Mackie HR624's First Impressions

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Scott Peterson, Jan 11, 2005.


  1. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,823
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well, my downsizing quest has hit my recording/mixing/mastering platform and I have downgraded a few key peices.

    One is the Dynaudio BM6A's are gone and sitting on my Sound Anchor Stands are now Mackie HR624's in their place.

    Today has been an adjustment day; just listening to known reference CD's and mixes and mastering jobs I have done.

    My impression of the HR624's after a day on them is positive. They are "sweeter" on the lows and highs than the Dynaudio's - which were extremely clean on the lows and highs with no fluff. I hear the fluff in these Mackies, but it is a great sounding set of monitors. For the money, whew, what a value. They have a bump on the low end that I have been messing with using their "whole space/half space/quarter space" switch. It sounds GREAT, but I know it is more than what is there.

    They lack some of the details I got from the Dynaudio's on top especially; but again they are very even sounding and somehow "softer" to listen to for extended periods.

    The spatial detail is full on excellent. The sweet spot to monitor is bigger than the Dyn's offered for sure. My ears didn't wear out very fast on these. Impressed.

    Next weekend I hand off my Benchmark DAC-1 and will be moving to the Lynx L22 DAC's in my card (which are very good) so again, another adjustment period coming. It'll be a few weeks of working on these for sure to get them. But listening to things, man, these do sound really good.

    Different but very good.

    It is all just a journey. :D
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    One nice thing is that when you get a good mix with these, it translates well.

    The Dynaudios are great speakers; these, however, are quite a useful reference, and you might grow to like them.
     
  3. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    Thanks a lot, Scott. I was all set to buy some Dynaudio BM15A's next month but now I'm re-thinking it all over again for the hundredth time. The HR624's and a LA-610 for the same price as the BM15A's. GAS!
     
  4. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,823
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    After again spending all morning with VERY well know reference material here are some more comparsions.

    The transiets are the key; the Mackies are slower with a "softer" edge to transiets. They feel "soft" whereas the Dynauido's always felt "hard" and fast.

    That isn't bad. That is one reason I think these are easier to listen to for extended periods; they sweeten and flow music where the Dynaudios just slammed you with what they had. I am *very* interested to see how I adjust to this.

    I have some recording to do today, so I'll come back and comment after.
     
  5. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,254
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    On Your Mother's Couch
    Just curious, have you ever used Event 20/20 passives? If so, how do they compare to the Mackies?

    The reason I ask is that in my home studio environment, the Events are not accurately reflecting low end content. I know this could be the result of a thousand variables, but I've tweeked many of these and still the same problem.
     
  6. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,823
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have used them in other home studios - not mine. The 20/20 are HUGE bass response monsters; I couldn't get it under control. The guy who owned them LOVES them, but he does a lot of dance/house/trance stuff. So there you go. I couldn't work on them personally, though I did my best at the time.
     
  7. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hey Scott...

    What can you tell me about the Benchmark DAC1 vs other options you've used or will use? Did you use the level control on the front panel to adjust the monitors' volume?

    I've got an RME Multiface for my DA, going into a Behringer MX882 (mixer/splitter) for controlling monitor levels.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    13,254
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    On Your Mother's Couch
    Thanks Scott. I'm confident your ears are better than mine, and you confirmed my impressions re the 20/20s. I've had to adjust to them, so I may keep 'em anyway.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,477
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    I know exactly what you're talking about. I feel your impression of them is very accurate, but I disagree as to whether that "softness" is always a good thing. I've had some of those "softened" transients that sounded so sweet in the studio hit very hard on other systems. I feel that's where the 624s fall short, is that they're weak on the extreme ends both high and low. I've found I have to be careful there. Though the mix might sound pretty good overall there are often certain tracks that need taming, and it always seems to be either <40 Hz or >14 kHz.

    If you want great out-of-the-box monitors that really do the whole job you're not going to find them at anything near that price range. 624s are designed to be "something for everyone" right out of the box, and for that concept they are terrific. I've just come to accept that without the ideal acoustic environment AND significant bucks for finely tweaked monitoring components, there will be compromises at those frequencies that are universally the most "finicky." Either that or our ears will be killing us in no time because those frequencies will be pushed beyond reason just so we can hear them (which is what I don't like about the 824s - they hurt, and fast!). That's the compromise we have to live with if Tom Hidley isn't our interior decorator.

    So those key words - "good overall" - is what I like about the 624s. That in itself is very cool. I can get very good mixes very quickly with them, but I still need to play my mixes in a bunch of different systems to hear the nagging things that occaisionally pop out on the extreme ends.
     
  10. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,823
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    Mr. K - we agree completely. 100%.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,477
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    You won't get away with this, whoever you are. I'm calling Scott right now to tell him his ID has been stolen.
     
  12. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,823
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    Maybe you finally made some sense.

    (*ducking and running now.....................................)

    :D:D:D:D
     
  13. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,477
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    >whew<

    Good to have you back, bro.
     
  14. bigroy

    bigroy Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Would it be safe to assume that the 624's are a good choice for those of us who are working in a home studio, without the benefits of proper acoustic treatments, etc? Mine is in a small nook in our bedroom.
     
  15. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Bad acoustics only make things worse, and no monitor will compensate for that. Then you have to figure out whether the room is screwing things up or the less than ideal monitors.

    In that case, a good set of headphones, ie: Sennheiser MD600 or Ultrasone, etc, will at least let you hear the details, separate from the room and monitors. But you'll need good headphones (like above) for any reasonable level of accuracy.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,477
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    Nothing is safe to assume!! ;)

    I dunno, probably. They're pretty forgiving, but Ron is right that if your room really sucks they won't make it as if it didn't.

    They are the only monitors I'd recommend in the under $1000 range.
     
  17. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,441
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Dude, buy the BM15As. You'll never need another monitor. Make sure your room is big enough to handle them, tho.

    Thank me later.

    Loudboy
     
  18. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,356
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    western ma
    Nice thoughtful review, Scott. I'm looking forward to checking a pair out at some point.
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    As you know, I've been saying good things about the 624s for a while.

    I intend to add the matching subwoofer to the system at some point. I think that will solve the very low end rolloff problem...after all, we are talking about a 6.5 inch woofer.

    As to the shortage of transient response, I agree, and I think that problem might be related to the dispersion of the speakers, forcing the woofer to handle lots of low end, and phase anomalies from the placement and the room.

    Just for fun, I tried cupping my hands behind my ears to see how the response of the speaker changed, blocking out reflections in the room, etc., and it was significant.

    I am also of the belief that the amplifiers on these little pups are pretty much at their practical limits at normal mix levels. Again, not having to handle a ton of low end will help, once I hook up a sub.
     
  20. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Very true. If your room is small to moderate sized, you'd be much better off with the BM6As.

    Dynaudio just released their new BM5A powered monitors. I had the Mackie HR824s and replaced them with the BM6As - what a major improvement! No comparison. The Dynaudios are more balanced and accurate. I haven't tried the BM5As, but my guess is that they will blow away the HR624s and they're in the same price range.
     

Share This Page