It’s been a little while since I’ve given you a blog on PA speakers, so I decided to jump straight back in and bring you the low down on a favourite at Absolute Music, the Mackie Thump TH-12A…
MACKIE THUMP TH-12A – INTRODUCTION
As you probably expect from a range of PA speakers labelled ‘Thump’, the TH-12As are designed to deliver a powerful deep bass sound, which they do brilliantly, despite being housed in a convenient lightweight, portable case. And this time, when Mackie advertise them as being lightweight, they are actually lightweight… I’ve dealt with speakers before that are advertised as being 'lightweight and portable' and then when I’ve gone to pick them up and broken my back, realised that I must have missed the small print that stated ‘lightweight and portable if you have been going to the gym since the day you were conceived and were fed on super strength protein shake and steroids as a baby!’ The Mackie Thump TH-12As weigh in at just 11.6kg (25.5 lbs), and so even for a skinny little weakling like me, they are easy to pick up and move around.
Designed by the same team that produced the best-selling Mackie SRM450v2, the Mackie Thump TH-12A features Class-D Fast Recovery amplification, which pushes power to the high-frequency compression driver and high-output woofer. Also, since these speakers are powered (they have an amplifier built-in), there is no need to purchase any other equipment! To ensure that the Thump TH-12A functions as efficiently as possible, it has Mackie Active processing technology built-in, which includes a precision crossover and driver time-alignment.
To add to the flexibility of these versatile speakers (which are equally adept as a pole-mounted or wedge speaker), the Mackie Thump TH-12A also features a user-adjustable 3-band EQ, making it a fantastic complete stage solution for a brilliant price.
MACKIE THUMP TH-12A – I HAVE THE POWER!
Mackie Thump TH-12As don’t just have one power amplifier built in… they have two! The first amplifier is responsible for driving the woofer, and hence deals with all the low frequencies, and the Fast Recovery technology minimises heat loss, giving you a much more efficient piece of kit. And there’s no prizes for guessing what the other amplifier deals with! Did I hear someone at the back say ‘high frequencies’? Well doneeeee! You are a clever little chap aren’t you! The high frequency power amplifier comes in the form of a 100W Class A/B model.
Mackie Active technology divides the frequencies via a precision 2-way crossover circuit, and also time aligns the signals to ensure that low and high frequency signals arrive in sync no matter where you are stood. Imagine receiving the bassline slightly out of time with the lead… you simply cannot compromise with PA speakers when it comes to the precision of the crossovers… luckily though, you are safe with Mackies!
The Mackie Thump TH-12A also features built-in active compression, which is essential for providing a first line of defence for the drivers. Compressors work by reducing the level of a signal when it rises above a certain threshold level, so although it won’t protect your drivers if you are constantly pushing them way above their limits, it works well for the odd signal peak that ventures above the ‘safe’ limit. For added protection, Mackie Thump TH-12A speakers also incorporate thermal circuitry, which protects the amplifiers and power supply in case things get a little heated!
MACKIE THUMP TH-12A – VERSATILE
Whether you are wanting to use the Mackie Thump TH-12A as a main PA speaker, a DJ monitor, or as a stage wedge, its design allows for it all! With a standard pole-mounting hole in the bottom and a cabinet that is angled to allow it to be placed on its side, facing up towards the performer, the Mackie Thump TH-12A is an extremely versatile piece of kit, and their ultra-wide frequency response makes them perfect as a keyboard, vocal, or guitar monitor. What’s more, all Thump speakers employ a fantastically smooth response and dispersion over a wide range of frequencies, so you can pump up the volume without worrying about introducing harsh characteristics into the output sound!
MACKIE THUMP TH-12A – SURPRISING SOUND
Mackie Thump TH-12As are renowned for delivering a surprising amount of sound for their size and price, and their bass response is simply fantastic. The Mackie Thump TH-12A even features a 3-band equaliser at the input, so you can tune the output of the loudspeaker to suit your specific needs and the environment that you are playing in. The equaliser offers 15dB boost or cut dials at 80Hz (low shelf), 100Hz to 8kHz (sweepable mid – you can fine tune the specific frequency with an additional dedicated dial), and 12kHz (high shelf). So whether you are wanting to tune your kick drum to punch through the mix, you feel your snare needs more presence, or you want to to give your vocals a bit more room, you have the tools at your disposal directly on the speaker itself!
MACKIE THUMP TH-12A – USE PROTECTION!
Because Mackie know that you… yes you(!)… have a tendency to push your speakers above and beyond their recommended limits, they wisely decided to equip the Thump TH-12A with some extra circuitry to help protect the drivers in such situations. As well as each driver featuring its own compression circuit, the Mackie Thump TH-12A also features an over-excursion filter. This is inserted into the signal path just before the low frequency amplifier and protects the woofer from bottoming-out when the low-end is driven to the max! This essentially means that you can crank up the speakers without fear of thermal damage. However, if you are really pushing these speakers to the point where they overheat, they also feature a last line of defence in the form of separate thermal switches, which will automatically activate and shut down the high/or low frequency amplifiers until they cool down. Whilst this is very annoying if you are playing live (as you temporarily lose either the high or low part of the output), it is your fault for pushing them too hard (naughty, naughty!), and it helps ensure that your speakers have a long life. Plus, what would you prefer, your speaker shutting down to save itself in the middle of a live gig, or your speaker blowing up in front of everyone… both are rather embarrassing, but one situation is much more kind on your wallet!
MACKIE THUMP TH-12A – SUMMARY
In my personal opinion, the Mackie Thump TH-12A offers exceptional value for money, and for sound quality I can’t think of anything that surpasses it at this price point. Its small and light frame make it an extremely portable PA solution, although if portability is slightly less of an issue and you crave a bit more of the low end, the Thump TH-15A’s larger woofer may be exactly what you are after… although the Mackie Thump TH-12A does employ a frequency response from 57Hz-20kHz at -10dB and 70Hz – 18.5kHz at -3dB so don’t think that because it’s small you aren’t going to get some punch out of them!
For more information on the Mackie Thump TH-12A, click the link below or give us a call on 01202 597180.
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