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Unread 03-14-2011, 11:52 PM   #1
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Mackie HD1531 vs Power Amp/Cab setup

I've been leaning toward saving toward a Mackie HD1531 and I was wondering what the pros and cons are. I've heard people raving about them. What would be the benefits of it vs a Power Amp/Cab setup? Ive also people seen using them with their Axe-Fx's WITHOUT a power conditioner. Is it safe to run an Axe-Fx through the Mackie without a power conditioner?

Any other advice is highly welcomed
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Unread 03-15-2011, 03:59 AM   #2
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Not using a power conditioner is trusting the electric grid. Depends on where you live, really. If you tour, even locally, since you don't know in advance, a power conditioner is pretty mandatory. Think of it as insurance.

The point of having a FRFR setup is to use the power amp and cab sims of the axe FX to shape the tone and use an as transparent as possible speaker, ie a big studio monitor. Using a power amp and cab means you like the tone of this power amp and that cab give you and use the axe FX without the power amp and cab sims. I went that way simply because I had them before I had the axe and I could achieve the tones I wanted that way without buying anything else.
There's not a really a "better" way, some bands use FRFR, some others the power amp solution.

The only absolute is that FRFR will be more versatile, so if you play in a cover band or have a vast array of tones you need, FRFR should be more convenient. If you're one of the "I have one clean, one rythm and one lead tone for all the show" (That's 90% of bands), this isn't relevant. But if you intend to play Jazz, blues and the Br00talz with one setup, it might be a better idea.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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Sorry, I have no experience here, but the Mackie HD1531 is 1200 USD brand new, while a good poweramp and cabinet will cost much more than that. It seems like most people use the Fryette 2/90/2, which is nearly 1700 alone, and a high-end cabinet at new price will cost another 1000. Of course, poweramps and cabinets are easily found used, but you would likely still be paying around the same amount that you would on the Mackie HD1531. So, personally, I would probably opt for the full range monitor for the flexibility it will provide... and not to mention it looks cool.

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Unread 03-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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The main reason i think you should flip over is for consistency of tone. I had a Vht power amp and Vht cab but i just sold it for a 1531 set up that will be dropped off at my home later today :-D

Why? Because now i don't have to worry about the club having shitty mics and inconsistent Mic placement.....i have control of all that. Then i load in some redwirez and have a pro studio Mic job for my live show.

Anyway ill let you know how it works out.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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I prefer tube power amp and cab, which can be had for under $1k if you know what to look for and don't go unreasonable with the volume. The Mackie is insanely heavy, and I prefer the "tube coloration" even with the AFX's power amp sims.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
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The main reason i think you should flip over is for consistency of tone. I had a Vht power amp and Vht cab but i just sold it for a 1531 set up that will be dropped off at my home later today :-D

Why? Because now i don't have to worry about the club having shitty mics and inconsistent Mic placement.....i have control of all that. Then i load in some redwirez and have a pro studio Mic job for my live show.

Anyway ill let you know how it works out.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 11:36 AM   #7
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I went the FRFR route for a bit, but eventually decided it was for me. I might give it another shot down line, but I absolutely love the tone I get with my poweramp/cab setup right now. Keep it mind, Cliff from Fractal also still uses his VHT 2/50/2 and Mesa cab for personal use.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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It's also important to note that a lot of the initial amp models were tweaked using a 2:90
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Unread 03-15-2011, 03:04 PM   #9
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...
I'm with you, but most people already have a power amp and cab when they buy the axe, hence the dilemma.
If you don't have anything it's different of course.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 07:19 PM   #10
 
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Having used both setups live i have to say that i MUCH prefer the HD 1531, not only is it not limited to one cab/poweramp sound (as you can fully use the axefx's cab and poweramp simulation, but it is more stable (no tubes to replace and has a built in power section) and takes up less space as well.
It is loud as balls and seems to be less directional than any cab setup i have had as well.
Above all this is of course the cost, as you could buy two 1531s for what a VHT Poweramp/Orange Cab setup would run you (what i used to use)
I HIGHLY reccomend it for anyone going direct, and especially for those using live axefx setups!
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Unread 03-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #11
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Thanks a bunch guys. Is it heavier than your typical cab? Can you attach casters to it? I would hate having to carry it around since im a skinny ....er
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Unread 03-15-2011, 11:46 PM   #12
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Unread 03-15-2011, 11:48 PM   #13
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What about attaching casters is that a possibility?
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Unread 03-16-2011, 07:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Having used both setups live i have to say that i MUCH prefer the HD 1531, not only is it not limited to one cab/poweramp sound (as you can fully use the axefx's cab and poweramp simulation, but it is more stable (no tubes to replace and has a built in power section) and takes up less space as well.
It is loud as balls and seems to be less directional than any cab setup i have had as well.
Above all this is of course the cost, as you could buy two 1531s for what a VHT Poweramp/Orange Cab setup would run you (what i used to use)
I HIGHLY reccomend it for anyone going direct, and especially for those using live axefx setups!
why do you prefer those stereo-system above studio monitors?
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Unread 03-16-2011, 06:53 PM   #15
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The HD1531 would definitely be less directional; 4x12 guitar cabs are laser beams when it comes to dispersion, sadly. I'm just used to that particular sound and feel.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 06:58 PM   #16
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The biggest thing holding me from getting it is whether or not its worth it. I might spring for power amp/cab setup first to see how it works out and if it doesn't Ill jump to the Mackie
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Unread 03-16-2011, 07:36 PM   #17
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The only concern I wold have is whether the Mackie monitor would be able to handle being carried around and beaten while on tour. It would seem like a cabinet/poweramp combo is built to withstand those conditions, while a monitor is built to sit in one place for it's entire life.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 10:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The only concern I wold have is whether the Mackie monitor would be able to handle being carried around and beaten while on tour. It would seem like a cabinet/poweramp combo is built to withstand those conditions, while a monitor is built to sit in one place for it's entire life.
Yeah because there hasn't been a post from a musician touring the world with the setup in the thread... oh wait

Tosin from AAL has also been touring with them for quite some time.

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Unread 03-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #19
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There's really no need to snotty about it. The only two bands that have been mentioned using them are in a different situation than us average SS.org dork. They haven't been around and doing their thing for that long, so the Mackies have not really proven the rest of time yet.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 11:13 PM   #20
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There's really no need to snotty about it. The only two bands that have been mentioned using them are in a different situation than us average SS.org dork. They haven't been around and doing their thing for that long, so the Mackies have not really proven the rest of time yet.
I'm curious what you mean by "a different situation". They're both working touring acts that are dragging their gear on and off trailers on a regular basis to play clubs all over the place. The biggest difference is that they're touring nationally and internationally instead of playing a couple shows around town on a regular basis. If anything their gear is getting more wear and tear than most guys on here put their stuff through

Those guys aren't big enough to have paid roadies babying their stuff.

I do agree that they're new models that haven't been out that long. I know there were bugs with the first batch that Tosin had all kinds of problems with initially. Seems that's been fixed though as he's been using them for the entire current tour, as have Periphery.

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Unread 03-17-2011, 10:43 AM   #21
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I assume you couldn't use the Mackie for rehearsals? That's the only thing that would be holding me back.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 10:44 AM   #22
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I assume you couldn't use the Mackie for rehearsals? That's the only thing that would be holding me back.
Why wouldn't you be able to use them?

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Unread 03-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #23
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Well I don't know. Are they batshit loud as .... enough to keep up with a drummer? My thoughts being that they're monitoring wedges?

I'm used to rehearsing with a half stack is all.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 11:01 AM   #24
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Well I don't know. Are they batshit loud as .... enough to keep up with a drummer? My thoughts being that they're monitoring wedges?

I'm used to rehearsing with a half stack is all.
They're not monitoring wedges, they're 1800w powered 3-way PA speakers

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Unread 03-17-2011, 11:15 AM   #25
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I'm curious what you mean by "a different situation". They're both working touring acts that are dragging their gear on and off trailers on a regular basis to play clubs all over the place. The biggest difference is that they're touring nationally and internationally instead of playing a couple shows around town on a regular basis. If anything their gear is getting more wear and tear than most guys on here put their stuff through

Those guys aren't big enough to have paid roadies babying their stuff.

I do agree that they're new models that haven't been out that long. I know there were bugs with the first batch that Tosin had all kinds of problems with initially. Seems that's been fixed though as he's been using them for the entire current tour, as have Periphery.
Didn't both Tosin and Misha have problems blowing speakers? I at least remember Misha saying Tosin went through two or three of them one tour. That also could have been that first batch, though.

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