If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills, powered PA speaker with a brand name you can trust, then you might want to look at the new Mackie Thrash series. Claiming to offer “raw power and the legendary Mackie sound”, do the specs meet the hype? Let’s dig in and find out…
Mackie Active PA Speakers
I’m a big fan of Mackie active PA speakers. The SRM450 is arguably a design that popularised the whole concept of a portable, powerful, active PA speaker. More than two decades on, though, and your typical active PA speaker has become a fancy affair.
Bluetooth this, connected that, app-controlled who knows what… Whatever happened to the simple, bare-bones, active speaker? A couple of simple analogue connections, a volume knob and a power input?
Enter the new Mackie Thrash series. If you’ve been searching for a no-frills active PA speaker with one of the best names in the industry on the front, this could be the answer. The Thrash series launches with two models, the Thrash 212 and the Thrash 215. As you’ve probably guessed from the model name, the 212 utilises a 12″ mid/woofer and the 215 a 15″ mid/woofer.
Thrash 212 offers a frequency response of 52Hz to 20kHz, whereas the 215 offers a deeper low-end extension down to an impressive 32Hz. Importantly, though, they are identical in all other aspects.
No Frills, No Nonsense
If you take a look at the press release, you’ll notice that Mackie’s leaning heavily on these being LOUD speakers. Each Thrash speaker offers a claimed 1300 Watts from the Class D power amplification, although there’s no mention as to whether that’s RMS or meaningless PMPO Watts.
Undoubtedly, though, the ability to crank out music at levels up 125db means these will be well up to the task of live shows, DJ gigs and so on. As you’d expect, they can be pole-mounted or used as floor wedges, adding to the versatility.
You won’t find fancy Bluetooth, app-controlled, multi-FX connectivity here, oh no. There’s the simplest of two-channel mixers, with a single gain control per channel and XLR/Jack combo inputs that will take anything from a mic signal to line-level input.
You’ll also find a master volume knob and an XLR output to link to other loudspeakers. On that note, I’d be very surprised if there isn’t a matching subwoofer coming soon to take advantage of this feature.
The Thrash series is going to be surprisingly affordable. The Thrash 212 will cost €356.98, while the Thrash215 will set you back around €416.49. Those are the MSRPs, so we expect you’ll be able to get these for less from retailers. That’s pretty smart pricing given that Mackie’s own Thump series – offering less power in a similar package – comes in at under £250 for the 12″ model.
When we initially got the press release without prices, I expected that the Thrash series would sit in the range £350-450. So, to find out that the MSRP is £300-350 means it’ll be below offerings like EV’s ZLX series and possibly Turbosound’s iX range. Mackie could be onto a winner here.