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Mackie HD1221

Mar 4, 2011 10:48 AM, by John McJunkin

Small speakers for small and large applications.

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The HD1221 sounds good—very good. And as a very frequent user of small self-powered speakers from a variety of manufacturers, I have heard the gamut in terms of quality, from very poor to excellent. In the spectrum, these rank way up in the excellent domain. The LF driver/amp combination is very powerful in the range it’s claimed to cover. The addition of a 15in. or 18in. subwoofer would be nice to round out the sub-65Hz domain, but from 65Hz on up, the bass is full, round, powerful, and tight. Similarly, the HF driver/amp combination delivers the goods from 1.5kHz north. The mids are not as honky as other speakers with horns that I’ve heard, largely due to the design of both the transducer and the horn. Mackie’s complex time-alignment and phase-coherency circuitry figures prominently here as well. The transition through the crossover is smooth and natural, and getting above 2kHz, the highs are smooth and not the least bit brittle or harsh. There are some bumps and dips in the frequency response, but generally it is pretty flat across the board (with the obvious exceptions of the voicing settings). The primary point I would make here is that these speakers deliver substantial SPL, but they do so with surprisingly little distortion at higher SPLs. They’re not quite studio-monitor quality, but they get a lot closer to that than most other small self-powered PA speakers.

Bottom line: Mackie enters the high-quality small self-powered speaker domain with a splash. The HD1221 delivers excellent quality audio with a small sacrifice in terms of weight. For any application that requires high-quality small speakers that can be flown or pole-mounted, these should be very high on the short list.

John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations and provides high-quality podcast production services.

Product Summary

  • Company: Mackie
  • Product: HD1221 Speakers
  • Pros: High quality construction, excellent sound quality.
  • Cons: Not lightweight in any sense.
  • Applications: Small-to-midsize club/band PA, house of worship, DJs, AV rental.
  • Price: $999

Product Specifications

  • Frequency response (–10dB): 55Hz - 20kHz
  • Frequency response (–3dB): 65Hz - 18kHz
  • Horizontal coverage (–6dB): 90 degrees averaged 2kHz to 10kHz
  • Vertical coverage (–6dB): 50 degrees averaged 2kHz to 10kHz
  • Max peak SPL (calculated): 133dB
  • Max peak SPL (measured): 124dB
  • Crossover point: 1.5kHz
  • Height: 24in./610mm
  • Width: 15.2in./386mm
  • Depth: 15in. /381mm
  • Monitor position depth: 16.2in./412mm
  • Weight: 50lb./22.7kg
  • Input impedance: 11kΩ

Low-frequency Power Amplifier

  • Rated power: 500W RMS 1000W peak
  • Rated THD: < 0.03%

High-frequency Power Amplifier

  • Rated power: 100W RMS 200W peak
  • Rated THD: < 0.03%

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