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Lexicon 480L still a good buy in 2013?
Old 28th February 2013
  #1
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TSM's Avatar
Lexicon 480L still a good buy in 2013?

I have been offered a 480L which I'm sort of tempted by. With great modern verbs like M7 and Eventide 8000, would this be a good move? I'm in to world and new age music not the general mainstream stuff, so reverb feature quite heavily in my recordings....the other thing I'm slightly worried by is servicing costs...I've also never used a 480L and the seller is miles away so would have to buy it blind...
Would this be a wise investment?
Thanks.
Old 28th February 2013
  #2
A good price and good condition - definitive yes !

R.
Old 28th February 2013
  #3
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LeMauce's Avatar
Good condition is the most important. If one of those chips or cards are broke, be prepared to dump the unit in the bin or pay reallllly expensive cost to fix it.
I would go for Bricasti.
Old 1st March 2013
  #4
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mobilemozart's Avatar
 

Yes, go for the Bricasti and use Impulse Responses for the Classic Reverbs. Acousticas have a great collection of 480 impulses as well as the 224 and also the EMT.

Unless you have a serious budget for tech and repair, those older reverb units are quite a challenge. I've had a few nightmares over Lexicon 224s, AMS Units, etc.
Old 1st March 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Does anyone even fix these anymore? We had a hard time getting one repaired at the studio I was working at. The sound is gorgeous and classic tho!
Old 1st March 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSM View Post
I'm in to world and new age music not the general mainstream stuff, so reverb feature quite heavily in my recordings..
The 480L is the bomb for that kind of music.

I wanted one for a really long time but I was afraid of the very real possibility that, even if I scored a nice clean one, it might break and I wouldn't be able to fix it. Thousands of $$ lost.

But last month I purchased the Relab LX480 plugin, and I'm pretty happy with it. I don't know if it is exactly like a hardware 480.. it doesn't really matter, because it has that vibe and that special musical thing, that I remember getting from the hardware units in studios that had them..

If you need the hardware, you need the hardware, completely understood. But if you want that sound and you work with a DAW, the plugin might be the ticket.

If I had the $$ to get a hardware reverb, I would purchase an M7. Not the same as a 480- great in a different way. But I personally can't see spending thousands on a unit that can't be fixed, or is very difficult, and it won't get any better in the years to come.
Old 1st March 2013
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
A good price and good condition - definitive yes !

R.
If you like a time bomb...

Buying one now is a bad idea IMHO...

I have 2 Bricasti units and a controller and I would trade one and the controller for a 480L in a HEARTBEAT if they had any longevity.

But at this point you are buying an inevitable doorstop or stupidly expensive repair.

Can you find one in great shape that works fine- sure. Will it stay that way... Thats the real question.
Old 1st March 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

I don't know what people are affraid of. Of course, if your 480 breaks down, it's over. But meanwhile there is NO reverb in the world equal to a 480L.

I bought one last year, and it has been running 10 - 12 hours a day ever since.

We tried bricasti but it's WAAAAYYY to clean for the music we do. Had an H8000 before, and it did not even come close to 480L.

We are looking for a 960 now. Just because it's a newer unit, it has more in and outputs. But it still lacks the mojo of a 480.....
Old 1st March 2013
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pimpampeter View Post

We are looking for a 960 now. Just because it's a newer unit, it has more in and outputs. But it still lacks the mojo of a 480.....
And the 960L runs at 96K, which is a feature if your studio standard is 96K (which ours is).
Old 1st March 2013
  #10
Gear Maniac
If it's in good shape and hopefully v4.1 then go for it.

If possible get the classic cart as well.
Old 1st March 2013
  #11
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scott petito's Avatar
 

If you really want it to sound best use it analog ...the low end by today's standards a/d converters are so much of the sound of all the classic Lexicons.....

Cheers
SP
Old 1st March 2013
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Yes, converters are part of the sound, still.. if you use it in digital this unit outperform the most of hardware & plugins, reverb....
Old 1st March 2013
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSM View Post
Would this be a wise investment?
Thanks.
Wise investment? Absolutely not.

Great sound? Yeah, absolutely.

Don't be fooled, after the plugins have been out for months "cloning" the 480, I find it more than a bit odd that no one has done an A/B comparison. The 480 is a classic. BUT, as many have said, it's a ticking time bomb. It's not a U47 that can be put back together with some alternate parts. If some of the parts go, there is NO replacement other than buying another and gutting it.

Personally, I'd buy an M7 and the plugins. Actually, that's what I DID do when I sold the 480L.
Old 1st March 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Don't be fooled, after the plugins have been out for months "cloning" the 480, I find it more than a bit odd that no one has done an A/B comparison.
I don't find it so odd.. why should anyone who owns a properly working 480L take the time and effort to purchase or demo the plugin and create and post comparisons? Well, maybe if they're trying to secure some sort of backup plan in case the hardware fails, but that's not going to be a serious motivator unless and until it does fail, then of course it's too late.

I do find it odd, however, that the plugin developer hasn't done it, as per that other thread over there.. if I were the developer, touting the plugin as being exactly like the hardware as a main selling point, I would have created those comparison samples before I even released the product.
Old 1st March 2013
  #15
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killahurts View Post
I don't find it so odd.. why should anyone who owns a properly working 480L take the time and effort to purchase or demo the plugin and create and post comparisons? Well, maybe if they're trying to secure some sort of backup plan in case the hardware fails, but that's not going to be a serious motivator unless and until it does fail, then of course it's too late.

I do find it odd, however, that the plugin developer hasn't done it, as per that other thread over there.. if I were the developer, touting the plugin as being exactly like the hardware as a main selling point, I would have created those comparison samples before I even released the product.
Yes. A verifiable, bona fide backup plan. Or to just add another verb option to a busy mix. And yes, if I was the developer, the FIRST thing I'd do after "cloning" the real deal would be to make compelling comparison clips. But hey, that's just me.
Old 1st March 2013
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
Lex 480L V4 here : large wood room (2.3 seconds and a bit of pre delay ) and you are there

For new age music 2 other " cheap " units : try a SRV 330 Roland ( some presets with RSS technology are breathtaking )

and for Delays , I am always amazed by the Sony D7 which is king when it comes to have great echoes on Synths

Best of luck with your search
Old 2nd March 2013
  #17
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thermos's Avatar
drbill, i guess I also don't find it odd that there are no comparisons. Thats probably more of a good sign than a bad one. Remember when the beta came out and there was immediately a comparison showcasing how off the plug and the hardware were? Now, nothing. I would also imagine Martin is more focused on getting the installer/various bugs worked out.

Try the plugin before you buy the hardware. Simple solution. I think its awesome.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #18
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I think its awesome.
No doubt. But a cable switch, no listening or tweaking needed swap out with a vintage antique piece of hardware and awesome are two different things. I had a 480 (gone now), and use them regularly. I'm just wondering if the plugin is the SAME, not better, not "fixed", not awesome, not close, not different but cool - just the same. That's all. I'm good either way, but if I'm going to mix somewhere else with a hardware unit, and have to do touchups with my plugin @ my personal studio, I need to know if they are merely close, or a verified clone. So my comment stands. IMO, I find it highly bizarre that touting it as a clone, they wouldn't use a verifiable comparison to push sales thru the roof, but hey, not everyone thinks like me..... (a blessing no doubt,,,,, heh)
Old 2nd March 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
IMO, I find it highly bizarre that touting it as a clone, they wouldn't use a verifiable comparison to push sales thru the roof, but hey, not everyone thinks like me...
Yeah that was my point too.. although whether or not it's a perfect clone is more important to you than it is to me.. but still........ now you've made me curious to know!

Any you guys wanna send me a 480L for a while, I'll do the comparison to your heart's content. heh
Old 2nd March 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pimpampeter View Post
I don't know what people are affraid of. Of course, if your 480 breaks down, it's over. But meanwhile there is NO reverb in the world equal to a 480L.

I bought one last year, and it has been running 10 - 12 hours a day ever since.

We tried bricasti but it's WAAAAYYY to clean for the music we do. Had an H8000 before, and it did not even come close to 480L.

We are looking for a 960 now. Just because it's a newer unit, it has more in and outputs. But it still lacks the mojo of a 480.....
Same, a Bricasti is very sterile compared to a 480 or 300. Will it eventually break? Sure but so will all the vintage analog synths I own, you just deal with it.

I have a 300 and a PCM-96 Surround, they compliment each other.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
Same, a Bricasti is very sterile compared to a 480 or 300. Will it eventually break? Sure but so will all the vintage analog synths I own, you just deal with it.

I have a 300 and a PCM-96 Surround, they compliment each other.
Ive never understood people pairing a 300 and a 480.

Ive owned both, side by side, and a 300 is NOT half a 480... Not even close. It lacks the mojo of the analog section of the 480.

Lex may have marketed it as half a 480, but anyone who has used them side by side knows its just not true. An algo is only part of a reverb...
Old 2nd March 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
 

The original algorithms of the lexicon 224 ( as well as an emulation of the d/a section of the hardware including the zip noises and aliasing ) are available in the form of the UA plug in and it sounds great
It's only a question of time for the 480 to get the same treatment
If you really need a digital hardware reverb then the bricasti is probably the way to go
Old 2nd March 2013
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emwolb View Post
It lacks the mojo of the analog section of the 480.
What do you mean with 'analog section' ?
The 300 outputs are also analog. (And digital)

Thanks for the answer !

R.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #24
mixmixmix
Guest
Buy 480. And keep an eye out on another one, this time low priced broken one for spare parts. Not cheap, but you will get something that no plugin will ever give you.

What is better - to spend a night with a beautiful women who loves you, or an eternity with a blow up doll?

peace
Old 2nd March 2013
  #25
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elambo's Avatar
I'd never buy a 480 today. Not unless the price is extremely low. Service could be impossible and it WILL fail eventually. The LX480 plugin is touted as a clone of the 480 and from Martin's own words on the subject I believe that it is, or close enough to sound like a clone.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
Buy 480. And keep an eye out on another one, this time low priced broken one for spare parts. Not cheap, but you will get something that no plugin will ever give you.

What is better - to spend a night with a beautiful women who loves you, or an eternity with a blow up doll?

peace
+1

If I get some free time next week I'll post some A/B's. Which plug-ins are you guys most interested in comparing the real 480 with?
Old 2nd March 2013
  #27
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schexnayder View Post
Which plug-ins are you guys most interested in comparing the real 480 with?
Relab LX480

Large Hall, Large Wood Room and any other favorites you or others may have. No tweaking of presets other than possibly decay time. 3 Files for each sample. 100% wet on both the hardware 480 and software LX480 verbs with the associated dry signal as well - same decay times if they aren't programmed identical already. ANALOG in/out on the 480.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schexnayder View Post
+1

If I get some free time next week I'll post some A/B's. Which plug-ins are you guys most interested in comparing the real 480 with?
i'm interested in hearing. have had the real thing here for decades and 2 AMSs... not one problem.

(knock on johnny marr jaguar wood).

PS also have an M7 which has become a staple.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Is there something I don't know about Lexicon's quality control during this era? You guys keep saying "time bomb" like the thing was made out of baby hair and scotch tape
Old 2nd March 2013
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Relab LX480

Large Hall, Large Wood Room and any other favorites you or others may have. No tweaking of presets other than possibly decay time. 3 Files for each sample. 100% wet on both the hardware 480 and software LX480 verbs with the associated dry signal as well - same decay times if they aren't programmed identical already. ANALOG in/out on the 480.
No problem.

If it's not too difficult to match up I'll attempt to throw in Lexicon's Native Plug as well as their hardware PCM96... but while I am very familiar with these all reverbs, I'm not sure how easy it will be to match up 1:1 like I assume the Relab LX480 would be.

Any other requests? Instrumentation, etc.?
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