Mackie 402-VLZ3


Trying to find a small-format mixer that sounds like the big boys has been near-impossible till now.  The new Mackie VLZ series changes all that. Now I know that if I need a compact mixer I would Buy Mackie 402-VLZ3. When I said Big Boys I mean those devices that are way much expensive and have much more horsepower, but this is not the only parameter to look at. I would like a device that for the price it cost can deliver a good performance while maintaining best quality standards.

The 402-VLZ3 is one of this devices, the specs are good and the manufacturer have achieved a superb quality on components used and assembly. The compact mixer don’t let down novices as well professionals users; the pre-amp is great, better than expected, it reduce both hiss and hum and if you need moere channels and features you can buy Mackie 802-VLZ3

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Mackie 402-VLZ3 a Very Good Design

It also feels like Mackie already thought of everything: for example, the mixer has screw-on feet, since you might want to remove them to put the mixer on a rack-shelf, and then change your mind later.  The sound of Mackie 402-VLZ3 is noticeably clear and I personally believe that the mute button present on this device is an essential function. The Mackie also feels much solid in the controls and I like the layout and design, the headphone volume control is 100% independent from the main mix volume control, which I think is the way it should be. What about the price? This is one of the best aspect, doesn’t cost too much but it deliver a quality and performances that are equal to none in his category; I can say that the 402-VLZ3 is one of the best 4 channel mixer on the market!

What the Manufacturer Have to Say

The 402-VLZ3 is an ultra-compact model in the VLZ3 line of compact mixers, specially designed for applications that require fewer inputs but demand professional sound. The 402-VLZ3 is equipped with two mono mic/line channels and one stereo line-input channel, for a total of 4 input channels. The mic/line channels feature Mackie’s XDR2 mic preamps, which deliver pure, clean, studio-grade sound—the kind of quality you’d expect to find in pricey boutique mic pres. They have an incredibly wide frequency range, especially in the low end, and even at extremely high gain settings. They offer incredibly low noise, amazing RFI rejection, and with 60dB of available gain per channel, the 402-VLZ3 can handle inputs ranging from a whisper to a scream. Each mic/line channel also has phantom power, an input Gain control, a Hi-Z instrument switch, a sharp 18 dB/octave, 100 Hz Low Cut filter, 2-band EQ, stereo pan switch and a Level control. The stereo line-input channel simply has a Level control. There is a stereo tape input with its own input Level control, and a stereo tape output for recording. Other features include a ¼-inch stereo headphone jack with Level control, stereo 8-segment LED meters and TRS stereo output jacks. The 402-VLZ3 is the best sounding, most professional ultra-compact mixer in its class. Thanks to its versatile, professional design, you can now get exceptional sound quality and performance in an amazingly small footprint.

Small Yet Powerfully Flexible

Though small in stature, the 402-VLZ3 provides an incredible abundance of professional features and mission-critical tools to enhance your mixing experience—and your creativity. In addition to essential features like phantom power for your condenser mics, you get a variety of user options that make the 402-VLZ3 a surprisingly versatile mixing machine. Two switchable Hi-Z instrument inputs allow you to plug instruments like electric guitar or bass in direct—no external gear required—or, disengage the switch to connect line level sources such as keyboards, or CD or mp3 players.

Use the high pass filters on channels 1 and 2 to cut the rumble with the touch of a button. Connect line level stereo gear like DJ decks using the assignable stereo RCA input, and either route to your phones for queuing up, or to your main mix for overdubbing while monitoring back from your computer on phones. Flexibly monitor and record mono and stereo sources using the stereo pan function—when the switch is out, a mono source will be split between the left and right of the main mix equally, and when the switch is in, channels 1 and 2 are hard-panned left and right (perfect for recording stereo mics).

Keep an eye on your levels with the bright 8-segment stereo meters, as well as the responsive overload LEDs that warn you when you’re overdoing it with the gain and/or EQ. No matter how you use it, the 402-VLZ3 supplies everything you need to get the job done.

Mackie 402-VLZ3 Top View

Ultra-compact, sleek, rugged chassis

Now you can have your pro mixer, and take it with you, too. The 402-VLZ3 features a tight, low-profile design that fits the most modest—or congested—areas perfectly, including your backpack or laptop case. Like all VLZ3 mixers, the 402-VLZ3 is built like a tank, too. Our legendary solid-steel chassis can take the kind of abuse that would turn our competitors’ flimsy boxes into twisted chunks of debris. Instead of cheap, unsealed potentiometers, we use co-molded pots, which offer substantial strain and impact relief.

By design, our control knobs ‘ride’ just above the surface of the chassis, so if something falls onto the mixer, the impact is transferred from the knobs to the chassis—not to the potentiometers or circuit board. Finally, we use thick, horizontally mounted fiberglass PC boards to eliminate the potential for damage and brace them with a shock-absorbing support structure. And not only is the 402-VLZ3 tough, but it can be flexibly positioned, thanks to a bottom panel that lets you easily mount an optional mic stand adapter with just a few screws. Attach your 402-VLZ3 to a mic stand, and you can adjust its height and angle to suit your unique—or weird—work style.

Applications A-Plenty

With its professional features and ultra-compact footprint, the 402-VLZ3 is ideal for a variety of applications, including home studio and on-the-go recording, multimedia projects, field mixing, broadcast use, and post-production work.

Less Really Is More

The best-sounding, most professional ultra-compact in its class, the 402-VLZ3 gives new meaning to the old adage, less is more. While there are other ultra-compact mixers out in the world these days, none provide the performance or sound quality of the 402-VLZ3. Thanks to its ultra-flexible, super-versatile, professional design, you get the low input count you want, the extra space you need, and the quality you deserve—all at an unbelievably low price. Put simply, the 402-VLZ3 is the go-anywhere, fit-anywhere professional mixer, delivering superior sound quality—and unbeatable value.

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Users Reviews

As a headphone amp, the Mackie is superb. It is also very simple to set up, even a novice just need to read the manual a bit and he/she should be able to obtain a nice clear sound and to mix audio signals with no efforts. This thing is everything you’ve come to expect from Mackie mixers, the connectors are robust and solid. Everything has a solid feel. When you buy Mackie 402-VLZ3 be sure to check the manual that’s all you need!

The only weak point I can highlight is that Mackie 402-VLZ3 is not USB or firewire, so you will need a stereo RCA to mini (1/8) cable to connect to your PC line-in. It doesn’t come with any cables, but it does include a downloadable license for Tracktion 3 software.

Tech Specs

  • Sleek, rugged steel chassis
  • Sealed rotary controls to resist dust and grime
  • 4 high-headroom line inputs
  • 2 XDR2 microphone preamps
  • 4 line inputs (2 hi-Z switchable)
  • 2-band EQ (80Hz, 12kHz)
  • Stereo main mix bus
  • Channel 1-2 stereo pan switch
  • RCA I/O
  • Phantom power
  • Stereo 8-segment LED meters
  • Dedicated phones volume knob
  • Mic stand mount option
  • Includes Tracktion 3 Basic Bundle for Mac/PC (download required)


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