In this article, we compare the Chamsys MQ80 and Onyx NX2 lighting consoles. We used the Martin M2GO (now Onyx NX2) for 2 years before trying the Chamsys MQ80. Keep reading to find out why we ultimately decided to make the switch to Chamsys.

Quick Answer: The Chamsys MQ80 and Onyx NX2 are priced at a similar level. With its additional pro features, flexibility, and convenience, the MQ80 was the obvious choice for us. 

What The Chamsys MQ80 Does Better

Chamsys MQ80 Lighting Console

We were really impressed by the Chamsys MQ80 lighting console to the point that we decided to make the switch from the Martin M2GO, our previous go-to lighting console.

  • Built-in backup battery
    The lighting console will continue working for a few minutes if the power supply is disrupted. Not a super common event but a great failsafe feature for the MQ80 to have.
  • Locking powerCON connector
    We’ve knocked our Martin M2GO’s power connector a couple of times, causing the cable to come out of the socket. Not a problem with the locking connector on the MQ80.
  • Assignable playbacks
    The Chamsys MQ80 has assignable master, sub-master, and crossfade sliders, giving you added flexibility over the M2GO.
  • Pre-loaded palettes
    The MQ80 has palettes pre-loaded for most mainstream fixtures while you need to program your own on the M2GO. This is particularly useful at corporate events when you don’t know what’s coming next.
  • More encoders
    You’ll find 8 encoders on the MQ80’s interface compared to the M2GO’s 4 + touchscreen configuration.
  • More convenient outputs
    Both consoles output 4 universes of DMX, but the Chamsys MQ80’s built-in network switch means it offers 4 network outputs. A great time-saving and convenient feature over the M2GO. MIDI connections come as standard on the MQ80 but are an upgrade on the M2GO.
  • Chamsys software works on PC, Mac, and Linux
    The software for the M2GO would not work natively on Mac, meaning we had to use Parallels to run Windows on our Mac. The whole team can use the Chamsys software, regardless of their operating system.
  • Free software visualizer
    With the Chamsys software, you can create a visual representation of your show in 5 minutes and transfer this to the MQ80 via ethernet cable. The show then runs from the console. You can do something similar with the M2GO, but the show is run from the laptop, and the console essentially becomes a wing to the computer.

What The Onzx NX2 (Previously Martin M2GO) Does Better

While we felt the MQ80 was the better console overall, it didn’t better the M2GO in every respect. There was one area where we acknowledged we were losing a feature we liked about the M2GO.

  • Screen angle
    The screen on the MQ80 is fixed into the console, while the M2GO’s screen articulates to give the best viewing angle. We find the only comfortable way to work with the MQ80 is to stand or plug in an external screen.

Chamsys MQ80 Vs. Onyx NX2 Specs

Chamsys MQ80Onyx NX2
Universes direct from console48 (via Artnet / sACN / Pathport)64 Universe integrated processing
Direct DMX Outputs44
RDM SupportYesYes
Playbacks1010
Grand Master Fader11 (Rotary fader)
Sub Master Fader1No
Crossfade Master Fader1No
Attribute Encoders84
Network Ports42
DisplayInbuilt 12” displayAdjustable 15.6” Full HD multi touch screen
External Monitor1 x up to 1920×1200 resolution – HDMI2 x DisplayPort (up to 4k)
USB Ports65
Audio Input1 channel, 7 bandMic in
Remote input portYesNo
LTC Timecode In PortYesYes
MIDI I/OYesYes
Inbuilt UPSYes – 12v Lead-Acid BatteryNo
Power InputNeutrik powerCON TRUE1 110 to 240 VAC1.5 m power cable, 3-pin IEC