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Best Reverb(s) for Classical Music? Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 28th April 2015
  #121
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Lexicon M300 into L300 and it's variable problems!

Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hi Casey,
may I please ask why? Is it true or myth that the early (v. 1.xx) firmware version of the 300, before the introduction of split algos, actually sound better for "pure reverb" due to full use of the computing engine? Is this the reason?

Thank you
best regards
Massimo
Hi there,
I'm not Casey, though I have torn apart and put together M/L300's and written on the subject extensively. (Please see previous Posts 2009-2014) though in a simple answer. No! The M300 grew with numerous different boards, upgrades, fixit's and an almost continual "Ironing" out of potential problems making certain functions work synchronously with others. Designed for Film/Post & Small Studio usage thus "Digitally Designed" as an option to a 1 Board HSP 480L (that never sold well for Lexicon) the upgrades in particular to the M300 had a great deal to do with it's solid "Digital Orientated Design" this was a huge move from Lexicon Effects Processors that supported Modular HSP type Multi board scenarios (I.E 224/X/XL and on to 480L) to a 20 Bit AES, S/Pdif, Toslink (Stereo Adat) as well as Analog.

The M300 used a totally different way for of implementing Algorithms and the 1st Generation of M300's had certain quirks in Pitch Shifting (Splice time), Delay & Reverb @ Clocking rates, Sync in general such as, Word-clock lock, Phase Lock Loop (or lack of), AES commitment to Spec and SMPTE hitting marks and punching in certain frame rates in events; not to mention Lexicon's infamous implementation of MIDI and it's control alongside Digital Hash.... which can be best summarised as specific low level digital noisy artifacts that resulted in the end reverb program trailing of with a AD/DA Distortion.

This distortion is closer to the 0-DBFS scenario of "Over Distortion in "General terms of sound" as you might understand it today - Though at a very, very Low Levels that could leave someone putting say a "General Reverb over an Orchestral Recording" direct from Tape into an M300 and then either a Sony PCM-1610 or 1630 utilizing Digital Reverberation (like Compression) in Mastering. It can not be described as that pleasant "Trailing Off of Reverberation" as someone might hear in a 224XL or an M200 that was far more due to the units (Analog) components thus making it near endearing and pleasant to the ear, though as a "Final Aural Distraction" so noticeable it was deemed to be near faulty - and was! Another Problem was the Pitch Shifting, and the Splice rates that were obtained and found to be either to slow, or too fast, and glitching or jumping making program material, and yes, even the Shifting of units such as the Lexicon 2400 and 1200 (As well as H3000 especially in Radio - at 30-60 second Promo favourite) supposedly redundant with use of the M300. Over time Lexicon ended up developing around 6 different boards on which the M/L300 was built.

Finally when the L300 came into service a total upgrade of the M300 was warranted as well. These are the Dual Algo's and the Dual Mono, Cascade and Insert Function (Like a Digital or Analog Aux send) etc came into being for which many M/L300 owners swear by as well as "Random Ambience, Random Hall, Rich Plate, Stereo Adjust, and Pons Dither" Apart from all the Compression and Mastering Patches to come out of those units. These would and were transferred to the 480L quick smart into version 3.x and 4.x where the 480L was further improved with Surround Sound, Prime Time, and other Carts (Utilizing the PC Junior cart format.) I have used the M300/L300 as a Mastering unit through AES/EBU to get the Bit range (Dynamic range of 16 bit) into a Higher dBm format on Dat. This was an interesting program as was the M/S ability to swap programme material around in broadcast when you got a dud on location sound recording (Usually thru a Nagra etc.)

On the back of it all - The M300 is stilling sold today on the 2nd hand market with Various GAL or master Eprom upgrades and only 1.x Operational Software…..? This skews the whole system and procedure, though apparently the 1.x Operational software will work with the M300. I would avoid such scenarios at all costs. The L300's on the other hand were built from the start with Most…Most M300 faults restored and repaired including delay daughter boards and Eprom Functions. The M/L300 is a Brilliant unit, though I would only now entertain purchasing an L300 that had all upgrades making it absolutely true to the Manual, brochure and operation specifications the unit is "Meant" to bring. Then again………Version 1.x if you have the Full eprom set, then it might give you a certain benchmark on reverberation and the upgrades that came. It is certainly something I would encourage anyone to try if you know what you are doing inside the box and it's eprom set, though in reality it is just the main 480L "Reverberation" Program recoded and at around "Two Thirds"… of the 480L's Reverberation strength at that time!
I hope that goes into some way of answering your question.

TLB
Old 28th April 2015
  #122
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massimo's Avatar
 

Hello TLB,
thank you very much for your very, very detailed answer - Really valuable help!
Maybe I misread what you wrote but, are you saying that upgrading an "older" M300 (say v. 1.xx) with eproms and GAL to have the display say "v. 3.5" does not warrant the same performance of a unit that "was born" a 3.5?

best regards
Massimo
Old 28th April 2015
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi View Post
Do you prefer the TC 3000 over the 6000?

I like Nebula's PCM70 samples (70small room, tiled room etc.) a lot, and seem to prefer B2 or Breeze over Aether for naturalness. Interestingly enough, I often also like R2 better than Phoenix for natural sounding spaces.
I'm leaning towards HW again these days, though.
Cannot say about 6000, used only 3000. Regarding Breeze, isn't it just a simplified version of Aether?

I'd picked something with true stereo for stereo sources instead, but this was what was available.

UPD: Dedicated reverb unit with all algorithms from flagship TC 6000 will be awesome. 6000 is more like small PC than hw unit and not much point in getting it today for reverbs only, considering the price and the competitior. Everything but 6000 is limited in some way (no true stereo, some algorithms missing etc).
Old 28th April 2015
  #124
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
Hi,

I received weeks ago a TC4000 and did some tests.
It sounds really good over classical music too. Some of the VSS4 or VSS-4, once edited are quit usable for classical music.
All the best,
Fred.
Old 30th April 2015
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hello TLB,
thank you very much for your very, very detailed answer - Really valuable help!
Maybe I misread what you wrote but, are you saying that upgrading an "older" M300 (say v. 1.xx) with eproms and GAL to have the display say "v. 3.5" does not warrant the same performance of a unit that "was born" a 3.5?

best regards
Massimo
Hi Massimo,

Indeed, that scenario has been the bane of many M300 buyers experience, a very well known and prominent forum member here on the GS Community went off to look at buying two differing M300 units. These units were all advertised as having V.3.5 GAL Chips (3.5L being Larc).

This GS member before seeing the units contacted me for advice regarding certain operational upgrades, give aways and the units condition.

I was nearly floored and totally astonished when this esteemed member contacted me with pictures of the unit after checking it out. On Turn on of the M300 it stated O.S version 1.x and Operation Gal 3.5 Software! Worse having never used an M300 before for more then a few sessions 7 years previously, this member could operate the unit better then the vender!

To say I was stunned....was and...still..is an understatement - As even though the M300 had 1.x Operation Eproms it was being expected to work out calculus for the 3.5 GAL Operational Algo functions etc! In the longterm, I would only expect trouble with the number of M/L300 upgrades to 3.5 Gal from 1.x or that early operation eprom software for the units controls?

I know from experience that 2.2 or 2.5x Operational Eprom seems to be the most comfortable with some M300 units that have a 3.5 GAL, though 1.x seemed like a Motorbike towing -> a 30,000 Kilo Mining Truck in an Iron Ore Dump!

This has always been a massive problem:
People buy a unit - Never send in the Warranty Card or whatever it might be such as registration of the unit and expect the Local retailers to look after them? In this case of LEXICON they were dead wrong! Lexicon would send you details of upgrades for your unit, the dealers and retailers could not care an ounce! Or Lexicon would Advertise broadly in trade Magazines of new Software updates etc......Thus people are selling version 1.x Eprom M300's with a Rip Off 3.5 GAL Chip and passing them of as fully fit units. They are NOT!

That scenario I described was the 1st time in 20 years I had EVER heard of some numbskull trying to pull a fast one, as the M300 would be missing around 5 serious upgrades that are required for the M300 though having nothing to do with Eproms, more Daughter boards, Cut & Jumps and various fixes. So to make sure you're safe in buying an M300 do the 3 basic things below.

See Date/Code: If not their on unit - Run Quickly
See if Eproms are new, when bought, are Lex eproms or Rip offs
See if the unit has close to 10 seconds of combined delay time
most should: If not - No upgrades
See if 32kHz Light comes on or flickers: Run if it does!
Check AES/Analog + Signs and that unit passes both signals clearly!
(Lexicon AES only and Always locks to incoming AES, the unit will not recognise AES date sent to it first.)

All unit should pass:
AES
SPDIF
TOSLINK
ANALOG In/Out
SMPTE INPUT
MIDI IN/OUT THRU

That's 8 Inputs and Outputs that can be used at once, and people dream about 480L's?

Hope that Helps you!
Regards
TheLastByte
Old 30th April 2015
  #126
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massimo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastByte View Post
Hi Massimo,

See Date/Code: If not their on unit - Run Quickly
See if Eproms are new, when bought, are Lex eproms or Rip offs
See if the unit has close to 10 seconds of combined delay time
most should: If not - No upgrades
See if 32kHz Light comes on or flickers: Run if it does!
Check AES/Analog + Signs and that unit passes both signals clearly!
(Lexicon AES only and Always locks to incoming AES, the unit will not recognise AES date sent to it first.)
Hi TLB,
again please let me thank you very much for your help
The list of checks one should do, as per your quote, practically rules any ebay purchase out I guess, as they would best be done in person I would say. Maybe with some exceptions, however.
Pardon if this is dumb, but by "Date/Code" you imply that build year should appear on a back plate, along with the mandatory ID number ("code"), on every unit? As I guess one should obviously look for the newer units, starting which year did Lexicon start shipping units with 3.xx firmware?

best regards
again, thanks
Massimo
Old 2nd May 2015
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hi TLB,
again please let me thank you very much for your help
The list of checks one should do, as per your quote, practically rules any ebay purchase out I guess, as they would best be done in person I would say. Maybe with some exceptions, however.
Pardon if this is dumb, but by "Date/Code" you imply that build year should appear on a back plate, along with the mandatory ID number ("code"), on every unit? As I guess one should obviously look for the newer units, starting which year did Lexicon start shipping units with 3.xx firmware?

best regards
again, thanks
Massimo
Best Reverb(s) for Classical Music?-lex-300-date-code-mk-1.jpg

UNIT = M300: Unit
Operational setting 120 ~ :Volts Power
Date Code xxxx89 : When made
Watts 75: Total Load
PSU Switching 50-60 Hz : works 110/120/230/240 Volts etc
Serial Number code 30789 etc.


That looks like a very rubbed 1994 M300 unit.
L300's are much safer as they have all Upgrades especially after 1994!
Hope that helps
Regards
TheLastByte!
Attached Thumbnails
Best Reverb(s) for Classical Music?-lex-300-date-code-mk-1.jpg  
Old 2nd May 2015
  #128
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massimo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastByte View Post
Best Reverb(s) for Classical Music?-lex-300-date-code-mk-1.jpg

UNIT = M300: Unit
Operational setting 120 ~ :Volts Power
Date Code xxxx89 : When made
Watts 75: Total Load
PSU Switching 50-60 Hz : works 110/120/230/240 Volts etc
Serial Number code 30789 etc.


That looks like a very rubbed 1994 M300 unit.
L300's are much safer as they have all Upgrades especially after 1994!
Hope that helps
Regards
TheLastByte!
Fantastic!
Thank you so much.
I would prefer a non-Larc unit, which would save me about 1000 Euros at current prices, so I have to look for a younger M300. For this purpose I've checked the date of issue of the v. 3.0 Manual on the Harman website, and it says 1997. I therefore guess I'll have to look for a 1997 or younger date.

Again, many thanks TLB
best regards
Massimo
Old 2nd May 2015
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Fantastic!
Thank you so much.
I would prefer a non-Larc unit, which would save me about 1000 Euros at current prices, so I have to look for a younger M300. For this purpose I've checked the date of issue of the v. 3.0 Manual on the Harman website, and it says 1997. I therefore guess I'll have to look for a 1997 or younger date.

Again, many thanks TLB
best regards
Massimo
WHOOPS,
Apologies Massimo - That Version 3.0 Manual is only stating when the Version 3.0x M300 Manual was fully released minus all recalls from upgrades and even downgrades. In version 3.x for instance on an M300 Lexicon Effects Processor you can't use the "Digital Cascade" as you could say....in earlier M300 units etc. Please Massimo - DO NOT rely on the Manual Print Year Version for the Unit (Lexicon M300) You Might Purchase. Other details must be sought after. Also remember: Should you find and M300 with LARC it will no doubt be "Full Boat". You can then sell the LARC and profit should you so wish etc.

Regards
TheLastByte
Old 2nd May 2015
  #130
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massimo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastByte View Post
WHOOPS,
Apologies Massimo - That Version 3.0 Manual is only stating when the Version 3.0x M300 Manual was fully released minus all recalls from upgrades and even downgrades. In version 3.x for instance on an M300 Lexicon Effects Processor you can't use the "Digital Cascade" as you could say....in earlier M300 units etc. Please Massimo - DO NOT rely on the Manual Print Year Version for the Unit (Lexicon M300) You Might Purchase. Other details must be sought after. Also remember: Should you find and M300 with LARC it will no doubt be "Full Boat". You can then sell the LARC and profit should you so wish etc.

Regards
TheLastByte
No problem TLB,
but now I am confused. If the M300 was an older unit (say, v. 1.xx) that was upgraded to 3.5L firmware version and therefore now comes with a Larc, which might have been purchased successively by the owner, doesn't this pose the same risks as the other older M300 upgraded to 3.5 (non L), as per your comments?

[sorry, I do not want this to go on forever, but... ]
best regards
Massimo
Old 2nd May 2015
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
No problem TLB,
but now I am confused. If the M300 was an older unit (say, v. 1.xx) that was upgraded to 3.5L firmware version and therefore now comes with a Larc, which might have been purchased successively by the owner, doesn't this pose the same risks as the other older M300 upgraded to 3.5 (non L), as per your comments?

[sorry, I do not want this to go on forever, but... ]
best regards
Massimo
That's ok Massimo - Well, Yes......it does make for a tricky proposition, though I doubt 1.x would have the gumption (or values for O.S) to power up.... as the 3.5L requires a 3.5L O.S Eprom.......so, No Not Really. Even if them M300 had no daughterboards (extra Memory) and all upgrades, the addition of a LARC would require 3.5L 2 x EPROM and 3.5L GAL the Trinity making it an L300. Massimo, if you can find an M300 with a 2.2x O.S and 3.0 GAL you should be laughing! In-fact, from all I have tried, it is the most stable for the M300! Why? M300 Extra Algorithmic came out when 2.2/2.5 O.S was the Operating Software and 3.00 was the GAL Chip. 3.5 enabled M300/224XL/480L224X LR4 FRAMELINK (No Larc Required save D-sub 9 pin connect), as well as other options. Massimo - Just send me a PM and tell me everything you are looking for and in what part of the World, and I just might be able to help you out!

After all.......we've come this far!
PM if required!
Regards
TheLastByte!
Old 4th May 2015
  #132
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
No problem TLB,
but now I am confused. If the M300 was an older unit (say, v. 1.xx) that was upgraded to 3.5L firmware version and therefore now comes with a Larc, which might have been purchased successively by the owner, doesn't this pose the same risks as the other older M300 upgraded to 3.5 (non L), as per your comments?
Basically - you are indeed Correct - more so many overlook this fact making an M300 a Minefield - If buying one you need pictures of the guts (Analog/Digital Board etc.) So beware that you're purchased M300 can do what the manual of version 3.x states!

TLB.
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