HR624 MK2 Studio Monitors|
Do these new speakers live up to the Mackie reputation?
A Fresh Pair of Ears
Self powered or active speakers are becoming the norm these days, and Mackie's HR series are one of the reasons why. The original HR624 and HR824 speakers had the quality to create themselves a comfortable niche as studio monitors of choice, their power and depth endeared them to professional and amateur alike.
This new MKII range aims to refine those qualities and give them a bit of a makeover.
Being the smaller brother of the hefty HR824, the HR624 MKIIs are more of a desktop size, though that is pushing it a bit I'd say as they arent exactly compact. With a 6.7 inch driver and 1 inch titanium tweeter, they are powered by Fast Response amps - 100 watts for the bass, 40 watts for the top. There's also a new Zero Edge baffle design, made from a single piece of aluminium which "minimizes diffraction and helps provide a clear sonic image, as well as tight bass response."
These speakers are surprisingly light, so you'll not be afraid to toss them in the car to go work elsewhere should you need to. Before I handed them over to David Carlyon, who gave them a good thrashing, I set them up on my desk to see how they compared to my Genelec 1029A speakers (which I love). I've previously been a little afraid of the HR speakers - the 824's being so massive sounding I just didn't understand the bottom end. Not so the new 624 MK2s. They were comparable to the 1029As, but were, well, considerably BIGGER in sound. Top and mid were really very clear and precisie to my ears, and the bass went way down - although not quite as scary as it's larger sibling.
I was quite pleasantly surprised and would certainly feel comfortable working with them on professional duties.
But enough of me, we got David Carlyon to check em over - he's spending long hours working on a new album, so he's finely tuned right now - if a little pale. And you know what, he really liked them. Previously working at home on a hi-fi system, they "opened the door" for him - so much so that he went back and re-worked a whole bunch of stuff that he'd heard with new ears. Now we have to try and get them back off him to send on to the next lucky reviewer.
Downsides? - well the only real one I could see was a lack of outputs. While 3 types of input connectors (XLR, jack, phono) really has all bases covered, the lack of a parallel output may make it hard to incorporate into some systems with subwoofers or unusual monitor setups.
Also, shiny black = fingerprints - you may find Mr Sheen becomes a close friend of yours.
Apart from that, these speakers were loved. David really got them and will be sorry to see them go. At $569 each, they are going to set you back nearly a grand for a pair - god help you if you want a 5.1 or 7.1 system, but with speakers of this quality you are entering a different league.
You should make time to listen to a pair of these, David and I both think you'd be impressed.
$569 RRP ($449 street) EACH