Meet My Little Friend

Actually, meet my two little friends — the Mackie SRM150‘s. Without a doubt these are some of the best pieces of gear I’ve purchased in a long time.

So what exactly is the Mackie SRM150? Well, it’s a lot of things. Mackie calls it a Compact Active PA System — an apt, but fairly broad and non-committal description. It can be used as a PA, but it has so many other uses. With a three channel mixer, three band eq, phantom power, an audio “thru” with a mic/line switch, 150 watts of power and the ability to mount the speaker on a mic stand, I think you get a sense of the sonic possibilities that the SRM150 presents. For the past year I’ve used the SRM150’s as my stereo guitar amp. I come straight out of my pedal board into the SRM150’s — best sound I’ve ever had. My Line 6 POD 2.0 sounds amazing through this set up too.

I have a few minor quibbles. First, getting the decent bass response that SRM150 has I’m sure wasn’t an easy job. However, a combination of very low bass frequencies and high volume cause the mic/line button on the back of the speaker to vibrate and produce an audible noise. This happens on both the SRM150’s I have. Basically, I’m guessing Mackie had to find a way to port the speaker and the mic/line button and the XLR thru were their answer. In day to day use this buzzing/noise is an absolute non-issue for me (I never play that loud), but still, I think Mackie could have found a better solution to the problem.

My second quibble is that I would have preferred that the SRM150’s had mounts for speaker stands and not, as they currently do, for mic stands. I get where Mackie is coming from — a performer comes into a club and is able to easily mount their SRM150 on one of the clubs mic stands. But from my point of view, putting 7 + pounds of gear up on a mic stand is just asking for trouble. I can’t even begin to count the number of mic stands I’ve seen knocked over. I’m sure there are (or will be made available) connector/adaptors to allow the SRM150 to mount on speaker stands, but still my vote would be to have the speaker stand mounts built into the speaker.

So what do I like best about the SRM150’s? The sound, the weight (7.6 lbs), the size (it’s smaller than a bread box!) and the flexibility (it’s a PA, it’s a guitar amp, it’s a monitor…). This one’s a winner!

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