Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX Vs. Mackie 1402VLZ4: Compared And Rated

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX vs. Mackie 1402VLZ4.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX and Mackie 1402VLZ4. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX

Mackie 1402VLZ4

I'll be honest, I only bought the Mackie 1402VLZ4, a 14-channel compact mixer, to test it out and review, but here's what I think…

First Impressions

Right out of the box, the mixer's design caught my eye. It's sleek and not as bulky as some of its counterparts, making it a good fit for smaller spaces. The build, however, felt a bit different compared to the older VLZ3 models. The glide knobs, for instance, seemed a bit on the cheaper side. Despite this, the sound quality didn't disappoint. It's that clear, crisp Mackie output I've come to expect from their mixers.

Usability and Features

Functionally, this mixer does its job well. The monitor mix setup is simple and intuitive. Especially useful was the way the first monitor mix worked with the monitor master and the second with the slider control. This distinction is great for managing different vocalists or instruments. The mixer’s sound is good and quiet, which is a plus for recording or live settings.

Durability Concerns

A notable change from previous models is the move from a metal to a plastic case. This shift might raise some durability concerns. I can't shake off the feeling that it might not withstand the rigors of frequent transportation or heavy use.

Quality and Longevity

While the overall performance of the Mackie 1402VLZ4 is commendable, it's hard to ignore the change in quality over the years. There have been some issues with the volume trim pots becoming scratchy or cutting out prematurely, which can be frustrating. It seems like a step down from the legendary durability Mackie mixers used to boast.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX or Mackie 1402VLZ4

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX: Sound Quality That Stands Out

If you're in the market for a new audio interface, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a serious contender. This mixing console boasts exceptional sound quality. I've found the preamps to be warm and clean, with accurate and natural converters. The 24-bit audio support is a gem, ensuring echo-free conference calls and amazing speech recordings. If you're used to lower-end gear like the Behringer Xenyx 302USB, this one will knock your socks off – it's not just an upgrade, it's a game-changer.

User-Friendly Versatility

Ideal for a variety of studio equipment needs, this mixer stands out in its user-friendliness. Whether you're into podcasting, voice-over work or video production, this mixing console has got you covered. It offers more than just a standard stereo track over USB; it gives you additional I/O and tactile control – talk about versatility! Its routing options are flexible enough to capture audio in various settings making it an excellent hybrid USB mixer.

Value-Packed Features

When it comes to value for money in live sound equipment and digital mixers, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX doesn't disappoint. With its impressive 4×4 USB connectivity among other features, this mixer represents tremendous value for home studio use. Sure, there are some high-end features missing like individual channel mutes and channel faders but those aren't missed much in a home studio context.

Quirks with USB Routing

While the quality of the preamps and controls are top-notch as expected from Allen & Heath analog mixers, the USB interface to iOS devices can be a bit quirky. The routing of the USB audio output into the FX channel is confusing and could definitely be improved for a smoother DAW workflow.

Mackie 1402VLZ4: A Solid Contender

The Mackie 1402VLZ4, on the other hand, is also a noteworthy competitor in the world of audio interfaces and mixing consoles. First impressions are important, and this 14-channel compact mixer does not disappoint with its sleek design. It's less bulky than some of its counterparts, making it an ideal fit for smaller spaces.

Functional Features

Functionally speaking, this mixer does well. The monitor mix setup is intuitive, making it easy to manage different vocalists or instruments. The sound quality is quiet and good, which is a plus for recording or live settings.

Concerns Over Durability

However, there are concerns about durability with this model. Mackie has transitioned from a metal to a plastic case which might not withstand frequent transportation or heavy use as well as some other live sound equipment might.

Quality Over Time?

There have been reports of quality issues over time with the Mackie 1402VLZ4. Users have reported problems with volume trim pots becoming scratchy or cutting out prematurely – not quite what you'd expect from a brand known for durability.

Drumroll Please… And The Winner Is…

After careful consideration, I'm crowning the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX as our clear winner in this comparison. Its exceptional sound quality, user-friendly versatility, and value-packed features make it an excellent choice for anyone seeking a high-quality audio interface. Despite the minor USB quirks, its performance in a variety of applications from podcasting to video production work makes it a more well-rounded choice compared to the Mackie 1402VLZ4.

While the Mackie 1402VLZ4 offers good sound and is quite functional, concerns about its durability and longevity give the edge to the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX. So if you're in the market for a reliable mixer that offers great sound, versatile features, and excellent value for money – look no further than the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX.