Yamaha MV800 Eight-Channel Rackmount Mixer

The Yamaha MV800 is certainly able to work well in a variety of applications. While it seems to be designed for predominantly installed scenarios, in the portable mode it was particularly useful.
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In a previous issue of Pro Audio Review I had the opportunity to review the Yamaha CP2000 amplifier (PAR 10/01). The amp's numerous features, sturdy build and overall good performance for an economical price won me over. My recent travels through local rock clubs and performance venues showed me that CP2000 amplifiers and Yamaha S115 speakers are gaining popularity. In a small club setting these units can give headliner performance on an opening act budget. Convergent with this type of thinking is the MV800 mixer from Yamaha, a perfect match with the aforementioned amp and speaker combination. This two-rack-space-sized mixer is aimed at a club, restaurant or banquet facility; it can accommodate eight microphones, two stereo sources, and drive two separate zones, with paging/priority override features. Separate gate and compressor functions are included as well.
Product PointsApplications: Installation

Key Features: Eight mic channels; two-stereo channels; compressor; dual zone outputs; ducking controls; Phoenix, XLR, 1/4-inch TRS, RCA conectors; headphone monitor

Price: $899

Contact: Yamaha at 714-522-9011, Web Site.
Features

A closer look at the MV800 ($899) reveals the eight individual microphone channels. Each channel contains input gain, high and low (10 kHz and 100 Hz shelving, respectively) EQ, and volume level controls. Gate switch, Zone 1 and 2 enable switches, and light emitting diode (LED) signal with peak level indicators are clustered within this small 3-inch by 1.25-inch footprint. Channels 1 and 2 have the ducker (or override) function, which will lower the stereo source channel when activated - good for paging or announcements over background music. This is enabled by a switch. This level attenuator sets the degree of ST (stereo) source ducking, and an LED indicator is lit while the circuit is active. Moving right to the ST channel, one will find Zone 1 and 2 select switches, volume control, peak and signal indicator LEDs, and a source A/B switch, which allows selection between two stereo sources.

The compressor section, which works for microphone channels overall, has ratio and threshold controls, with an enable/disable switch and circuit activity LED. Below the compressor sector is the paging section, which overrides all input channels for prioritized or emergency announcements. A line level or mic level input can be selected for this, and a DC 24V control signal input can be accessed. Threshold, input gain and level controls, zone selection switches and peak/signal indicator LEDs are found here.

Next to this section are the Zone 1 and 2 level meters, overall output level controls and ST section sum mono switches. The level meters are ladder LED-style; stepped in five increments from -10 dB to +6 dB to peak overload. The last section of the control topology is headphone, with zone select switch, volume level rotary fader and 1/4-inch phone input jack. The unit's power indicator LED is located top right. A security cover is included to discourage knob twirling by unauthorized personnel.

Moving to the rear jackfield, a nice feature sure to be welcomed by contractors is immediately noticeable. Across the top of the unit, guarded by a removable coverplate, is a row of Phoenix/Euroblock receptacles.

These receptacles access Zone 1 and 2 outputs, paging mic/line input, DC24V control input, and mic/line inputs 1 through 8. This feature allows the installer to forego the chore of soldering phone or XLR connectors for these ports, and Yamaha provides the Phoenix male counterparts as well. Using these types of connectors makes installing or removing a unit from a crowded rack for service a breeze.

Yamaha has provided balanced XLR jacks for mic channel inputs and zone outputs, as well. Insert points on mic channels and stacking input/output are 1/4-inch TRS phone jacks. RCA jacks are used for record out and stereo source inputs.

Alongside each Phoenix-style mic channel connector is an input select switch, selectable between mic, line, and mic 48V for powering condenser mics.

In Use

I had the chance to use the MV800 at a corporate promotional event where the background music (BGM) feed was to be constant while an intermittent announcement could break in for informational updates . A Sanyo PLC-SW10 video projector with a different simultaneous audio program was to be fed to a separate enclosed location adjacent to the booth area. Using a pair of Anchor Liberty MPA-4500 powered speaker systems located in each of the two zones on tripods, I employed a Shure Beta 58 microphone to facilitate announcements through Channel 1 of the MV800 while utilizing the ST ducking circuitry to lower the BGM feed from a Denon DN-C550R CD player/recorder. This was taking care of Zone 1 while in Zone 2 (the projector room) I was feeding an audio-follows-video source from a Sony DVD player to Channel 8 of the Yamaha mixer and then into the second Anchor system.

The zone output switches and master section made it easy to route and control each of these zones with differing program material. The compressor section kept any annoying plosives from the announcer in check. I could also monitor each zone independently with headphones. There was not even the slightest indication of crosstalk, and sonically, the system was transparent and detailed yet cut nicely through significant tradeshow background chatter, making for an impressive presentation.

Summary

The Yamaha MV800 is certainly able to work well in a variety of applications. While it seems to be designed for predominantly installed scenarios, in the portable mode it was particularly useful. My few reservations (the tiny EQ controls, rear-mounted power switch) were vaporized by the design and performance aspects of the unit. The rugged Yamaha build quality was also evident here. The capable and versatile MV800 will find a home in any number of applications that can be realized by the audio contractor.

REVIEW SETUP

Denon DN-C550R CD player/recorder; Sony DVD player; Shure Beta 58 microphone; Anchor Liberty MPA-4500 powered speakers; Sanyo PLC-SW10 video projector.