Mackie SRM350 & SRM450 Powered Live Sound Speakers
By Ara Ajizian |
Most musicians who have played live have encountered Mackie’s SRM line of loudspeakers in one of their many forms. They’ve graced stages large and small, always delivering crystal-clear, punchy sound that players and sound engineers alike rely on along with rock-solid performance night after night. Today the SRM Series encompasses several models, including three all-wood models designed specifically for professional installations and applications, as well as the SRM350 and SRM450 for portable use.
But to attach the word “professional” to the former might lead some to believe that the molded SRM350 and SRM450 are not capable of the same level of SRM performance and sound—which is completely wrong, as I discovered after spending some time with both models. The latest incarnations of these two-channel, powered speakers (v3) have the kind of sound, power and back-panel features that will elevate anyone’s live sound to pro territory.
What You Need To Know
• Though their speaker configuration differs slightly from one another, the SRM350 and SRM450 utilize the same power structure and control set.
• Both deliver 1000W of power—a significant upgrade from their previous incarnations—with plenty of headroom to really crank them up without unwanted distortion.
• On the back panel are two combo inputs for accepting both XLR and ¼” cables, as well as stereo RCA inputs for connecting outboard gear. Gain trim knobs are provided for each channel along with a clip LED that lets you know if your input signal is too strong.
• A 1.4” titanium-dome driver handles the upper range of sound in both models, with a 10” LF driver in the SRM350 and a 12” in the SRM450.
• Mackie has made tone shaping easy by providing four selectable operation modes that tailor the speaker’s response instantly: PA, DJ, Monitor and Solo.
• Depending on how you’re using the speakers, these selections provide surprisingly effective tweaks to the output sound, enhancing bass, mids or highs with great accuracy. For example, select the DJ mode and the bass is made more prominent with a slight scoop on the mids and highs. PA mode provides a nice, balanced mix for full-band applications. Monitor mode ensures the right sound and cut when used angled as a wedge monitor, and Solo is perfect for the singer-songwriter who combines an instrument and vocal, making sure that your instrument and voice are given equal prominence without one overpowering the other.
• Mackie's onboard Feedback Destroyer employs up to four narrow bands when activated to eliminate feedback from even the most susceptible instruments and performance settings.
• Both the SRM350 and SRM450 are flyable, with the SRM350s in either horizontal or vertical orientation, making them ideal for permanent installations.
The SRM350 and SRM450 share the same back-panel features and I/O
• Though the low-frequency response of both models is impressive, DJs or bands looking for extra depth in that area will likely want to incorporate one of the SRM Series powered subwoofers into their setup.
Regardless of your musical endeavors, your live sound isn’t something you want to keep addressing. You want reliable power, clear and accurate sound, and a rugged enclosure to endure the rigors of performing live. The SRM350 and SRM450 give you all this along with powerful High Definition Audio Processing to keep your sound true and Smart Protect DSP to prevent damage from signal overloads. With either the SRM350 or SRM450, you can get in on pro-level, gig-ready sound at an affordable price.
Ara Ajizian, Harmony Central's Editorial Director, has been playing bass and guitar as well as singing since he was 18, and soon that love of music combined with a passion for writing; launching what's now a decade-long career immersed in the gear world. He's thrilled to be back on the Harmony Central team after two years as Managing Editor for Musician's Friend covering gear, bands and events and gigging in the Los Angeles area.