Mackie 1642VLZ4 16-Channel Portable Mixer Review

Mackie is known for its superior quality sound equipment. They have been in the business for over 50 years, and it’s easy to see why they are so popular today. The Mackie 1642VLZ4 mixer is one of their most popular mixers, with a rugged build and versatile features that make it perfect for any DJ or live performer! This review will give you all the information you need to know about this great piece of gear.

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mackie 1642vlz4 16 channel portable mixer review

Our Mackie 1642VLZ4 Review

You want to make your live performances sound great, but you don’t have a lot of money. 

The Mackie 1642VLZ4 is an amazing analog mixer for live performance that will give you the quality and durability of professional mixers at a fraction of the price. Its rugged design stands up to years of abuse on stage or in the studio, while its 10 Onyx mic preamps deliver incredibly clean and clear sound with any microphone. And its easy-to-use four-bus design makes it simple to create submixes so you can spend less time mixing and more time enjoying beautiful music!

It’s perfect for solo artists, bands, worship leaders, DJs, or anyone else who wants high-quality audio without breaking their budget!

What Is the Mackie 1642VLZ4?

The Mackie 1642VLZ4 is a 16-channel, 4-bus compact mixer that works perfectly in a variety of applications. It is reliable and versatile and best of all, it delivers a crisp, clear sound that everyone will love. It is loaded with a total of 10 Mackie Onyx preamps and 16 high-headroom/low-noise line inputs so that your presentations and performances sound just as if a professional had done them.

And if you’re on a budget, the 1642VLZ4 mixer won’t be hard on your wallet, making it great for start-up studios and anyone else who has to watch what everything costs them. With eight mono channels and a 3-band equalizer (EQ), you even get a selectable midrange frequency in order to enhance signals and correct any problems you might be having with the sound being produced.

The stereo channels provide you with 4-band fixed EQ with high-/low-shelf EQs and high-mid/low-mid peak EQs. Each channel has four full-featured AUX sends per channel, which can be used to create separate headphone mixes or to add whole-mix compression when you couple them with stereo returns. This is truly a multifunctional mixer that you’ll get a lot out of whether you’re a beginner or more experienced in live productions.

And speaking of live productions, this is where the 1642VLZ4 mixer really shines. The rugged design and steel chassis, as well as a rack-mountable design, mean that load-ins and load-outs can be handled with ease and perfection every time. Thanks to the four buses, you can even create submixes of the drums and background vocals while allowing simple two-fader control of both of these elements.

If you’ve worried about road dirt and debris affecting your console, this will no longer be a problem, thanks to the sealed rotary controls that ensure that never happens. You can even utilize the stereo return channels to get the effects and dynamics that are perfect for creating a very polished mix.

Top Benefits of the Mackie 1642VLZ4

Above all else, the Mackie 1642VLZ4 mixer gives you studio-friendly features that you’ll soon learn you cannot live without. For instance, you can choose to listen to any of four different sources by using the console’s control room stereo outputs. You can use the four subgroup outputs (buses) and the four Y-cables to send signals to your multitrack, where you can then monitor the tracks on channels 5-12 on the console.

There are a total of 10 microphone input channels that give you phantom power in order to use condenser microphones, and the built-in low-cut filters on these channels do a great job of reducing low-frequency noise that the more sensitive condensers tend to pick up along the way.

The 1642VLZ4 mixer gives you a high degree of radio frequency (RF) rejection, which means it’s the perfect mixer to use for broadcasting applications. And while live performances really show off this mixer’s best attributes, you’ll love its performance when you’re in the studio as well.

Some of its most significant advantages include:

  • Ten total Onyx mic preamps with ultra-wide 60 dB gain range
  • Phantom power for your condenser mics
  • Four AUX sends, level, pan, and PFL solo on every channel
  • A 3-band EQ: 80Hz, 2.5kHz, and 12kHz
  • Long-wearing log-taper faders in a 60mm size

As with other Mackie products, this one is made tough and built to last, and it consists of features that are a necessity when it comes to a high-tech but reasonably priced mixer. It is a very lightweight mixer at a size of 19.88” x 21.26” x 9.37” and a weight of around 18 pounds.

Among some of the benefits of this compact mixer is the high-resolution 12-segment stereo meters and the rugged steel chassis with a powder-coat finish, both of which make the mixer both high-tech and sturdy enough to last for many years to come. And the controls are also unique because they are high-contrast and super-easy to see, which means you can enjoy convenient “at-a-glance” visual feedback at any time.

With the Mackie 1642VLZ4 compact mixer, you get high-tech results even if you’re a beginner, and the user-friendliness of the mixer means that even non-techies can feel like a pro in no time. You get a multi-voltage power supply in case you travel to other countries, and frequency responses of +0 / -1 dB: 20Hz to 50kHz for mic in to main out; and a gain at unity of +0 / -3 dB: <10Hz to >100kHz.

As far as maximum levels go, the numbers are equally impressive: -82 dBu both when the channel mute switch is engaged and when the channel gain knob is down. But of course, the numbers only quantify what the manufacturers already know – that this is a versatile, sturdy, and very impressive compact mixer.

Mackie 1642VLZ4 Review of the Pros and Cons

The Mackie 1642VLZ4 compact mixer has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon out of a possible 5 stars. A full 90% of the reviewers have given it either four or five stars, so that should tell you how popular and well-received it is. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of this mixer.


  • Distortion rate of only 0.0007% (20Hz to 20kHz)
  • Reasonably priced at around $750
  • Perfect for budget studios, houses of worship, and many others
  • High-contrast, high-visibility controls for convenience
  • Three-band EQ: 80Hz, 2.5kHz, and 12 kHz


  • Some claim that the main channels went out after just a few months
  • Some dislike that the knobs are plastic and have no grip on them
  • Some think that the overall sound is poor quality

Customer Reactions

  • “Don’t waste your time with other brands – get a Mackie from the start.”
  • “They are a great match with my Yamaha MSR100 powered speakers.”
  • “The mixer not only looks great but has incredible power as well.”
  • “Overall, I give this mixer a 4.99999 stars out of 5.”
  • “The sound is great without being cold and sterile like some other brands.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you route the audio inputs into separate audio outputs with this?

A: You can, but there are limitations. The mute buttons route the channel to a second output, which means you can have two bus groups. You can use the AUX send as another bus, but you can’t have each individual channel on its own output.

Q: Can you use 3 or more mics with this mixer?

A: Yes. There is a main mic out and two main outputs, two alternate outputs, and two control room outputs.

Q: Does this mixer have phantom power for an XLR microphone?

A: Yes, you simply use the switch next to the main switch.

Q: Is the mixer stand-alone or is a USB necessary?

A: It does not need a USB to operate.

Q: Can I use the mixer at 220 volts overseas?

A: Not unless you get an adapter or transformer first.

Conclusion – Mackie 1642VLZ4 Review

The Mackie 1642VLZ4 mixer is lightweight and compact, but its biggest features include those that make it super-easy to use, very reasonably priced, and high-tech enough to accommodate numerous applications. It is sturdy, well-built, and gives you a crisp, clear sound whether you’re in the studio or at a live performance. And at only $750, you can purchase it regardless of your budget, making this mixer a very smart device to buy.

Mackie 1642VLZ4 Review

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