Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

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Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by memory cords » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:51 am

Hi, I'm buying a hardware reverb unit and I was considering the current Lexicon MX series. But there's also a secondhand Lexicon PCM91 in a local music store that I could buy instead (although it costs about double the price of the MX's).

Does anyone have any experience with either of these units?

The MX series are much newer and also much cheaper... but I've heard good things about the PCM91. Is there a big difference in the sound quality?

Thanks in advance for any information.

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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by Syn303 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:00 am

I have the MX300, it's pretty good for the reverbs - halls, gates, plates etc, the delays i'm not into on it though, can be a bit fiddly with having to turn the dial to get a correct bpm/tempo for your delays - time consuming and it's often never spot on or what you wanted in the first place. But other than that it has a nice crisp sound, easy to use and user program storage.

If i had the money i would buy a PCM91 myself, but at just nearly £1K, it's a bit expensive despite it's high-end classy effects, the MX300 does the job just the same. But i find myself using VST effects within my DAW more than external effects. I will only apply external effects when the VST effects can't do the job they can.

The MX300 is the cheaper option with good all round effects and i even like the blue backlit LCD screen that it has. The TC-M300 and M350 are other good alternatives as well.
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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by memory cords » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:40 pm

Syn303 wrote:If i had the money i would buy a PCM91 myself, but at just nearly £1K, it's a bit expensive despite it's high-end classy effects, the MX300 does the job just the same.
Thanks for your reply Syn303.

Have you actually used the PCM91? If so, how would you describe the difference in quality between it and the MX series?

I know that the MX series sounds good considering it's price, but I'm curious as to how much better the PCM91 sounds (if at all).

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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by b3groover » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:33 pm

If you can grab the PCM91, do it. The older PCM series are still in use in studios today. They are incredible sounding units. Not only will you have more control over each reverb, but they will be more detailed, crisper, with better tails.

I have not actually used the PCM91, but I've used it's older brethren, the PCM70 and PCM90. And I also have used the classic 224XL and 480L, which still sound great today. In fact, on the last jazz trio record (organissimo's Alive & Kickin') we used the 224XL on the main mix during mastering, and a real EMI plate on the drums. We compared the 224XL to the MX300 and the 224XL edged the MX300 by just a hint (better depth, better clarity).

The MX300 is indeed a great unit for its price. I use it for reverb and delay almost every time despite having great plug-ins. The plate reverb setting, for example, sounds way better than any plug-in I have. I use it on drums a lot.

If you want to hear how the MX300 reverbs sound, check out both songs I posted in this thread:

http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =8&t=56655

That's all MX300.

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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by memory cords » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:06 pm

Thanks b3groover, that's helped a lot! I'll buy the PCM91.

I listened to the tracks you posted, they sounded good! I've been considering buying a mopho keyboard as well.

BTW, when you added reverb to those tracks did you just put the final stereo mix though the reverb or did you apply reverb separately to each channel?

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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by b3groover » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:20 pm

See, now I'm going to spoil your fun. :)

The cool thing about the MX300 is that it can work like a plug-in. So on those tracks, I have the MX300 inputs connected to my Firepod's SP/DIF output and then the output of the MX300 connected via the analog outs to my mixer. Those channels on the mixer are fed back into the computer, so I can record the reverb. I can also access, change, and save all the settings for each program on the MX300 from Cubase. It is kinda clunky, and the Lexicon software interface can be finicky sometimes, but the cool thing is I can control how much of the reverb goes to each track in Cubase, instead of just slapping the MX300 across the stereo output bus. I can also record one reverb on one track (as a separate track), then change settings on the MX300 and do another pass for another track. Again, kind of clunky as compared to true software plug-ins, but I think the richness of the MX300 reverbs make it worthwhile.

Of course, the PCM91 doesn't have a pseudo-plug-in interface. The new PCM96 does, but of course it is really expensive. You could always use the PCM91 the same way, though... run certain tracks through it, record the output to a new track, change settings, record other tracks through it, record... etc.

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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by flwolf » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:23 pm

You wrote:
The cool thing about the MX300 is that it can work like a plug-in.

I read in the description that this unit connects to a PC via USB. Is it really that easy to utilize the 300's VST reverbs in, let's say, Sound Forge 10? That's what I'm using to edit tracks. I would very much appreciate your input on that before I buy the unit. Thanks, Wolf

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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:40 pm

mx300 manual
CONNECTING THE MX300
USB CONNECTION
Make sure the MX300 is powered up and connected to your computer with a standard USB cable. (For Windows XP users, make sure the MX300 is plugged into the same USB port as when the software was loaded.)
AUDIO CONNECTIONS
To use the MX300 as a hardware plug-in, your computer needs audio hardware with multiple audio inputs and outputs available, at least enough to send and return two channels from the MX300 plus two additional outputs to monitor with.
That means the audio is not passed across USB, only the control msgs. You need an audio interface with at least two free output channels and two free input channels, whether analog or SPDIF.
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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by seamonkey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:38 pm

Syn303 wrote:I have the MX300, it's pretty good for the reverbs - halls, gates, plates etc, the delays i'm not into on it though, can be a bit fiddly with having to turn the dial to get a correct bpm/tempo for your delays - time consuming and it's often never spot on or what you wanted in the first place.
I have the MX 200, have you tried the tap tempo button?
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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by Solderman » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:03 am

I sold my MX300 recently on the grounds of what I remember when it was actually in use 7 years ago: The reverbs seemed mostly non-invasive and flat-toned. They didn't really enhance anything, just add some nice ambience. I did kinda like the spring effect as a novelty on the guitar reverb, and I remember it being easier to edit than my MPX1, but overall I found it kind of bland. Definitely go with anything PCM if you want reverbs. MX series is more useful for quick and dirty multi-effects.
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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by seamonkey » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:40 pm

curious as to what effects unit you replaced the MX with.
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Re: Lexicon PCM91 versus Lexicon MX300/MX400

Post by Solderman » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:40 am

For reverb, I had replaced the MX years ago with a Kurzweil Rumour, although these days I'm using VST's. The MPX1 doesn't quite cut it for useful reverb. You can hear stepping (like a bad time-stretching effect) in the longer reverb tails and it wasn't getting along with my MotU 828 mkII on the S/PDIF bus. Other effects I also later replaced with stand-alone analog effects or used the MPX1, as the fx routing on the latter was more flexible than the MX series.
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