Mackie MR5 MK3

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by ultrabike, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Like I said in some other posts. I'm surprised these have been received poorly by some forums and websites relative to their peers. They sound pretty good to me. So I took it upon myself to measure them unequalized, uncompensated and so on, outdoors. EDIT: (Actually just noticed that the high-frequency setting on the back of the speaker is at -2dB.)

    It was a pain in the butt. It was fucking hot. Could barely read my laptop screen. And to top it all off, a middle age (towards the later part of middle age), fat, cracky woman came out of her house to tell me my tone sweeps were annoying and to get the fuck out of the park (which is part of my association). Her house was pretty far away, but it goes to show these can put some SPL.

    I'll add more details in this thread and perhaps add more measurements and listening impressions. But I need to start flushing this out or else I'm never going to do it. Family, work and house chores takes time.

    So here are some measurements outside in said park:

    Mackie_0deg.png

    And here are No-audiophile measurements of the JBL305s

    [​IMG]

    The Mackies seem to go down to about 57Hz (and are advertised to 57 Hz -3dB point), but in-room I think they hit about between 45 and 50 Hz (see below). There is also something weird going on at around 400 Hz. There was still quite a bit of echo due to houses around the park, and that may have caused that 400 Hz issue. Dunno. Some other types of measurements (in-room) don't seem to show it (see below).

    Here are measurements in-room vs outside:

    Mackie_Out_vs_In.png

    IMO these sound the way they measure. Flat but a bit relaxed on the top end. JBLs seem to have more energy above 10 kHz (see No audiophile close mic measurements of the 308, 305, and JBLs we-vs-them measurements repeated below for convenience http://noaudiophile.com/JBL_LSR305/):

    [​IMG]
    (308 ^)

    [​IMG]
    (305 ^)

    [​IMG]
    (We-Vs-Them)

    Anywho, I compare these to the JBL305s because like the MR5s, they have the same size drivers, roughly the same price, both are entry level pro monitors, both are decent for the price, both are about the same size, and use similar power amplifiers. In other words, they are competitive and seem to target the same market. I'm sure there are better speakers. But in their class, these are both very good and IMO deserve a good listen if you are in the market for something like these.

    I'll do some close mic measurements later, but not in the park, or else cranky lady might call the cops.

    Listening impressions:

    Quite good mids. Similar IMO to JBL305s. More relaxed than the 305s. Decent bass quality, but will need a sub-woofer for support in sub-bass range. Good off-axis response. Tweeter wave-guide works IMO. BTW, the fact that the tweeter is inside the wave-guide sort of protects it.

    JBL305s look nicer to my wife. MR5 are more classic in their construction. I like them.

    I'll also add some pics of the measurement set up later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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  2. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Ok here is the measurement setup:

    It was hot!

    IMG_4364.JPG

    45 degree angle measurement (Left)

    IMG_4365.JPG

    Awesome pirate ship

    IMG_4366.JPG
     
  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Alright. So here are the measurements +/-45 degrees and 0 degrees. Couldn't do more angles cuz mad park woman sacred me.

    Mackie_Angles.png

    15 kHz and above does seem to tank a bit (perhaps expected for a 1" dome tweeter), but no major suck outs in the mids and lower treble. Here is the 0 degree CSD.

    Mackie_CSD.png

    Pretty clean IMO.
     
  4. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Here are the close mic responses (in room)

    Red: Tweeter
    Yellow: Woofer
    Blue: Port

    Mackie_Close_Mic.png

    It is apparent to me from the close mic response of the tweeter that the MR5s are a little more relaxed on-axis in the upper treble relative to the LSR305. I may be reading things wrong but the tweeter appears to be crossed with around 3 kHz (as the manual says) (-3 dB point). No obvious peaks in the woofer as far as I can see. Just as in No-audiophile's review of the JBL LSR305 there appears to be some noise from the port around 1 kHz to 2 kHz. However, the distortion measurements did not indicate issues in that range, so not sure what to make of it.

    Convenient plot of the LSR305s from No-audiophile stash here -> http://noaudiophile.com/JBL_LSR305/.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  5. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    And here are the internals:

    Port and internal amplifier/crossover (port is about 1 3/4" diameter and 4 3/4" length if I remember correctly - my kids drew all over the notes)

    IMG_4339.JPG

    Woofer and the infamous tweeter box.

    IMG_4341.JPG

    More detail on the amp

    IMG_4342.JPG

    IMG_4344.JPG

    Full frontal

    IMG_4347.JPG
     
  6. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Last, latest in-room response (this time in my bedroom - taken at the same time I took the close mic ones):

    Mackie_Full.png

    At the measurement location there appears to be a null (perhaps a room mode) between 80 and 90 Hz. No major issues I can see in the bass, mids and upper treble. The room seems to help the system achieve somewhere around 40 to 50 Hz low end extension.

    But make no mistake. These need a sub-woofer to handle things below 80 Hz cleanly and authoritatively IMO. I use a cheapo parts express ported 12" deal. Perhaps not the best, but me thinks not bad.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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  7. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Nice review thing. Very factual and based on data. That's good.

    Just wondering, what software do you use to make measurements?
     
  8. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    i think that is actually pretty darn good with no acoustic treatment in the cab. it measures a lot better than pretty much every headphone in the same price range(see them at guitar center for 199 a pair). add some fiberglass in the cab and you might end up with a flatter more even response most likely. its worth a shot.
     
  9. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Thanks man. I use REW. I customized the look with a black background. Based on the plots by No-audiophile, I think he uses the same (so things can be made to look the same actually). It's free. I think John Mulcahy from Hometheatershack did a great job with it and he keeps making updates from time to time to it.

    As far as the MR5s, I did listen to them before purchasing, and didn't know how they would measure. But from ear I though they would be relatively flat and liked what I heard. I'm a bit surprised there are not many measurements on these as there are of other products.

    The sales guy at Guitar Center told me these were muddy in the bass and not all that good. Which is why he told me they may not carry them anymore in the store. Meanwhile I'm looking at the KRK's in the shelves scratching my head. I don't exactly know how the KRK's he had there measured, but they sounded horrid. They had the Yamaha's with the white driver and I though they were a bit bright. IMO perhaps brighter than the JBL 305s. Dude told me that the 305s where super awesome and nothing can touch them. Meh. The 305s where indeed better than the other entry level monitors he had there IMO, except the MR5s which I personally liked more. I feel between the 305s and the MR5s is more a matter of personal preference. They are both pretty good in their class.

    It does have some acoustic treatment which may be seen in the first picture. However, I removed it from the second pic to provide a better view of the construction from the inside. One could upgrade it though. If Guitar Center phases them out, likely one can get a very good deal. In fact, that's where I got them from.

    They are good for what they are, but good three way monitor design with a decent size woofer to handle the lows is probably going to do much better for full range. These need a sub to handle all the audible range. These (and similar monitors) are also not the most efficient. The drivers are not the lastest and bestest, but not too bad. I feel compromises where made to fit the price point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  10. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    i see now. yea, there is some. seems very light poly/fiberfill. think fiberglass do a lot better job and will smooth out the bass a good amount i think. i know some people disagree but, i like making my speaker boxes dead sounding. always used really thick fiberglass with high quality fiberfill stuffing in combination since i always believe you're suppose to hear the drivers, not the box. even ported boxes i stuff. i mean speaker drivers are always measured free-air with zero resonance from environment sources so i always took that idea and always made my boxes dead as possible...but, thats just me. i know there is a gazilion other theories on box designs.
     
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  11. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    One could upgrade the box me thinks by perhaps adding some bracing and indeed adding better stuffing inside. One could also lower the port tuning by extending it.

    Inverted dust cap

    I'm not sure the woofer driver inverted dust cap is a severe compromise in terms of radiation pattern as some have pointed out. I've seen plenty of woofer designs with the "inverted" dust cap that don't seem to be shit. The other type of dust cap may be better (dunno), and a lot of good designs have it (such as the Illuminators, Revelators, Terminators and Vibrators), but some classic approaches that do not suck use the inverted approach. I dunno. Dust caps and driver design is not my field. Will read some more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  12. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Thanks for the info. I might measure some of my stuff. Though my mic, blue snowball, is not the best....
     
  13. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Depends. AFAIK you need a small diaphragm Omni mic. I think the blue snowball can be configured as such? Dunno. The EMM-6 is pretty cheap. There are other USB options from miniDSP.
     
  14. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    I have a mic for audessy calibration from my onkyo receivertoo, but i might look into getting something better.
     
  15. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Dunno how good those receiver calibration mics are TBH. I have one from Yamaha. Proly not a bad a idea to test it and see how good it is.
     
  16. Rex Aeterna

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    while maybe for higher frequencies but low frequency the wave length is so long that it doesn't matter since it will become omni-directional... i mean the dome only affects how high it can reach from far as i understand. radiation pattern is overall woofer design i think. like how ridged cones vs. smooth cones came about or something like that and materials in use. but, overall a dust cap, is what it's meant for by name. to protect the motor from debris and other foreign objects... it does help with overall fs of the speaker depending how stiff or light it is, that's why some people purposely removes dustcaps on woofers and some subs just don't overall use them(like it's just one smooth cone)....

    also have to take size of the driver itself included as well. the larger it is, the more narrow the frequency range it will play before it starts beaming like mad. standard point is either 13520/driver size or 13520/frequency to determine beaming range on specific size of drive give or take since it's the ambient temp that has a major affect on how fast the sound will travel. so 13520/15'' = 901hz rounded off give or take where a 15'' driver will start to beam.....

    i think it's the crossover's phase point that has one of the main influence of the drivers radiation as well do to how it responds. 2nd order crossovers while some swear by them and they're simple, they can have a weird phasing issue at crossover point of the drivers....
     
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  17. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Hopefully they are decent, as thats what they are used for. If you measure it any time soon, I like to know, as I have nothing now to compare mine against.
     
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  18. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    OK. So I gave it a shot.

    It seems that to some extent you can... Below the MR5 MK3 measurements

    Yellow - Dayton mic
    Blue - Yamaha Receiver Cal Mic facing up.
    Green - Yamaha Receiver Cal Mic facing forward.
    Red - Yamaha Receiver Cal Mic facing down.

    MackieMR5_YamahaCalMic.png

    The Yamaha Mic (and many other ones that come with some receivers with auto-cal), has a base which seems to interfere with the measurements.

    Facing forward has the plate behind the mic which screws up the treble. Facing down or up makes things look a bit rolled from around 8 kHz and up (the interface card that came with my laptop may also be adding itself to the measurements when using the Yamy mic).

    The Dayton is a little bit more accurate it seems. Still, one can probably get an idea if things went horribly wrong using the mic that came with the receiver (at least with the Yamy one, not sure about other ones).
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  19. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    Great, thanks. Not too bad, relitivly accurate.
    I may be able to mod mine to remove the base and such.

    So did you use it just hooked up to the 3.5mm mic input, and that worked?
     
  20. ultrabike

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    I hooked the 3.5mm mic cable to the laptop's mic input. In REW I mocked around with the settings until I got the mic to work. I think I used Java instead of ASIO and had to play around with input selection. The headphone output was not driving the Mackie MR5 well though. So I used the Focusrite 2i2 DAC balanced out to drive it.

    And that was that :)
     

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