Rossi

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2006, 05:00:05 PM »
Nope, TobWen, that's not reality. I never recorded anything with a bobbin and caps. Reality check is using a low ouput ribbon. As I said the Onyx 800R was very low noise with a ribbon. You shouldn't use the low impedance settings that they recommend for ribbons - that's real BS.

Short circuit trick in my vocabulary is shorting pins 2 and 3. That's often done, and you can produce EIN figures of up to about -134 dBm that way. A 150 or 200 ohms resistor is okay and produces results that pretty much correlate to the real world.

The datasheet of the NJM2068 has nothing to do with EIN! It's equivalent INPUT noise. The opamps are not at the input. The input stage is the two 2SA1316 transistors. And as I said those are ultra low Rbb types. In transformerless preamps EIN can be predicted by Rbb of the input transistors. The opamps do contribute to output noise, but output noise is usually masked by input noise, at least at higher gain settings.

As I said: the onyx performs as spec'd. Don't go on insisting the specs are bad. It's simply not true. Don't make false claims if you don't know what EIN is or how it is measured.

The EIN figure you claim is very bad. -120 dB would already be less than good. -110 dB is almost unusable. If you want the realest of real world test, use an SM58 connect it to your Onyx and connect it to any other preamp for comparison. I'm pretty sure you won't find a preamp that's noticeably lower noise.
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"


TobWen

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2006, 05:04:02 PM »
Quote from: "Rossi"
I'm pretty sure you won't find a preamp that's noticeably lower noise.


I accept the bet :-)
Don't believe me... I dunno anything about electronics.

TobWen

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2006, 05:06:14 PM »
to all: I am sorry, the transistors are 2SA1084, not 2SA1316 !
Don't believe me... I dunno anything about electronics.

Rossi

Re: Money Money Money Money
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2006, 05:09:55 PM »
Quote from: "northsiderap"


Quote
FYI: I have an old B*ringer preamp that has an EIN of -128 at 150 ohms (according to my own measurements). I don't think they selected any components. The key to the good EIN figure is just the 2SB737S transistors - an older super low Rbb type. I have several transformer coupled preamps that sound better but none that produces a lower EIN figure.


Please post a phase, frequency, and square wave tests too!


I'm not a B*ringer gear pimp, so I don't feel a need to prove that pre is the best there is. It isn't. But take it for a fact that the frequency response is flat from 10 Hz to at least 40K - that's all my 96k soundcard can handle. That said, flat frequency response is nothing special for a transformerless pre. Most probably phase accuracy is worse on my transformer coupled preamps, yet I don't care. They do sound better than the B*ringer.
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"

Rossi

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2006, 05:18:03 PM »
Quote from: "TobWen"
to all: I am sorry, the transistors are 2SA1084, not 2SA1316 !


That one is widely used as well. B*ringer and others used it for a while. I don't have an Rbb figure for it, but I assume it's fairly low as it is often used in input stages. Most probably it's not as good as the 2SA1316 used in the Onyx 800R. I would guess that EIN should still be at least -127 dBm.
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"


Rossi

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2006, 05:27:57 PM »
I do have the datasheets on my HD, but they simply don't contain an Rbb figure. These are switching transistors. They're not really made for audio use, but they make good input tranisistors. Better than so called low noise transistors such as BC550. There's a lot of information on this board about input noise and Rbb mostly from PRR and Bcarso.
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"

TobWen

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2006, 05:31:30 PM »
I really think of rebuilding the mic-preamp for measurements.
The console is too big to carry through Germany :-)
Don't believe me... I dunno anything about electronics.

CJ

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2006, 07:04:30 PM »
most people start a business  to make money.

Mackie threads do get a lot of hits for some strange reason that I have yet to figure.

There was like a 14 pager at the old place on Mackie monitors.
I think it was the HS something or other.

 I think everyone likes to bash Mackie. Me too. It's fun!
Heck, I think even Mackie bashes Mackie. Whats in a name?

Heathkit used to be known as Shi*kit, but people still loved them.
If I can't fix it, I can fix it so nobody else can!
Frank's Tube Page: www.mif.pg.gda.pl/homepages/frank/vs.html
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NewYorkDave

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2006, 08:09:34 PM »
...or "Griefkit."

But yes, we did love them. I used to get their catalog in the mail; my best friend and I would thumb through it and fantasize about all the cool kits we'd buy--if we had any money, that is. My family's first color TV was built by my dad from a Heathkit. I still use Heathkit gear.

I realize this is a Mackie thread, so I apologize for the off-topic post.


tommypiper

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2006, 09:17:56 PM »
OK, I'm going to lose all credibility with this one.  :grin:  I have an old Mackie CR-1604.  For those who remember, these were virtually universally loved by everyone in pro audio at the time when they came out - because they were the first of this type of board that sounded "good" or "decent" or whatever (fill in the blank) and were cheap and easy to use, especially for live sound.  It was a minor revolution at the time.  People were recording with them with success, without complaints.    

I still use mine for extra pres when I track lots of tracks at once.  Comparing with Fum's ribbon mics - one on the Mackie and one on my original V76, noise and gain are really pretty good and not a problem, even for low level sources with the ribbon mic.  Totally usable.  

Maybe the newer Mackies went down hill after the CR-1604.  Or maybe these were the worst, I dunno.  Scott Dorsey used to recommend the Mackies in this series as starter preamps for people on a budget and used to say they were quite good.  (These are claimed to be "discrete" blah blah.)  My point is, it's a very usable tool.  When there's nothing else left to turn to, I don't hesitate to use it.  I have good ears too.  (In fact they sound better with ribbons than condensers.)

I have not listened to any of the modern Mackies which everyone loves to hate.  The old CR- series are just fine for what they are.  

I know an acoustic music CD that was mixed on one of these (not by me) and sounds really very good.  Sometimes it's the right tool at the right price/convenience point.

Put me on a desert island with only an SM57 and a Mackie CR-1604 and I will still make a good recording.  It's not just the tools that make a recording.  It's the ears, the arrangement, the techniques and other human elements.
Imagine a wet, slightly chilled from its gas release and decompression, with water droplets condensing, sucking surface tension, slowly sliding down the side, capped by a healthy virgin froth on top..

gar242

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2006, 10:52:59 PM »
Just goes to show ya, numbers can't hear...

Rossi

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2006, 06:10:31 AM »
I dont't think newer Mackies sound worse than the old ones. I personally don't own any Mackie, but one of my reviewer colleagues has had various Mackies, and when he received one of the first Onyx consoles for a review, he actually sent me an email (which he rarely does) because he was blown away by the sound quality. As I said, I reviewed an 800R preamp, and while I didn't think they sounded as "boutique" as Mackie claims, they were very, very low noise and sounded very neutral. Not harsh, either. Absolutely no complaints there. Hate to say it, but TobWen's measurements are just plain wrong, and I don't think he knows what he's talking about regarding EIN.

Let's face it: People like to bash the likes of Mackie, B*ringer etc, because it makes them look like pros. Anybody who's serious about audio and knows a little bit about the business side of it, will concede that those budget designs are as good as you can expect for the money and that you would have to make those boxes a lot more expensive for just a little better performance. And that's the "genius" - perhaps to big a word for it - of those firms. Their designs are geared towards the threshold between price and performance. Yes, of course they will always claim their stuff is the best there is. Even my mom knows that's just the usual marketing BS; get real. But their stuff is not really bad, often quite good, and totaly workable. And the specs aren't grossly wrong, either.
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"

Svart

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2006, 07:49:33 AM »
numbers aside, we are looking at one question whose answser is different for everyone who asks it.

Is it good enough?

if you are using something really bad, then these will probably seem like some kind of miracle device.

if you are using something really good then these will seem like sh*t.

BUT.. if your monitors and other gear are not up to par, then I doubt you will hear the difference anyway.

most of our beloved devices have pretty bad specs really.
Welcome to the GroupDIY leper colony! when something falls off, we just replace it with a tube!
occupation: General Electron Mayhem

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bcarso

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2006, 08:11:14 AM »
I concur with Rossi on the 2SA1316.  These are excellent parts and about the only reason to select them would be for d.c. matching, which is probably irrelevant in this application.  As well, Toshiba transistors are astonishingly consistent---I say that as one responsible for the use of about 10^8 of them at this point in my life.

As far as distortion, good measurements and better, spectral analysis, are critical correlatives to listening tests.  Did Marketing stretch things beyond their own documented tests?  I don't know---and we won't know until measurements are made.

Just looking up an IC manufacturer's spec and deducing that something can't be as good as it is when the part is embedded in a product is sometimes an unwarranted stretch.  For one thing the part may in this case be selected, in another case the circuit may enhance the performance over the app note's circuit.

Certainly companies lie all the time, and eventually the word will get around.  I would simply urge basing one's accusations on data, especially if you are going to lower the boom by whining to the Feds.

Samuel Groner

    Z├╝rich, Switzerland
  • Posts: 2935
Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2006, 08:20:04 AM »
Thanks Brad for your statement. Gets the pulse down...

Samuel

Rossi

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2006, 08:23:55 AM »
@ Svart

Hmm, at least in this thread (see topic) the question is slightly different. Someone claimed Mackie's figures are fake. Which I'm pretty sure is not true.

Apart from that I think there's some middle ground between sh*t and really bad. The Onyx pre I tested was certainly better than just "good enough" - with respect to both figures and sound. It just didn't produce any magic tricks. Not "boutique" as Mackie claims, but certainly very good off the shelf. Basically preamp of the "wire with gain" philosophy, and in that as good as you can expect at that price range. I suppose you would have to get something like a Millenia or Gordon pre to get something noticeably better. Or, if you want a preamp with it's own sound and color, get something entirely different. A transformer coupled pre, for instance.

Again, I don't want to convince anybody to buy a Mackie. I don't own one, and I have no plans of getting one. But I hate to see a product getting bad rep for no good reason.

@ Brad: Thanks for the clarification! I'm glad we have some real experts on this board.  :thumb:
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"

Svart

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2006, 09:35:25 AM »
well, I didn't mean that the specs weren't good enough, I meant that the best specs in the world don't matter if you can't hear the difference.

as i stated before, some of the older devices that we can't seem to live without have pretty bad specs as far as today's numbers are concerned, but they still have a sound that we love dearly.  I am only pointing out that we can discuss parts and their theoretical limits on noise all day long but that leaky diode in the powersupply or the lack of decoupling capacitance on the IC can really f**kerize what we actually get.

I am sure mackie is like the rest of the companies where the prototype is made of the best stuff, then the bean counters get a hold of it and the device that actually gets produced is of much cheaper quality.

Do we really get a copy of the concept car?
Welcome to the GroupDIY leper colony! when something falls off, we just replace it with a tube!
occupation: General Electron Mayhem

Alesis X2 information repository:
http://www.theopiumdenproductions.

Rossi

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2006, 09:53:09 AM »
Quote from: "Rossi"

Apart from that I think there's some middle ground between sh*t and really bad.


...err, "between sh*t and really good" I mean.  :grin:

Svart, as a reviewer, my take is: you have to be fair. We accept a lot of funky things when it comes to vintage gear whereas we tend to freak out over minor glitches in new gear. Or maybe we even hate new gear for the mere absence of funkiness.

Yeah, the bean counters are a problem. But on the other hand most people wouldn't want to pay the kind of money that the stuff would cost if the bean counters didn't cut down on the production cost. Hence DIY.
"I am not a number, I'm a free man!"
"Hahahahaaaaaa!!!!!"

Svart

Mackie ONYX ... the truth: a big fake!
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2006, 10:27:49 AM »
oh absolutely.

I have an alesis x2.  it was one of the original pre-shipment units that were sent to people to evaluate before the production units went out.  the PCBs are stuffed with 1% metal films, nichicon caps and Signetics 5532s.  the later productions units came out with 5% carbon films, no name caps and JRC 5532s.  a MARKED difference in sound quality.  I suspect this is one of the things that lead to the bad rap this board got.

goes to show that numbers are one thing on paper but the part you get might just be different.

Maybe the Onyx you got was an evaluation model and the production models are different?
Welcome to the GroupDIY leper colony! when something falls off, we just replace it with a tube!
occupation: General Electron Mayhem

Alesis X2 information repository:
http://www.theopiumdenproductions.


 

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