Mackie 1604 Vlz3 16 Channel Mixer - Page 5 - Answered Questions & Fixed issues

Removing all the knobs from a section of the board where the bad fader is can be a hassle.and sometimes some of the nuts from jack or screws from some connectors.

You are probably better to order the part from Mackie to get the exact part. Most are made by ALPS and I get ones for some equipment from or However, it does take a bot o knowledge to get the correct part and sometimes requires cutting the shaft of one that is too long.
One MUST match the mounting holes, resistance value, length of throw AND the "taper". Yours will probably be a standard "Audio taper" for the main output.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on May 04, 2010 | 433 views

Make sure the PAN knobs are centered...

Also you can do a lot of troubleshooting with headphones in monitor jacks, etc.

Remember to use BALANCED lines out of the mixer which are either XLR or TRS type cables.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Apr 03, 2010 | 248 views

Here is a link to buy online or find a dealer: I would also recommend this store: Enjoy your purchase.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Mar 27, 2010 | 85 views

The connections can be accomplished in 2 ways: Direct or using insert cables. The most common way is directly as follows:

Mixer L/R ===> EQ Input L/R ==> Amp Input L/R ==> Speakers L/R

Using insert cables you would have a single 1/4" connector at the mixer end (inserted in to the "insert" L or R) and the other end into the EQ. If you need more details about this method, please post the model of the EQ so I can determine the type of insert cable required.

Hope this helps.


Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jul 09, 2013 | 748 views

A local hardware store with drawers of screws should have what you need. The screws may be metric.

Take a sample screw with and find a nut to fit it to get the size and thread pitch. Then select a screw of that size of an appropriate length..

Nothing is worse than getting something that has obviously been worked on... you know it has a problem that they tried to fix and if you are lucky, they did not create others.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Mar 06, 2010 | 328 views

Many of those connections REQUIRE using TRS cables (stereo style) rather than TS cables (mono style). It is possible you have mixed the cables if it worked before.

Any cable plugged into an "insert" should be a TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) cable.

Look up these connections in your 1604 manual.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Feb 19, 2010 | 381 views

Here is the manual if you don't have one: There are solo buttons for each channel. There is also an auxiliary return solo button. There is also a solo to main button. These buttons are all inter related. Is your main output mute button in or out? Read the manual carefully as there are a myriad of combinations you can use. Have a look at the trouble shooting guide on page 21. If you can't find a solution try contacting Mackie. Let me know if this helps.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jan 25, 2010 | 239 views

Yes, there are chips in the unit and any COMPETENT tech should be able to repair.

Since both the XLR and the jack are bad, this implies something more.

USUALLY Mackie drives the XLR and the unbalanced jack seperately so the problem would be what drives the unbalanced jack.

CHECK if you have output at the UTILITY left output jack. If you do, the driver chip for the left output main is the problem.

If you don't, the problem may back up farther into the EQ.

A LOT of troubleshooting can be done on these by using the block diagram in your manual showing signal paths.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jan 25, 2010 | 710 views

Hi kielhunt
It sounds like power supply issues.
You may have bad capacitors and/or bad regulators.
If you have a multimeter you can get in there and check the dc voltages for ripple(ac voltage mixed with dc) or over/under voltages along the +/- 15volts lines.
Good luck

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jan 27, 2011 | 413 views

is level pot defectives, needs to be replaced, u can change-them but is very comfusing, needs the same pot ref. u can find on electronics store, but probably dont find them easy, better send to repair. time spend to find them is long.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jan 17, 2010 | 192 views

If these are the rotary knobs, pull them off and compare the shaft to one htat is tight. Sometimes it is a split shaft and you can GENTLY bend them out the tiniest amount to tighten the knobs.

If the shafts are plastic, try putting a few strands of thin string across the shaft before putting the knob on.

the knobs pull off but take a bit of forcee to do so.

IF IT SEEMS that the shaft itself is looser than others, best leave it alone. Replacing a pot on these takes a lot of work... MANY knobs must be pulled off and the case opened and at least a section of the board with the pots removed to access the pots.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jan 12, 2010 | 177 views

Test if the headphone jack also has same problem.

There are so many possibilities as to be mind boggling... HOWEVER the mixer has a lot of external connections that you can test certain things are working externally.

Download or look at your user manual that shows the signal flow map... if has a bunch of lines, triangles, and squiggly things that shows how signals go through the unit and from that one can do tests to isolate the problem.

You would need to tell us if you are using the XLR or the TRS as the outputs from the mains for example.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Jan 11, 2010 | 91 views

You may be able to buy the parts from or

There usually is a number on the side. Most are made by "ALPS".

You need to match the resistance value and the "taper" which is indicated by a letter following the nunber. You will want an "Audio Taper" for these functions.

Replace ANY flakey ones because there are a LOT of screws to remove to get at these.

You sometimes have to cut the handle down to match the original ones. Use tin snips to cut and file off any burrs.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Dec 23, 2009 | 110 views

The user manual has fairly good diagrams.

Get user manual here:

On page 34 is the BLOCK layout which has everything you need to know, once you figure how to read it!!!

The Triangle symbols are operational amp/analog summing amps.

By looking at the jack symbols you can tell if they are mono or TRS.

A lot of the TRS ones will show a TRS three lead jack but have a resistor to ground. These can be used as mono's.

The TRS (stands for Tip-Ring-Sleeve) connectors are used in two ways. One is as a balanced input where both the signal and its inverse is used. A balanced line is far more noise free and ground loop free than an unbalanced line.

Another use of the TRS is for external effect insertion where the sleeve is ground and the tip is the signal SENT to the external effect box and the ring is the RETURNed signal from the effect box.

SOMETIMES you may have to make your own cables to get the signals where you want them on the connectors.

HINT: Use XLR connections wherever you can. More rugged, balanced and noise free- ground loop free.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Dec 16, 2009 | 203 views

Make sure the mic/line button is selected when trying to input from teh external inputs.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Dec 11, 2009 | 396 views

Here is where you can get the service manual: Let me know if this helps.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Nov 26, 2009 | 216 views

You may be getting a small amount of cross-talk. How high are the gain settings and sliders when this occurs? Also, can you describe the overall setup that you are using? I'll check the prints, but you should not be getting any volume unless the gains are maxed.


Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Oct 16, 2009 | 297 views

Unless you are in super humid environment, this is more likely a crack in the circuit board OR a bad connector on a ribbon cable. Also BROKEN or cold solder joint for a connector pin through the circuit board.

Good way to cause this with ribbon cables is to NOT distribute the load when pulling them off. Often the wires near the edge are stretched and make poor contact with the little forks that pierce the insulation.

CRC226 is a good product to use for contacts. Available at Home Depot in the electrical department. Blue spray can. Use sparingly.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Oct 08, 2009 | 274 views

Check power supply first. Look for cables that might have become disconnected.

I assume you know how to unmute the channels. You also need to select the channels to go to the L-R by depressing the switches at each channel..

Suggest you download the manual if you don't have one and refer to the signal flow diagram. You can do a lot of external testing and see what switches need to be set to pass signals.

SOME cables are TRS types for balanced signals, including the mains output.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Oct 06, 2009 | 118 views

This is a serious problem. If you spilled liquid into the unit, expect serious internal damage.

DO NOT keep replacing fuses as you may be creating further damage.

Best scenario is if the input to the power supply has shorted diodes or capacitors. Worst is that part of the circuit board has been burned.

Taking it to a shop or having electronic skills and opening the unit up to troubleshoot are the options.

Mackie 1604 Vlz3... | Answered on Sep 24, 2009 | 239 views

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