Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Yamaha EMX512SC Powered Mixer Review

Greetings!

I mostly use powered speakers for gigs, as I my QSC K10s and K12s are loud and bulletproof, but for smaller gigs (i.e. karaoke parties) sometimes it is easier to not have to run extension cords to the speakers, so there is still a place in my world for an powered mixer with passive loudspeakers. This is why I am hanging on to my Yamaha EMX512SC mixer. You have certainly seen this same mixer being used by bar bands all over the world.

The EMX512SC is a 12-channel mixer, even though it only has 8 faders. In Yamaha math they count inputs with stereo channels twice, but either way, that is enough for whatever I am going to do with this thing. This mixer has dual 500 watt amps (max at 4 ohms), so it is plenty loud for most small to medium sized shows. It is a nice looking piece with a nubbly plastic case with built in handles, and it measures 18x12x11 inches, and weighs in at under 20 pounds. It is kind of a big box with a beveled edge on the back so it can be tilted up, or there are a couple of included plugs that keep it from tilting back if that is what you prefer. Those plugs always get lost.

The back of the mixer has an IEC power cable socket and a pair of output jacks, which include both ¼-inch and Speakon jacks.

The front side of the EMX512SC is a lot more complicated, but that is because it is chock full of features. The input channels each have a 3-band EQ, and there are 4 for monaural microphone (with phantom power and one-knob compression) or line input, and 4 pairs that can function either as monaural microphone inputs or stereo line inputs (2 with ¼-inch jacks and 2 with RCA jacks). There are also separate 7-band graphic EQs for both the main and monitor power channels.

Another neat feature is the power mode switch which allows the two amps to function in stereo, or as separate mono channels for mains and monitor. And one of my favorite features is the surprisingly useful knob that controls 16 SPX digital effects including reverb, echo, chorus, flanger, and phaser. The effects knob has its own level control and ON/OFF switch.

I run the EMX512SC with my low-tech Yamaha A12 loudspeakers, and this combo is definitely up to the task. This set-up has a warm sound that I never have found with the QSCs, and there are surprisingly good bass and mids for 12-inch speakers. This whole thing gets plenty loud without distorting - I consider Yamaha to be a solid brand, and these speakers meet my expectations every time. BTW, all I use are Yamaha mixers, and they have never let me down.

I believe this model has been discontinued, but if you vcan find one the Yamaha EMX512SC powered mixer sells for around $599 new each from most online sellers, and around $400 used. It sounds good, has good power output and features, and is plenty durable. What more could you ask for?

Mahalo!

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