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Re: US Amplifiers & Speakers

Postby cknight » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:54 pm

The Audio Nirvana range is indeed made in China. I'm always leery of that, but their build quality seems good, especially on the cast frame models. With 96 dB efficiency and response like this, and a fair price considering there's no crossover or tweeter to buy, what's not to like? Eric tried the Super8's and reported near-field issues like combing effects, but that's immaterial in my application. We both agree that active monitors, such as the low-cost B2031A's that he's using, are a fine choice for in-home applications.
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Re: US Amplifiers & Speakers

Postby toplayer2 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:55 pm

Jason1 wrote:I looked for the Mackie 824 and it seems it's a discontinued model. If that is accurate, finding a large number of them could be problematic. Martin Logan has come out with a new model with folding motion tweeter and cascading bass port at $249.95 (Motion 4) and even a smaller one at $199.95 (Motion 2). They got some good reviews, but I am not able to find the specs anywhere. I have listened to their electrostatics and they are quite good.

The original (and preferred) HR824 are readily available on ebay. I have obtained three pairs in very good condition in the past two months for around $700 per. I round out the 16 channel system with eight Mackie MR5 for the less demanding ranks.

I have dealt with high end audio for decades and was even a dealer with all the esoteric lines at an earlier stage in life. I still quality as an "audiofool" according to my wife. Trust me, the HR824 are fab speakers!!!! Yes, the Martin Logan Electrostat hybrids are fine speakers, but too large to have a lot of pairs (which you really need if using dry sample sets). I'd be highly suspicious of the low end product.

The DefTek Supercubes are great performers. Ian McLean has a Supercube Trinity. My money will go for a Maelstrom-21.

Good luck,
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Re: US Amplifiers & Speakers

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Tue May 04, 2010 12:39 pm

toplayer2 wrote:IMO, the best VPO speaker that I have ever heard is made in the USA. It was designed for professional studio monitoring and is extremely accurate and uncolored. What you get out is what you put in. This is the original Mackie HR824 (not the newer MK II which is made in China).

Joe Hardy

Hi Joe,

You wrote the above a little while back.

A few months ago I purchased a pair of the 824's off ebay for a cheap price as one needed fixed. I had been really curious to try a pair. These were made in 99 and in the USA. I spent many hours repairing burned traces on the board and replaced a number of transistors. One thing I found out too is that Mackie doesn't even carry replacement drivers for these pre- Mark II units. As I also needed a new tweeter, fortunately I found a posting on the net from 2009 of someone that had one go bad and the units were still under warranty. He couldn't find a replacement anywhere, even the service centers he checked with said they no longer serviced Mackie and also said the drivers weren't available anymore. One firm suggested checking with Madisound speakers who was then able to recommend a replacement from the same company, Seas, that made the original one. Anyway I got one and it seems to work fine, it's actually suppose to be of a better quality. The only thing is it payed a little louder so I had to turn the gain down a little on the board. Of course the speaker may not have as flat a frequency response now as it should, I don't know.

Fortunately even though Mackie is poor on service and parts, they provide a VERY comprehensive service manual including all of the PCB trace layouts, I was able to download for $5 from a site.

Anyway I was finally able to compare them to my B2031A Behringer's, and even though there is a subtle difference in the sound I really think they sound more balanced in frequency response, have a little more lower end as a whole, leading to a more natural less fatiguing sound.

So now I'd like to buy a few more pairs, but am finding that many of them on ebay, or Craig's list that show the rear, say they are made in China. At some point they switched to China for the manufacturing even for these pre Mark II versions. So my question is, do you have any that were made in China? If so do they sound any worse than the USA made versions? From what I've seen the China versions have the RCA jack and have just the serial number on the back, while the USA versions don't have the jack, and have the date code right next to the serial number.

A note on the drivers, apparently reading on the web, Mackie has supplied the MKII woofers as replacements for the older design, but the owners claim they do not sound as good, and that they are definitely of a different design. For the tweeters they just say you are out of luck. The MKII tweeters are definitely of a different design, I suspect even that they won't fit physically.

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