Mackie 1604VLZ4 16-channel Compact 4-bus Mixer

16-channel, 4-bus mixer with 16 Onyx preamps, 16 line inputs, and 3-band EQ



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SKU: MAC1604VLZ4 Categories: , Brand:


16-channel, 4-bus compact mixer with 16 high-quality Onyx preamps, 16 high-headroom line inputs, 60mm channel faders, phantom power, 3-band EQ with sweepable midrange, six aux send/returns, and 12-segment stereo meters

 Since their inception, Mackie VLZ mixers have brought professional-level features to compact, affordable mixers, and now with the VLZ4 series, sonic performance has taken a giant leap upward. Featuring Mackie’s premium, wide-bandwidth, super-clean Onyx preamps, the 16-channel 1604VLZ4 offers high-headroom and low-noise operation in a desktop-friendly, compact “built-like-a-tank” solid steel chassis. With high-contrast controls for at-a-glance visual feedback, the Mackie 1604VLZ4 is designed for more hands-on mixing than its rotary-knob enabled smaller siblings, thanks to the inclusion of 60mm log-taper faders on channels and main L/R output. It includes line-level inputs with switchable -4dBu/-10dBV operation, phantom power, and level metering. The 1604VLZ4 offers a true step-up in performance and durability that’s essential for professional use. Applications for the Mackie1604VLZ4 include live sound mixing for small ensembles, including duo’s, trios, and quartets where limited instrument miking is required, houses of worship, clubs, conference rooms, boardrooms, studio and field recording, multimedia applications, and broadcast.

Mackie 1604VLZ4 compact mixer in one take:

  • 16-channel, 4-bus mixer featuring Mackie’s signature high-headroom, low-noise design
  • 16 boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps
  • Ultra-wide 60dB gain range
  • 16 high-headroom line inputs with switchable +4dBu/-10dBV operation
  • 3-band EQ (80Hz, 2.5kHz, 12kHz), 18dB/8va 75Hz low-cut filter on mic input channels
  • Two aux sends, level, pan, and PFL solo on each channel
  • Two stereo returns for connecting FX processor or other stereo source
  • ALT 3/4 stereo bus for added routing flexibility

INSIDE THE BOX—Mackie 1604VLZ4 Compact Mixer

The 1604VLZ4 has phantom-powered, balanced Onyx mic preamps, which are Mackie’s flagship preamps. Featuring a wide-bandwidth design and clean output at high gain, Onyx preamps are also excellent at rejecting hum and noise. The 1604VLZ4 can accept professional-level ribbon, dynamic, and condenser mics—pretty much any kind of mic that has a standard XLR male mic connector—and all will all sound excellent through these inputs. The 1604VLZ4’s mic inputs will handle any kind of mic level you can throw at them without overloading.

For condenser mics, the 1604VLZ4 has phantom power that is globally controlled by a top-panel switch. While phantom power for the mic inputs of channels 1-6 is turned on and off together, dynamic mics, such as Shure SM57s and SM58s will not be affected since they are balanced and therefore don’t “see” the voltage of phantom power. However, care must be taken with certain ribbon mics, since phantom power voltage can run through the ribbon diaphragm and burn it out.

Channels one through six are mono with an XLR input, each with a ¼” line input. These inputs share circuitry (but not phantom power) with the mic preamps, and can be driven by balanced or unbalanced sources at almost any level. The line inputs on channels 1-6 come in handy for connecting older instruments that need more gain, thanks to the channel’s gain control.

The 1604VLZ4 has 3-band equalization at carefully selected points, including low shelving at 80Hz, mid peaking at 2.5kHz, and high shelving at 12kHz. The high and low shelf filers have boost and cut of ±15dB. The shelf boosts or cuts all frequencies either below or above the selected points (below for LF, above for HF), while “mid peaking” means that certain frequencies form
a “hill” or a bell curve around the center frequency, which is 2.5 kHz in the case of the mid EQ.

OUTSIDE THE BOX—Mackie 1604VLZ4 Compact Mixer

 The top panel of the 1604VLZ4 has a patchbay section at the top of the mixer. Channels 1-6 each have a mono XLR input, ¼” (bal/unbal) mono line input, 75Hz low-cut filter switch, and rotary gain knob. Channel controls of the 1604VLZ4 include two aux send level knobs, 3-band EQ knobs, pan control, Mute/Alt 3/4 switch, pre-fader solo button, and level pot.


The patchbay section to the right of the channel inputs has four ¼” mono/stereo returns, two ¼” aux sends, balanced ¼” main L/R outputs, and stereo RCA inputs and outputs. The remaining I/O in the patchbay section includes mono/stereo ¼” line inputs for stereo channels 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12; and a ¼” headphone out jack.

Output section

The output or master section has an Aux master level control with pre- or post-fader selector that enables the Aux master to either control levels to outboard effects or cue mix sends. Next to the Aux master are two stereo return level controls, plus a Return To Aux 1 button, which enables you to send effects to stage monitor mixes on aux one, or send a delay to an Aux 1 reverb for greater clarity.

Beneath Aux and Return level controls are selectors for control room source, including main mix, Alt 3/4 and tape. Plus, an assign-to-main-mix button can send Alt/3/4 to the main mix, which allows the CR*/Submix fader to function as a group channel for one-fader control of multiple channels. Beneath the assign to main mix function, is an AFL/PFL switch for pre- and post-fader solo listen. The 1604VLZ4 top panel has faders for CR/Submix, which also controls headphone level, and faders for the L/R main mix. For monitoring level control, there is a 12-segment stereo LED meter, and last but not least, Mackie’s famous Rude Solo light.

*Control Room

Rear panel

The rear panel of the 1604VLZ4 has balanced stereo XLR outputs with a +4dBu/Mic switch that when pressed, sends mic-level signals from the main XLR outputs, which allows the 1604VLZ4 to feed two mic inputs of a larger mixer, making it useful not only as a main mixer for a small ensemble, but also a sub-mixer for a larger console that needs additional inputs. The rear panel also has   six ¼” TRS insert jacks for channels 1-6; L/R ¼” ALT 3/4 outs, which is a separate stereo bus fed by the 1604VLZ4’s dual-function mute switches; and L/R stereo ¼” control room outputs, all of which can accept balanced or unbalanced signals. And finally, the rear panel hosts the power on/off switch, phantom power switch, and IEC power connector with switchable 100VAC, 120VAC, and 240VAC operation for global use.

From the company that put high-quality, low-cost mixers on the map, Mackie makes selecting a mixer for your particular needs easy. For more information, on the Mackie 1604VLZ4 compact mixer, call or chat with your Westlake Pro sales consultant today.

Mackie 1604VLZ4 compact mixer key features:

  • 128.5dB dynamic range
  • +22dBu line input handling
  • Extended frequency response
  • Distortion under 0.0007% [20Hz – 50kHz]
  • Improved RF rejection, excellent for broadcast applications
  • Phantom power for condenser mics
  • 16 high-headroom line inputs with switchable +4dBu/-10dBV operation
  • 3-band EQ (80Hz, 2.5kHz, 12kHz)
  • 18dB/8va 75Hz low-cut filter on mic input channels
  • Two aux sends, level, pan, and PFL solo on each channel
  • 60mm long-wearing log-taper faders
  • Two stereo returns for connecting FX processor or other stereo source
  • ALT 3/4 stereo bus for added routing flexibility
  • Control room / phones source matrix
  • High-resolution 12-segment stereo meters
  • Sealed rotary controls resist dust and grime
  • “Built-Like-A-Tank” rugged steel chassis with powder-coat finish
  • High-visibility, high-contrast controls deliver convenient “at-a-glance” visual feedback
  • Rackmountable with optional rack ear kit
  • Multi-voltage power supply for global use


Mackie 1604VLZ4 Specifications:

 Main Mix Noise

(20Hz–20kHz bandwidth, Main out, channels 1–6 Trim @ unity gain, channel EQ flat, all channels assigned to main mix, channel 1, 3, and 5 panned left, 2, 4, and 6 panned right)

  • Main mix knob down, channel fader down: –101dBu
  • Main mix knob unity, channel fader down: –91dBu
  • (95dB signal-to-noise ration, ref +4dBu)
  • Main mix fader @ unity, channel faders @ unity: –86dBu

 Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

(1kHz @ 35dB gain, 20Hz–20kHz bandwidth)

  • Mic pre @ insert: 0.0007%

 Attenuation (Crosstalk)

(1kHz relative to 0dBu, 20Hz–20kHz bandwidth, line in, 1⁄4″ main out, trim @ unity.)

  • Main fader down: –100dBu
  • Channel Alt / Mute switch engaged: –90dBu
  • Channel fader down: –90dBu

 Frequency Response

(Mic input to main output, gain @ unity)

  • +0dB / –1dB 20Hz to 50kHz
  • +0 / -3dB <10Hz to > 100kHz

 Equivalent Input Noise (EIN)

(Mic input to insert send out, max gain)

  • 150 ohm termination: –128.5dBu @ 20Hz-20kHz

Common Mode Rejection Ratio (CMRR)

(Mic in to insert send out, max gain)

  • 1kHz: better than -70dB

Maximum Levels

  • Mic in: +22dBu
  • Tape in: +16dBu
  • All other inputs: +22dBu
  • Main mix XLR out: +28dBu
  • All other outputs: +22dBu


  • Mic in: 2.5k ohm
  • Channel insert return: 2.5k ohm
  • All other inputs: 10k ohm or greater
  • Tape out: 1.1k ohm
  • All other outputs: 120 ohm


  • High Shelving: ±15 dB @ 12kHz
  • Mid Peaking: ±15 dB @ 2.5kHz
  • Low Shelving: ±15 dB @ 80Hz

Power Consumption


Fuse Rating

100-120V: 500mA slo blo, 5x20mm

220-240V: 250mA slo blo, 5 x 20mm

Dimensions (H x W x D)

12.5″ x 14.0″ x 3.2″ (317 mm x 356 mm x 81 mm)


With power supply: 9.5 lb. (4.5 kg)



Additional information

Weight 20 lbs
Dimensions 17 × 18 × 6 in

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