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Lexicon Reverb PCM80 vs...
Old 16th April 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 
glotus's Avatar
 

Lexicon Reverb PCM80 vs...

Hi folks,

ITB reverbs have come a long way in the last 5 years.

Is there a noticeable difference between lexicon pcm plugins and the lexicon hardware, eg, pcm 80/70?

Has the software caught up?

Please don't post unless you have, or have had a pcm 80 or 70 and actually know what you are talking about from experience.

Also, on my lexicon, the input knob crackles horribly at certain points and the input meter jumps up to the red. ZAP Snap Crackle and pop.

Is there an easy fix for this?

Thanks,

gl
Old 16th April 2012
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post

Also, on my lexicon, the input knob crackles horribly at certain points and the input meter jumps up to the red. ZAP Snap Crackle and pop.

Is there an easy fix for this?

Thanks,

gl
yes



pull the knob off, drip this down the shaft and waggle it..

.. said the vicar to the nun.

doesn't have to be servisol, any mild potentiometer cleaner will do

if you still have a problem, this means the cleaning solution did not get into the potentiometer. in which case, open it up, get to the back of the pot, there will be a couple of holes, squirt into one of them, wiggle the knob. done.
Old 16th April 2012
  #3
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AnalogGuy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post
Hi folks,

ITB reverbs have come a long way in the last 5 years.

Is there a noticeable difference between lexicon pcm plugins and the lexicon hardware, eg, pcm 80/70?

Has the software caught up?

Please don't post unless you have, or have had a pcm 80 or 70 and actually know what you are talking about from experience.

Also, on my lexicon, the input knob crackles horribly at certain points and the input meter jumps up to the red. ZAP Snap Crackle and pop.

Is there an easy fix for this?

Thanks,

gl
I doubt the extremely warm and high quality AD/DA converters would be easily emulated by plugins. I own PCM-70 but never used Lexicon plugins.
Old 16th April 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
I doubt the extremely warm and high quality AD/DA converters would be easily emulated by plugins. I own PCM-70 but never used Lexicon plugins.
I was one of the lead engineers on the PCM80. The converters have nothing to do with the sound. The last box that the converters may have affected was the 480L, because of the brickwall filtering required for resister-ladder converters. After that, it was sigma-delta and the converters stopped contributing color to the sound.

It's possible that many users who attribute 'warmth' to Lex converters were really experiencing some distortion caused by op amps in their consoles. Lex engineers did everything they could to have clean signal paths.
Old 21st April 2012
  #5
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Charlie-O's Avatar
 

Bump!

Just picked up a Lexicon PCM 80 ($100). I'm wondering how it compares to the Lex PCM plugs?

Anyone with both?

Should I keep the Lex?


Thanks.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-O View Post
Bump!

Just picked up a Lexicon PCM 80 ($100). I'm wondering how it compares to the Lex PCM plugs?

Anyone with both?

Should I keep the Lex?


Thanks.
100??? wow..

when you dont want to keep it i take it for 100 :-)
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
when you dont want to keep it i take it for 100 :-)
@Charlie-O: don't listen to this dude. He's trying to rip you off. I'll give you $105.00 for it.

Old 21st April 2012
  #8
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123.- !!
Old 21st April 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 

but when you dont need it you definitely can sell it with profit.. so the buy wasnt a waste.

In any case its better than the plug ins for various reasons..first its cheaper..at least for you..

than it has the more detailed parameter set .. you can use it in the analog domain without latencies.. especially on stage a real advantage..

it looks better..

it will keep that value for sure.. with the plugs you have lost 50% the day you buy them...

and... some people say the plugs sound the same.. some say the plugs dont sound as good.. but sofar i never heard anybody stating that the plugs sound better than the hardware with its dedicated dsp..
And comnsidering the losses by the extra AD/DA conversions thats rather surprising and shows a clear +hardware tendency.

so i suggest to use it and find out yourself wether you like it or not.. the plugs dont run away..they only get cheaper..
Old 21st April 2012
  #10
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teamsterjim's Avatar
I still use a PCM70 beacuse I use a DSP platform that routes hardware and I can send it through channels then AUXs.
I have tried many Native and Have several high spec'd DSP plugs.
I have become so use to hardware evnveloping the sounds instead of adding tails that I can't change.
I'd love to, but on a carpeted stage my samples sound wet and warm, with none of the brittle tails.
What goes into the hardware comes out + the effect. And until I hear some something that can do that, It's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The Lexicon plug in demo seemed like a step above Audio Ease and way better than the worthltess NuVerb I tried back in the 90's, but Native has a totally differnet sound through midfield stage monitors, but the PCM70 sure seems a step above my DSP plugs and other Native stuff.
The 224 UAD plug I heard is something I would love to use, but I already have my preference of DSP racks and they are propritary, so whoever uses the 224 I am sure is enjoying it.
To the Original Lexicon man, you are a God Amongst men, and FWIW e very place I get called to has the 480L and TC 5000 Mainframe as I believe they came with the SSL 4000G+, but they are a great emulation of Space.
Does that mean the plug ins are an emulations of the enulations....?
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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AnalogGuy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Carnes View Post
I was one of the lead engineers on the PCM80. The converters have nothing to do with the sound. The last box that the converters may have affected was the 480L, because of the brickwall filtering required for resister-ladder converters. After that, it was sigma-delta and the converters stopped contributing color to the sound.

It's possible that many users who attribute 'warmth' to Lex converters were really experiencing some distortion caused by op amps in their consoles. Lex engineers did everything they could to have clean signal paths.
I also heard that PCM-80 doesn't belong into "classic Lexicon" sound because it was already marketed for more semi-professional use and that the algorithms are same as in MPX -series???
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #12
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bugscoe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-O View Post
Bump!

Just picked up a Lexicon PCM 80 ($100).
Yikes! Still have mine and the PCM 90.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
I also heard that PCM-80 doesn't belong into "classic Lexicon" sound because it was already marketed for more semi-professional use and that the algorithms are same as in MPX -series???
Define classic.
If you mean 224,70,480 then no.
But pcm 80,81,90,91 are classics of their own.
Mpx1 is part pcm, but the reverbs are scaled down versions if i'm correct.
I would even buy a mpx1 for 100 dollar, but a pcm80 is ridiculous value!
Old 21st April 2012
  #14
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Charlie-O's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the replies. The guy I picked up from yesterday was selling off his studio. He had a bunch a gear for sale, with a few gems here and there. I went there to buy Ns-10's, but he wanted to sell stuff in bunches to liquidate. So end up getting the NS-10M's and the Lex PCM80 for $400.

Back on topic, I'm going to plug the Lex in today and see how it compares to some plugs. I'll be downloading some demos to compare as well.

I'll be trying the Lex out for Vocal duties first.

Thanks.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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teamsterjim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
I also heard that PCM-80 doesn't belong into "classic Lexicon" sound because it was already marketed for more semi-professional use and that the algorithms are same as in MPX -series???
I am unsure of that but I can verify I bought the PCM91 since it was AES/EBU and I assumed at least the same quality of the PCM70.
Sadly that was not the case, so I offed it for 1100 USD and felt lucky to get that, as anyone who had used the 70 and the 90 knew there was a big difference. Perhaps Digitech Chips instead of Lexdichips, or different algo's, etc.
Didn't know or care.
My ears, like my Penis seem to have control over certain aspects in life.
I have learned to trust both of them...
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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audslu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsterjim View Post
The 224 UAD plug I heard is something I would love to use, but I already have my preference of DSP racks and they are propritary, so whoever uses the 224 I am sure is enjoying it.
If you mean the UAD 224, yes i am. Sounds like a room no 2d tails in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamsterjim View Post
Didn't know or care.
My ears, like my Penis seem to have control over certain aspects in life.
I have learned to trust both of them...
Signature material.heh


...at 100$ yeah a steal
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #17
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AnalogGuy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sensing View Post
Define classic.
If you mean 224,70,480 then no.
But pcm 80,81,90,91 are classics of their own.
Mpx1 is part pcm, but the reverbs are scaled down versions if i'm correct.
I would even buy a mpx1 for 100 dollar, but a pcm80 is ridiculous value!
Classic = The "real Lexicon" = THE sound (ultra warm and rich tone (perhaps darker) without the horrible metallic ringing tail). THE Lexicon products before they changed personels, original algorithms and marketing. At some point either in late 80's or early 90's they started making semi-professional products for masses instead of the professional stuff they used to make (aka started to exploit their own brand for money).

I did some research when I was after the Lexicon sound but not paying the expensive 224. The result was PCM-70. I was told that it contains same algorithms as 224 and the high quality components from 480L... but of course I have no idea if that's true, but at least IMHO PCM-70 does extremely well job when being after the 224 type sound. When listening to some 224 sounds, I roughly believe PCM-70 sounds 70-80% identical... at least with exactly same nature and warmth. Only thing they sacrificed was the user interface, but it's not really that bad... and the components are very high quality, even the dial wheel is amazing when comparing to something today.

THE classic Lexicon:

224, 224X, 224XL, PCM60, PCM70, 200(L), 300(L) and 480L (and not to forget the delays PCM-41 and PCM-42).

Rest are supposed to be those semi-professional consumer models with sacrificed quality in components and/or in sound. My first Lexicon was Alex which was clearly cheaper stuff. The reverb was satisfying with bright, modern sounds but specially with some analog sounds it reveals the horrible metallic ringing tone.

But of course, I'm not engineer expert with having all the models to confirm these speculations but I did a lot of search with many threads as this topic was asked many times before. Surely PCM-80 might be great (I have been searching for a such bargain... $100 WTF? The cheapest I have seen were 400-600 euros!)


Perhaps the purest 224 sound available:

Old 21st April 2012
  #18
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lovekrafty's Avatar
I have a PCM-81 and 90
For me the PCM-80-81 is my all arounder
and I don,t think a plugin could replace some of the
presets, it,s truly a great piece I would never get rid of mine

Been using them since the mid 90,s
and is still current to my ears

LK
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
THE classic Lexicon:
224, 224X, 224XL, PCM60, PCM70, 200(L), 300(L) and 480L (and not to forget the delays PCM-41 and PCM-42).

Rest are supposed to be those semi-professional consumer models with sacrificed quality in components and/or in sound.
I dunno about labels for this stuff. My pcm80 at about $1500 was more expensive than my earlier pcm60. My LXP1 and 5 and MRC added up to about $1500 also (in fact I think more). I don't remember who any of this stuff was aimed at. The lxps didn't have the depth that my two pcm models had, but they were no slouches.

I do think that a pcm80 for $100 is pretty much a no-brainer. It has some great reverbs and a bazillion effects. I sold mine a while back for $750.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #20
ValhallaDSP
 
seancostello's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
I did some research when I was after the Lexicon sound but not paying the expensive 224. The result was PCM-70. I was told that it contains same algorithms as 224 and the high quality components from 480L... but of course I have no idea if that's true, but at least IMHO PCM-70 does extremely well job when being after the 224 type sound. When listening to some 224 sounds, I roughly believe PCM-70 sounds 70-80% identical... at least with exactly same nature and warmth. Only thing they sacrificed was the user interface, but it's not really that bad... and the components are very high quality, even the dial wheel is amazing when comparing to something today.
I'd say the PCM70 was closer to the 224XL:

- The 224 had a sampling rate around 20.9 KHz, so no high frequencies above 8 KHz. The 224XL and PCM70 had sampling rates around 34 KHz.
- The 224 used some fairly strange algorithms. The 224XL kept these algorithms, but added the "Rich" algorithms (Rich Chamber, Rich Plate), that ended up being extended upon for the 480L and later algorithms. The PCM70 has a Concert Hall algorithm that is close to both the 224 and 224XL Concert Halls, and Room/Inverse and Plate algorithms that are closest to the Rich algorithms in the 224XL.

I think Casey mentioned that the PCM70 algorithms are directly descended from the Lexicon 200. I haven't worked with that unit, so I can't confirm this based on my own experience, but Casey tends to know what he is talking about.

Quote:
THE classic Lexicon:

224, 224X, 224XL, PCM60, PCM70, 200(L), 300(L) and 480L (and not to forget the delays PCM-41 and PCM-42).
It would be interesting to see where the PCM80 fits in. IIRC, Barry Blesser (of EMT250 fame) was a consultant for the PCM80. According to the manual, the PCM80 algorithms are time varying, which (IMO) is one of the key aspects that separates the Lexicons you list from the LXP and (older) MPX units.

$100 for a PCM80 is a STEAL.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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AnalogGuy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
My pcm80 at about $1500 was more expensive than my earlier pcm60.
But you forget that the value of dollar is not same. PCM-60 was produced already in 1984 (PCM-70 in 1985) while PCM-80 was manufactured in 1994.

I remember reading somewhere that PCM-70's original retail price was $3000 and that would be about $10,000 in today's currency... and that was only the "budget model" of Lexicon reverb at the time.
Old 21st April 2012
  #22
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how you mix multiple tracks with the hardware?

do you have to print the reverb before using it on the next source?
Old 21st April 2012
  #23
Gear Addict
 

The pcm70 might have similar algo's to the 224, but the difference in sound is noticable. 224 is full stereo, pcm is mono input.
200 compared to 224 is like reflex to pcm70, its nice but lacks the finesse.
If anyone is interested and we can think of a common set of parameters,
I could run a wav through all of those.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TYPHY View Post
how you mix multiple tracks with the hardware?

do you have to print the reverb before using it on the next source?
Yes, if you use it on an individual channel.
Else use a send per track and run all tracks through the same fx settings.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sensing View Post
The pcm70 might have similar algo's to the 224, but the difference in sound is noticable. 224 is full stereo, pcm is mono input.
200 compared to 224 is like reflex to pcm70, its nice but lacks the finesse.
If anyone is interested and we can think of a common set of parameters,
I could run a wav through all of those.
I agree with this assessment. I've always felt that the PCM 70 and the 200 have a very similar character to them. To me there is a bit of a metallic edge to them. The 224 has none of this edge IMO.
Old 21st April 2012
  #26
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

In the studio where I was working, the 960L was the main reverb processor and it worked almost perfectly alongside an Audient console but I never missed it since I started to use PCM native plugins for some projects. I don't know for older products though...
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #27
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AnalogGuy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sensing View Post
The pcm70 might have similar algo's to the 224, but the difference in sound is noticable. 224 is full stereo, pcm is mono input.
200 compared to 224 is like reflex to pcm70, its nice but lacks the finesse.
If anyone is interested and we can think of a common set of parameters,
I could run a wav through all of those.
Thanks for the info. Yes, I totally forgot the input difference. I acknowledged the differences and that the PCM-70 was budget model and based my opinion only for a few sound demos from 224 I heard... but they are very scarce.

That's quite interesting. I never have heard 200 or 300 models, not even short demos but I always assumed they would sound very similar to 224. I really would like to hear more comparisons between the models.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #28
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
I never have heard 200 or 300 models, not even short demos but I always assumed they would sound very similar to 224.
I owned both 224 and 200 simultaneously for several years and they sounded quite different to me. I sold the 200 due to it's somewhat cold metallic sound. I never missed the 200 once it was gone. I've had the 224 since 1978 and I would definitely miss it if were no longer available to me, but it is not a reverb that does everyday duty for me. For that I use a 960L.
Old 22nd April 2012 | Show parent
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TYPHY View Post
how you mix multiple tracks with the hardware?

do you have to print the reverb before using it on the next source?
And we wonder why a lot of modern ITB production sounds overcooked
Old 22nd April 2012
  #30
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All I have to add is that a PCM-80 with the pitch card still outperforms every plug-in I've heard.
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