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Gear Review: Mackie MR8MK3 Studio Monitors

There is nothing that I love more than listening to one of my favorite albums on a fantastic set of speakers.  


Working in a studio for years kind of turned me into a snob.  Consequently, when Mackie’s latest set of monitor came up for review, I made sure I was the Live2Play team member who yelled the loudest to ensure that they would be sent my way.


The shipment arrived mid-afternoon, and my wife was kind enough to text me a picture, which essentially meant I would spend the rest of my work day counting the minutes until I could get home and set them up. 


After a quick welcome home kiss and “Hi, how was your day?”, I was off to my basement studio to see what the new Mackie MR8mk3’s had to offer.  Once setup, I popped in my recently acquired copy of Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day.  My initial intent was to listen to a song or two.  Two hours later, my wife checked in on me to make sure I wasn’t dead.  Yes, the Mackie MRmk3’s sound that good.


Straight out of the box the monitors sound fantastic.  From low rumbling bass to soaring solo’s, the MRmk3’s are clear and flat in their response, making them ideal for mixing.   Each monitor is individually powered and features a low-pass (+2db, +4db) filter, a high-pass (-2db, +2db) filter, and level dial so you can tweak them for optimal sound based on the room you are mixing in.  The MRmk3 series monitors can be connected using balanced XLR, TRS, or unbalanced RCA’s, so they are extremely versatile and ready-to-use for pretty much any setup. 




The units I used featured an 8” woofer and a 1” silk dome tweeter, but if you’re in a smaller room, Mackie also makes a 5.25” and 6.5” version.  A 10” subwoofer is also available; I tested my set of MRmk3’s with and without the sub.  Honestly, the 8” woofers deliver an impressive amount of bass on their own and would be sufficient by themselves for most of the work that I do.  While I haven’t tested the two smaller configurations, I imagine that the sub would be a great addition to either of them.  If you’re mixing bass heavy music or audio for television or movies, the sub would definitely be a necessity.  


More impressive than the features, build quality, or sound, is the price.  Ranging from $260 for a 5.25” pair to $460 for an 8” pair, the MRmk3’s are very reasonably priced.  Based on the caliber of these monitors, the cost about half of what I would expect. 


Whether you’re looking for a good set of monitors for your home studio, or a good pair for a professional studio, you honestly can’t go wrong with Mackie’s MRmk3’s.


Questions, comments?  Post them below, email me at tim@l2pnet.com, or make fun of me on twitter @guitarguytim.  


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