I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

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I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by Zork » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:44 am

...for my synth and I want it to be capable of dubby, self-oscillating delays and higantic cavernous reverbs.

(EDIT: I like the control layout of the Lexicon MX-200 and the youtube videos sound really good. Looking for opinions on how wild it can be.)

I've been using a Line6 M9 with my synths forever and I like it a lot, but now I want my two synths on seperated channels. That means a second fx for the second synth and since the second synth is a 19" unit, I decided to build a rack.

I found the T.C. Electronic G-Major for almost half the price they usually go for, so I thought I'd give it a try. While it sounds very good and has lots of knobs instead of buttons and menues, it's much too vanilla for my taste. It's impossible to get anything spectacular out of it. Even with the feedback cranked, none of the delays will go anywhere near psychedelic realms, let alone self oscillation. The reverbs always sound natural and moderate. It's alright for the second synth that is doing mainly mellotrons and the like, so I will keep it for that, but the other synth needs something capable of going nuts.

So, is there a rack unit out there that has a cool variety of delay and reverb sounds, is tempo syncable via Midi, doesn't cost a fortune, is easily tweakable on the fly and can go totally crazy?
Last edited by Zork on Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx

Post by cestlamort » Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:33 am

Maybe keep an eye out for a DigiTech RDS rack for delays (and maybe chorus). They’re basically rack versions of the PDS pedals and can do some very odd and wonderful things.
Or (at a significantly higher price point) an Ibanez AD202 is glorious for analog delays as are the Yamaha rack analog delays.
I also love the Ibanez UE racks, but they’re basically just pedals. (And have gotten to be no longer the screaming bargains they once were)

A boss VF1 could be interesting too (I don’t remember pushing the delays on it though so can’t comment there).

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:01 am

I mean... the gold standard from my point of view is the Eventide H3000. It is capable of some of the most bizarre, wild sounds you'll ever make with a guitar.

Not the cheapest, and there were several revisions (so do your homework), but it's an amazing multi-effects device.

It does come with the caveat that it wants to see stereo inputs and outputs at line level, so a guitarist will have to do some thinking about how to integrate it with their setup (though many, many, many have done so over the years)

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx

Post by Zork » Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:12 pm

Thank you for the great suggestions so far. Keep 'em coming! I need it to do at least delay and reverb at the same time and I want as direct control over parameters as possible, especially for delay feedback and time and reverb decay and level.
Is anyone familiar with the Lexicon MX-200? It ticks many boxes for me, but can it go wild? Like dubby psychedelics from out of space wild?

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:34 pm

Zork wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:12 pm
Thank you for the great suggestions so far. Keep 'em coming! I need it to do at least delay and reverb at the same time and I want as direct control over parameters as possible, especially for delay feedback and time and reverb decay and level.
Is anyone familiar with the Lexicon MX-200? It ticks many boxes for me, but can it go wild? Like dubby psychedelics from out of space wild?
I have never used that unit, but what you are asking for I don’t think you will find in a single unit outside the Eventide already mentioned.

Most digital delays will not self oscillate, at least not in a musical manner. You need tape or analog devices for that, and analog delay doesn’t really do reverb. A Roland Tape Echo will self oscillate and dubby psychedelic sounds and has spring reverb. There are versions that are 19” racks. For analog delay the Ibanez and Yamaha units mentioned above are great. The Yamaha can do a pseudo reverb, but you’re not gonna get midi timing or big hall reverb from them.

The best delay for the type of knob twisting psychedelic freak out sounds is a Lexicon PCM-42. The Lexicon PCM-41 is also a good device for half the price. They don’t have midi capability or reverb like the Eventide does, I don’t believe, but they do have knobs instead of a deep screen based interface.

The only device I know of that fits all your criteria is my secret weapon, the Roland DEP-5. I don’t know if what it does would be called self oscillation though, at least not in an analog or tape delay sort of way, but the delays can go on for days and there are settings that will spiral all around like a broken pinball machine that the Eventide will do. It’s just dirtier sounding and not as hifi as the Eventide or Lexicon units.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx

Post by Zork » Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:16 am

Yes, it seems like I have to go with more units... :fp:

I actually have a19" analog delay with spring reverb. It's a Cosmic AE-7000 and it sounds fantastic, but I didn't really want to have it in the setup because:
a) I borrowed it to a friend a long time ago and she just included it in her new studio
b) it doesn't do Midi sync
c) it doesn't do modulated delay
d) it does reverb, but not really big and spacey
e) I'd like to have longer delay times
f) it's big and heavy
On the other hand it sounds incredibly good, has gigantic knobs to really dig in and is just an overall very inspiring device. I might pair it with for example a MX-200 for the big reverbs, some modulation and use the Cosmic to go nuts?

The Eventide H3000 sounds great, but no knob twiddling possibilities and way out of my price range. Same goes for the PCM-42. Sounds great, but they're asking about 800 bucks on reverb. Not even close to my ballpark, unfortunately.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:58 am

If budget is such that $800 is way out of range, then a re-think of goals and approach might, unfortunately, be required.

If this is for recording projects, an all in-the-box setup with a MIDI-based controller full of rotary encoders might get you where you need to go (with the possible tradeoff of feeling less exciting to you, and doing a poorer job at retaining resale value).

If it's for live performance, you may wish to either a) decide whether MIDI control is really all that important to you, or b) abandon the rack approach and try something like the Eventide TimeFactor (which has knobs and MIDI sync and should do most of what you need in terms of delay) plus a reverb device of your choosing.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:46 am

Zork wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:16 am
Yes, it seems like I have to go with more units... :fp:

I actually have a19" analog delay with spring reverb. It's a Cosmic AE-7000 and it sounds fantastic, but I didn't really want to have it in the setup because:
a) I borrowed it to a friend a long time ago and she just included it in her new studio
b) it doesn't do Midi sync
c) it doesn't do modulated delay
d) it does reverb, but not really big and spacey
e) I'd like to have longer delay times
f) it's big and heavy
On the other hand it sounds incredibly good, has gigantic knobs to really dig in and is just an overall very inspiring device. I might pair it with for example a MX-200 for the big reverbs, some modulation and use the Cosmic to go nuts?

The Eventide H3000 sounds great, but no knob twiddling possibilities and way out of my price range. Same goes for the PCM-42. Sounds great, but they're asking about 800 bucks on reverb. Not even close to my ballpark, unfortunately.
I would go with a Yamaha e-1010, or Ibanez analog delay, and a character type reverb like the old Quadraverb. Those should be in your price range, but the delays are short and no time sync.

The Roland DEP-5 is the only unit I know of that has knobs, 2000ms delay, modulation, reverb, and time sync for under $200 used. The reverbs are not state of the art. They are more character type - big, grainy, and grungy, not good for vocals, but great on guitar, synth and drums. The 3 band EQ can be used to sculpt the sounds and it can do some really tricked out tones similar to the H-3000, but not hi-fi , no pitch shifting or stereo in.

One last multi-effect unit that is interesting but doesn’t have reverb, is the Electrix Mo-Fx. Time sync Flanger, Tremolo and Delay, with Distortion. Big knobs and an easy to use interface. Capable of tricked out sounds.

Edit to say: I think you will find the Lexicon MX-200 to be very similar to the G-Major. Just generic sounding delays and reverb that gets the job done but not much more.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by ElephantDNA » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:25 am

I mean, it's just my opinion that I tend to like using lexicon reverbs, but lexicon reverbs have also been used in the big studios for a very long time. Yes, they aren't exactly exciting and you're not going to find the bizarre stuff like on a boutique pedal or something. But for like a basic room or plate type reverb I think they will get the job done every time. Won't let you down like a budget pedal but definitely not as "Exciting" as some of the more advanced type pedals out there. But I just usually go with like a medium room or hall most of the time and lexicon has always worked for me on those.

I really don't have any experience with other lexicon effects though. My guess would be they are probably a bit "generic" and workmanlike similar to the reverbs. They have been more geared towards use in studios where you need to make an effect that is more about getting the job done. The last thing you want is to have a rack unit that half the engineers love and half of them hate. Would rather have a "basic" useable effect, so I would guess the rest are similar that way.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by Zork » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:42 am

Thing is, at least 90% of the time I would keep it in a basic and tame reverb setting as well. But I want it to be able to go all out of space for that certain intro or outro or whatever. I don't really see why they design their effects in such a limited way. Let's take the EHX Oceans 11 for example. I have it on my board, it's always on and it's just doing a nice little spring reverb. But it's good to know that two turns on the knobs make it go all crazy.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:54 am

Lots of Lexicon gear can go crazy.

The 480L is kind of "the" Lexicon reverb (along with the 224), and it can do anything you want; the most outlandish shit imaginable. So can, to an extent, the more-humble Model 200... the inverse rooms are nuts, and the halls can have 70 second decay times (I used all 70 seconds on a film score last week!)

I don't know the more entry-level units as well, but if I had to guess, they may be focused on giving finer-grained control over the most commonly-used range of operation. A 70-second decay is seldom-enough used that, on a simpler device, it's not worth making it unreasonably touchy to move between a 2s and 3s decay, you know?

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by ElephantDNA » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:47 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:54 am
Lots of Lexicon gear can go crazy.

The 480L is kind of "the" Lexicon reverb (along with the 224), and it can do anything you want; the most outlandish shit imaginable. So can, to an extent, the more-humble Model 200... the inverse rooms are nuts, and the halls can have 70 second decay times (I used all 70 seconds on a film score last week!)

I don't know the more entry-level units as well, but if I had to guess, they may be focused on giving finer-grained control over the most commonly-used range of operation. A 70-second decay is seldom-enough used that, on a simpler device, it's not worth making it unreasonably touchy to move between a 2s and 3s decay, you know?
Yeah I think you need to move beyond the cheap models to get more advanced options. I don't have direct experience with the MX200 but I'm going to go ahead and guess that a $100 piece of gear has fewer options than a $4,000 piece of gear. I was referring more to the "consumer" type models with the above ;)
Zork wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:42 am
Thing is, at least 90% of the time I would keep it in a basic and tame reverb setting as well. But I want it to be able to go all out of space for that certain intro or outro or whatever. I don't really see why they design their effects in such a limited way. Let's take the EHX Oceans 11 for example. I have it on my board, it's always on and it's just doing a nice little spring reverb. But it's good to know that two turns on the knobs make it go all crazy.
I think this thing has both a gated and reverse setting, so if you want to get a little weird you can probably get weird. I guess I'm just old or something but I honestly don't understand what most of the strange boutique reverbs are even used for these days. I don't really hear them showing up in music or anything mostly just guys on youtube noodling around.

EDIT - after a little digging for the manual online, I can tell you that the reverbs range from 100ms to 200ms predelay and the delays have up to 5 second decay. Which like øøøøøøø said, makes sense for most people as far as average use cases.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by fuzzjunkie » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:56 pm

For those into synths, or audio production, but not limited by budget (apologies to the OP), there are some really nice 500 series options for doing what the OP wants to do.

Meris makes 500 series modules of the Mercury 7 reverb and Ottobit bitcrusher.

Eventide makes the DDL-500 digital delay.

Moog has/had an excellent 500 series analog delay. 800 ms with midi and tap tempo/CVS control.

All those have knobs to twist, and there are other makers with 500 series too. Germanium distortion, EQ, other delays and reverbs, but 500 series modules typically run $500-1500, so not cheap. Studio grade though if you can make the investment.

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:01 pm

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:56 pm
Eventide makes the DDL-500 digital delay.

Moog has/had an excellent 500 series analog delay. 800 ms with midi and tap tempo/CVS control.
Those two are/were excellent

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Re: I'm looking for a 19" multi fx: Lexicon MX-200?

Post by Nick and the Noise » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:48 am

I have this MX-200 somewhere in storage. I bought it cheap second-hand to just put it in the rack and connect it to the mixer. This way, you can add some live reverb for vocals or put some modulation on your DI'd guitar. I like it has direct controls for everything, no menus! :-* Still, I don't use it much, but it can be useful sometimes.

As far as crazy sounds: the limit to craziness is in combining two (fairly basic) effect options. For example pitch-shift with ping-pong delay can be quite weird, or you can keep it basic with room reverb and tape delay. You can put the effects in series or parallel. There is quite a bit of room for creativity, but finicking with pedals just feels better. The algorithms are also not Eventide / Strymon quality of course.

I would not recommend it in the effects loop of an amp. It has no analog dry-through, it digitises the signal. For guitar I prefer it to the G-Major 2 I used to have a long time ago, but not by much! :P That one was just set to reverb 99% of the time (my amp had none).

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