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Yamaha MG166CX-USB 16-Channel Mixer

Because many house PA systems are less than stellar, gigging musicians often find themselves responsible for providing sound reinforcement at their gigs. But who really wants to heave all that heavy hardware around? Yamaha’s MG166CX-USB mixing console provides an answer to this problem by folding effects, compression and digital recording into a lightweight package.

In fact, the first thing you will notice about the mixer is its weight, a trifling 12 pounds! It’s easy to manage with one arm by itself, but can be installed in a rack. All of its controls and inputs, with the exception of power and the USB port, are accessible from the front of the mixer, a big plus when plugging in cables. The power input is not the standard IEC power cable that comes with most professional-level electronics equipment but rather a proprietary plug attached to a large power block. Using a power block reduces the weight of the mixer, but Yamaha failed in the plug aspect of the design: If you break this singular power cable on a gig, you’re outta luck and will not easily find a replacement.

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