REVIEW: Cerwin Vega CVM-1224FX USB Mixer

PROS: Tons of features, plenty of live/recording applications, easy to use.

CONS: None.

PRICE: $299

Mixers almost always seem to be available in a standard set of configurations – 12, 16, 24 tracks, for example. In recent years, certain features and designs have also become standards, as well. Cerwin Vega’s new CVM series of mixers are no exception. 

The unit itself is not all that big considering what’s offered. There are plenty of connections for inputs and outputs, as well as a USB connection for playback and external recording.  For personal monitoring, a 1/4” headphone connection is there as well. A series of LED indicators monitor output levels, in the usual green to red spectrum. Phantom power is also available for microphones requiring it. A set of rack mount ears are also included, a nice touch for pro users.

The effects sound good, and as with most mixers in this price range, they’re optimized for ambience, not over-the-top sounds. Connecting to a PC via the USB enables the mixer to interact with recording software, effectively making this an input device for home recording or demos.

The EQ & FX work fine, and the sound quality is great, but with the limited amount of XLR inputs (at least on the 12-channel version) it might be lacking for recording a full band and extensive live use. That said, for a typical rock band that will normally only run vocals and a few instruments through the PA, this will fit the bill perfectly.  An even better application would be for podcasting or other multimedia, as usually more than 12 tracks aren’t being used at the same time.

At a street price of $299, it’s competitive to other mixers out there, in terms of features and price, but the power supply is a bit of a concern. Cerwin Vega uses a typical mixer cable/wall wart combo, similar to a laptop style power supply, that is specific to their unit. If this gets lost, finding a replacement at your local dealer might be tough; a standard power supply connection or the standard 3-prong IEC cable would have been a more convenient option. On the bright side, if the power supply does fail, it would be easier to replace the power supply rather than the entire mixer.

FEATURES

Inputs: 2 RCA stereo line, 4 1/4″ mono, 4 1/4″ stereo line inputs w/ 6 XLR mic inputs

Output: XLR and 1/4″ stereo MAINs, 1/4″ stereo ALT 3-4, 1/4″ stereo Control Room, stereo RCA jacks for connection to a recorder

EQ: 3-Band channel equalizer providing +/-15 dB (HF, LF) and +/-12 dB (MF) per channel

Faders: 60mm

Low Cut (HPF): Switch @75Hz to eliminate background rumble

AUX/EFX: Controls to adjust the level of signal sent to bus

Phantom Power (+48V): Switch for safe connection of condenser mics

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