Sonic LAB: Mackie MR8 MK2 Studio Monitors

US Tweaked and revoiced      06/05/11

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    MP4 8:18 mins

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The new iteration of the Mackie MR range, now titled the MR8 MK2 (also available as MR5 MK2) have had quite a facelift. The front panel is more unified surface with raised waveguides to coax a smoother frequency response and achieve better phase coherency, especially at the crossover point and above.  There’s also a silver Bling Ring around the woofer which adds a touch of class, though I think perhaps that is purely cosmetic.

They have that dense, monolithic look that studio monitors should have IMHO.
The magnets (tranducers) have been updated too though the class A/B amps and though the circuitry have been retained from the  originals, they have spent a great deal of time revoicing the speakers.

The MR8 MK2 has an 8”  hyperbolic-curved cone bass driver with 100 watts of power, and a 1” silk-domed Neodymium ferro-cooled tweeter with 50 watts power. Apart from that, there’s a power light (white LED) and a Mackie Running Man logo - no power switch on the front - grrr!

Round the back you have plenty of inputs - RCA, ¼ Balanced Jack and XLR. Mains IEC socket - the power is region specific and NOT switchable. Adjustments can be made to the HF energy +/- 2dB and on the bass with flat +2dB and +4dB. There’s also an overall input adjustment on a small pot.

We listened in a treated control rooom at Studio Paranormal - and I have to say I was pretty impressed with the results. The sound was wide, deep and open, with none of the mess you can often find on lesser active monitors at the crossover point. There was plenty of bottom end - right down low with a smooth, readable midrange that extended right up to the pleasant top end. They also go loud enough we had them cranked pretty hard with no sign of clipping.

I can imagine being able to work with these for long periods without fatigue. Another plus was the stereo imaging - this again was even and easy to tell where something specifically was in the stereo field.
We listened to a number of mixes, some of which were plainly not as good as they could be and some which sounded just spot on. The thing is that it was immediately obvious as to what was wrong. Essentially, they were easy to read and that is quite a compelling reason to use them alone.

I was pleasantly surprised with these monitors, sure they arent the lowest cost, but they do sound classy and I think I could easily work with them for both mix and tracking as they have plenty of range.

My only gripe is the power being at the back, I hate having to clamber over the desk to switch of monitors, but its only a small thing. Overall, I think Mackie have made a quality monitor at an affordable price and I would definitely be happy to use them and recommend a listen if you want to upgrade your monitor setup.

Available now,  MR8 MK2  (100w/50w)- £225, $329, €265 (each)
MR5 MK2  (55w/30w)- £145, $199, €165 (each)


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