Mackie Mr8 vs HR824

Apr 5, 2012

  1. Candleflame

    Candleflame
    54 posts
    Since May 7, 2011
    Has anyone ever done a shootout between them? I dont doubt that the HR824 are the better monitors, being twice the price, but I heared from ppl who own both monitors that they are actually fairly similar with the HR824 (mk1) only having a bit more clarity in the upper mids. Has anyone else listened to both of them?
  2. phpSelectah

    phpSelectah
    11,686 posts
    Since Jul 30, 2002
    I have listened to them both, but not in the same space, so my impression may be space related:

    In my opinion:
    The mr8's have a bit clearer mid / high end, and a little better imaging. However, they seriously lack on the low end.

    I passed a few reference tunes I am very familiar with mix-wise ( my own and others ), and found the low end almost missing.

    According to the spec sheet, they go down to 35hz, but I am sure they roll off a bit before that.

    I also think I found a typo in the schematic in the spec sheet: they put a hi-end gain stage before the crossover stage.

    I personally won't mix on them without a sub since I know I will be overcompensating the low end in the mix.

    In short:
    If you are on a budget they are good, just get a sub!
  3. valis

    valis
    1,675 posts
    Since Aug 20, 2001
    MR8's have a crossover frequency @ 3khz, so you're getting more midrange through the larger driver. Combine that with a lower power handling and you get 'better' response at lower listening levels, which translates to an overall impression of them 'sounding better'. However cone breakup occurs much faster as you increase power (due to the lesser amps/baskets and higher crossover frequency) and as phpSelectah mentions they will be lacking in subbass compared to the passively ported HR824's. These are also soft dome tweeters which is more in line with the HR824 with the -2dB down switch set on the HF side (voicing the titanium dome tweeter there down a tad). Great monitors on a budget but I know SEVERAL people who ignore the upper limit on their power handling and have blown the woofer on the MR8's (which means the MR5's probably need not even apply). MR8's are probably a much better fit if you have a very small apartment bedroom in a shared living situation due to the lesser bass response.

    HR824's have a crossover frequency @ 1900hz (1.9ghz) and so more information 'appears' to come from the tweeter until you start pushing the monitor. Ie, at lower listening levels the titanium dome tweeter will be more 'forward' and have more of the upper mid content apparent, however the 824's also benefit from being pushed a bit harder than the MR8's. At double the power handling (more or less) go figure...they also have active protection which means they're a lot less likely to be blown, but people who run theirs at 100% will find they dislike the built in limiter since it starts coloring the sound. I never run my Mk1's at higher than 50-60% of their limit because that's plenty loud for me, so the limiter is never an issue to me, for people who do have issues with this stepping up to Dynaudio (or one of the nicer ADAM models etc) is probably a better option. For those that do NOT need Dynaudios, the HR824's can still have too much bass for some smaller rooms/spaces (hence the multiple controls on the rear for lessening low end response).

    HR824's have had 3-4 versions btw, there are the 'pre-China' versions when Mackie first started making them (made in the USA) which I own and like. Then Mackie was bought out and there's the Mk1 'Chinese' versions which also seemed to change a lot of the components, then they came back to the US and had less reliability issues with builds but still used apparently the same components as the 'China' versions (making them still sound different and slightly more harsh than the 'first' USA made version)...and now there's the Mk2 and tbh I forget where they're even making them now or who owns Mackie these days (either it went employee owned or was purchased again...I knew this a few years back but have forgotten now).

    God forbid I ever blow a driver on my first run units though, the replacements often alter the sound of that 1 monitor enough to make stereo imaging uneven (have seen tons of reports on this from the 'first run USA made' owners) resulting in a need to replace that component in both monitors at the same time
  4. Candleflame

    Candleflame
    54 posts
    Since May 7, 2011
    wow great responses.
    i find the lack of bass strange since the mr8 are supposed to go down to 40hz (+-3db) which is only 1hz less than the 824s...

    Nevertheless, seems like they arent really better than each other but more different? I wonder if the mr8s actually yield a better mixdown since u seldom mix on high volume anyways and i think the 824 also dont mix very well unless the room is very well treated?

    Have the MR8 more accurate bass than the HS80M at least?


    edit: I'm not convinced that the soft dome tweeters are necessarly a drawback, i know a lot of ppl have their 824s on -2db in the highs anyways coz they sound a bit too sweet.
  5. Pseudonym1471

    Pseudonym1471
    148 posts
    Since Mar 25, 2010
    Get second-hand 824 mk1s off ebay. Saw some go for £410 the other day.
  6. Candleflame

    Candleflame
    54 posts
    Since May 7, 2011
    Yeah u find the mackie 824s quite alot on gumtree or ebay.... but same can be said about the mr8s (usually around 200-250 pounds) although less often. Havnt been around for long enough i guess. I am actually quite shocked that the Mr8 seem to have a lack of bass. They always seemed to me like a less accurate hs80m monitor with more bass. Take the bass away and u might as well go for a different monitor alltogether...
  7. valis

    valis
    1,675 posts
    Since Aug 20, 2001
    Voicing is personal taste, but the main thing I was pointing out re: the tweeters was the crossover point on each.

    Also keep in mind that not only are the woofer baskets/cones & amp/crossover network completely different, but the MR8's are a rear ported design while 824's/624's are a passive radiator in the rear. Ports are much 'peakier' in their response being basically a bandpass filter of sorts (poor cone control below the cutoff even) and colored transient response at the corner frequencies of the port's tuning. By comparison the 824's can be a bit 'mushier' than higher end monitors thanks to the passive radiator, and some of the 200-350hz area can be obscured by the excessive low end if a track has heavy presence of both (again in comparison to comparable monitors in their pricerange that are voiced more for typical instrument recording duties...or say dynaudio/adam p22's or god forbid barefoot mm27's & up).

    In 2001 when I got these Mackies I either had the choice of paying $400-500 more for comparably voiced Genelecs 8031's (due to US import tariffs) that Mackie somewhat copied or lower end models...there was nothing else in the ~$1k pricerange until you got closer to 2k unless you had a botique builder in the area. Genelecs were of course not import tariff challenged in the UK/EU, whereas Mackie was making them look less attractive compared to the 8031's to most buyers at the time not in the US. Fast forward to today and you have so many other options in the same priceranges as the MR & HR series I am not sure they'd even be in the first 3 unit's I'd recommend at a given pricepoint.
  8. Candleflame

    Candleflame
    54 posts
    Since May 7, 2011
    Interesting, how come so many of the upper price range speakers use a port rather than a passive radiator?

    The Mackie 824 mk1s can be grabbed very,very cheap 2nd hand, saw a pair pop up the other day for 300 pounds, whereas for comparable monitors i dont really find that the case (The genlecs seem to be around 500-600 pounds 2nd hand). I was thinking about the hs50m, but then I'd probably need a sub as well, which is expensive and I do not like mixing with a sub, not even talking about the acoustical issues...

    I'd actually quite happily stick to my Alesis monitors but they dont go very far down, the mids sound really undefined, and they seem to have some dip in the highs (which i find otherwise ok) somewhere which always results in kickdrums sounding really clicky if played on another system.

    I also had a look at some KRK VX8s but, every KRK which i have heared so far sounds like a hifi speaker and the mids and highs really mushed up. So I'm not very keen on those. :rolleyes2 Adam A7s i dont even see 2nd hand... maybe they are just that good that people never wanna get rid of them... hehe...
  9. phpSelectah

    phpSelectah
    11,686 posts
    Since Jul 30, 2002
    I went through the whole Genelec vs. Mackie thing ( since I used Genies in school ), and after doing some research the 824s were designed by the same person as the 8031s.

    I know they are targeted for a completely different price point, but after knowing ( and loving ) the Genies, that was enough for me to pick up some 824s.

    I sourced some early US/run 824 mk1s end of story... I bought another pair recently just in case!

    I agree with the port creating peaks assertion. Passive radiator or open air sub is the way to go, IMHO
  10. valis

    valis
    1,675 posts
    Since Aug 20, 2001
    Well as with all things designs differ, I was speaking in particular about a lower end (MR series) monitor with a ported design. High end monitors with multiple ports of different lengths, better internal baffling, significantly better power handling and stronger composites in the cone, better magnets in the basket translates to much better cone control and less breakup below the tuning frequency of the port. Still go look up speaker design and you'll find that ports are indeed a filter, and the 'order' of the enclosure can be increased by creating additional chambers with ports leading to other chambers etc. Anyway many people actually prefer the sound of the MR8's to the 824's at lower listening levels...you just have to keep in mind the power limits and try to keep your tunes clear of DC offsets and excessive levels of sub (below 30hz) which is a good idea anyway.

    Again there are 3 different Mk1 models...and most people don't know this so the whole line has a reputation as I outlined above (seeming to be more expensive than they're worth in the EU compared to other speakers from that era etc). I still prefer them to the Yamahas, KRK's, Tannoys and etc you'll find at lower pricepoints. And yes 5" cones are going to be too small imo...

    The original A7's were actually lacking in sub anyway imo, though they offered very fine low mid clarity compared to my 824's as a result. A7X's seemed to improve on this somewhat and if I'm not mistaken ADAM just released yet another low end line of speakers (or updated the A series line perhaps) right around NAMM/Messe time.

    What you really need to do is decide on your ideal and peak monitoring levels (86dB K-weighted, 110dB @ -8dB RMS or etc) and then select a pair based on the size of the room they'll be installed in, features and budget.
  11. tekloid el diablo blanco

    tekloid
    11,293 posts
    Since Mar 2, 2001
    Sorry to derail any debate, but does anyone have a source for 1st run HR824 subs or what would be good substitutes? I'm still trying to figure out if I've blown both or have an amp or house wiring/electric issue. I've had some random sub cutout in both over the past year only alleviated by spiking the volume, and that's pretty much in order for both subs recently now whenever in low to moderate volume range. Oddly enough, after taking one off the power grid I've had no problems with the other after a day or two?! Could be coincidence as the one I removed was causing the most problems over time? I've read Vifa Tymphany as Mackie's original HR824 manufacturer source and have been reluctant to contact Mackie so far due to an assumed replacement price markup, and also them telling me to contact one of their service partners. Price isn't really a problem, but neither is saving money... More importantly, having the same sound I've been used to for the past 10 years is a plus. Either way, these would be good for my son to have fixed up and passed on to if I end up shopping new monitors.

    ETA: Haven't listened to MR8s', but I've had issues with muddy mixing in the low mid range with HR824s. I'm used to it now though, and it could have been the environment. I also can't mix snares for shit on them for whatever reason. Prior to these I was using a 2x12 Pyle shitbox with tweeters and I just listened to a demo tape I did of old tunes monitored through them and was blown away. 8" Mackies wouldn't be my home studio monitor of choice if I could take my knowledge back in time. I have no idea what I'm saying with this ETA, but I didn't want to be too much of a thread leech.
  12. Candleflame

    Candleflame
    54 posts
    Since May 7, 2011
    That'd be something to keep in mind, I actually monitor relatively quiet (~60-75db) until I do the final mixdown, usually because I don't want to piss off my neighbour/flatmates more than I already do. Mixing roomsize varies since i move around every year or so. atm its around 4.5m² - 5m², with favourable setup (speakers are not close to the wall etc)

    I read a bit around the china vs america debate and most people say they cant hear a difference between american mk1s and the ones assembled in china and even less can even tell from inspection if their mk1s are 1st gens, 2nd gens (or even 3rd gens if you so say so). I do not think it would make such a big difference for me anyways, I mix in a bedroom and I think the colour of the room will impact the sound more than a change in the productionquality of the components. In the unfortunate event that a woofer blows they have to be replaced with mk2 or 3rd gen mk1 woofers anyways. I dont think Vifa still produces the original woofers like they used to.

    @tekloid I heared the muddy bottom is a result of insufficient bass trapping because the mackies reach so low. If I remember correctly it actually says in the manual that if you dont have sufficient basstrapping they should be run with hp on 47hz.


    ps:Sorry, i didnt mean the Hs50m from yamaha i ment the bigger brother Hs80m. But apparently the bass isn't very well defined on these... I also dont like how they give blunt specs without db ranges(i think they are advertised as 40hz - 22k, but if you look at the FR they actually drop off at 54hz or smth). Kinda makes me doubt the quality of the product but I heared they translate very well.
  13. acetate Scansonic

    acetate
    1,307 posts
    Since Jan 13, 2002
    If anyone is interested, i've got a pair of usa made 824mk1's for sale.
    Never been overdriven, as they were used crossed over with the mackie hrs120 sub (which i'm keeping).

    £480 / pair, pickup from Manchester or will courier in UK for £40
    pm me for more details.

    Reason for sale is that i need two pairs of adam a3x's to go on small multimedia stations at my studio, and i already bought some a8x's to replace them, which work better than the sub+mackies in my current modest sized control room.

    The sound difference between the mk1's and mk2's in incredible.. the mk2's sound like boy racer hifi speakers! all tops and bottoms, not at all like the mk1's which are much more precise and accurate.
  14. valis

    valis
    1,675 posts
    Since Aug 20, 2001
    When I hear of people speak of the differences it's in regards to having to replace a unit and having the imaging go to shit in different parts of the spectrum (meaning they are not spectrally balanced eh). I think this is what I posted before, though obviously in glorious overly detailed wording that probably obscured the fact. Basically I hope I don't blow a tweeter or crossover at any point, the woofer is protected well enough by the built in limiter (that many blame for the muddiness) that I doubt I'll damage that before these hit 2 decades in age.

    Still I suppose I should follow up on the Vifa info and purchase a pair of replacements.

    Also someone Candleflame pm'd me asking about Event 20/20's, and I seem to recall there were actives in addition to the passive versions (20/20bas or something? It's been a while). In short though, my memory tells me they were voiced similarly to the Rokits, hyped low end with peaky response that gave them a decidedly 'hiphop' feel for that era. At least that's how I recall hearing them described by many, the HR824's were enough of a difference for me to quickly ditch my Events years ago so I don't consider them a replacement.
  15. Candleflame

    Candleflame
    54 posts
    Since May 7, 2011
    how can ppl even hit the limiter with a unit with 120db output. :smashed:
  16. Pseudonym1471

    Pseudonym1471
    148 posts
    Since Mar 25, 2010
    Worth pointing out that the Mk1s go for around £300-400 on ebay these days. Pretty untouchable at that price.