Mackie SRM550, 650 & 1850 Live Sound Speakers
By Craig Vecchione |
When Mackie released the SRM450 15 years ago, it introduced powered speakers to the masses and quickly became a staple for bands everywhere. The legacy continues with the SRM550 and 650 full-range speakers, and SRM1850 subwoofer.
Each model boasts internally braced poplar cabinets with a tough finish, well-placed flush handles, and a steel wrap-around grille. 1600 peak watts of Class D power lets you drive them hard, and Smart Protect™ DSP keeps it protected if you go a little too far. Fit and finish are, in a word, professional.
SRM550 - What You Need To Know
- Equipped with a 12” woofer, this 37-lb., 132dB speaker has a titanium HF compression driver, 15mm wood cabinet, 18-gauge steel grille and is configured for either FOH or floor monitor use.
- It’s got sturdy rubber feet for both positions, and the monitor position puts the speaker at 60 degrees, which is great for tight stages where 45-degree wedges aim sound at your belt.
- There’s a 2-channel mixer with additional RCA jacks for media players. Both channels have XLR/TRS combo jacks, signal/overload LEDs and level controls that handle line- or mic-level signals. A separate limit indicator shows if the mix is too hot.
- The Thru output jack is switchable between Channel 1 only and the full mix, so you can add more speakers to the mix with ease.
- The Speaker Mode switch lets you choose from four different EQ profiles to tailor response for PA, DJ, Monitor, or Solo use.
- A feature I haven’t seen on an active speaker but really welcome is the one-button Feedback Destroyer. It’s got four filters with a nice, narrow 16th-octave slice to capture feedback without taking away all your tone. The single control button switches it on/off and by holding it will clear the active filters, which are indicated with four LEDs. In practice it was easy to ring out the speaker, with the usual warning that the process will create short bursts of feedback as the filters recognize and cut it.
- A switch lets you shut off the front panel indicator light/logo.
SRM650 - What You Need To Know
- The SRM550’s big brother has the same power and controls, but adds a 15” driver for more low-end grunt.
- It’s still light at 46 pounds, but the bigger LF driver adds punch when the SRM650 is used full range. That punch makes the SRM650 a great choice for those gigs where you want to travel light but still need to hear the bass.
- Paired with the SRM1850 sub, this speaker can really bring it for DJs and genres that are fueled by dropped-tuned guitars and huge, bass-heavy mixes. As a bassist, I was happy to run sans amp with an SRM650 as my only stage monitor.
SRM550/650 Front View
SRM550/650 Rear Panel
SRM1850 - What You Need To Know
- The SRM1850 subwoofer delivers the same 1600 peak watts into an 18”, front-loaded and ported cabinet of 18mm poplar plywood with a 16-gauge steel grille.
- Weighing in at only 64 lb., it’s easily portable, so the decision to bring it to small venues is a no-brainer.
- The controls and I/O are simple and complete—two XLR inputs for mono or stereo, a pair of high-pass outputs to feed mid-highs and a full range output pair to daisy-chain to another sub make up the connections. There is a phase normal/invert switch to maximize output when you can’t position the subs in line with your mid-highs, and a stereo/mono switch.
- The internal digital crossover has two convenient presets for the SRM550 and SRM650, and a variable setting that can be adjusted between 60 and 120Hz. A main output control, limiter LED indicator and the logo light on/off switch round out the controls.
- The sound is big and present, with enough definition and punch to feel the kick drum and hear the bass guitar’s B and E strings clearly. Some single-driver 18” subs run out of steam early, but the 1850’s 132dB max SPL easily kept up with the SRM650 and 550, even when pushed hard.
SRM1850 Rear Panel
The new SRM speakers have the clarity, high output and flexibility to be your go-to rig for just about any band that calls. From solo performances in a coffee house to full bands in the club, you can bring the SRMs and know you have enough rig for the gig.