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Opinions on Mackie Power Amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lyle Caldwell, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    I'm trying to put together a new good sounding rig on a budget.

    I'll be getting a SansAmp BRI, some power amp, and an Avatar cab (haven't decided on a 1x12, a 2x10, 4x10, etc, though I'm leaning towards the 1x12 to start with).

    I was looking at QSC and Stewart power amps, and then looked at Carvin, and then at Mackie. Now, I know the QSC and Stewart amps are better, but is there anything about the Mackie that would make them unsuitable for bass use?

    I'm only looking for something for occasional stage use, that will keep up with the needs of small to medium clubs.

    A friend has been using a Mackie 1400 for a few years for bass with no problems, but that's a sample of one.
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I know of no problems of the mackie, and there are some people here using it, so wait for their replies.
    I think its rather a weight/price/availability and "more use that, so it must be better"-mentality issue
  3. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    It is heavy, about the same as the RMX-850. Both will shake your bouncy bootie. I'm just out of the rack business for now, so I use them both in my stereo system.
  4. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    I have a QSC USA amp and a Mackie 1400...
    currently, I'm running the Mackie.

    one thing to consider about the Mackie, besides the weight (yes it is heavy) is it needs a deep rack, or a rack like the SKB which has covers with a few inches of space within each cover.

    I own two Mesa sus-racks, and the Mackie does not fit in those racks.. for example.

    The Mackie does have speakons, as well as other options.
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i dont see anything wrong with using a mackie 1400 - i've been in bands where they were the pa power amps and they seemed to hold up ok
  6. teotmb


    Aug 15, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    Bought my M 1400 about 6-7 years ago. Back then it had the best price/performance+features ratio for me.


    + powerful amp, especially mono bridged
    + good connectivity
    + good price/erformance ratio


    - as already mentioned it´s a heavy amp and needs a deep rack
    - fan noise
    - mine had drop outs of one channel once in a while. According to my dealer, this was a common problem with this amp because there was batch where their supplier delivered low quality flat ribbon cables which lead to this problems. Otoh this was 6-7 years ago, so it shouldn´t be an issue any more
    - Customer Care
  7. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I have noticed this; how did you resolve it?
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I never had any problems with the Mackie 1200 that I ran, though I bought it used and it eventually died. I'm using a QSC RMX 2450 now--not much help, huh?

  9. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I used a Mackie 1400i with an Alembic F1-X a few years ago. Good sounding amp. Only negatives I could state would be the weight (already mentioned) and potential problems caused from high start up current. My Mackie tripped the house breakers at more than one gig. After a little research it is apparently an issue with the transformer Mackie uses. Not a major issue (since it's only at start up) but sometimes it can be difficult finding someone who knows where the house breakers are located.
    I actually replaced it with a Stewart PA1000 and eventually a World 1.6. Also very good sounding amps. Extremely low starting current via a time delay circuit but this causes it's own problems. I played a couple of gigs where the power dropped out for a few seconds. Everyone elses amps never really powered down. The Stewart kept me without sound for approx. 20-30 seconds (time delay circuit). That feels like forever in the middle of a song!
    If I put together another component rig I'm going with a QSC PLX amp. I owned one of the older QSC amps an it never gave me any problems at all. From everything I hear the PLX series amps sound great and are also very light weight. Plus Bob Lee (QSC engineer/designer) is always roaming the TB threads and provides great support! :)
  10. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies. I think I'm going to buy a used Mackie so I can get my rig up and running without as large an initial investment, and then later get a QSC and sell the Mackie. Since it's being bought used, I shouldn't lose much money, if any, on it.
  11. 8_finger

    8_finger Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Mine does the same thing from time to time :crying:
    how did you fix it?
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Dying is not a problem?
  13. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    There's nothing unsuitable about a Mackie 1400 for bass. If it has the power, features, and price that you like, there's nothing wrong with buying one.

    As was mentioned, some of the early ones had problems with faulty ribbon cables from a particular supplier. I can relate to this because QSC had been burned by that same kind of thing some time earlier in our PLX amps. If you have a Mackie amp that has that problem, the best thing to do is contact Mackie (or their distributor in Croatia, 8_finger). I can't imagine that they wouldn't make it easy for you to get it fixed.
  14. Not to hijack the thread*

    Where can I get a cheap 25 pound(or less) two channel power amp capable of 700 watts @ 4 ohms?

    *Didn't want to start a new thread.
  15. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I gigged a used Mackie 1400i for 3 years straight, just about every weekend and sometimes 3 shows a week. Never had a single problem -- very dependable amp. I just replaced it w/ a lighter power amp, but I'm not quite sure I want to sell the Mackie yet because it was so good to me.
  16. teotmb


    Aug 15, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    @ 8_finger & Ibanks

    I still have to get it fixed by myself since I stopped playing bass :bag: back when this problems started (pure coincidence) and had more important things in mind than fixing this amp