Mackie 1402VLZ4 Vs. Tascam Model 24: 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. Tascam Model 24.

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 Tascam Model 24. 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.

Tascam Model 24

Classic Analog Feel with Modern Capabilities

The Tascam Model 24 really brings back that classic feel of a mixing desk, blending nostalgia with modern functionality. It's user-friendly, and the sound quality is top-notch. The integration with my Mac for DAW use was seamless, making the transfer of tracks a breeze. It's a great way to step back from a purely digital interface and enjoy the tactile experience of an analog mixer.

Old School Vibe Meets Modern Tech

The feeling of using this Tascam mixer is akin to the experience I had with my first 4-track cassette in the '80s, but with the added benefits of today's tech. It's an excellent blend of the past and present.

Sturdy and Reliable

In terms of build and reliability, I haven't encountered any issues during my use. It's a solid piece of equipment that feels like it can withstand regular use and the occasional rigors of transport.

Pros and Cons

On the upside, the mixer offers great sound quality and an easy learning curve. It's particularly appealing for those looking to combine the hands-on feel of traditional mixing with modern recording capabilities. The built-in audio interface, compressor, preamps, and equalizers are like getting multiple pieces of equipment in one.

However, there are a couple of limitations. It only has two monitor sends, and the instructions provided can be a bit lacking. Some users may find the need to rely on online resources or videos to fully grasp all its features.

Overall Impression

The Tascam Model 24 is a fantastic choice for musicians or engineers looking for an analog-style mixer with the conveniences of modern technology. It's particularly suitable for home studios or small live setups. While it may have a couple of shortcomings, they are outweighed by its overall functionality and performance. This mixer provides a unique and satisfying experience for those who appreciate the charm of analog with the benefits of digital technology.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1402VLZ4 or Tascam Model 24

Mackie 1402VLZ4: A Compact Powerhouse

Let's kick off with the Mackie 1402VLZ4, a compact audio mixer that's got some tricks up its sleeve. It's like the guy who walks into a party, doesn't say much but when he does, everyone listens. Its design is sleek and small-scale, perfect if you're short on studio space or need to travel light. But don't let its size fool you – this mixer packs a punch when it comes to sound quality.

Functionality and Features

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 is like that reliable friend who always shows up on time – it does its job and does it well. The monitor mix setup is user-friendly, making it easy to manage different vocalists or instruments. This audio mixer delivers clear, noiseless sound which is a big thumbs up for recording or live settings.

But How Long Will It Last?

Now onto the elephant in the room – durability. The Mackie 1402VLZ4 has swapped its metal case for plastic which could raise eyebrows about its longevity especially with heavy use or frequent transportation. Some users have reported scratchy volume trim pots or premature cut-outs which may dampen your jam session vibes.

Quality Check

While the Mackie 1402VLZ4 puts out an impressive performance overall, there's no skirting around the noticeable decline in quality compared to older models. It seems Mackie may have left their legendary durability badge at home this time.

Tascam Model 24: A Blast From The Past With A Future Twist

Next up we have the Tascam Model 24, an analog mixer with a nostalgic twist and modern capabilities. It's like Marty McFly from Back To The Future – it takes you back in time but doesn't leave you stranded there. It can smoothly integrate with your Mac for DAW usage, making track transfers a walk in the park.

The Best Of Both Worlds

Using the Tascam Model 24 is like roller-skating to an '80s jam while texting on your iPhone – an exciting blend of old school and new tech. This soundboard gives you that tactile experience of an analog mixer with all the benefits of today's tech.

Is It Built To Last?

The Tascam Model 24 is as sturdy as a rhino and as reliable as sunrise. I haven't encountered any issues during use, and it feels robust enough to handle regular use and the occasional move.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

This mixing desk offers fantastic sound quality and newbie-friendly learning curve. It combines traditional mixing with modern recording capabilities, making it a multi-tasking studio equipment champion. However, it only has two monitor sends which may limit its versatility. Also, the provided instructions could use a bit more detail, meaning you might have to pull up some YouTube tutorials to fully master this beast.

Final Thoughts

The Tascam Model 24 is a great pick for musicians or engineers who want analog charm coupled with digital convenience. Ideal for home studios or small live setups, its minor shortcomings are easily overshadowed by its overall functionality and performance.

And The Winner Is…

Drum roll please… the winner is the Tascam Model 24. While the Mackie 1402VLZ4 puts up a great fight, the Tascam Model 24 takes the cake with its blend of classic analog feel and modern capabilities. It's a more versatile and sturdy option that offers a unique experience blending past and present. Whether you're setting up your home studio or need reliable equipment for small live setups, the Tascam Model 24 is your go-to audio interface.