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MACKIE SRM450V2 REVIEW

Posted on February 6, 2012 by Tony Long There have been 7 comment(s)

You can read more reviews like this, along with Tony’s productions at his personal site -> Tony Long Music.

MACKIE SRM450V2 - INTRODUCTION

Mackie speakers have been around for quite a few years now and I have been in a few bands that have used SRM (Sound Reinforcement Monitors) speakers and I must say that I have always thought they do a very professional job, are reliable with a great build quality and sound great. However, Mackie then decided to re-design them and so they now have a version 2 range of SRM speakers on the market! I just had to find out more...

I always thought that the Mackie SRM450 (both version 1 and 2) had 15 inch woofers because of the frequency range that they both cover (from 45Hz - 20KHz), but to my surprise I found that they actually have 12 inch woofers! This frequency range is as good as many 15" active monitors on the market, so I was already mightily impressed!

MACKIE SRM450v2 - WEIGHING IT UP

As I have said before, the weight of a PA speaker is becoming more of a consideration when making a purchase. This is especially true with active speakers as they include built-in amplification, which seriously adds to the burden of what you have to carry about.

Mackie SRM450v2

Mackie SRM450v2 - Front View

Nowadays, to keep the weight down companies are using injection-molded polypropylene for their cabinets. The Mackie Thump with a 15 inch Woofer weighed an incredible 36 lbs. / 16.3 kg and this weight is extremely hard to beat. The Mackie SRM450s are of a stronger build but this unfortunately does mean that they weigh more. Version 1 weighed 51 lbs. / 23.2 kg and this felt a bit on the heavy side. However, the Version 2 SRM450's are 11lbs lighter - coming in at a very acceptable 40lbs / 18 kg. The fact that they have a 12 inch woofer means that they have a slightly smaller design than 15 inch monitors as well, which when combined with a great weight means that these are a very portable option.

I really noticed this when I mounted it on a speaker pole as it felt easier due to three of its attributes; size, weight and weight distribution. The two comfortable handles on either side are positioned perfectly to provide you with an evenness as you lift - they say that the design is Asymmetrical Trapezoidal (try saying that after a few drinks). There is also a third handle on top to help with manoeuvres. With their optional extra holder bag, they can also pack easily into the back of your car. The sizes are:- 660 x 390 x 376 mm / 26 x 15.4 x 14.8 inches

MACKIE SRM450v2 - WHAT'S VERSION 2 ALL ABOUT?

Well, apart from being 11lbs. lighter, it looks identical to its predecessor! However, version 2 houses a new lightweight neodymium woofer, a new heat-treated titanium compression driver and Class-D Fast Recovery amplification, which allow the units to stay very cool. On top of this, the transducers have been upgraded, along with the three-inch voice coil. These improvements provide greater power with more clarity and punch than version 1 had.

MACKIE SRM450v2 - WOOFER AND COMPRESSION DRIVER

Mackie's main design criteria was to have studio sound quality on stage and I seriously believe that they achieved this. Version 1 SRM450s delivered a punchy bottom to the sound, but incredibly this has improved in version 2 by way of its servo feedback technology, which locks the 12 inch woofer in place with the positive and negative outputs of the amplifier to make them sound even larger. For the lower frequencies the 12 inch / 300 mm Woofer has a 3 inch / 75mm voice coil and a frequency range of 45 Hz to 3kHz, whilst for the higher frequency range there is a heat-treated titanium 1.75 inch / 44.5 mm compression driver, which has a frequency range of 1kHz to 20kHz for accurate reproduction of the Mid and Upper range. Both have a nominal impedance of 8 ohms.

Mackie SRM450v2

Mackie SRM450v2 - Back View

MACKIE SRM450v2 - AMPLIFICATION

There are two power amplifiers (Low and High), which Mackie say are 'Fast Recovery'. This basically allows them to recover quickly if they were driven into 'Clipping'. The Specifications for them are: - The Low Amp produces 540 watts peak (300 watts continuous) before clipping and the High Amp produces 150 watts peak (100 watts continuous) before clipping.

Mackie also tell us that 'you get a complete loudspeaker system, with complex electronics and carefully chosen components, all precisely tuned and tweaked to work together. The result is a loudspeaker with phenomenal sound quality and power, that's completely plug-and-play and no EQ is needed'. I wouldn't fully agree with that statement. Despite Mackie doing a great job, there are many situations which require some EQ. In my own case I have been used to a 15" woofer as some Synth sounds have a really big low-end and although these 12 inch woofers cover a similar frequency range they are not as warm as some 15 inch woofers. However, with a little bit of EQ, this can compensate to some extent for this.

With nothing plugged into the SRM450v2 I found that there was no unwanted noise or hiss. You can only hear a little bit as you get anywhere between very high and maximum volume, which you are unlikely to do anyway. Also I used the SRM450v2 for a good 4 hours and it did not get warm and the sound was still very clean.

MACKIE SRM450v2 - THE CROSSOVER

Mackie explain their crossover very well, which gives me every confidence in their product. They tell us that 'the built-in electronic crossover is a 24dB / octave Linkwitz-Riley design, which is more expensive than other designs but that the benefits include:- 1) Absolutely flat frequency response throughout the Bandpass without the characteristic ripple near the crossover point exhibited by other designs. 2) The sharp 24dB per octave roll-off of the filters ensures that the transducers are not reproducing frequencies outside of their capabilities. 3) The acoustic sum of the two driver responses is unity at the crossover frequency resulting in perfect power response. 4) They provide perfect phase response yielding phenomenal accuracy even at 20 feet away'.

This sounds extremely impressive but how good do these Version 2 speakers sound?

MACKIE SRM450v2 - LIVE SOUND TEST

I decided to use one of the Mackie SRM450v2s as a keyboard / vocal stage monitor. As I played, the band commented on the warmth and clarity of the sound. They were able to hear my keyboards clearly through the loud guitar and drum sounds on stage and I think this was partly due to Mackie's ultra-wide dispersion of sound, because no matter where you stand you get the full depth and definition of the mix. Sometimes I struggle to hear my own vocals against the power of our lead vocalist but with this Mackie, they was much more defined. I have to say, I don't think I have had a better on-stage sound. If you can hear clearly, you can play tighter and you are more relaxed. I experienced all of these and it was a very pleasing experience. The dynamic range of my synth certainly put the SRM through its paces but it performed admirably. The other thing that I was aware of was that I had little to no feedback from my vocals during the sound-check, where it was pushed to ascertain the limit.

Mackie SRM450v2

Mackie SRM450v2 - Side View

MACKIE SRM450v2 - SET UP

You can position and angle the SRM450v2's in every way possible! They have been designed to be pole-mounted from the bottom, you can fly them vertically or horizontally via their integrated M10 mounting points, or you use them as a wedge monitors. Plus, with their lighter weight, this is now so much easier.

Ok, so let's have a look around the back where you will find all of the connections and controls logically laid out and clearly labelled. At the top of this control panel are three indicator lights for 'Thermal', 'Peak' and 'Signal Present'. The Power On/Off button has a useful addition in the form of a 'Time Turnoff' switch. I like this because it puts the SRM450v2 into an energy saving mode after three minutes of silence, then cleverly reactivates if it receives an input signal.

My first surprise was the fact that there appeared to be no EQ, so what have Mackie done instead? Well there is something called a 'Contour' button, which reduces the mid-frequencies between 100Hz and 12kHz and a 'Low-Cut' button, which allows you to roll off the bass frequencies below 75Hz. These do a good job and could be a very quick solution to playing in places where there are already high levels at these frequencies, but I think I would still prefer a 3 or 4 band EQ.

Also on the back panel are an XLR Input, a Thru socket and a Level control. The XLR input can take either a line or microphone signal, which allows you to use the SRM450v2s as a basic vocal PA without a mixer. If you do go down this route then you can just use the Input Level control knob to adjust the microphone volume. I put my Shure SM58 directly in and although there is no EQ, it gave a great clear, crisp sound to my voice.

If you need to add more SRM450v2 monitors for a larger PA, you can daisy-chain them using the XLR Thru socket. Lastly, there is a thermal cut-out indicator that activates if the unit has been driven too hard and for too long. This automatically switches it into a protected mode until it has been given time to cool down.

MACKIE SRM450v2 - CONCLUSION

Well there you have it; a very reliable, high output powered speaker with a great frequency range and great punchy, clean sound in a very portable and nice looking package! They do not get hot however hard you push them and at this quality level the Mackie SRM450v2s are a great price. They have been designed to sound like monitors so that in a 'live' setup they give a detailed and accurate mix, but also have a fantastic ultra-wide dispersion to hear the sound clearly wherever you stand.

They also have built-in protection circuitry for long life, with a built-in limiter for less distortion at peak levels. You can easily position and mount them anywhere and at only 40lbs they are not going to break your back. Plus, to me, the Mackie SRM450v2 PA speakers sound just right...

For more information on the Mackie SRM450v2, click the link below:

Mackie SRM450v2 (Single) - More Info/Buy

Mackie SRM450v2 (Pair with Stands) - More Info/Buy


This post was posted in Blog entries, In-Depth Reviews, Live Sound and Light and was tagged with mackie, pa, speaker, srm450v2

7 Responses to MACKIE SRM450V2 REVIEW

  • John says:

    I have owned a pair of Mackie SRM450's for about 2 years now and I will never buy a Mackie speaker of any kind again! I've replaced the motherboard's on both of them!
    Let me explain, I work in a 4 piece band and we mike everything but we are NOT loud! Settings on the 450's are as follows, 75htz roll-off on, EQ boost off, level is at parody 0db (12 o"clock). Board EQ settings are almost flat (no smiley face) with a 2db boost around 8Khz, channel EQ settings are mostly flat with a little reverb and I'm running a pair of EV subs and my console main outputs are between -10 & -5 at the loudest so the Mackie's aren't stressed at all! The system sounds great! Bottom line is I just can't trust them anymore, when I set-up at the gig and the power light won't go on and the speakers worked fine the night before...well that's a big problem for me! I loved the original 450's but these 450 V2's really suck! I just can't trust them!
    I remember hearing about problems with these failing and put it down to operator error like over-driving them with the smiley face and the input on 5O'Clock +10 on the mixer output...you know dumb stuff...but now I know different!
    Hope this helps!

    Posted on August 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

  • cant help but totally agree with johns assessment of mackie srm 450v2s. i purchased a pair of these very nice sounding speakers around june 2012 and within 5weeks we had parted company. same reason as john... i had lost any trust i had in them in only a few weeks. i absolutely loved those speakers sound wise but encountered at least two problems with them in that short time. like john i wanted to believe they would be fine?....the upshot is that i had a bad experience with what should be a a great product but isnt due to a quality control /component? issue. if i could be certain that the srm 450v2s would be completely reliable i would have another pair tomorrow.

    Posted on August 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm

  • Absolutely agree with the 2 posts above. Sound great, however - unreliable, they can work fine at a gig, then the next day a problem occurs. Also, the fact that you can't trust them leads you to be ultra careful in set-up and not drive them too long or hard and still problems occur. Both my SRM v2 450's have cost me money in repair bills. Just had to take one back this week, time to sell them on ebay and move onto something that you can trust. Wouldn't touch the Mackie SRM 150 (problems with this) oh - and guess where my Mackie SWA1501 Subwoofer currently is ..... in the repair shop with my 450!

    Posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

  • fred says:

    I agreed with the three post, mine has just stop working

    Posted on September 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

  • Bazinga says:

    I acquired an SRM450V2 by chance. I always loved the V1 SRMs so I was thrilled to get my hands on the "improved" version. Bottom line is the monitor failed after about 100 hours of operation, unexpectedly. I've gotten to know the schematic fairly well on ths thing attempting to repair it and it truly is an inferior design. Not surprising, most music stores here have stopped carrying this model in my city. I wish Mackie hadn't sold out like this. Mackie used to have a great reputation...

    Posted on November 3, 2013 at 4:29 am

  • Randy says:

    I have only had one V2 fail on me. In failure analysis, it had gotten wet from an outdoor concert. Even though the power amp has a gasket to seal it air tight, it does not appear to be water tight. Ensure your roadies do not turn these face down when loading in bad weather. Keep them upright to keep the water ingress to a minimum. A plastic bag over the top helps too. None of the posters above mentioned any failure analysis.

    Posted on September 16, 2018 at 7:13 pm

  • Daeyl says:

    I have SRM 450 V2 and they are the best most reliable speakers. I have had them for about 6 years and DJ With them every weekend. Usually no sub so full range for 6 hours a night. Sometimes I use my KV2 EX2.2 bass bin and set low pass filter on the mackies so they idle and the sub does the work.

    I live where summer is over 45 deg celcius and down to 20 in winter and they never get over heated or fail. I have broken pioneer CDJs but never my SRMs. They work at max most gigs but I never overdrive or distort them. I am careful so maybe that is the difference.

    Posted on March 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm

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