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Power by design

Fender PX2216D powered mixer

Article from The Mix, December 1994

Innovative PA concept


Fender's new PX2216D puts a new twist on the concept of the powered PA mixer. As Chris Kempster discovers, its innovative features ensure that the sum is definitely greater than the parts...

PX2216D (aerial shot)


Have you ever turned up to a gig with your powered mixer, only to find there's nowhere to place it atop of? So you put it on a wobbly table, risking it crashing to the ground halfway through your set. Then you find that the close proximity of the amplifier and mixing circuitry causes excessive hum, seriously denting your rock'n'roll credibility. If these problems sound familiar, then you're going to love Fender's new line in powered mixers, the PX2200 series.

Combining a well-specified mixer with a 300 watt/channel power amp and digital effects may sound even run-of-the-mill nowadays, but it's the clever design of the PX-2216D (and its brothers) that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Design



No, it's not a new type of deckchair, it's the 8 channel baby of the family

The major difference between the PX-2216D and other powered mixers is that the mixer and amplifier are separate. It might then seem strange to call it a powered mixer, but the use of the term is justified since the two units are built into a sturdy case, which doubles up as a stand. Very clever. The connections from the mixer to the amp are made within this case, so all you need do at the gig is plug your instruments into the desk, and your speakers into the amp. At first the design seems a little convoluted, but once you've set up and packed away a few times, you wonder why no-one's come up with a similar idea before now.

The mixer itself has sixteen inputs (on the PX-2216D), and its facilities make for impressive reading. The three-band EQ is augmented by two graphic EQs which can be used on the monitor mixes. Talking of which, the PX2216D has two monitor mixes, which is incredibly handy, and nice to see on a desk in this price range.

The master section includes digital effects, as seems to be the norm these days, with 127 patches to choose from, including halls, vocal plates, delays and autopanning.

In use



Having the power amp and mixer separate definitely gives the PX-2216D the edge in terms of audio performance. Where you'd normally expect a certain amount of hum, there is eery silence (aren't all your gigs like that? - Ed) The inclusion of insert points is always nice to see, and the colour-coded pots make for easy reading in the semidarkness of yer local small venue. Not that you have to endure semi-darkness if you don't want to - Fender have thoughtfully included a BNC lamp socket for those who like to see what they're doing.

The 300 watt/channel power amp that comes with the PX-2216D certainly knocks out enough sound for most pubs and small clubs, and it's capable of delivering a well-rounded and controlled sound, if used with suitable cabs. Overall the PX-2216D was very straightforward to operate, while giving an extremely capable performance.

Verdict



In coming up with a radical approach to powered mixer design, Fender have killed several birds with one stone. The age-old hum problem is solved by keeping the amplifier and mixer circuitry separate, and the standalone nature of the unit is also a definite bonus.

Fender have put a lot of thought into the design, and this is apparent in the many little touches that make it a joy to use, such as the two monitor sends, the graphic EQs, the option of lighting, and the simple panel layout.

If compactness and convenience are qualities you appreciate in a powered mixer, then there's none with more ingenuity than the PX-2216D.

The essentials...

Price inc VAT: £1742

More from: Arbiter Group, (Contact Details)

Spec check

Mixer section

Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz
Distortion: <0.025%
Signal to noise ratio: >90dBu
Dynamic range: 116dB
Adjacent channel crosstalk: -85dB

Power amp section

Power output: 300watts @ 4 Ohms (PX116D)
Power bandwidth: 10Hz-68kHz
Total harmonic distortion: <0.03%
Hum and noise: 95dB below rated output
Sensitivity: 1.8dBv



Previous Article in this issue

Driving in the fast lane

Next article in this issue

Monitor Mix


Publisher: The Mix - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
More details on copyright ownership...

 

The Mix - Dec 1994

Donated by: Colin Potter

Coverdisc: Mike Gorman

Control Room

Gear in this article:

Mixer > Fender > PX-2216D

Review by Chris Kempster

Previous article in this issue:

> Driving in the fast lane

Next article in this issue:

> Monitor Mix


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