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Author Topic: Mackie HD1531 & HD1801  (Read 43399 times)

Evan Kirkendall

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Mackie HD1531 vs. EV ZX5A
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2011, 05:54:46 pm »

Robert Patch was kind enough to bring his PA along with his EV ZX5A's out today so that we could tune up his rig and do a mini "Shootout." Hopefully he adds his comments in as well.

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e194/HarfordSound/speakers-3.jpg


Before I start any comparisons, here's what the ZX5A looks like with no processing:

index.php/fa/34657/0/

I probably could have smoothed out the phase response a little more, but it was cold and I wanted to be done at this point. Smile

We started off first by just running the tops, full range with no processing at a low/moderate volume.

ZX5A:
-Nice top end sizzle.
-Smooth, detailed midrange.
-Decent bass response.
-Lots of vocal presence.

HD1531:
-Darker, almost "dull" top end.
-Very smooth midrange.
-Overall very smooth, flat sound.
-A little low mid heavy

Then we proceeded to crank them up.


ZX5A:
-Super bright, harsh top end.
-Very brittle and thin sounding
-Painful

HD1531:
-Surprisingly smooth!
-A few midrange peaks
-Still very full sounding

It was clear some EQ was needed on both cabinets. Here's what I ended up with:

ZX5A:
EQ 1: -2 @ 250hz, Q4
EQ 2: -3 @ 2.5k, Q5.2
EQ3: -5 @ 4k, Q2.2
EQ4: -4 @ 8k, Q6

HD1531:
EQ1: -2 @ 190hz, Q4
EQ2: -3 @ 5k, Q3
EQ3:  +4 @ 9.6k, Hi Shelf

After some EQ, both boxes were much improved, however the ZX5A still fell apart at high SPL. The HF just simply fell apart. It was harsh to say the least. The box sounds great at low levels, but it needs a good bit of EQ to hold together at high volumes. The horn simply outruns the single 15, by a lot! I didn't have enough time to really dig into it and really EQ everything out, so I can't comment much else.

The HD1531 on the other hand held itself together very well at high SPL. Even as we ran into the limiters, it stayed clean, and solid. It has an "in your face" sound to it. It's not harsh, it's just right there. I did notice a little distortion on the 15" on some of the bass heavy songs, but that was well into the limiters at that point. When running with a sub, there is no distortion.

And that's pretty much it. For the size/weight, the EV box is great. But, it's going to require a lot of extra EQ to really shine. The Mackie box is bigger, and heavier, but it sounds a lot better and holds together much better at high SPL.

We also did briefly listen to the QSC K10. I actually think it sounds better then it's bigger brother. The K10 needed some EQ as well because the horn was quite hot, but it's not a bad little utility box at all. It simply didn't have the get up and go that the ZX5A and HD1531 had, so we didn't include it in our tests.

The  JTR Triple 12/Orbit Shifter were also part of the tests, but that's for another thread.




Evan
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Robert Patch

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Re: Mackie HD1531 vs. EV ZX5A
« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2011, 07:47:24 pm »

To my ears, at moderate volume levels I vastly preferred the ZXA5's crisp, clear open sound to the Mackie's.  At really loud volumes, the Mackie's really came into their own and seemed much more balanced and smooth.  The ZXA5's became painfully harsh.  
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Justin Stern

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Re: Mackie HD1531 & HD1801
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2011, 05:31:49 pm »

I want to know more about the K-10 and how it compared.  How did it sound a moderate volumes compared to the others>  What if you were o double up the K-10's.  Would two keep up with one Mackie or EV.
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Art Welter

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Re: Mackie HD1531 & HD1801
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2011, 06:18:30 pm »

Justin Stern wrote on Mon, 17 January 2011 15:31

I want to know more about the K-10 and how it compared.  How did it sound a moderate volumes compared to the others>  What if you were o double up the K-10's.  Would two keep up with one Mackie or EV.

At moderate volumes, the K10 sounds good.

A pair of K10 probably could (kind of) “keep up” to a 1531, but the ultra wide dispersion causes massive comb filtering if the cabinets are placed adjacent to each other.

If you need more level than a K10, a HD1531 or HD1521 is a much better choice.
I prefer the vertical pattern control of the Mackie, the K10, even tilted down, has too much HF bouncing off low ceilings.
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Mackie HD1531 vs. EV ZX5A
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2011, 01:47:09 pm »

What was the program material?
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Mike Pyle
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Bob Kenton

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Re: Mackie HD1531 vs. EV ZX5A
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2011, 11:25:53 pm »

Has anyone heard the HD1221 yet? Its suppose to have a Martin Audio horn and as the others, tuned by EAW.
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Robert Patch

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Re: Mackie HD1531 vs. EV ZX5A
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2011, 11:46:04 pm »

Mike Pyle wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 12:47

What was the program material?


Sting- Shape of my Heart
Steely Dan- West of Hollywood
Mad Caddies- Drinking for 11
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