Mackie C200 - under the hood - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 79 Old 06-08-2014, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently picked up nine C200 Mackies for a song on an overstock deal from adorama.com at $129 shipped each. These are the passive version of the SRM350.

http://www.mackie.com/products/c200/

Here is the spec sheet:
http://www.mackie.com/products/c200/pdf/C200_SS.pdf

I REALLY like them for all channel stereo. I think it's true that matching speakers in all channel stereo makes that mode sound best! But for two channel stereo they lack the finesse my JTR 228HT have. I didn't expect them to blow me away, and when I stumbled on the deal I just planned on picking up six of them for surrounds -- however after tossing around the idea I figured why not buy three more and resell the three after giving them a whirl in a full 9 speaker setup. I'll admit they are better than I expected --- given the price at least for sure. I really enjoy them for movies - unbelievable value for that purpose. Anyway, while quite fun to listen to - they are not quite there for stereo music listening - so I asked a couple DIY guys through PM if they figured I could upgrade the horn's compression driver to get a bit better sound - (seeing as how the JTR 228HT's compression driver costs about $250 alone - (double what these entire speakers cost me) I know there are better compression drivers out there. They said they couldn't tell me anything without knowing what kind of crossover and drivers were in them to start with. Whether the system could be tweaked - or whether you'd have to virtually start all over. This thing has more screws holding it together than you'd expect. It's built solid and was a pain to take apart (the manual calls it virtually indestructible).

I don't really want to take it further apart than I already have because I want it to work when I put it back together - especially if the consensus is there's no easy upgrade like simply swapping out the compression driver for a BMS compression driver or DNA-360 driver. I've never designed speakers - so I'm not savvy in this arena. Curious for other's perspectives. Thanks --- here are the pictures:
























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post #2 of 79 Old 06-08-2014, 10:20 PM
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I love the denovo 205 . its pretty cheap. I don't know anything about crossovers but good luck smile.gif
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post #3 of 79 Old 06-08-2014, 10:43 PM
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CD sort of looks like a Celestion, possibly similar to their 1445. If so that is a nice driver, comparable to the DNA-205 or B&C DE10. I can't really tell from the photo is the CD magnet neodymium (silver between the back cover and waveguide mount) or is it ferrite (black between the two)?

No dampening material in the cabinet? I bet throwing some in there would clean up the midrange though you might loose a little bass output depending upon how much you add.

Can't really see much as far as the crossover goes except that it uses at least three resistors, three capacitor (look to be all poly caps which is nice), two inductors and a polyswitch. You should try and get a shot of the backside of the PCB so we can figure out how they are wired up.
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post #4 of 79 Old 06-09-2014, 03:05 AM
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curious how these would sound vs the V8/10s for surround duty as they are in the same price range.
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post #5 of 79 Old 06-09-2014, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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As you wish...









I think the PCB might be dual sided - so I'm not sure you'll see all the traces you'd like to see? Let me know if that's good enough or you'd like a different shot or perspective. I've not yet assembled it again - so I can get more shots if helpful.
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post #6 of 79 Old 06-09-2014, 08:59 AM
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The xo for my td12m/DNA 360 is 1200. Maybe we could drop the xo in there for fun and see if it sweetens up the highs and takes some of the harshness out. I have the ported v8, and the srm450. The srm450 gets louder and has much deeper bass, but the v8 has a better overall sound and gets as loud as I would ever need, which is pretty dang loud. We're also talking 8" vs 12" drivers though, so not an even comparison really
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post #7 of 79 Old 06-10-2014, 01:45 PM
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Those look like a steal for $129 eek.gif

How would they fair outside but covered ? I could throw a pair at my pool area under a roof (without walls). Bad idea?

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post #8 of 79 Old 06-10-2014, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Those look like a steal for $129 eek.gif

How would they fair outside but covered ? I could throw a pair at my pool area under a roof (without walls). Bad idea?

Fine idea ... how would you drive them?

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post #9 of 79 Old 06-10-2014, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Fine idea ... how would you drive them?

With an amp. biggrin.gif


.



.




.





.




Sorry I could not help myself tongue.gif

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post #10 of 79 Old 06-10-2014, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

With an amp. biggrin.gif

eek.gif ... there was a reason I asked about your plans, but no need to de-rail this thread, so no biggie

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post #11 of 79 Old 06-10-2014, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

eek.gif ... there was a reason I asked about your plans, but no need to de-rail this thread, so no biggie

My bad. I meant it as a joke... lol. I guess it was a bad attempt on my part.

Why did you ask?


I have more than a few old AVR laying around (or amps).

Probably this one laying around collecting dust:






It's a very old Yamaha first generation Dolby Digital amp, it's so old it's pre DTS (the original DTS). It's decent as a stereo or 2.1 AVR. I have an HK or Onkyo I could use too.. or a couple pro audio amps (but they require XLR inputs).

It's ok to laugh at my messy garage wink.gif

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post #12 of 79 Old 06-10-2014, 08:43 PM
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Looks like a nice little speaker. I agree with mtg that the CD looks like the nicest thing in there and I wouldn't switch it. The woofer looks like the weak sauce here. Switching it however isn't so simple. I mean, you could try. But not worth it IMO. You'd pay $80 for anything worth while and then you're into it for more than its worth.
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post #13 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 09:45 AM
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Could you even build a DIY speaker that's as good as these for their price ?

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post #14 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 09:57 AM
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Well, archaea got them on sale, so if we compared the sale price, suppose we used buyout drivers on sale. Like the cheap thrills. $50 woofer, $80 CD, $30 WG, use electrolytic and crappy XO parts, $50 for wood and paint and you're more than these on sale at around $250 but you're also way better speaker. There have been buyout DIY speakers that get you the 10" format for in the $150 range, but generally this is dirt cheap.

If you're talking about $200 each, then you could go with a $80 woofer, $50 CD (DNA205 or something), SEOS10 for $25, wood and XO'ers and you'd be pretty close to $200 and I'd suggest it would be a better product. But that's really pushing it. And you have to do all the work. The benefit of DIY is the quality of the design. You can optomize for the application. These Mackie's are most certainly optomized for high SPL and power handling. This would impede on their fidelity without a doubt. But for that price, I doubt archaea is complaining
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post #15 of 79 Old 06-26-2014, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post
Looks like a nice little speaker. I agree with mtg that the CD looks like the nicest thing in there and I wouldn't switch it. The woofer looks like the weak sauce here. Switching it however isn't so simple. I mean, you could try. But not worth it IMO. You'd pay $80 for anything worth while and then you're into it for more than its worth.
Tuxedocivic,

Can you elaborate a bit more on why you say the woofer is weak? Since the crossover is at 1800hz that would mean that all vocals, bass, midbass, and most of the speaker would be weak, but in my use I feel like the vocals are really pretty good on these. For movie use dialogue is quite intelligible! If I were to say what I thought the weakest link on these was - I'd probably say the treble lacks detail can get a bit muddy in busy tracks. (treble lacks detail is vague I understand) but compared to the 228HT's or 212HT's super clear treble that'd be my quickest point of contention. The woofer looks small compared to my hand, but I have pretty meaty hands (my uncle calls them ogre paws), and the 10" woofer to my untrained eye, looked pretty hefty. I probably should have put a Soda can or something next to them to give a size reference. I'm a 260 lb large framed guy - so the hand reference may be a bit off.

Following your note: if I bought something like this Dayton 10" Reference woofer - would it be a notable improvment do you think?
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--295-357

It makes me wonder however - if even that would be an upgrade because the powerhandling peak on the Mackie C200 is listed at 500 watt peak or 350 watt music use, and that Dayton driver is only rated for 160 watt peak. If not the Dayton driver - what driver would you recommend if I want to give a shot to swapping out the 10" driver? Also the sensitivy might have to be pretty high on the 10" driver chosen, because the sensitivity on the C200 is 96dB, which seems really accurate compared to the 98dB sensitivity of my JTR 228HT when compared with omnimic.

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post #16 of 79 Old 06-26-2014, 05:29 PM
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Hi Archaea,

A few things.

1. You would know better than me. I'm just looking at it from a spec sheet and some photos. Bench racing as they say. The woofer doesn't look like anything special. Nothing to do with size. Stamped frame, simple surround and paper cone, basic magnet,,, The CD looks like a proper device, and as MTG90 pointed out, looks like a nice celestion.

2. The anechoic frequency response is likely quite irregular. Compression drivers take a lot of work to smooth out. Mackie likely skipped that step to keeps costs low and SPL high. This could cause lack of detail and muddyness. I'd be looking under this rock if I were you. But wouldn't expect anything to strange. EQ can fix that too.

3. Treble problems could be the horn. I see one photo of it close up, but seems pretty smooth so possibly not this. My bets are still on the woofer, see below.

4. Treble problems most definately can be a woofer problem. You say lacks detail and has muddyness. I immediately think of woofer break up. The break up on that woofer probably starts at 2khz. And, as I mentioned before, this speaker uses a high cross over and iirc a simple 6db/oct filter on the woofer. You're surely listening to a ton of woofer break up. On the other hand your JTR speakers use a proper cross over and cross quite low. You're surely not hearing a hint of break up on those speakers. And break up will be perceived as a treble problem.


--- The problem with swapping components is the XO. Everything changes once you do that. You'd be much better off using what you have there and doing a hifi XO. There's nothing about that woofer that tells me it's bad. Sure it's weak compared to the CD. But the woofer is the problem BECAUSE the XO doesn't deal with it the way HT speaker designers like JTR would. Mackie is interested in power handling and SPL. So they've traded fidelity to achieve that. Nothing unsual or wrong about that, it's a $200 PA speaker after all.

My suggestion: You're using them and liking them. They're an insane bargain. Maintain the warranty and keep doing what you're doing. If they aren't meeting your fidelity standards, sell them or develop a new XO for them.
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post #17 of 79 Old 07-31-2014, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Did anyone else end up picking some of these up and what were your thoughts on them?

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post #18 of 79 Old 07-31-2014, 06:30 PM
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I never saw a deal on them like what was being posted. For the price he paid, that's a steal!

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post #19 of 79 Old 07-31-2014, 07:12 PM
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I wouldn't buy any Mackie Equipment. The QC has gone down hill since loud technologies bought them out. They use to be made in Italy but now it's all China.
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post #20 of 79 Old 07-31-2014, 07:33 PM
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everything is made in china these days... lol

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post #21 of 79 Old 07-31-2014, 07:40 PM
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The QC has gone down hill since loud technologies bought them out. They use to be made in Italy but now it's [IMG]http://*******/prvoPz[/IMG]all China.
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post #22 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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FWIW,

I realized that I originally had a speakon wired backwards for my l/r mackie c200. That explains while all channel stereo was great but stereo was a bit off.
Now, wired correctly in stereo they sound great - my pitiful mistake.
Stitch1, who was over this weekend and did some A/B testing says he thinks they are quite nearly as good as my JTR 228HT. We are going to do some blind testing this Friday to compare the two. Hopefully there will be several guys there to draw in comparisons.

Regardless of how that turns out - these are a ridiculous value. Stitch1 and I played Book of Eli gun fights at reference level back and forth several times on both 228HT and Mackie C200, and the difference was pretty negligible on dynamics. There was no audible breakup on the Mackie C200 at true reference levels as measured with an omnimic. One point of note. At those volumes the Mackie consistently peaked 1.5dB less than the JTR 228HT. That could be explained that my Sherbourn 7-350 amp puts out 550 watts at 4 ohm (JTR 228HT are four ohm) and only 350 watts at 8 ohm (Mackie C200 are 8ohm) so it's possible this was an amp limitation, but it was consistently measured on the omnimic - even though not audible. For instance the max value on the omnimic after Book of Eli gun fight scene was 107.7 at the MLP on the JTR and 106.4 with the Mackie C200. No audible distress on either speaker with pre-amp speaker crossover at 100hz and subs turned off so we could truly evaluate just the Mackie and JTR.

I felt the Mackie C200 blurred the treble a bit at reference level on music. Stitch1 said 2% difference. I thought 20-30% difference for music, but pretty darn close for movies. He said it was owner bias towards JTR since it wasn't blind and he doesn't own either speaker. Thus the blind test Friday. I liked the JTR better enough sighted - - - but blind tests are fun, and I guess I'm prepared to risk my ego a bit. We'll see how it turns out.

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Last edited by Archaea; 08-25-2014 at 03:31 PM.
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post #23 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 02:25 PM
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In comparing it to my alpha minion the parts on the minion seem to be better then the mackie.. The xo from matt is top notch. B&c driver and cd is 205. When directly comparing the v2 of minion it's not quite in the 228s class. I'd give the 228 a 9.5/10 and the minion 8.5.

Midrange and top end just a little smoother with jtr. With only paying 240 for minion its a steal as well.

Love to be there for blind audition . Always enjoy hearing a new speaker .
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post #24 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 05:42 PM
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Look forward to the update on Friday.

Just wanted to be clear about your comment, "no audible break up at true reference level". If this was related to what I had previously said about the woofer break up, it's important to understand that woofer break up does not sound like the word 'break up'. It doesn't reach a certain volume and start to break up. It's a frequency where the cone doesn't behave linearly and harmonic distortion begins to rise along with CSD. Again, this sounds like treble smear more than anything. Which is something you've subjectively mentioned consistently in this thread (blurred, lacks detail, muddyness). I only say this because your OP was about upgrading the speaker, I don't say it to demean your feelings about the speaker, or its tremendous value. Just trying to point out that I personally think the biggest upgrade to this speaker would be a XO that stomps out that woofer break up. OTOH, the JTR228 does exactly that with it's uber low XO.

Not surprising both speakers do an excellent job of dynamics, with the JTR being a slight edge better with dual 12s.

Has anyone else found these at the price Archaea did? Seems they'd make great surrounds or budget mains... can't build them for that kind of money.
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post #25 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post
Look forward to the update on Friday.

Just wanted to be clear about your comment, "no audible break up at true reference level". If this was related to what I had previously said about the woofer break up, it's important to understand that woofer break up does not sound like the word 'break up'. It doesn't reach a certain volume and start to break up. It's a frequency where the cone doesn't behave linearly and harmonic distortion begins to rise along with CSD. Again, this sounds like treble smear more than anything. Which is something you've subjectively mentioned consistently in this thread (blurred, lacks detail, muddyness). I only say this because your OP was about upgrading the speaker, I don't say it to demean your feelings about the speaker, or its tremendous value. Just trying to point out that I personally think the biggest upgrade to this speaker would be a XO that stomps out that woofer break up. OTOH, the JTR228 does exactly that with it's uber low XO.

Not surprising both speakers do an excellent job of dynamics, with the JTR being a slight edge better with dual 12s.

Has anyone else found these at the price Archaea did? Seems they'd make great surrounds or budget mains... can't build them for that kind of money.
The 228 has a 1" CD and dual 8's, so the XO is probably over 1khz.

Are you thinking of the 212 with the BMS 4593 and the 400hz XO?
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post #26 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 06:55 PM
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Ah thanks Luke. I was.

Still, 1khz for a pair of 8" woofers is a low XO as well. Thanks.
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post #27 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 07:00 PM
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What time Friday are you doing the blind test? I actually have the day off for once.
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post #28 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 07:27 PM
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Man I wish I lived near your gtg group. Lots of great people in that area [emoji41]
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post #29 of 79 Old 08-25-2014, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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What time Friday are you doing the blind test? I actually have the day off for once.


6:30PM - 7:00PM or so start time. C'mon by - anyone is welcome.

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post #30 of 79 Old 10-26-2014, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know how many people know this - but I ended up selling my JTR 228HT and keeping these Mackies. I like them quite a bit for what they are. The reason I sold the JTR 228HT was because in my baffle wall, in my room, they were very comparable. After all my sighted listening I thought there was like a 20-30% difference between the 228HT and the Mackie C200. Stitch1, a local friend of mine, told me there was like a 2% difference in between the two, and that I had succumbed to owner bias on the JTR without being aware of it. I told him he was wrong. So he challenged me to a blind test that he would orchestrate. avsforum member d_c participated as well.

When stitch1 put me to a blind test he organized two sections because we all figured the JTR had more headroom and SPL capacity and if there was no cap on volume - the speakers would be too easy to identify. For both sections I could pick the songs/material I thought would most readily identify the speakers to my ear. d_c also participated in the tests blind. We later repeated the tests in d_c's room with his SEOS, my Mackie, and my JTR 228HT, and the results weren't as inconclusive to me (I liked the jTR best in Dougs room, but even then it wasn't that big of a difference between the 3 speakers for the music I enjoy- in fact I liked each speaker better on certain tracks).


Anyway - to our blind test --- here were the setup criteria and my results:
It was performed with both speakers in a baffle wall, the speakers behind an AT screen - so the listener had no idea which speaker was playing. All tests were performed in stereo. The AVR was a Onkyo PR-SC5508 and Crown X1000 amps were being used to power the speakers.


1) blind test with max volume of -5dB.
I couldn't tell the difference. I thought one was ever ever ever so slightly better - I ended up picking wrong. I picked the Mackie C200 as my favorite.


2) blind test with no max volume.
I turned it up to +15dB immediately. I listened to the Mackie C200 first and after the audition I came upstairs (the others had cleared the room because it was so loud) - and I said if these aren't the JTR than I'm selling the JTR, because whatever speaker this is - it sounded great at +15dB and I have zero reason to ever go louder than that. I then went back downstairs and auditoned the second set, which was cleaner and sounded a little better at +15dB and I figured I had originally listened to the Mackie C200 afterall. So on that round I guessed right. At +15dB the JTR 228HT sounded better. But it wasn't like the Mackie C200 sounded bad at +15dB. In fact they sounded really good, good enough that I had made that blanket statement after the first audition. After letting the results of the blind test in my own room on my own equipment sink in, I figured I might as well sell the JTR and put some money back in my pocket because in my room, in my listening arena, at the volumes I listen to - (reference level demos, maybe +5dB level demos) - the Mackie C200 served my purposes just fine and being that they were about 1/5 the street price, it seemed a sound decision. If money was no object I would have kept the JTR 228HT,...But I'm a single income family, and I can do with the money back in my pocket and put it towards something that makes more a difference in my room. (maybe a pair of JTR 210RTs, to couple with a pair of gjallarhorns? )

Ultimately - at the end of the day, really all that matters to me is my room, since that's where I listen. AND in my room, I couldn't tell the difference at -5dB between the Mackie C200 and the JTR 228HT. And at +15dB, while the JTR sounded better, the Mackies still sounded great. If, in the future, I end up in a room where the Mackies no longer suit my fancy - then I'll sell them and buy back JTR, or some other quality competitor, or maybe try something from the DIY arena.


Today I did some further testing after stuffing poly fill in the Mackie C200 - the next post will detail those results.
LTD02, zheka, pennynike1 and 1 others like this.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
Archaea's Theatre Room
2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout
My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint

Last edited by Archaea; 10-26-2014 at 12:00 PM.
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