Mackie 1402VLZ4 Vs. Mackie Mix12FX: 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 1402VLZ4 vs. Mackie Mix12FX.

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 1402VLZ4 and Mackie Mix12FX. 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 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.

Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer

After getting the Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer for personal use, I've had some time to really dive into what it offers. This mixer isn't in my studio setup; it's more for my personal, smaller-scale audio projects. Let's break down my experience with it.

Initial Impressions and Build Quality

First off, the mixer feels sturdy. Mackie is known for their solid construction, and this mixer is no exception. It's compact, which is perfect for my needs, fitting nicely into my personal workspace without taking up too much room.

Input and Output Options

The 4 Mic/Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ & HPF are quite handy. They provide enough flexibility for most of my projects, which typically involve a couple of microphones and some line-level devices. The addition of Stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs is a nice touch, allowing for more connectivity options.

Sound Quality and Features

Sound-wise, the Mix12FX delivers. The 3-Band EQ on each channel gives me enough control to tweak the sound to my liking. The built-in effects are a bonus, although I wouldn't say they're studio-grade. They're more than sufficient for adding a bit of flavor to the mix during practices or casual recording sessions.

Additional Accessories

The G-MIXERBAG-1212 Padded Nylon Mixer Bag is a lifesaver. It's great for keeping the mixer safe during transport. As for the PB-S3410 3.5 mm Stereo Breakout Cable, it's been essential for connecting my laptop or phone to the mixer, especially when I want to play along with tracks or incorporate other media into my sessions.

User Experience

For personal use, this mixer hits the sweet spot. It's uncomplicated, making it easy to set up and start using without a steep learning curve. The pan, level, and overload indications on each channel are clear and straightforward, helping me avoid any mishaps during use.

Powering Condenser Mics

The availability of 48V phantom power is a big plus, as it allows me to use condenser mics without needing an external power source. This feature is particularly useful for higher-quality vocal recordings.

Overall Thoughts

In conclusion, the Mackie Mix12FX is a reliable, compact mixer that's perfect for personal use. It offers a good balance of features and sound quality for its size and price. While it might not have the bells and whistles of more expensive studio mixers, it's more than adequate for small-scale projects and practice sessions. The additional accessories like the padded bag and breakout cable only add to its value. For anyone looking for a straightforward, effective mixer for personal use, I'd definitely recommend the Mackie Mix12FX.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1402VLZ4 or Mackie Mix12FX

Let's dive straight into this audio mixer face-off: the Mackie 1402VLZ4 versus the Mackie Mix12FX.

Design and Aesthetics

First off, the Mackie 1402VLZ4 is a sleek little number. Its compact mixer design is a refreshing change from some of the hefty soundboard behemoths out there. But hey, let's not judge a mixing console by its cover. The knobs are a bit on the plasticky side, which isn't what I'd expect from Mackie's studio gear. In contrast, the Mackie Mix12FX feels like it could survive a skirmish or two with its sturdy build.

Usability and Functionality

The 1402VLZ4 offers clear and intuitive monitor mix setup, which is great for managing different vocalists or instruments. But it comes with its own quirks – like volume trim pots that become scratchy or cut out prematurely. That's not exactly my idea of fun when I'm knee-deep in a live sound equipment setup. In comparison, the Mix12FX is an easy operator – uncomplicated to set up and use without needing to crack open an instruction manual every five minutes. Also, who doesn't appreciate clear pan, level, and overload indications on each channel? It's like having your own personal traffic light system for audio interface decisions.

Sound Quality

Both mixers deliver impressive sound quality – crisp and quiet output from the 1402VLZ4 and solid performance from the Mix12FX. However, if you're looking for added flavor in your mix without extra studio gear, the Mix12FX's built-in effects have got you covered.

Connectivity and Extras

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 is a bit barebones in terms of extras. But the Mix12FX is like the gift that keeps on giving. It comes with a padded nylon mixer bag (why hello, transport-friendly!), a stereo breakout cable, and even 48V phantom power for powering condenser mics. That last one's a major score if you're into higher-quality vocal recordings.


While the 1402VLZ4 is compact and sleek, its plastic case raises some durability concerns. The Mix12FX, on the other hand, feels like it could handle a bit more rough-and-tumble thanks to its solid construction.

Final Verdict

After going through the nitty-gritty of these two contenders, I'm giving my vote to the Mackie Mix12FX. It packs an impressive punch with its sound quality, ease of use, added features, and sturdy construction – all in one compact mixer package. It’s perfect for personal use or small-scale projects where you need reliable and straightforward live sound equipment without breaking the bank or your back carrying it around. While the Mackie 1402VLZ4 holds its own as an analog mixer with good sound quality and intuitive monitor mix setup, I can't turn a blind eye to its less than stellar build quality and potential durability issues. That said, for professional settings where an expansive digital mixer setup isn't required, it still makes a decent option. So there we have it folks – in this battle of audio mixers; it's the Mackie Mix12FX that takes the cake!