Review: FYD TRP > Lexicon MX300 > MosValve M962 > JBL K120
I know this thread is supposed to be about pedals, but Lexicon was mentioned by Nick and I decided to take the plunge. Let me first just say, “Thank You Nick!!!” Thank you so much for leading me down this path. There is no looking back now. I have seen the promised land. It is the same experience that I had once I plugged in my FYD TRP for the first time and heard the tone of a real Twin preamp. Everything else up to that moment suddenly became irrelevant. The journey was now clearly laid out in front of me. There was no looking back. There is no losing back now.
Well, the Lexicon is to reverb what the FYD is to tone. It is the promised land, the real deal, the cats meow, the muthafunkin shiiiit!! WOW! I never knew that reverb could sound like this. I never realized how much it could intertwine with and shape your tone. I never realized how much of Jerry’s tone was actually reverb, until now. There is absolutely no comparison between the reverbs that I am dialing in with the Lexicon and any reverb pedal I have ever tried in the past. No comparison whatsoever.
Let me just say that these Lexicon units are not for the lazy. They take time to understand and you MUST read the manual very closely in order to understand how they work and what they can do. If you put in the time to do so, you will never need another reverb pedal again, ever. Basically the Lexicon units are creative tools that give you a pallet of thick, luscious, sparkling verbs for you to fine tune, combine in different ways and tweak to your hearts content. You can run single verbs in stereo, multiple verbs in parallel or series or you can run two different verbs in mono (one on each channel). The tonal possibilities are endless and the quality of the reverbs are unlike anything I’ve ever heard.
There is just something about the quality of the reverbs coming out of this thing that blend so well with the guitar tone that they become part of it. Its like the verb climbs inside of the notes and bursts them open from the inside out. It is a whole different level of tone and tone shaping possibilities at your fingertips.
So far I have created three different reverbs that I find represent Jerry’s tone in different ways. The first one is a Spring reverb that I am running in stereo and that I tweaked to perfection to make it sparkle and shine with just the right combination of decay and boing. I named it JG Verb #1 - it is set to preset #1. There are 99 presets that you can create. The second one I made is a Large Plate reverb running in stereo that I tweaked by adjusting it to the perfect size and dialing in the perfect amount of Mid RT. It still sounds very much like Jerry, but as if you were listening to him play in a small club or hall, rather than a large venue. I call it JG Plate Verb #2. The third reverb I created is a Spring Verb running in parallel with a Studio Verb. I was able to make adjustments to both reverbs and run them side by side to create a balanced liveliness that sounds like Jerry on the studio albums from the 70s (i.e. Shakedown Street, Blues for Allah, Mars Hotel) … very cool. Amazing really.
As I’ve been jamming to each song that I am working on I am switching between verbs and keeping everything else the same. Each verb is so unique that it gives a whole different tone and feel to the music. It is incredible. It is inspiring to play because I can’t believe the quality of what I am hearing coming out of the speakers. NICE!
Let me finish by saying that I have’t even began to scratch the surface of what this thing can do. There are tons more reverbs on this thing and also tons of delays, choruses, phasers and tremolos that I have’t even looked at yet. I read in another post that Brad Sarno thought perhaps Jerry was mixing a bit of phaser into his lead guitar tone. With the Lexicon, something like that would be incredible easy to accomplish in a seamless fashion. For example, you could Cascade a reverb with a phaser and make adjustments to create a single effect. Then you could mix it in with the guitar signal for the perfect amount of wet/dry mix.
In addition, the two units that I have (yes I got two so I could compare and keep the one I like better, but I’m keeping both now), are entry level Lexicon units. The MX200 is the most intuitive for playing in live settings because it has external knobs and controls that you can tweak, more like a pedal. The MX300 is basically the same, but a little more advanced in that you can name the tracks, etc. All its controls are internal and you have to learn how to navigate the different menus and settings to dial everything in. The MX300 arrived first, so that is the one I have writing about in this review. I can’t imagine what the PCM units are capable of, but I know they are basically on almost every top 40 record from the last 30 years.
If you want to take your reverb to the event horizon and if you really want to know how powerful reverb can be as a tone shaping tool, don’t hesitate to give Lexicon a try. At $150-$250 (used) you are looking at the price of a boutique pedal, but you are basically getting 100 customizable pedals in one unit. They only take up 1U of rack space and are a mere 8 inches deep. Nuff said, WORD
https://lexiconpro.com/en/product_docum ... 0473v-cpdf
UPDATE: I’ve now had a chance to play with the MX200 for a day or so and find it very intuitive to use, in the sense that it is much more “pedal like” with external controls. You can still do pretty much all the same basic things as the 300, except name the stores FX (they are just a number on the 200, but the tones are the same. I was able to replicate my verbs from the 300 on the 200, but with the 300
I felt I had more of a sense of how my tweaks were affecting the sound because of the more detailed internal interface. I’d say for the price and quality the MX200 is great - I mean it’s a really cool unit.