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What is the Best Mixer for under $500?

Updated on July 27, 2013

I spend more Time Mixing than Recording!


I usually record a couple of songs a week in my Home Recording Studio : I work on a mixture (pun!) of new work I've just written that just gets put down as a demo, and older songs that I'm starting to record and arrange. Whether it is demo or new work, I mix everything. In fact I probably spend more time mixing, than I do recording.

When I create music, it's really important for me to feel comfortable and happy using the equipment. If I have to fight with the equipment, I lose my flow and sense of direction with the song.



I need a Mixer, where everything is easy to find and simple to use. I want consistent, reliable performance that allows me to get on with the job of mixing.

As part of my on going project to build a Home Recording Studio, I've done a lot of research into Mixers. Like a lot of people, I found all the 'techno-speak' and variety in terms of features and price confusing.

As a help to you all, I hope, I've arranged what I learned into a collection of customer reviews, and video demonstrations. I'm sure, like me, you're on a budget, so I've get the top price down to under $500 and split into three price ranges : under $100, under $250 and under $500.

In each price range, I've paid special attention to the most popular Powered and Unpowered Mixers. If you don't know whether you need an Unpowered or Powered Mixer, I've written a detailed breakdown of the technical and practical differences.

That's it folks, I hope it helps. Any comments, suggestions, expressions of love can be left in the comment box at the bottom of the lens :-)

Mixer Image by Interlude65

Top Mixers for under $500 - Popular Mixers that Caught my Eye

Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus 2X300W 7-Channel Powered Mixer with Digital Effects
Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus 2X300W 7-Channel Powered Mixer with Digital Effects

Here's a chunky monkey that comes complete with its own honking PA Amp. This little beast would be perfect for Church Fairs, indoor events and bands looking to bring their own sound system to smaller gigs.

 
BEHRINGER EURORACK UB2442FX-PRO
BEHRINGER EURORACK UB2442FX-PRO

Those cheeky chappies at Behringer are at it again with a whooping 24 tracks of 'Mix-fi-cation'. This super affordable multi, multi channel mixer comes loaded up with a buffer of FXs to boot. Opinions are most definitely split as to whether Behringer kit can really be any good for such low prices... but if you're in desperate need of 24 tracks of mixing goodness and don't have much money to spare - this little puppy will be hard to beat.

 

Powered Mixers Vs Unpowered Mixers : What's the Difference?

Mixers are normally used in one of two situations : live and studio. In a live set up, the Mixer is paired with speakers (PA) and an amp to power the speakers. In a studio set up, the mixer is once again paired with a set of monitor speakers and an amp to power those speakers. When understanding the difference between an Powered and Unpowered Mixer, the amp is the defining factor in both set ups.

The Amp can be one of three things :

1. A separate piece of kit housed in its own casing and free to be used with or without the PA and Mixer.

2. Built into the speakers themselves. This type of speaker is referred to as a Powered or Active speaker (Speakers without built in Amps are called Unpowered or Passive Speakers).

3. Built into the mixer itself. This final option is referred to as a Powered Mixer.

To sum up, a Mixer with a built in Amp is called a Powered Mixer. A Mixer without a built in Amp (and therefore in need of some form of external amplification - either by a separate amp or powered speakers) is called a Unpowered Mixer.

Mixers Quick Tips : Powered?

Powered Mixer = built in AmpUnpowered Mixer = no built in Amp

Powered Mixers Vs Unpowered Mixers : Which is Best?

Best depends very much on the situation in which you intend to use the Mixer :

Situation #1 : Live

For small venues (coffee houses / Cafés / Restaurants etc.) and band practises, a Powered Mixer provides a compact, portable, and quicker, easier set up solution. If the venue requires you to bring all of your own kit (including PA), a Powered Mixer at the very least cuts down on the amount of equipment you have to transport, carry and set up. It is also one less thing to go wrong. If the venue has a PA (as many do), then you only have to worry about hooking the Mixer to the PA (rather than the Mixer via an Amp) which is, once again, one less thing to go wrong. A Powered Mixer also saves you the cost of having to buy a separate amp.

'Ah, but what about using powered speakers?', I hear you cry. It is true that the use of powered speakers would also cut down on the amount of kit and cost of kit. However, what if the venue already has a PA and does not want you to use your own speakers? A Powered Mixer gives you more flexibility.

Unfortunately Powered Mixers are not ideal for every live situation. For larger venues an Unpowered Mixer becomes much more practical. For starters, with a large venue there is no guarantee your Powered Mixer will be able to power their PA system. You simply can't buy one huge, massive, animal of a Powered Mixer and use it in all situations large and small. There would be no room for an audience in some venues. Equally, it is not cost effective to buy a whole host of Powered Mixers for every possible venue size.

An Unpowered Mixer gives you the flexibilty of chopping and changing Amps to suit a particular situation. It also carries the bonus of not having to buy a new Mixer and Amp, should the Amp blow trying to power a dodgy PA. Combining equipment is a solid low budget tactic ; but once you start to play with the big boys toys, it stops making sense.

Situation #2 : Studio

The conventional and - pretty much - universal wisdom is that an Unpowered Mixer is the solution for all Recording Studios, regardless of size, type or budget. I think this has as much to do with the overwhelming preference for Powered / Active Monitor Speakers, as it does to the Mixer type itself.

As I understand it, Powered Speakers are preferred over Amps (either separate or part of a Powered Mixer) because they are unbiased. Amp bias refers to the 'coloring' of sound to achieve a particular audio tone. This tone or color is part of what defines the Amp for its users. Certain Amps may be referred to as 'warmer' than other Amps. Amp bias is no bad thing in most contexts, in fact it's a major selling point for the popular Amps : people buy an Amp for its iconic sound. However in a Studio mixing context, a clean unbiased sound is consider preferable. The sound engineer wants to hear 'what's really there', not what it sounds like on really cool Amp (not everyone listens to their music on really cool Amps). Obviously if you're using Powered Speakers, you do not need a Powered Mixer.

I think the only argument for using a Powered Mixer in a Studio, is when you're on a budget and require a Mixer for two purposes : Studio and small Live Venues. In this context it may simply not be possible for you to buy two Mixers. A single Mixer solution saves you money and, in fact, may allow you spend a little more (as you're not having to buy two Mixers) on the Powered Mixer.

Do You Use a Unpowered or Powered Mixer?

Which do you use, a Unpowered or Powered Mixer?

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Mixers Quick Tip : Live or Studio?

Powered Mixer = Small Live Venues / Band PracticeUnpowered Mixer = Larger Live Venues / Studio

Mixer Quick Tip : USB Vs Firewire

USB = Simple Studio Set UpFirewire = Pro Studio Set Up

Do You use a USB Mixer or Firewire Mixer?

Which type of Mixer do you prefer, USB or Firewire?

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Number One Powered Mixer for under $100 : Behringer Xenyx 802

Behringer Xenyx 802 : Customer Reviews


Let's take a look at the Number One Power Mixer for under $100 : Behringer Xenyx 802. A low cost Mixer boasting 'Neo-Classic British 3-Band EQs', that are designed to give a 'warm and musical sound'. Behringer add to this two Microphone Preamps, which they claim to be 'comparable to standalone Boutique Preamps'.

Behringer are a difficult company to 'get handle on'. Their products very much seem to be "love 'em of hate 'em" products : with one half of Customers praising them for incredible value and the other half cursing them for cheap, inreliable kit.

It's hard to know whether the first half of Customers are simply content with an average standard kit, or whether the second half of customers are just expecting far too much Pro Quality for Amateur Prices.

Whatever the case, once again Behringer have brought a product to the market with a lot of 'bells and whistles' for a very affordable price. Let's see how some actual customers of this product, rate the experience of using it.

*I like to read actual customer reviews. It is always useful to hear what people who have bought and used the Mixer have to say.

After reading through all the customer reviews on Amazon, I feel these quotes are the most representative of Customer Feedback. I hope they will help inform your decision.

Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Xenyx Mic Preamps and British EQs
Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Xenyx Mic Preamps and British EQs

Positive Reviews"The sound quality is very transparent, and you have to really jack up the gain to hear any background noise. Overall, this device creates the clean, even frequency response of solid state electronics but without the cold, brittle digitalian cast that plagues direct digital recording."...from 5 Star Review by Amazon Customer Squonk."I've been podcasting for 18 months and have always used a USB mic directly into my PC. ...This board was easy to hook up and simple to play around with."...from 5 Star Review by Amazon Customer Angela in Mpls.Negative Reviews"...the power supply connection is extremely fragile. When I inserted the connector into the unit, one of the pins bent over and contacted the plug shield, shorting the connection and blowing the power supply."...from 1 Star Review by Amazon Customer David Blanpied."The mic pre-amps suck - it doesn't take a lot for them to quickly get distorted. ...The 4 LED meter is pretty useless."...from 3 Star Review by Amazon Customer Ben Johnson.

 

Behringer Xenyx 802 : Video Demos

Behringer Xenyx 802 : Pros and Cons

Pros :Lots of input / output optionsPhantom PowerEasy set upCons :Substandard Power Supply ConnectorConstruction not durableLED Meter inpracticalPre Amp Tone recieves mixed reviewsConclusion :A lot of mixer for price, but questionable quality & durabilityGood cheap option for starter Home Studio, but not durable enough for live nor quality enough for experienced Sound Recordists.

Would You Buy a Behringer Xenyx 802?

Would you buy a Behringer Xenyx 802?

See results

Mixer Quick Tip : Compression

Makes the Quiet bits Louder+Makes the Loud Bits Quieter

Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $100 : Yamaha MG102C

Yamaha MG102C : Customer Reviews

Let's take a look at the Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $100 : Yamaha MG102C.

*After a fair fistful of Beringer Powered Mixers, we finally find our hightest rated Unpowered Mixer the Yamaha MG102C in at fourth position. Clearly in the under $100 price range, Powered Mixers are the more popular choice and Behringer rule the roost.

Yamaha enter the below $100 range with the affordable MG102C. A 10 Input / 2 Bus Mixer, which, for those of you unsure of your buses (silly things always come all at once) allows you to take 10 different Audio Sources and mix them down to a 2 Channel Stereo Output.

The MG102C appears to have been designed with ease of use of live recording in mind :

1. All the Inputs / Outputs are located on the top of the Mixer for easy access.

*Today I had to plug in a couple of Instrument Jacks at the rear of my Audio Interface. Not the most difficult of jobs, but I still managed to give my head one or two good wacks off the underside of the desk - plus, I'm really too old to be crawling around on my hands and knees anymore ;-)

2. It comes with 'single-knob compression', which, as the name suggests, allows you to alter to your level of compression with only one knob. This saves the time and fuss of usual compression controls, which would feature separate Level, Attack and Sustain controls.

*Though you could argue, in doing so, you've lost a lot of customization options.

3. The MG102C is Microphone Stand Mountable making it easier to set up in a wider variety of locations. I think this is a nice little addition.

Yamaha are more associated with higher end kit (and high powered motorbikes for the clinically insane), the question is, have they been successful in transferring their trademark high end quality to a much more affordable price range?

*I like to read actual customer reviews. It is always useful to hear what people who have bought and used the Mixer have to say.

After reading through all the customer reviews on Amazon, I feel these quotes are the most representative of Customer Feedback. I hope they will help inform your decision.

Yamaha MG102C : Video Demos

Yamaha MG102C : Pros and Cons

Pros :Ideal for liveLight weight smallQuality Phanton PowerEasy to useGood for Home StudiosCons :Master Level & Headphones no sep controllerQuestionable build qualityConclusion :Great low budget option for studio & live.User friendly interface ideal for beginners.More seasoned users may find it too limited and low quality.Fantastic 'Starter Mixer' at affordable price.

Would You Buy a Yamaha MG102C?

Would you buy a Yamaha MG102C?

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Live Mixers : Check List

Portable :Solid Build but...Light as PossibleQuick Set Up Time :Accessible Inputs / OutputsStraight Forward ControlsMix Entire Band :Lots of Mic / Instrument InputsLimit Need for Extra Kit :Built in Effects...EQCompressionReverbPower :Small Gigs = PoweredBig Gigs = Unpowered

Mixer Quick Tip : EQ

Like a Volume Control for Specific FrequenciesTypically :BassMid RangeTreble

Number One Powered Mixer for under $250 : Samson MDR1248

Samson MDR1248 : Customer Reviews


Let's take a look at the Number One Powered Mixer for under $250 : Samson MDR1248.

Designed for both studio and live mixing, the MDR1248 is an impressively understated looking Mixer with an air of pro-kit about it. The question is, is the pro-kit vibe only skin deep or does the MDR1248 provide pro quality to go with that look?

*The Samson website carries testimonials from an eyecatching array of heavy hitting Rock royality : from former Pink Floyd Frontman and fulltime Egomaniac Roger Waters to Wrought Iron Heavy Metal Guitar God Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.

The MDR1248 comes loaded with 4 Mic / Line Inputs plus 4 Stereo Line Inputs (Eight Mono). The Mic Inputs are supported by, what Samson claim to be, high quality preamps. In addition this, the MDR1248 provides 3 Band EQ for the Mic Inputs and 4 Band EQ for the Stereo Inputs. If that weren't enough, the MDR1248 also carries a 24 Bit Onboard Effects Processor with 256 Presets.

Samason seem to have designed the MDR1248 to be your 'all in one' Mixer + Post Production solution. The onboard Effects Processor is clearly intended to remove the need for off board / external Effects Processors.

This has a number of advantages, not least of which it saves you money. In terms of live work, it reduces the amount of kit to carry and set up. In terms of Studio work, it saves you space and keeps things simple (the more kit, the more chance of problems).

*I like to read actual customer reviews. It is always useful to hear what people who have bought and used the Mixer have to say.

After reading through all the customer reviews on Amazon, I feel these quotes are the most representative of Customer Feedback. I hope they will help inform your decision.

Samson MDR1248 : Video Demos

I'm beginning to think the Samson MDR1248 is one of those 'for those who know' pieces of equipment : ignored by the mainstream, but providing a surprisingly high level of quality.

I could only find one useful video demo and it's of the MDR1248 being used as part of a larger set up.

Samson MDR1248 : Pros and Cons

Pros :4 High Quality Mic Preamps3 Band EQ on Mic Channels4 Band EQ on Stereo Channels24 Bit Effects ProcessorChannel Solos + MutesCons :Limited Customer Reviews...and Video DemosConclusion :On the face of it, high quality Mixer for a reasonable price.Lack of feedback makes me a little nervous.Could be a great buy for low price home studios and small gigs alike.

Would You Buy a Samson MDR1248?

Would you buy a Samson MDR1248?

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Mixer Quick Tip : Reverb

*Takes the edge offAdds a 'distance'Helps to 'blend' the track inHeavy use sounds freaky!

Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $250 : Yamaha MG82CX

Yamaha MG82CX : Customer Reviews

Let's take a look at the Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $250 : Yamaha MG82CX.

*Yamaha make it two for two on the Unpowered Mixer side of things with their second, Number One Unpowered Mixer of the lens.

Strangely, on the face of it, whereas Yamaha's first offering of the lens the Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $100 : Yamaha MG102C comes equipped with 10 inputs, Yamaha's second offering of the Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $250 : Yamaha MG82CX comes with only 8 inputs. After extensive calculations on my abacus, I've worked that out to be, two less inputs. The question is, therefore, obvious, why is Yamaha charging us more for less?

A closer look at the MG82CX features leaves us none the wiser. As is the case with its cheaper sibling, the MG82CX comes with Phantom Power and Yamaha's Patented Single Knob Compression* on the Microphone Channels.

*See the Review above of the Yamaha MG102C for a more detailed description of Single Knob Compression.

The MG82CX Stereo Inputs do take both RCA (phono) ¼" (Jack) cables, which wasn't mentioned as a feature for the MG102C. A handy thing to have no doubt, but adapters are not expensive and this is hardly worth the extra expense.

The MG82CX shares the same design qualities of its cheaper sibling in terms of weight, size and set up ease, making both Yamaha Mixers ideal for live use. Both Mixers have clearly been designed with the live situation in mind. But whereas the cheaper MG102C carries only two channel Single Knob Compression, the more expensive MG82CX brings more to the table. It is in this regard that we can finally see a marked difference between the two products :

The MG82CX comes equipped with sixteen 'award winning' SPX digital effects. These include useful everyday tools such as Reverb, Delay and Echo, each of which is customizable to fit your individual needs. The inclusion of more extensive Onboard Effects is clearly intended to reduce the need for additional equipment and all the transport, carrying and set time associated with it.

The only question that remains is, are these extra bells and whistles worth the extra cost?

*I like to read actual customer reviews. It is always useful to hear what people who have bought and used the Mixer have to say.

After reading through all the customer reviews on Amazon, I feel these quotes are the most representative of Customer Feedback. I hope they will help inform your decision.

Yamaha MG82CX : Video Demos

Once again, Mixer demos are proving hard to find. I've put together the best collection I could find : an official Yamaha Video, a couple of text based demos, one in French and a recording of a Yamaha Keyboard (where the signal is being routed through an mg82CX Mixer).

The phrase 'better than nothing' springs to mind ;-)

Yamaha MG82CX : Customer Pros and Cons

Pros :Quality Mic Preamps'Single Knob Compression' on Mic ChannelsRCA & ¼" Stereo InputsSPX Digital EffectsCompact & Light WeightCons :No Monitor MixNo Channel MuteQuestionable 'Open Box' PolicyConclusion :Solid Product from Yamaha.Onboard Effects ideal for both Live and Studio work.No Channel Mute or Monitor Mix could be frustrating.

Would You Buy a Yamaha MG82CX?

Would you buy a Yamaha MG82CX?

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Studio Mixers : Check List

Compatibility :Works with...DAWAudio InterfaceOther Extra DevicesConnectability :Simple Studio = USBPro Studio = FirewireFlexible Workflow Control :Lots of Busses / OutputsOff Board Effects :Multi Send / Return Loops

Mixer Quick Tip : Effects Loop

Sends Audio to an Off Board Effects Processor

Number One Powered Mixer for under $500 : Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus

Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus : Customer Reviews

Let's take a look at the Number One Powered Mixer for under $500 : Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus.

The conventional wisdom is that Powered Mixers are best for small venues (100 - 200 people). The Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus is clearly designed to challenge that wisdom. It comes loaded with a 300W + 300W Dual Power Amplifier, which should be enough to power two Passive PA Speakers to serve an indoor venue of 300 - 400 people. This makes the Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus a pretty serious and mean piece of kit.

In addition to its chunky monkey Amps, the Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus comes with seven Mic inputs and ten line inputs. The Microphone Inputs have, as you'd well expect in this price range, +48 Phanton Power and Rumble Filters*.

*Rumble Filters cut out the low frequencies, creating a brighter, cleaner Mic signal.

You have Monitor and effects sends on each of the Input Channels. The second of which making it easy to use your choice of Offboard effects to process individual Channels as you see fit. The Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus also comes with its own onboard effects, in the guise of a 32 / 40 Bit Digital Effects Processor : loaded with 16 customizable programs.

*Two the of the Mixer's Inputs are Super Hi-Z. This is not regular Hi-Z with its underwear on the outside, but a type of Hi-Z designed for Electro-Acoustic Guitar Pick Ups. The Impedance levels of Electric Guitar Pick Ups and Acoustic Guitar Pick Ups are different : regular Hi-Z is designed for direct in Electric Guitars. Super Hi-Z is designed for direct in Electro-Acoustic Guitars.

It's worth noting that if your Electro-Acoustic Guitar has a built in Preamp, you shouldn't need Super Hi-Z. I have an Electro-Acoustic with a built in Preamp. I don't use regular Hi-Z with it. I prefer the sound of good old fashioned line in.

The Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus also comes with 3-Band EQ on each channel and a Dual 7-Band EQ for the main Left and Right out. The left and Right Speaker Outs can be found at the rear of the device. All the Inputs are located conveniently on the front of the device.

There's no doubt that the Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus is a chunky monkey piece of kit. The question is, is it a Powered Mixer or a Dual 300W + 300W Amp with a Mixer bundled in?

*I like to read actual customer reviews. It is always useful to hear what people who have bought and used the Mixer have to say.

After reading through all the customer reviews on Amazon, I feel these quotes are the most representative of Customer Feedback. I hope they will help inform your decision.

Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus 2X300W 7-Channel Powered Mixer with Digital Effects
Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus 2X300W 7-Channel Powered Mixer with Digital Effects

Positive Reviews"I used the system for a special event... ...Featuring both outside and inside use of the Phonic system... ...live interviews of luminaries and celebrities, and, most of all, making announcements and playing music continuously, the Phonic 780 rocked the house in every respect."...from 5 Star Review by Amazon Customer Dennis J. O'Boyle.No Negative Reviews*There was only one review.

 

Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus : Video Demos

Once again the world of Mixers refuses to be represented well on youtube ;-) Here we have the best I could find : the first video is a Unpacking and Set Up of the Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus as a PA System. This may well be very useful to many of you. The second video is a Promo from Phonic themselves and may well be useless to many you, but I threw it in there anyway.

Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus : Pros and Cons

Pros :300W + 300W AmpPhantom Power + Rumble FilterEffects SendsOnboard Effects tooSuper Hi-ZEasy Access Inputs3 Band Channel EQ7 Band Output EQCons :Nothing Extra Special for Price**On the Mixer sideConclusion :Great for mid sized venues.Solid Kit - everything you need built in.Just add Passive Speakers :-)Not for Studio Use (very silly).

Would You Buy a Phonic Powerpod 780?

Would you buy a Phonic Powerpod 780?

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Mixer Quick Tip : Buses

Determines Output workflow flexibility2 Buses = Straight to Stereo Out6 Buses = 2x Premix Groups* then Stereo Out*Groups allow for quick Mixing of similar tracks - i.e. Drums

Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $500 : Yamaha MG166CX

Yamaha MG166CX : Customer Reviews


Let's take a look at the Number One Unpowered Mixer for under $500 : Yamaha MG166CX.

Yamaha are back again for the third and final time on our lens, and it's a clean sweep : every Number One Unpowered Mixer has been Yamaha. This time we focus our attention on the impressive looking MG166CX.

The MG166CX comes with 16 Input Channels, which breaks down into 10 Microphone Channels and 4 Stereo Line Inputs. Each of the Channels is equipped with 3-Band EQ, with the addition of a Sweepable Mid-range Band* on each of the Mic Channels.

*A Sweepable Mid-range Band means that you can position the frequency, where the EQ does its work. This give you a greater level of customization and control, versus the more basic Fixed EQ.

As you'd expect, each of the Microphone Channels comes with +48V Phantom Power. They also have a 80Hz High Pass Filter*, and are able to take both ¼" or XLR connections.

*A High Pass Filter is used to remove the top most frequencies from an Audio Signal. Typically these frequencies do not form part of your 'intended recording'. The High Pass Filter removes any unwanted 'hiss' etc. from the input signal.

The MG166CX comes with both Onboard Effects in the form of a wide range of Yamaha's SPX digital effects, and Effect Sends for easy use of Offboard Effects. On the face it, I say the Onboard Effects are more than enough for Live Work. I think they'd also provide you with a solid foundation of Studio based effects. This would give you time to save up and buy some seriously high quality Offboard Effects, rather than feeling rushed into buying kit that was below standard.

The MG166CX is equipped with 6 busses. These allow for a Stereo Ouput and 4 groups : as I've already mentioned previously, a Mixer Group allows you to work on a number of Input Channels together as one, before sending them to the Stereo Output. This is very useful for Input Channels with similar characteristics i.e. - Vocals or Drums. Rather than have to appeal the same level of Reverb etc. to each individual Drum Channel, a Group allows you to add the reverb to all of them in one go.

This is an advantage when mixing in a hurry (for example, live). It also helps to simplify and control large numbers of tracks, without them getting away from you.

As is the case with the entire Yamaha MG(CX) Range, the MG166CX is designed to be as light weight and portable as possible, making it ideal for live recording. It would though, in my opinion, be equally useful as a Studio Mixer. The question is, do the Customer Reviews agree with me?

*I like to read actual customer reviews. It is always useful to hear what people who have bought and used the Mixer have to say.

After reading through all the customer reviews on Amazon, I feel these quotes are the most representative of Customer Feedback. I hope they will help inform your decision.

Yamaha MG166CX : Video Demos

Not so bad this time, three actual Reviews of the MG166CX! The final video is a demo of it, using it as part of a set up to record Drums on Cubase.

Yamaha MG166CX : Pros and Cons

Pros :10 Mic ChannelsHigh Pass Filter on Mic ChannelsSingle Knob Compression on 6 ChannelsSweepable Midrange EQ on Mic ChannelsPhantom PowerOnboard SPX EffectsEffects Sends6 Busses : Stereo + 4 groupsLight Weight & CompactCons :Eh...Conclusion :Stonking high quality Mixer. Perfect for live or Studio work. Great Onboard effects. fantastic workflow options. Top notch!

Would You Buy a Yamaha MG166CX?

Would you buy a Yamaha MG166CX?

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What is the Best Mixer for under $500 : Conclusion

For Studio work, I have no doubt : the Yamaha MG166CX is the best option.For live work, it depends on your needs : once again the Unpowered Yamaha MG166CX will work very well (if you use the Amp + PA of others and / or take different Amps + Speakers to different gigs).If, though, you're looking to build your own PA set up & know your max venue will be +/-400 people, the Powered Phonic Powerpod 780 Plus is a fantastic option.

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    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Excellent lens on a topic that is rarely found here. Amazed of the selection and details of the mixers you suggest. Well done indeed:=)

    • tobydavis profile image
      Author

      tobydavis 4 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Thank you so much for the kind words :-)

    • tobydavis profile image
      Author

      tobydavis 4 years ago

      @LynetteBell: Ooo! I just bought a mini Food Mixer - it's excellent!

    • tobydavis profile image
      Author

      tobydavis 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Thank you for taking the time to comment!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Great review! I think these are quality products :)

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thanks for all all the information...I got a surprise when I first arrived - I thought I was going to read about food mixers! Lol!! The intro picture should have been a give away, don't you think?

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      Another excellent review - nice niche you have here on squidoo :)

    • vegan3k profile image

      vegan3k 5 years ago

      NIce Lens

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      These all have good qualities. We're looking at these, but I'm not sure which way we're headed yet. Thanks for the info.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      Great lens on mixers!

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      It looks very helpful. Thank you very much!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      So much useful info. Great job!

    • tobydavis profile image
      Author

      tobydavis 5 years ago

      @jdwheeler: Thank you so much for comment. I agree. I also feel the reverse is true... the most important part of any set up - DJ, Recording Studio, whatever - the most important part is the human element.

      A person can have the best kit in the world, but if they don't know how to use it..... so important for all of us to learn our crafts.

      Thanks again for the comment - have great end to the week!

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 5 years ago

      A DJ is only as good as his/her equipment...