In terms of audio mixers, the Yamaha MG series has always been successful and has had an avid following.
Before they became prevalent, a lot of audio mixers were not being designed for long term use and sound quality would quickly degrade, so Yamaha introducing their MG series just when patience was running out was perfect timing.
Since then there have been many iterations of the Yamaha MG series and there are plenty of different options to choose from depending on your preference.
We have now reached the third generation of MG mixers and within this generation there are multiple models you can choose from, with some being more unique from each other, while each product has its own similar twin.
This review is dealing with the XU designation of the Yamaha MG and this XU is a denotation that the mixer will come with its own digital effects as well as USB connectivity as well.
The XU we are specifically targeting in this review is the Yamaha MG10XU which has the 10 in its title for the 10 inputs which it features, and has the aforementioned digital effects as well as USB connectivity which you will not be able to find on the standard Yamaha MG10.
So, if you are looking for a mixer with specific digital capabilities and you are considering investing in the Yamaha MG10XU, then this review is going to be for you.
We will look into the features offered by this product as well as the strengths and weaknesses you will deal with if you get it.
So, if you want to make an informed decision with your audio mixer, then keep reading!
One of the best new features Yamaha have added onto this model of their MG series is the D-PRE Class A mic preamp which is the same you will find on a Steinberg on their MR and UR series, Steinberg being a subsidiary of Yamaha.
The preamp has become well known for how musical it sounds as well as its low noise in conjunction with its good gain. While this is perhaps the most notable addition Yamaha has made to their MG line, there is even more.
The Yamaha MG10XU also has a new type of USB connectivity with bi-directional connectivity on their XU models.
This means you can use a 2 channel style recording, as well as good playback capability on whatever device you want whether it is a computer, or Apple device.
If you are going to connect the Yamaha MG10XU to an iPad we recommend using the Yamaha Cloud Recorder which will only cost you $1.99. This will of course let you record but also edit, and upload right onto SoundCloud.
The packaging for this mixer will also include a code for a free download of the Steinberg Cubase AI which you can use on either PC or Mac.
This mixer will offer 24 bit recording with it’s USB interface, and you will be able to get an impressive 192 kHz frequency for sample as well.
For the Yamaha MG series you will be able to get them in a variety of inputs being; 6, 10, 12, 16, and 20 input versions.
The larger versions of the MG series have extra features, like channel faders, as well as universal power sources, the smaller designs have knobs and AC adapters instead.
The 16 and the 20 input versions have their own rack ears, and the 12 input has them as an option.
For the Yamaha MG10XU specifically you will get 4 XLR/TRS/TS mono inputs as well as phantom power, as well as 80 Hz filler switches, 26dB pad, a 3 band EQ which has 100 Hz, as well as 2.5kHz, and 10 kHz frequencies available.
Input 1 and 2 also feature a simple one knob compression system too.
There are the other 6 inputs, and these are set as 3 mono inputs, 3 stereo pairs, or a combination of these.
These have -10dB when unbalanced with ¼ connectors, with inputs ⅚ and ⅞ having RCA connectors.
For inputs 9/10 you will get signal from either ¼ connectors, or a USB input which can be used for monitoring using a button you will find on the front panel.
You also get shelving EQ which is used at 100Hz as well as 10 kHz.
All of the inputs on the Yamaha MG10XU feature FX send built into the SPX effects processor.
With these effects, there are 24 on the Yamaha MG10XU which include delay, reverb, modulation, as well as plenty of others.
These effects have been routed to the FX return channel and you can program them all separately using the parameter knob, and then use the program knob to choose a specific effect.
You can choose to enable or disable an effect by using a button which is right above the return knob, or alternatively using a foot switch.
You can also use the FX send connector if you want to bypass any built-in effects, however you will need to use an input channel if you want an effect processor to return to its signal path.
When it comes to the output sections there are 3 options being; stereo out, monitor out, as well as phones.
For stereo out you have an independent knob for volume which you can use with an XLR, or a ¼ balanced +4 dB connectors, however monitor out, will have ¼ balanced using +4 dB connectors exclusively, this monitor knob will also be used for controlling the level for phone’s output.
When it comes to testing the Yamaha MG10XU, we used the ¼ balanced outputs for recording.
The quality of the Yamaha MG10XU is clean, rich, and has a more nuanced production leading to some amazing quality.
Part of this is due to the mic preamps which have been added, but on top of this the Yamaha MG10XU has a robust signal path as well!
The Yamaha MG10XU has a quality fitting of the investment you are paying for it and will out-perform any cheaper alternatives. Find out how to make your mic sound better.
Who Is It Best For?
One of the best things about the Yamaha MG10XU as well as the 6 input version is the inclusion of the BMS 10A stand adaptor which is optional for use on microphones.
This means that these mixers are perfect to use during a live performance and put them at the perfect height for use in this setting.
While the Yamaha MG10XU does not have an AUX buss which is dedicated for monitoring, most users of the mixer will be fine just using Monitor Out on a feedback monitor.
The effects which are preset on the Yamaha MG10XU will be the perfect inclusion for any live performers and having ¼ and XLR outputs are perfect for connecting the mixer to any sound console or a sound system.
The compressors which are used on input 1 and 2 are also great for giving you some dynamic control on an instrument or microphone.
Unlike the Yamaha AG03, you also have plenty of input options using the Yamaha MG10XU with the RCA, ¼ and XLR options. The option to bypass certain effects through the use of a foot switch is also a good option to have.
Of course, the Yamaha MG10XU is also designed with its USB port which is what makes it such a great option for studio recording, and while you will need a DAW program, having Cubase AI included for free is a great bonus.
Featuring both 2 in as well as 2 out as well as the USB monitoring make this a great option for most people, especially if they specialize in Internet broadcasting.
Being able to control the playback level on a computer is also a great option as well. But also having the ability to connect the mixer to a portable device like an iPad or phone is part of what makes it so versatile.
So, if you are looking for a smaller mixer which has all the standard utility you want out of a mixer, and want some great quality, the Yamaha MG10XU is going to be a stand out option!
Pros And Cons
- The mic preamps sound amazing
- Good range of I/O options with the inclusion of USB standing out
- Device compatible with portable devices like phones and iPads
- Built-in effects very good quality and usable
- Sides being made of plastic compromises quality
- The device does not actually include a USB cable
While we have sung the praises of the Yamaha MG10XU, there are some issues with it which you should know before diving in and buying it. If you are looking for something more compact check out the Yamaha AG03.
The main problem we had with the mixer is the sides of the device being plastic compromising the overall quality of the mixer even though the main chassis is made of metal.
This does mean that it is slightly lighter, but of course you have to worry slightly more about durability.
As well as this it does not include a USB cable to help with connectivity. But, if this does not bother you, then this mixer is a great option!