Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Anderton

Mackie Reach Portable PA System

Recommended Posts

Well Chris, this certainly takes things beyond my initial "Will it work as a guitar amp?" But it also sounds like it might have involved some scientific fun with beer...:)

 

Question about the outdoor gig: Looking at the picture, although no one seemed that far away from the Reach, I wonder if you could comment on the degree to which the sound dropped off as you got further away. Did the people at the outer, uh, reaches of the gig get about the same volume as those closer up, or did they move back because maybe they wanted it to be softer?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't get a chance to try it outside either, so I too would be interested in how far the reach of the Reach extends in that kind of free-field situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if you could comment on the degree to which the sound dropped off as you got further away. Did the people at the outer' date=' uh, reaches of the gig get about the same volume as those closer up, or did they move back because maybe they wanted it to be softer?[/quote']

 

Unfortunately for this trial, but fortunate for the gig, the performance area wasn't big enough to have a field of diminishing returns in terms of sound. I would calculate it was about 30' wide by 50' long, and reasonably well contained.

 

The audience positioning happened independent of sound; sound check happened before people showed up, so people either used visual proximity as the deciding factor or they were likely overly generous in assuming a competent sound person would accommodate their audio experience. ;-)

 

The proximately of the little one in the photo is probably about the end of the danger zone (and maybe a touch closer than I would have allowed my toddler). Certainly everyone pictured was within the zone where they were feeling the music (and conversation would require yelling) and even the smokers in the back (40'-ish) had to raise their voices to be heard.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't get a chance to try it outside either' date=' so I too would be interested in how far the reach of the Reach extends in that kind of free-field situation.[/quote']

 

 

Again, the venue wasn't as "wild" as it could have been. I'll see if I can shoehorn the Reach into a winery gig... those tend to be wide open spaces. Let me make some calls :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to take Craig to task on his "works great with a guitar" claim and ran Guitar Rig (From Komplete Ultimate 10) from my laptop into the Reach. I'm not nearly the digital genius Craig is, and I've not really messed around with anything that doesn't involve stepping on it or flicking a switch, so this was more out of curiosity than anything with little idea what to expect. Long story short, HOLY COW! The Reach sounded great, and really pushed some air. Definitely bigger and more present sounding than with the Vox ToneLab I'd noodled with earlier. So now we can "DJ and Guitar Amp" to the list of potential Reach applications.

 

Also, these helpful videos probably should go here :-)

 

[video=youtube;NcsxFyau8OA]

 

[video=youtube;ne9H3vdaVcQ]

 

[video=youtube;MqM8GfkqPSI]

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any updates or gig reports? I'm still on the fence about the Reach vs. some other compact system. The jbl Eon One looks interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What in particular are you curious about? I'm happy to check anything in particular out for you. I haven't played through the JBL Eon One, so couldn't really offer a comparison. From a purely spec standpoint, the JBL Eon boasts two extra channels, but it looks like they don't have a trim nor preamp, meaning you'd need to run a preamp in front of those to channels to really make them be useful, and I've read some reports that there are some gain input issues (too low) on those channels that do have a trim.

 

Other than that, it does seem to be well reviewed.

 

So... is there anything I can run through the paces for you and report back on? :-)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really on the fence about this unit. The concept seems awesome to me, but there is a consistency in many of the negative reviews that is very concerning. These are regarding the lack of volume for an acoustic guitar or mic pugged straight into the unit and the loud hiss due to having to turn the volume way up. Are they doing something wrong or is it imperative to have some sort of preamp?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on what type of mic and guitar pickup system you have, as well as your playing/singing style. It does seem like a preamp is necessary for some people but not for others. However, there were a couple YouTube "reviews" I saw where I really doubted whether the user had learned the Bluetooth app sufficiently well to do proper gain-staging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phantom Power?

 

By the way...although so far I've been testing Reach as a guitar amp, I've been trying out some mics with it. Note that Reach does not provide +48V phantom power, so you need to use dynamic mics. Granted, condenser mics are not a popular choice for most live situations, but I felt this was worth mentioning.

 

Back to the feedback...by the way, note that you can subscribe to this thread and get an email notification when there's a new post. Just click on the "+ Subscribe" button toward the upper right, above the first post.

 

​Anderton, I do feel like setting this up properly has at least somewhat of a learning curve. The reviews here are helpful. I may try one out and return it if I don't like it.

 

I'm also looking at the HK Audio LUCAS NANO 608i​ - the Bluetooth iPad controls on that system seem amazing and it has more inputs. It just happens to be more expensive (around $1600) Check it out: http://hkaudio.com/products.php?id=446

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a review of its predecessor, the Lucas Nano 300. That was quite a while ago, but in terms of output level, IIRC is was very similar to the Reach. The basic problem is the laws of physics...a speaker can move only so much air. So really, in many ways the choice comes down to feature set more than anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thread was incredibly helpful with my research on these type of systems. Thank you all for such great info!

 

I decided against the Mackie Reach and went with a JBL Eon One.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi and thanks for everyone's input it's been very helpful. Especially to someone like me from Turkey where just popping to the local store to try is not an option. I do have some questions though if I may;

1 can the Mackie rep please let me know of any distributors are in my country, the one on their site for Turkey doesn't seem to list it.

2 I play a PRS Hollowbody ll with two leads out, one from the piezo goes through a TC helicon playacoustic and the other from the mags goes through a Zoom G3, currently into mixer powered speakers. If I got the Reach would there be an advantage over any other powered speaker with regards to not needing the effects and the shaping presumably would have to be set flat as I would have both acoustic and electric going through it,

3 is the Reach comparable with line array type compact PA's such as Bose or JBL in terms of not blasting the front row whilst those at the back get the equivalent sound level experience.ie the "wrap aroundness".

4 does the custom bag have a place for the speaker stand

5 is it easy to get on and of the stand (heard rumors it's awkward

6 how effective is the side monitors and why not just leave them on all the time.

Any and all help much appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 I play a PRS Hollowbody ll with two leads out, one from the piezo goes through a TC helicon playacoustic and the other from the mags goes through a Zoom G3, currently into mixer powered speakers. If I got the Reach would there be an advantage over any other powered speaker with regards to not needing the effects and the shaping presumably would have to be set flat as I would have both acoustic and electric going through it,

 

I think you'd want as much control as possible, but if I'm understanding the question, both of those pedals would serve as preamps and amp modellers, so you'd likely be dialing in your core tone with those and then making light tweaks in EQ in the Reach.

 

3 is the Reach comparable with line array type compact PA's such as Bose or JBL in terms of not blasting the front row whilst those at the back get the equivalent sound level experience.ie the "wrap aroundness".

 

I would say "yes", but I haven't done any head-to-head to say to what extent. It has a pretty wide field, and didn't feel directional like a traditional PA speaker.

 

 

6 how effective is the side monitors and why not just leave them on all the time.

 

You mean the EarShot? They're pretty effective, but depending on the setting (like a single acoustic guitar) a player might prefer not to have the extra noise.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought a reach and I like its bluetooth capabilities for mixing and setting presets for performances, however as a solo performer at private venues both outside and inside I am wondering about the volume capabilities of the 720w rating. I have been using a Roland AC 33 (33 watt) and/or an Acoustic Solutions 75 (75 watt) and my anticipation was that the 720 watt rated Reach would produce far more volume than I am hearing. Was I expecting too much or does Mackie use a different wattage rating system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched Harry Stout's YouTube review and must say that although I have some questions about output wattage, he is way off base with his review. So far I have had none of the issues he portrays as being a deal breaker. To answer your (Anderton's) question above I normally keep my volume controls on my Taylor 520 and 522 set at the detent (about 50%) and my Taylor T-3 I adjust as needed. As I noted above my concern is output volume for the size and environment of the venues I play in. In my home studio/music room it sound great.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had the opportunity to use a mackie reach in some of my events to check if it really works and the truth has a good sound good bass and a high volume, it is easy to load. The sound is clear and strong, I have worked in restaurants of 50 to 60 people, in venues for the same number of people and in some breweries in my town that are large (warehouses) and your response is great, I use one Guitar martin a voice live 2 and a BBE acoustimax in addition to a rc300 loop station, it is handled with an app (mackie connect) to use the EQ of each channel, in general it is a very good horn before using the bose l1 classic with two b1 But I work 5 days a week playing in different places and loading all that was a lot now is much easier and everything fits in the trunk of the car

 

Cons: the eq of the horn per channel and general are only handled with the app, there is no way to move it in the mackie reach, and the app closes followed becomes a little desperate,

 

Where it adapts the stand is very tight and at the moment of lowering the mackie reach it is necessary to get a stand with a less thick tube

 

Pros: it has a good loud and clear sound, the music or recorded tracks are very good, it is not heavy and fits most cars without getting in the way, bluethoot is a good tool. It is definitely a good buy !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for the report, Feleo. It is comments like yours that add depth to a Pro Review, I'm curious, though...what kind of gigs and type of music do you play?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...