Mackie 1202-VLZ3
Mackie 1202-VLZ3

1202-VLZ3, Analog Mixer from Mackie in the VLZ3 series.

songboy 09/06/2008

Mackie 1202-VLZ3 : songboy's user review


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With the right "rack ears," then yes. But they are sold separately.
So here is the break down

Inputs=4 XLR with Gain, 4 Stereo 1/4", and 1 Stereo RCA
Main Outputs= 2 XLR (stereo), Stereo 1/4", and 1 Stereo RCA
Aux Output= Stereo 1/4"
Control Output= Stereo 1/4"
Sends/Returns= 2 Stereo 1/4" labeled Aux 1 and Aux 2 that apply to all channels (each is set up as a single 1/4" stereo Send to a regular (left/right) Stereo Return).
4 Stereo that apply individually to each of the XLR inputs ( each one is a single 1/4" stereo)
Headphone Output= 1

As for EQ you get 1 for the Highs, 1 for Mids, and 1 for Lows. You also get a Low Cut option on each XLR.
There are no effects on this board.


The setup on this mixer is a little confusing. You have a decent amount of options but you really have to read the manual to get the gist of things. The things I had trouble with were the Control ouput options and the Send Returns. The Control output I eventually figured, by reading the manual of course, but the Send Return issue has never been solved. Its seems that the Aux 1 and Aux 2 operate differently. Where 1 operates as its own volume control and 2 requires the Main fader and the Aux 2 fader used together (very weird). I personally find this to very frustrating because the Aux two is always blended with the clean signal, so you cannot isolate the effect signal. I have read the crap out of the manual, and still find no mention of this strangeness.
As for accessibility, everything is either fader or push button on the face and two switches on the back (power, phantom power). Everything is labeled well too, even some with info (i.e. proper input level).
The manual is clear, concise and even a little silly. They have a sense of humor and they try to be funny here and there. My only complaint about the manual is the lack of info on the situation with the Aux 2.


Well, I notice when I plug my keyboards directly to the amps instead of using the mixer, I think they sound better. Much warmer and louder. I have come to realize that I need a better mixer. I guess it has pretty decent preamps, can be noisy when you have weak signals, but usually fairly quiet. The EQ is really just cut or boost. I try to EQ my Fender Rhodes and the Mids are really just a volume control. Lets face it, good EQ comes from Units specified to do just that.


I have had this mixer for One year.
. I am using this mainly as a keyboard/synth mixer going into a Roland KC-550, Peavey TNT 150 and a Fender Twin. What I like the least is the Tone loss. When my Rhodes reaches the Twin, it sounds thin and weak. Directly through is definitely warmer. Same with my Korg Tr going the the Roland.
What I do like is its hardiness. This thing is solid, feels like I could drop it and nothing would happen to it.
I tried another model recently, the Allen and Heath Mix Wizard. WAAAYYY better. Just twice the price. Other than that, I used some older mackie vlzs and strangely enough, I think they were better.
As for value, yeah I guess. If you only want to spend $300 on a mixer, then this is probably the best one. But if you want a really good mixer, you need to spend more, at least from my experience.
I would not buy this again, i would save up and shoot higher.