can't speak for the mackie, but i bought an HD24 new for a super cheap price last week and have been cutting basic tracks all week on it. bonehead simple to use. works like a tape machine. i have yet to use the manual other than when i setup the FTP configuration. it came with a 20 gig drive and i put a 40 gig drive in the second bay. gives me over 5 hours of 24 track recording time. The FTP works great but is very slow (slower than real-time transfer)... i'm sure the mackie is great too, but this was cheap, had the i/o i wanted, sounds good and it met my needs.