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Discussion Starter #1
I need a small mixer for running my son's e-kit, a few mics, and my laptop to my studio monitors. When I was into recording years ago, the small Mackie 1202 or 1402 were "the bomb" and everyone used them. Things seem to have changed.

Behringer and Yamaha have a bunch of small offerings but I remember Behringer gear as cheap and always prone to breaking (read similar stories about the newer Mackie stuff). There are other offerings from companies I have never heard of (Alto for example)

I am am looking for the following:

At least two mic inputs.
At least four line inputs with some being stereo
Inserts would be a big bones but not a "must have"
Digital effects are not necessary (but ok)
USB is a bonus but not a "must have"

With that in mind, do you have any recommendations? Less expensive is better than more expensive, but I have some wiggle room.

The Behringer stuff looks hard to beat for price/features, but if it breaks easily and sounds like crap no thanks. I have had the following mixer in my cart several times, but cannot find a ton of info on it:

Cerwin Vega - 10 Channel Live Sound Mixer


TG
 

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You can still find the old 1202 and 1402 mixers out there and if they've been reasonably well cared for they are good value. I still like the Mackie stuff and you can't go wrong with Yamaha. Behringer generally has better quality than their reputation, I just don't like that they are reputed to steal other manufacturers' designs. I've never used Alto, but they seem to be all over kijiji which says to me that people don't like them as a long term solution.
 

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I've got a Mackie Onyx 16 channel mixer with Firewire and a couple of Behringer pieces, a speaker management system/crossover and a parametric EQ. I don't move them around much, and with the exception of the speaker management system losing it config one evening (just before practice), it's all worked fine. That one config bump was a bummer because I can't run my PA without it. If I was taking the rig out regularly, I would have an analog 3-way crossover as a backup.

But I think much of the problem with Behringer has been road-related, physical issues. And you know the internet, much of that gets blown out of proportion (for every one person that has a problem, 25 more tell you about it because they read it on the internet from that one person).

You get a lot of features for the money and sonically, they are very good, in fact, great bang for the buck. Sounds like your situation would be home use and if you take care of your gear, it may be worth a look.

The Mackie has been great. Good Perkins EQ and 4 pre/post effects sends (I have 2 effects sends for verb/delay and 1 monitor mix for the drummer, who is under the mains and needs a separate fill speaker). I wasn't aware the newer stuff is not as good - I've had mine for over a decade now. But I suspect the Onyx product is more than you're looking for anyways. Just wanted to say I like mine - and I was a big Soundcraft fan in the 80s and into the 90s (I always looked down on Mackie and that kind of stuff).
 

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Yamaha MG series (they have a few size/config options). I was surprised how quiet they were compared to the Altos, Behringers etc in the same product category. Used you can get a Soundcraft Spirit Folio or Soundcraft Notepad for pretty cheap and they are pretty darn good too. Nothing in this product category is spectacular.

Never been a Mackie fan, but the old ones were reliable (apparently they went downhill and got better again, but I dunno).
 

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The Behringer stuff looks hard to beat for price/features, but if it breaks easily and sounds like crap no thanks.
I've had the Behringer 802 for a long time and it's never failed me. I mostly used it to route stuff into and out of my DAW at home, but I've also used it live as a small mixer for drums. I don't know if I would take it on tour with me without a backup, but having said that, it feels pretty sturdy and has never give me a problem in the 6 or 7 years I've had it.
 

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I've had the Behringer 802 for a long time and it's never failed me. I mostly used it to route stuff into and out of my DAW at home, but I've also used it live as a small mixer for drums. I don't know if I would take it on tour with me without a backup, but having said that, it feels pretty sturdy and has never give me a problem in the 6 or 7 years I've had it.
The newer ones may be better, but my first mixer was a behringer. For basic things it was fine, but once you start using more complex routing (aux sends and the alt mix bus) the crosstalk was unbearable. I'd use one as a utility mixer (e.g. level and plug/jack conversion) or for non-critical monitorring, but for actual mixing, either live or studio, no dang way.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. I will think it over some more. I am sure the really cheap stuff would be fine for most of my needs, but I also see a potential longer term regret for not simply spending a bit more for a better product. The Yamaha stuff or the Cerwin Vega I linked to (which seems a lot like the old Mackie stuff) are probably the leading contenders right now.

Here is an embarrassing question: what kind of mic input jacks does the Yamaha stuff use? Why not standard XLR cables?
 

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...

Here is an embarrassing question: what kind of mic input jacks does the Yamaha stuff use? Why not standard XLR cables?
Without a pic I can't be sure what connectors they use, but I'm guessing that they are the XLR/TRS combo connectors which will accept both types of plug.
 

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The trick with the cheap stuff (Behringer) is to not plug the cables in repeatedly. Plug them in,leave them, you should be good.
I'd look into a S/H Soundcraft board EPM8.


Sent from my "other" other brain.
 

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The trick with the cheap stuff (Behringer) is to not plug the cables in repeatedly. Plug them in,leave them, you should be good.
I'd look into a S/H Soundcraft board EPM8.
I dunno man; the jacks are the highest quality parts on those things.

But +1 on the Soundcraft rec (I recommended a diff model - not familiar with that one)
 

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allen and heath zed10

I used a mackie profx12 for band + wedding dj gigs and it crapped out so often I had to carry an old analog board for backup. P.o.s. Mackie used to be a good name....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just a quick update. I saw a used Yamaha MG06X on my local kijiji today and picked it up. I figured for $80 I couldn't go wrong; the thing looks brand new and came in the original box!

Thanks for all the tips. Much appreciated and I will store the knowledge if I decide to upgrade at anytime.

TG
 

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Just a quick update. I saw a used Yamaha MG06X on my local kijiji today and picked it up. I figured for $80 I couldn't go wrong; the thing looks brand new and came in the original box!

Thanks for all the tips. Much appreciated and I will store the knowledge if I decide to upgrade at anytime.

TG
Man, I just went back & re-read the op for "what I need is…" , that mixer has it all.
Well done.


Sent from my other brain.
 
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