Mackie 1402VLZ4 Vs. Yamaha MG12XU: 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. Yamaha MG12XU.

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 Yamaha MG12XU. 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.

Yamaha MG12XU

Compact Powerhouse: Yamaha MG12XU

Surprisingly Small, Yet Highly Functional

The Yamaha MG12XU, smaller than anticipated, delivers on functionality. Perfect for various needs, it's a testament to Yamaha's reliability in audio equipment. The delivery was swift, and the product arrived well-protected and in immaculate condition. A clear choice for those seeking a compact yet powerful mixer.

Optimal Recording with Analog Console

Exceptional Instrument Recording

This mixer shines in analog recording, making instrument recording truly incredible. Its design and capabilities cater to both casual and professional users, offering quality sound recording in a compact package.

Yamaha's Unmatched Quality

Consistent Excellence Across Products

Yamaha's reputation for quality is well-earned, and the MG12XU reinforces this. The brand's consistent delivery of superior products makes it a go-to choice for many audio enthusiasts.

Headphone Output: Room for Improvement

Additional Amplification May Be Needed

Despite the overall impressive performance, the headphone output volume is a notable downside. Users might need to invest in a headphone amplifier, which is an additional cost and somewhat diminishes the mixer's value proposition.

Versatility and Clarity in Mixing

Substantial Build with Intuitive Features

The Yamaha MG12XU offers a versatile mixing experience with clear signal routing, as detailed in the user manual. Its substantial case, smooth controls, and impressive feature set place it above competitors like Mackie and Behringer. This mixer excels in various settings, from live performances to home studios.

USB Interface: A Mixed Bag

Good Analog Mixing, USB Driver Issues

While the analog mixing capabilities are commendable, the USB driver can be finicky, leading to distortions and static issues. However, once the right driver (version 2.03) is installed, the mixer performs flawlessly. This hiccup can be a bit frustrating but is manageable with some technical know-how.

Seamless Setup and Reliable Performance

Effortless Integration with Existing Systems

The setup process is straightforward, taking only about 30 minutes to fully integrate with various inputs. Its excellent signal-to-noise ratio and smooth, silent control operation make it a reliable component in any sophisticated audio setup.

Impeccable Packaging and Delivery

Secure Shipping, Excellent Condition

The packaging for the Yamaha MG12XU was done exceptionally well, ensuring the mixer arrived in perfect condition even when shipped internationally. The lack of any humming noise and the smoothness of the long-throw faders are highlights, offering a substantial improvement over previous mixers like Behringer.

Pre-Owned Yet Functional

Value for Money in Used Purchase

Purchasing this mixer used proved to be a wise decision. Despite being pre-owned, the mixer exhibited minimal damage and continued to function effectively, providing significant savings without compromising on quality.

Need for Better Support and Durability

Consider Other Options for Long-Term Use

While the Yamaha MG12XU offers excellent features, its durability and the lack of supportive customer service can be concerning. The mixer may encounter output issues over time, and the cost of repair might outweigh the benefits of keeping it. Prospective buyers should weigh these factors and possibly explore other mixers for more reliable long-term use.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1402VLZ4 or Yamaha MG12XU

Mackie 1402VLZ4: A Compact Powerhouse with a Few Shortcomings

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 mixer, with its sleek design and compact size, is a sight for sore eyes. It's perfect for small spaces, making it a prime choice for urban dwellers looking to upgrade their audio equipment. However, the build quality has taken a hit compared to previous models. The glide knobs feel cheaper, and the shift from metal to plastic raises valid questions about durability.

Sound Quality and Features

Despite these concerns, where the Mackie 1402VLZ4 shines is in its performance. Its sound quality is top-notch – crisp and clear as we've come to expect from Mackie mixers. The features are intuitive, especially the monitor mix setup that allows for effective management of different vocals or instruments.

But there's also an elephant in the room – concerns regarding longevity. Issues with scratchy volume trim pots cutting out prematurely suggest this analog mixer might not live up to Mackie's reputation for long-lasting durability.

Yamaha MG12XU: Small Package, Big Impact

The Yamaha MG12XU on the other hand is a pleasantly surprising compact mixer that packs quite a punch. Let's face it; bigger isn't always better when it comes to audio equipment.

Analog Console Recording

Its capability for exceptional instrument recording with its robust analog console makes it both an amateurs’ dream and a professionals’ trusty sidekick.

Quality Consistency

Yamaha's reputation for consistent quality across their products is well known. And the MG12XU holds up that flag high with its superior sound quality and built-in effects.

Headphone Output: A Blip in the Radar?

Now, it's not all roses. The headphone output volume could use a little boost, possibly requiring an additional headphone amplifier. This does take a slight dig at its value proposition.

Versatility and Clarity in Mixing

But stepping into the spotlight are the mixer's substantial build, smooth controls, and impressive feature set, giving it a leg up over competitors like Mackie and Behringer.

The Yamaha MG12XU shines with clear signal routing and versatile mixing capabilities, making it an asset for live performances or home studio setups.

USB Interface: Bit of a Stumble

The USB interface can be a bit temperamental at first causing distortions and static issues – but this can be resolved by installing the right driver (version 2.03).

Durability Concerns

The mixer’s durability could also raise some eyebrows. Additionally, Yamaha's customer service may leave you hanging when you need them most.

The Verdict: Yamaha MG12XU Gets The Crown

All things considered, while both mixers have their strengths and weaknesses, the Yamaha MG12XU edges out as the winner in this comparison. Its compact yet powerful approach to sound mixing offers a level of versatility that Mackie 1402VLZ4 falls just short of delivering.

The Yamaha mixer comes equipped with superior connectivity options and an impressive range of built-in effects. Its robust build, versus the Mackie's shift to plastic, also tips the scale in its favor.

That said, the Yamaha MG12XU is best suited for enthusiasts seeking a compact yet versatile mixer for a variety of needs. It's perfect for both home studio setups and live performances. The Mackie 1402VLZ4, however, would be a better fit for those who prioritize portability and have basic mixing needs.