sound quality of Mackie dl32r vs QU series

Forums Forums Qu Forums Qu general discussions sound quality of Mackie dl32r vs QU series

This topic contains 65 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of dpdan dpdan 4 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 66 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #47210
    Profile photo of john
    john
    Participant

    So I’m debating between getting the qu-pac and the Mackie dl32r. I’ve been able to research all the various differences in price, inputs, routing, functions, effects, apps, etc… What I haven’t been able to find out on my own is if there is any sort of “Majority opinion” or clear winner in sound quality of the mic pres. I know it often comes down to personal taste, but I’m wondering if both are really that high end that personal taste is all that differentiates the two. Or is one cleaner, warmer, quieter, etc… than the other. I live in small town USA where neither is available for me to test in person – so any help, even if just your opinion based on your own personal review of the two, would be helpful.

    Thanks.

    #47215
    Profile photo of Andreas
    Andreas
    Moderator

    I guess a community forum of a specific brand isn’t the best place to post such a questions. I’d expect a preference for a Qu console here and a preference for the DL32R within the Mackie community… 😉
    The pres on both units should easily compare, be able to handle any live situation well enough and be compatible to any possible input source. You probably will find differences in FX engines, workflow, EQs, routing possibilities which at least would dominate my decision. The QuPac at least has a local frontpanel in case the iPad fails to connect, for example.

    #47224
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    I owned a DL1608 for a few years, the unit the 32r is based on. It was a great little desk and I was a satisfied owner. Shortly before I sold my DL I was using my QU24 in it’s place for about a month. My perception was that it sounded “clearer” with more “separation”.
    Why I could hear a difference could be down to a number of factors and may be open to conjecture. Maybe I’m convincing myself!
    I get the same sound from my qu-pac, the very reason I sold my DL.
    Both systems have their merits but the qu-pac wins with me for a number of reasons other than sound alone:
    1: number of fx (4 vs 3), their variety and quality.
    2: front control panel.
    3: qu-drive!
    4: ease of utilising recordings.
    5: physical size.
    6: compatibility with my existing AH gear.
    The 32r has it’s merits too, dpdan (on the forum) could give you a comparison between it and his qu24.
    Afaik he is very happy with it 🙂
    Hope this helps!

    #47230
    Profile photo of dpdan
    dpdan
    Participant

    This is of course just my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.
    Thanks Robbo 🙂

    I have a Qu24 with a purple box (AR2412) and I just love it.
    I also have a Mackie DL32R, and I just love it. he he he

    Many differences really, but for now, let’s just forget about the difference in sound quality, they are both very quiet and very clean, mic pre this and that, WHATEVAH! 🙂

    I do not have a QuPac and imagine that it will sound identical to a Qu24…and a MAckie DL32R too for that matter.

    There is one absolutely huge difference…. the QuPac is NOT 32 channels without adding a separate stagebox.
    If 16 channels is enough for your needs, then the QuPac is probably the way to go, and I would give you my blessings on that purchase, not that you need me to bless it 🙂

    The Mackie’s biggest weakness is the extremely poor sound quality of the two built in reverbs, the delay is nice though.
    I have my DL32R in a four space SKB case with two Sennheiser wireless microphone receivers and a TC Electronics twin processor reverb, so I don’t use the built in reverbs of the Mackie.

    One of the aggravating things to me about the Qu is that we are stuck with four mono, and three stereo mix outputs for monitors and in ear systems. The four mono outputs can not be used in tandem for stereo mixes like the Mackie can, and the stereo mixes can not be separated for mono individual use, so if you just need a bunch of mono wedges, you waste three mixes with the Qu, where the Mackie is configurable to stereo (odd/even) channels if desired. None of this is life shattering, but there are differences in this area that should be considered in case you are needing lots of outputs.

    I am completely comfortable displaying my humble and honest opinions here about both products, and I feel it is good for both companies and prospective customers to see what is and isn’t important to different users. To me, the Mackie really shines in comparison to the Qu line up because of one thing… THE APP! Just no comparison of ease of use and how FAST one can get from one point to another, which is so important when we are mixing MUSIC. One could easily argue that the Mackie does not have custom layers,,, well it doesn’t and in fact, it doesn’t have a lot of what the QuPac does, but there are differences that are worth noting.

    I have both because I do many different kinds of events. If it is a wedding reception, the quality of sound is very important to me, afterall, it is the most important party for the bride and groom of their life. If it is a concert where people pay to get in, then I want faders on a real sound board. It sure is nice though to be able to use an iPad to control the mix anywhere in the venue. I still think I am in a dream about that one.. 🙂

    I have rambled on about my opinions and we all know about those, sorry 🙂

    Whichever you decide, I think you will not be dissappointed at all with the build quality and sound quality of both products.

    I hope this isn’t too forward, but please feel free to visit my website and watch the Kury Sound video demo reel from the “videos” tab. I recently recorded a symphony featuring a pipe organ showing off it’s low C pedal (16Hz) which can easily be heard and fealt. The six condensor microphones were connected to the Mackie DL32R and recorded with Digital Performer on a Macbook Pro laptop computer.

    While it may seem I am promoting the Mackie here, I really am not, I just love both companies and the Qu line is quite phenominal and full of sound value.

    Dan

    http://www.kurysound.com

    #47232
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    As long as you don’t buy a Behri**er you’ll be ok 😉

    #47234
    Profile photo of john
    john
    Participant

    Thanks for all the replies! The # of inputs for the $$$ is pretty nice with the Mackie, and I always seem to need 20-24… so with the qu-pac I’d need to buy one of their mic pre racks…. That will definitely put the price above the Mackie… but I’d get the touchscreen and potentially better effects… Its good to hear that the mic pres are fairly even in quality. That way I can focus my purchase on the other options…

    #47241
    Profile photo of dpdan
    dpdan
    Participant

    wise of you John to post the question that you did.

    Both are very nice!

    Behringer will fail you, don’t even consider that junk,
    that’s right I said it.. I have seen too much of that companie’s crap fail.
    I have never owned one piece of that ….

    Hard to beieve it is a German company because I think Germany makes really nice gear.

    #47243
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Just to add another point of anecdata – I’ve not had any Berry kit fail on me (well, except in the, frankly biblical, rains at the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations – it did recover when it dried out though).

    In fact there are aspects of my last Berry desk that I miss with the QU (full height vu metering alongside all faders for instance).

    I’m not going to argue that they make excellent kit, but nor will I suggest that everything they make is about to blow up and kill any kittens within audible distance.

    The X32 range are actually pretty decent bits of kit for many applications – but there’s the rub “for many applications”. They won’t suit everyone, they won’t suit everywhere. An X32 was on the shortlist when I bought the QU16 – what swayed me? Actually it was perceived rental value… Nothing specifically to do with the desks themselves.

    The Preamps might be warmer/clearer/coloured/??? on the X32/QU range but for live music for a hobbyist covers band – does that matter? Probably not in all honesty. Does the name matter when hiring kit out – absolutely.

    The QU lacked a little in terms of remote control, but it was already better than my previous desk, so I took a gamble, which has paid off in spades!

    I’m considering a BCF2000 to do some remote work with, that will be interesting…

    #47244
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Also £950<<£1400<£1600
    Almost cheap enough to buy a spare 😉

    Anyway – the question was A&H vs Mackie (same company now of course) piso all the berry talk is somewhat OT 😉

    #47249
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    A&H and Mackie same company? This is news to me Bob!
    Sure you don’t mean Martin Audio & Mackie?

    #47255
    Profile photo of john
    john
    Participant

    DPDan – how is the direct to disk multi-track recording on the Mackie compared to the QU? Looks like you get more channels with the Mackie… Is the Mackie as stable? same bit/depth?, ease of use?

    #47256
    Profile photo of john
    john
    Participant

    ok – DPDan – two more Mackie questions since you have personal knowledge and have been so helpful:

    1) does anything happen to the sound during a live show if the ipad connection is lost? glitch/lost sound? ability for the ipad to reconnect seamlessly without shutting down recording or turning off the mixer or anything?

    2) I am familiar with the Mackie ONYX preamp from their analog boards from a few years back. This mixer has the “ONYX+” — any idea if it is better, quieter, different vibe, etc. from the old “ONYX” … other than simply being fully recallable?

    #47257
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    iPad connection is data, not audio, so the DL does the same as the QU, carries on as was….

    Company ownership was my mistake, Behringer and Midas (not Mackie) are both part of the same group. What a mistake-a to make-a…

    #47261
    Profile photo of dpdan
    dpdan
    Participant

    Hi John,
    The Mackie’s direct to hard disk recording is flawless, and does provide 24 channels,…. soon to be 32, BUT…..
    the hard-drive does not end up with 24 mono wave files on it as one would assume, unfortunately, all 24 channels are incorporated into a single wave file called a muli-channel wave file. Then if that isn’t disappointing enough, the files are only about 2GBs in length, so about every 25 minutes a new wave file is created. If you have a DAW program like Pro Tools, it can import these multi-channel wave files and stitch them back together without any loss of time or any need to do surgical splicing. The Qu on the other hand, records individual mono wave files, which is far more convenient, at least to me. When I am wanting to record a concert, and I am using the DL32R, I simply connect my Macbook Pro laptop via USB and capture all 32 channels. I like that process a lot more.

    As Bob mentioned, nothing changes when an iPad looses connection, no clicks pops or feedback, no muting, everything goes on as it was,.. you just have to wait a few seconds for it to re-sync in the event that it does loose it’s connection from the router. This holds true for both the Qu and DL mixers. I check this occasionally just for fun by leaving the room and going way further away like into an elevator, then as soon as I come back into the Wi-Fi area of the router, the Mackie app automatically re-syncs itself and I go right back to mixing.

    To me, the mic preamps are very transparent on both the Mackie and the Qu. I do not like preamps with “hyped” frequency response, one being “warmer”, clearer as mentioned so many times in “MIC PRE” hoopla discussions 🙂 To me, the best mic preamp is as quiet as possible, and without ANY bias towards any frequency from 15 Hz. – 20 Khz. Why spend a ton of money on really nice microphones, only to have the sound quality of those beautiful mics “altered” by a preamp that has some old guy’s name on the front of it. Puhleeze!!! I just don’t fall for any of that, I never have. Some people think that those esoteric, outrageously expenive preamps will magically transform their mixes into a major hit. Only the engineer can make that happen. All those really esoteric mic “pres” are a waste of money to me, I will spend my money on fantastic mics instead. Most all industry standard sound consoles have preamps that should effortlessly provide beautiful sounding recordings, with clarity, detail and phenominal dynamimc range.

    Oh, the Qu recording sample rate is locked in and not changelable at 48 Khz. with 16 Bit depth while the Mackie is selectable 16 or 24Bit but still locked in at 48K.

    I always use 48K 24 bit because many times I am also doing a multi camera video shoot of the concert.
    I hope this information is helpful.

    #47263
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Dpdan – does the DL allow the operator to manually specify “start new track now”?

    The advantage to a single wav file is that the interleaving is done on the file level, so it should be more tolerant of lower quality sticks/hdds.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 66 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.