Mackie 1202VLZ4 Vs. PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: 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: Mackie 1202VLZ4 vs. PreSonus StudioLive AR12c.

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 Mackie 1202VLZ4 and PreSonus StudioLive AR12c. 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.

Mackie 1202VLZ4

From My Perspective: The Mackie 1202VLZ4 Experience

Based on what I've seen, the Mackie 1202VLZ4 seems like a real powerhouse in a compact format. Those Onyx preamps it's equipped with? They're known for delivering top-notch sound quality, essential for any professional setup requiring clarity and minimal noise. And let's talk about its build – the thing is sturdy! The solid-steel chassis means it can handle the rough and tumble of live gigs without a hitch.

Control and Versatility

The control room section is something else. It’s not just about turning knobs and sliding faders; it’s about having the flexibility to adapt to different scenarios, be it a live performance, studio work, or on-the-go recording. This mixer isn’t just a tool; it's a professional partner, helping you deliver the best in any situation.

Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212: The Trusty Sidekick

Now, transporting your mixer can be a bit nerve-wracking, right? But the Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212 looks like it’s up to the task. It’s not just a bag; it's a padded fortress for your mixer. Whether you're gigging around town or taking your setup on the road, this bag seems like it can offer the protection your mixer needs.

Connecting with Ease

The inclusion of the Pig Hog Stereo Breakout Cable is a thoughtful touch. It's perfect for integrating modern devices like tablets and phones into your setup. Imagine being able to hook up your smartphone to play backing tracks or intermission music without a hitch. This little cable turns the mixer into a versatile hub, bridging traditional and modern audio sources effortlessly.

Overall Thoughts

Considering everything, from the mixer's robust build and sound quality to the added protection of the Gator bag and the connectivity options provided by the Pig Hog cable, it seems like this package is a pretty solid deal. It’s the kind of setup that can elevate your audio game, whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting serious about your sound.

PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer: In-Depth Review After Extensive Use

Initial Impressions and Functionality

After over two years of using the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer, I've got a lot to share. Initially, this mixer impressed with its robust features – SD recording, Bluetooth connectivity, and the abundance of free software it comes with. The multi-track software, particularly useful for recording and editing, adds significant value. Its form factor and features like the microphone preamps and USB-C connectivity seemed promising for a range of applications – from music production to podcasting.

Performance and Reliability Issues

Short Lifespan and Quality Concerns

The major downside, however, has been the mixer's reliability. It worked flawlessly for a period, but after 2.5 years, it abruptly stopped working. This was particularly frustrating as the mixer was handled with care and never subjected to any rough use. The lack of durability for a high-end piece of equipment is a significant drawback, especially considering the cost of repair, which can run into hundreds of dollars.

Customer Service Experience

Lack of Support and Warranty Concerns

My experience with customer service was less than satisfactory. When the mixer failed, I reached out, only to be told that it was out of warranty. While this is technically true, the expectation for a quality mixer to last beyond 2.5 years is reasonable. The company's approach to customer service and their unwillingness to provide support or reasonable repair options is a major red flag.

Sound Quality and Features

Excellent Audio but Some Limitations

On the positive side, the mixer's sound quality is excellent when it works. The microphone preamps, while needing to be turned up high for certain mics, provide clear and crisp audio. The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly and the mixer is fairly easy to navigate, even for those new to audio equipment. The inclusion of SD card recording and Bluetooth adds to its versatility, although the SD recording could benefit from more informative display features.

Form Factor and Build

Good Design with Some Build Quality Issues

The mixer's form factor is appealing – it's compact and fits well in various setups. However, the build quality seems to be a concern given the longevity issues I've experienced. The unit feels sturdy initially, but the internal components may not be as reliable.

Overall Experience

Mixed Feelings Due to Reliability Issues

In summary, while the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer offers a range of impressive features and excellent sound quality, its reliability is a major concern. The poor customer service and the mixer's short lifespan significantly overshadow its initial appeal. For those considering this mixer, it's crucial to weigh these factors. The possibility of encountering similar issues and the lack of support from Presonus might be deal-breakers for many potential buyers.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1202VLZ4 or PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Let's Talk Mackie 1202VLZ4: More Than Just a Pretty Face

The Mackie 1202VLZ4, an analog mixer, doesn't just look great; it sounds even better, thanks to its renowned Onyx preamps. These babies are known for delivering top-notch, pristine audio quality – the lifeblood of any serious live sound mixing or studio work. This soundboard is like that reliable friend who always shows up at parties with a guitar and saves the day with their fantastic performance.

The Mackie 1202VLZ4's Got Your Back

One thing that stands out about this audio mixer is the rock-solid build. The solid-steel chassis on this baby is like armor – it's ready for all sorts of scenarios, from rowdy live gigs to heated studio sessions where things can get… well, loud and chaotic. It's tough as nails and dressed to impress!

A Mixer That Knows How to Adapt

The control room section of the Mackie 1202VLZ4 is like a Swiss army knife when it comes to versatility. You can adapt to different situations on the fly, whether you're doing a live performance or tucked away in your studio working on your next masterpiece. It's not just an analog mixer; it's an extension of your creative genius!

A Bag That’s More Than Just Good Looks: Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212

Transporting your precious mixing console can feel like carrying a newborn – but the Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212 has got you covered! This bag isn't about style; it's about substance. It's a padded fortress for your mixer, offering the protection it needs while you're on the road or just going to your next local gig.

A Pig Hog Cable That Bridges The Gap

The inclusion of the Pig Hog Stereo Breakout Cable with the Mackie 1202VLZ4 is like having a secret weapon in your studio equipment arsenal. This handy dandy cable lets you integrate modern devices like tablets and phones into your setup without breaking a sweat. It's all about making connections, and this little cable does just that.

PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: A Roller Coaster Ride

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about the PreSonus StudioLive AR12c, a digital mixer that initially impressed me with its robust features. It came packed with goodies like SD recording and Bluetooth connectivity, not to mention a ton of free software. I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff?

Reliability: The Achilles Heel of PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

However, as much as I was initially smitten by the PreSonus StudioLive AR12c, its reliability was its downfall. After 2.5 years of what can only be described as tender love and care, it stopped working out of the blue – quite a bummer for such an investment in studio equipment.

The Customer Service Woes: No Lifeline in Sight

To add insult to injury, my experience with customer service was less than stellar. When you've got an expensive audio mixer that has bitten the dust way too soon, you'd expect some sympathy from customer service – or, at the very least, a reasonable repair option. Sadly, it was a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind' once the warranty period was over.

Sound Quality: A Silver Lining With Some Clouds

On the bright side (because there's always one), when the PreSonus StudioLive AR12c works, it delivers excellent sound quality. The microphone preamps are superb and provide clear and crisp audio. However, there are some quirks like needing to crank up certain mics and an SD recording feature that could use a bit more oomph in terms of display features.

The Final Verdict: Mackie 1202VLZ4 Takes The Crown

After weighing everything up, I have to give the crown to Mackie 1202VLZ4. While both mixers have their strengths and unique features, Mackie’s robust build, sound quality, and versatility win out. The PreSonus StudioLive AR12c has some impressive features for sure but falls short in terms of reliability and customer service support.

The Mackie 1202VLZ4 is like that trusty old car that keeps running despite its age – it never lets you down when it counts. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting serious about your sound game, this bad boy is ready to elevate your audio experience!