air flows through the fins. This allows adequate heat transfer for most situations, and I only ever had trouble in this position if the speakers were pushed very hard, or I had them covered for rain protection.

If you place the speakers on their side, as in a monitor configuration, the fins are now in a horizontal plane and actually trap the warm air they are designed to disperse. It is likely that the thermal protection circuit may have also been triggered a little too quickly, but the combination of these two factors did cause them to shut down prematurely.

For what they are, an older design of a plastic molded cabinet made to hit a musician friendly price point, the Mackies get the job done. There are several better products out there today.

SpruceTop
03-07-2010, 08:02 AM
For what they are, an older design of a plastic molded cabinet made to hit a musician friendly price point, the Mackies get the job done. There are several better products out there today.

Including the newer Mackies too! Being first in the marketplace with a new product, such as the first Mackie SRM450 Active Monitors back in the mid-1990s, can have its risks in being the first of a new breed of product to showcase any design flaws should they become evident in product use. Even after correction of faults, the reputation can linger. Despite any early thermal problems, Mackie has sold tons of SRM450 Active Monitors in the older and newer designs.

QSC has a fan to cool their new K Series Active loudspeakers, which don't have any visible cooling fins. I wonder how well these speakers are at holding up under heavy usage, especially when exposed to sunshine? I've never pushed my QSC K10 speakers hard enough to find out.

Regards,

SpruceTop

DrDavid
03-07-2010, 09:25 AM
QSC has a fan to cool their new K Series Active loudspeakers, which don't have any visible cooling fins. I wonder how well these speakers are at holding up under heavy usage, especially when exposed to sunshine? I've never pushed my QSC K10 speakers hard enough to find out.



And, for that matter, what kind of approach to thermal management does EV employ with their ZXA1-90? There's not a fan, or am I wrong about that?