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Review - Mackie Performer Bundle And Thump GO 8" Portable Battery Powered Loudspeaker

Meet the perfect mixer, mic, and speaker for vocalists or solo artists looking to improve their sound quality and perform live.
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We have been big fans of Mackie ever since we bought a set of their original powered monitors back in the late nineties. Since then, the brand has come a long way, and we have recently become reacquainted with them and some of their offerings. Sorry, Mackie, we never meant to drift away; you've always been in our hearts!

We recently received a couple of items from our lost love, and we are super impressed. If you are a DJ/producer/performer looking for a great way to enhance your live or recorded performance, the Performer Bundle and Thump Go 8" (we would recommend a pair of them) are the perfect tools to do the job.

Mackie Performer Bundle ($299 MSRP)

So let's start with the Performer Bundle, which consists of a pair of EM-89D Dynamic mics with XLR cables and carrying pouches, a ProFX6v3 six-channel mixer with effects and USB connection, and a pair of MC-100 Headphones. You also get a free software bundle to get you recording right to your laptop (listed below).

Who is this for?

This bundle primarily targets the entry-level to intermediate producers, musicians, and vocalists looking to record their tunes more professionally or enhance their live performances (or both). What's great is that you are getting two products in one, a mixer and an audio interface. So if you like to play live and also want to use this unit in your home studio with your DAW, you are good to go.

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Using It As a Mixer

This setup comes with everything you need out of the box to start performing, so it's tough to beat for the price. We love that you also get 24 effects via the onboard processor, which lets you tweak your sound on the fly. The effects are especially significant for vocalists trying to dial in a space or drop some cool effects while performing. Think reverbs, echos, choruses, delays, and all that kind of thing to make your voice or instruments really pop - only available on channels 1 and 2 or Main out. If you are doing smaller gigs and have a set of powered speakers, the input options give you a lot of flexibility for your performance. For example, if you wanted to bring in a guitar, a synth, and a vocalist with a backing track on your iPad - you could do it easily, and it would sound great.

Using it As An Audio Interface

The bundle comes with software and plugins to get you started recording into your computer (see list below in specs), or you can use it with any existing DAW like Logic or Ableton. The unit connects via USB and lets you route devices directly into your software to start recording, and you can run your speakers out via the XLR or TRS outputs. So if you have a small studio at home, this works perfectly and gives some decent input options. If you are trying to max out your budget, it's easy enough to use this unit as something to perform with at gigs if you don't mind the hassle of constantly disconnecting it from your studio.

Inputs:

You get two hybrid XLR/TRS Mic/Line inputs with ultra-low noise Onyx™ mic preamps on channels 1 and 2. These also have gains per channel to dial in mic volume, a HI-Z capability for guitars, a Low Cut (100hz) button, Hi / Low EQ knobs, and FX buttons to activate or deactivate the FX processer by channel. There is also a Stereo Pan button nested between the level knobs to let you pan channel 1 to the left and channel 2 to the right.

Channels three and four can be used as a mono line input via channel three only or as a stereo input using 3 and 4 together. These inputs are for things like synths, drum machines, etc. The level knob is kind of oddly placed and sits just below the 5/6 input. You can also route your USB input into channels three and four by pushing to switch just under the level knob.

Channel 5/6 is a 3.5 jack for running audio off a tablet, iPod, media player, or iPhone/Android. So if you want to route in a backing track or any sound source from a portable device, this allows you to do it quickly. The level knob is positioned just under 3/4.

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The EM-89D Mics with the Performer Bundle are solid and acceptable for small performances or recording sessions. Considering that they are a lower-end $50 microphone, we were impressed with the overall sound they delivered.

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The MC-100 headphones are comfortable and good enough to monitor your live and recording sessions on the mixer, but we probably wouldn't use them in the studio.

Summary - If you are starting out as a performer and don't have a huge budget, this kit is hard, if not impossible, to beat. It works as a live performance mixer for small shows and as an audio interface for your home studio, which is a fantastic value and lets you put your remaining budget towards other things like software or instruments. The onboard FX processor and various inputs allow you to grow with the mixer and push the creativity of your performance.

Specs.

ProFX6v3 – 6-Channel Professional Effects Mixer with USB

  • 2 Renowned Onyx Mic Preamps
  • High-Resolution GigFX™ Effects Engine with 24 effects
  • 24-Bit / 192kHz 2x4 USB Recording Interface

EM-89D Dynamic Vocal Microphone

  • Professional sound quality and rugged construction
  • Excels both onstage performance and studio recording
  • Great for vocals and instruments
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Included accessories
    • Mic clip
    • XLR cable
    • Zipper pouch

MC-100 Professional Headphones

  • High-performance drivers ensure clear, accurate sound
  • Comfortable ear pads and headband for hours of use
  • Includes 1/4" adapter

Included Software

  • Pro Tools® | First and Waveform™ OEM professional software and plugin packages included
  • The Musician Collection for ProTools | First includes 23 plugins like BBD Delay, Eleven Lite, 304E EQ, and 304C Compressor
  • The DAW Essentials™ Bundle for Waveform OEM includes 16 powerful plugins like Equaliser, Compressor, Reverber8, and Limiter
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Mackie Thump GO 8" Portable Battery-Powered Loudspeaker (MSRP $399)

If you are going to be a performer, you will need some speakers! The Mackie Thump GO 8" delivers a surprisingly big sound for a compact unit. The other big plus about this speaker is that it is battery-powered, so you can take it just about anywhere and not worry about finding a power source. If you had a unit like the Denon DJ Prime  Go, you could play entirely on battery power, which brings a lot of cool possibilities to the table.

Who is this for? 

With a price tag of around $399, this unit targets a more professional or serious prosumer audience. Chances are most users would want a pair of these, especially DJs, so you are looking at roughly a grand all-in for the set. If you are a musician, public speaker, poet, or just do some occasional busking for extra cash, the Thump Go 8" could be precisely what you are looking for in a speaker. The unit gets loud enough to cut through a coffee shop or smaller venue and brings impressive overall sound.

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Functionality / Inputs

The speaker is light enough to carry in one hand easily and weighs roughly 18 pounds. This portability factor is a massive plus for musicians on the go and makes things a little easier when going to and from gigs. The Thump 8" Go can be used in two configurations, either on its side or verticle on the ground or mounted on a speaker stand via a built-in pole mount. The 8″ woofer and 1″ compression driver give this little guy significant volume for its small footprint.

The speaker is relatively easy to use and allows you to utilize BlueTooth for your sound source or its onboard two-channel mixer with XLR/TRS Combi inputs. Channel 1 has a Line/Mic button, and there is also a stereo line-in function on channel 2 if you want to connect your phone or iPod.

The EQs are simplified into four voicing modes to make things a little easier; these include Voice, Music, Mono, and Sub. They also have a ducking function button that will drop the music volume when a mic is being used and a Feedback Elimination button to prevent squelching if your mic gets too close to the speaker.

The speaker's mixer controls can also be controlled via the Thump Connect 2 App, which works quite well and is quickly set up. There is even an Outdoor Mode button that gives the speaker some extra punch when you are performing outside. If you want to take your wireless game up a notch, you can link another Thump 8" Go via Bluetooth to get a stereo set up (which we would recommend). There is also a pass-through output allowing you to wire them together. 

Last but not least, you can use the speaker for up to 12 hours on battery power, and the battery is also swappable; you just need to buy an extra one. If you are not keen on using up your battery power, you can of course plug them into an outlet.

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Summary: This is the best speaker that we have ever tested in its class. The size for sound output ratio is nuts, the features are great, and it's easy to port around for gigs. If you are doing smaller performances in any capacity and need quality amplified sound, a pair of these will do the trick.

Features

  • Ultra-efficient 200W Class-D amplifier
  • 8" Custom high-output woofer
  • 1" Compression driver
  • Removable lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Tri-color battery life indicator
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life
  • Bluetooth connectivity for music streaming
  • Wireless control via the Thump Connect 2 app
  • Link to a second Thump GO via Bluetooth for music playback and control
  • 2-channel digital mixer with XLR mix output
  • Feedback Eliminator prevents nasty squeals and unwanted rumble
  • 4 application-specific speaker modes
  • Music Ducking mode automatically lowers Ch.2 level when Ch.1 receives signal
  • Indoor/Outdoor voicing modes
  • Precision digital crossover and driver alignment
  • Smart input and thermal limiters
  • Durable, lightweight molded enclosure
  • 45-degree monitor angle
  • Built-in pole mount
  • Rugged powder coated steel grille

Specifications

Acoustic Performance

  • Frequency Response (-10dB): 50Hz–20kHz
  • Frequency Response (-3dB): 57Hz–20kHz
  • Horizontal Coverage: 90°
  • Vertical Coverage: 60°
  • Maximum SPL Peak: 115dB
  • Monitor Angle: 45°

Transducers

  • Low Frequency: 8"/203 mm with ferrite
  • High Frequency: 1"/25 mm polymer compression driver

Power Amplifiers

  • System Power Amplification
  • Rated Power: 200W peak

Low Frequency Power Amplifier

  • Rated Power: 175W peak
  • Rated THD: <1%
  • Cooling: Convection
  • Design: Class D

High Frequency Power Amplifier

  • Rated Power 25W peak
  • Rated THD: <1%
  • Cooling: Convection
  • Design: Class D

System Processing

  • Voicing: Four speaker modes

Input / Output

  • Input Type: 2x female XLR & 1/4" balanced TRS
  • Mic-Line Impedance: 20 kohm balanced
  • 1/4" TRS / XLR Impedance: 20 kohm balanced
  • Output Type: Male XLR balanced (thru)
  • Thru Impedance: 150 ohm balanced

Bluetooth Information

  • Bluetooth Protocol: 5.0
  • Bluetooth Function: Audio streaming and user interface control

Electronic Crossover

  • Crossover Type: 24dB
  • Crossover Frequency: 2.2kHz

Line Input Power

  • Detachable line cord: 100–240 VAC, 50–60Hz, 75W
  • AC Connector: 3-Pin IEC 250 VAC, 10 A male
  • Power Supply Type: Switchmode

Safety Features

  • Input Protection: Peak and RMS limiting, power supply and amplifier thermal protection
  • Display LEDs: Voicing Mode, Outdoor Mode, Music Ducking, Feedback Eliminator, Front LED, Bluetooth Status, Link Status, Overload, Battery Level

Battery Information

  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
  • Charge Time: 3 hours (no signal), 4 hours (with signal)

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