Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by ken long »

Had a Reflex and and Alex. Both decent.
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by ManFromGlass »

If the price is right and it does a few things you like a lot and would use then go for it.
I’ve had a few low end Lexicon units and have kept the MPX1 and Vortex. There are some presets I really like and use. The rest of my reverbs are in the box emulations of high end and really low end units. (Why did I give away my Radio Shack Digital Reverberator? :thumbup: )
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by BillB »

There's a weird echo in here...
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Arpangel »

BillB wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:40 pm
I am going to have to spend more time with mine and see what it can really do. Interestingly, out of the whole series: MPX100, MPX110, MPX200, MX200, I think only the 110 can use CC's to really dig into the Reverb (etc) algorithms, such as:
Decay PreDelay RTHiCut Bassmult Bassxover Rolloff
This brings it closer to the level of parameter control of the MPX500/550.

or, in the case of Delay/Echo:
MstrDly MstrFbk MstrXFbk RTHiCut DlyLeft1 DlyLeft2 DlyLeft3 Rolloff LvlLeft1 LvlLeft2 LvlLeft3 DlyRight1 DlyRight2 DlyRight3 LvlRight1 LvlRight2 LvlRight3.

By contrast, all of the others only allow CC access to duplicate the front panel controls, which are key, but fairly limited parameters. I think (happy to be corrected) that even the MX200/400 MX Editor software can only duplicate the front panel controls although, being software, it can provide more meaningful labels than those printed on the front panel (e.g. "Variation").

All of the MPX's can do fully detailed editing via Sysex, but then you have to decode Lexicon's rather complex MPX MIDI Implementation manual.

Have to say, when I am flipping between different Lexicon models, I am tending to like the sound and ease of use of the old Reflex... If I said it sounds "warmer", is that a punishable offence?

And apologies to Kevin for the topic hijack :headbang::headbang:

OK, it’s the MPX100, that’s what I had, for approximately two weeks.
Isn’t the Reflex a full size rack version of the LXP1?
The delays on the LXP1, are cool, it’s the way you can select them, and the timings are spot on, there’s one that has a chorus on it, I used it on the FM percussion on this track.

https://agflynn.bandcamp.com/track/whos-gettin-it
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Kevin Nolan »

Arpangel wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:15 am Lexicons I have owned.

The MX300/400 are OK, but nothing to write home about, the delays on these cheap Lexicons are their selling point, "not" the reverbs.

This is in contradiction to both the SOS review, and what Lexicon themselves are claiming about the reverbs onboard the MC400XL - they are saying there are 17 legendary algorithms - and they sold this device as a follow on from the MPX500 and 550 I believe.

So surely there is no difference in the inherent "quality" of the reverb algorithms as found on _any_ Lexicon Hardware up to this point - LPX15 / PCM70 / PCM90 or even the 480?

Accepting there may be more detailed editing on the more expensive devices - but - surely the algorithms are the same? Not saying they are all identical - I'm sure there were developments from the PCM 70 to 91 - but - the PCM70 is a stunning, and legendary reverb! Are you implying they've programmed stripped-down versions of their "legendary reverb algorithms" - but still calling them legendary - just for cheaper devices.

The reason I'm interested in this (even though I own an LXP15, MPX1, MPX500 PCM91) is because I'm assuming it has the same reverbs as the others - or a selection of their legendary Reverbs. Hardware quality aside, I can't hear _any_ meaningful difference between the Hall Reverbs of my LXP15 and PCM91 - the only difference is editing detail, and the DACs - but eh LXP sounds _stunning_ when levels are correct, still, today. It's a stunning Lexicon reverb, period!

So I'm anticipating that the MX400XL will have equally stunning reverbs - and indeed the SOS review basically corroborates that. And then the MX400 has 24bit DACs, USB connectivity, SPDIF and (if software can be got to run on modern computers) - DAW integration.

So I'll probably take a punt on it - where I genuinely believe I'll get as good Lexicon Reverbs as are available on any of the more expensive older packages, but at a fraction of the price.

What prompted me to examine purchasing them is just how cheap they are, the need for hardware reverb for a specific purpose, and then I recently noticed that Thorsten Quaeschning uses two of them in his live setup - and that really piqued my interest!

But just livening up the debate here :-) - I for one wasn't questioning the quality of the reverbs onboard the MX400 as you seem to be - I can't see any reason why it won't deliver the same algorithms as in their legacy and originally more expensive reverbs - they're claiming they are the very same algorithms; and SOS basically confirmed that!
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Arpangel »

All of the units you mention sound different, that’s the only reason I’m commenting on this thread, and why I owned particular models, and generally, you get what you pay for.
The MPX1 is way better, in every way, than say, a 300/400.
Better is maybe not the right word, but I can’t think of another one, the PCM70 is in all senses of the word "legendary" but is in no way a 480.
If these cheap units were as good as the more expensive ones, no one would buy the expensive ones, and Lexicon would be shooting themselves in the foot, but our ears are the judge, and what I’ve said is what I’ve found.
That was many years ago, my hearing was fantastic, beyond, but now it’s terrible, and I’m sure I couldn’t tell the difference as much as I did then, but maybe I could, reverb has always been a major part of my music, very long reverb times, so they are on show, naked.
Reviews are all very well, but they are just a guide, and they are not our ears. I would never base a purchase on a review, occasionally, stuff that has become sought after, and sounds great, got bad reviews when it came out, and stuff that’s given a good review, can fall flat.
If I’d had bought my MPX100 on the basis of its review, I would have been very disappointed, we really have to check things for ourselves.
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Kevin Nolan wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:11 pm So I'll probably take a punt on it - where I genuinely believe I'll get as good Lexicon Reverbs as are available on any of the more expensive older packages, but at a fraction of the price.

Firstly, it might be worth bearing in mind that the way Tony uses effects processing in general, and his requirements and expectations, may not be the same as yours (or mine).

It's also worth noting that the rapid advance in DSP processing power and memory through the turn of the century made it possible to migrate what were very complex algorithms requiring very expensive hardware in early Lexicon processors to much more affordable devices in the early 2000s.

That said, in my limited experience of the MX200/MX400 models which were undoubtedly very good for their cost), they didn't quite match the sophistication -- either in editing/controllability, or the depth of sound -- of higher range models like the PCM series (I still use a PCM90 here) or the flagship reverbs.

I guess it comes down to what you seek to do with the MX400. If you're trying to emulate a real acoustic space with great precision it may not be the tool for you. If you're looking for some lush, nice-sounding generic reverbs, it could well be perfect.

It certainly isn't junk...
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:46 am I guess it comes down to what you seek to do with the MX400. If you're trying to emulate a real acoustic space with great precision it may not be the tool for you. If you're looking for some lush, nice-sounding generic reverbs, it could well be perfect.

It certainly isn't junk...

Absolutely, I was going to say, if you’re using an MX in a "conventional" mainstream context, it could well be more, than good enough, Hugh mentioned the PCM91, that’s very good indeed, definitely a major cut above the MX series, if I wanted to add a bit of extra verb to a live classical performance, the 91 would cut it, without being noticed, I wouldn’t be too confident about using the cheaper Lexicons to do this.
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by BillB »

Without getting into the PCM vs MX/MXP Lexicons (which is often touched upon in the well-detailed SOS reviews), cost is not a function of "Algorithm quality" but usually of hardware features. So for example:
MPX100: unbalanced I/O, SPDIF out, 16 user memories, single adjust knob (although note my previous observation on MIDI CC control of MPX110 parameters), DC powered
MPX200: unbalanced I/O, SPDIF in/out, 64 user memories, Adjust+EQ editing, LED matrix shows effects used, mains powered
MPX500: balanced I/O, SPDIF in/out, 30 user memories (updated to 64 with the MPX550), upto 16 parameter editing, backlit LCD screen, mains powered.

So the stuff around the processors has a major part to play in the cost and yes, the AD/DA conversion cost/quality may play a role in the overall sound, but cost is more about hardware facilities than it is about the inherent quality of the processing - at least in a comparable range of units like the ones listed above.

Having said that, Paul White made an interesting observation at the end of his MPX550 review:

"The sound of the MPX550 is significantly better than the budget MPX100 and its direct offspring. Although it won’t fool a 480L user, it comes closer to the sound of the PCM80s and PCM90s than you might expect, and its reverb quality is every bit as good as the MPX1."
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Arpangel »

BillB wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:30 pm
Having said that, Paul White made an interesting observation at the end of his MPX550 review:

"The sound of the MPX550 is significantly better than the budget MPX100 and its direct offspring. Although it won’t fool a 480L user, it comes closer to the sound of the PCM80s and PCM90s than you might expect,


Agreed, and the word "closer" is well chosen :)


BillB wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:30 pm
and its reverb quality is every bit as good as the MPX1."

Disagree, otherwise I would have bought an MPX550, instead of an MPX1.
I was downsizing, and needed something to replace my Eventide, at a cheaper price, the MPX1 was the only thing that tempted me, the reverbs in the MPX1 are very dense, lush, the reverbs in the 550 are bit more up the shallow end, just enough so that you can hear it.
I ended up not buying either in the end, after a band member took me outside and gave me a good kicking for even vaguely thinking of selling my Eventide.

:D:D:D
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Kevin Nolan »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:46 am

I guess it comes down to what you seek to do with the MX400. If you're trying to emulate a real acoustic space with great precision it may not be the tool for you. If you're looking for some lush, nice-sounding generic reverbs, it could well be perfect.

It certainly isn't junk...


Hi Hugh - I know so much of this is debating in the dark because we don't know what Lexicon might do to their reverb processing across various models - but - if we are to take them at face value - where they claim like on this MX400 that it has 17 classic reverbs -then I'm imagining that the actual reverb algorithm running on any of their hardware is the same.

So if it's a Room reverb on a PCM91, or an MX400 - and it's the classic Lexicon Rom reverb - I'm imagining they haven't invented a new algorithm called 'Room' - and - hardware implementation aside - it's the same algorithm running.

Are you assuming that too in your comment above - and therefore the difference in detail you're talking about is a difference in parameter access to configure that underlying algorithm - or are you imagining that it's a different, better algorithm on the more expensive units, and just sounds better as a Room simulation, period?
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Re: Lexicon MX400 - thoughts?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Kevin Nolan wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:12 pm ..where they claim like on this MX400 that it has 17 classic reverbs -then I'm imagining that the actual reverb algorithm running on any of their hardware is the same.

Possibly.

I don't have any detail of Lexicon algorithms and their implementations in different models, but 'classic' implies early and simple, as opposed to later and more advanced... What bowled us over in the emerging world of digital reverb in 1985 might not hold up as being quite so impressive as a 'classic' reverb in 2021!

And it's also possible that while the same basic core algorithm maybe used across the board for some reverb presets, the implementation in lower cost units might involve well less iterations, say, and so be less dense, than in a more generously equipped model, perhaps, in order to minimise memory requirements or processor cycles.

As was mentioned earlier, it doesn't seem unreasonable top assume Lexicon introduced some differentiation between models and markets beyond simple converter and control technology.

But the only answer is to try it and see if it meets your specific needs.
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