The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Lexicon 224XL today vs. other classic hardware reverbs?
Old 5th March 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Lexicon 224XL today vs. other classic hardware reverbs?

Is 224XL (which I hear is dramatically better than 224, I think better converters for better sound) still THE reverb to have for vintage synth music? would I be better served with several smaller but still high quality units for the same money?

How does 224XL compare to similarly revered reverbs in its price range, like Quantec QRS, SONY DRE-77, AMS RMX16, or 480L with Classic Cart (the last being quite more expensive)? Does 480L with classic cart sound quite diff from 224XL?

---

WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR: The big question is, 224XL as my main reverb, or a few lesser units for similar overall cash?

I make music inspired by classic horror films, looking to bring out the warmth and tone of vintage synths to the max. Trying to up my game to near-professional recording levels, in part by switching over from plugins to hardware where it makes sense, currently use Valhalla on everything (and it's amazing!), but for some things looking for that extra 3D and transparent clarity without mud at high reverb levels that only hardware seems to provide (hands on interface also cool). I often record dry to capture the full bit of the synths, but with the right hardware, there's that transparency that allows it to retain the bite with the extra juice of reverb.

Here's an example of my tunes.



Started by buying pcm 70, then lex 200, sold both, to my ears could do 95% of what they do with Valhalla. Then I bought Ursa Major Space Station for 2k, and I'm blown away by how 3D it sounds, but it only makes shorter tail reverbs, but figure supplementing with a Stargate could give me a lot as my base setup, but as these are more character units, many have suggested a Lex 300 or 300L for full mixes. Also really like demos of Dynacord DRS-78, similar in concept to the Ursas, and has this really wide 3D image if really limited in what it can do, def a character verb. Also can't see working without a spring for what I do, but looking for one that sounds more refined/plate-like, I hear Master Room XL-305 is pretty good for that. (Was also thinking about Oto Bam or the new Meris reverbs, but demos just don't seem as alive to my ears as some of these others, so I think I've decided against these).

But if I get all those (Ursa sst-282 and 323, lex 300, dyna drs-78, masterroom xl-305), that's a lot of cash, could have a 224 that I hear is the best for my type of music that I can get.

When I listen to demos, the 224 (few demos of xl, is the diff more clarity of sound?) seems a bit too dark and not as 3D as I'd like, the 480/300 more 3D but a bit too modern, can't find demos of 224xl or 480l classic cart. I like all the chorusing though on lex, but should I be looking at something else, like quantec qrs (but doesn't it try to reproduce real spaces) or ams (but isn't that mostly really grainy)? For transparency, pcm 92 or bricasti (expensive!) perhaps, but I'm guessing they also sound too modern, and I don't need or want my reverb to sound 'natural.' That's why I was thinking stargate 323, which is great for character, but perhaps less for mixes.

WHICH SETUP?

Setup 1 would likely be ursa major sst-282, stargate 323, lex 300, dynacord drs-78, master room xl-305.

Setup 2 would be lex 224xl, ursa major sst-282 (does a lot more than reverb), and maybe one other less pricey character box (likely spring, so master room).

Setup 3 would be similar to 2, just a diff center pricey reverb, like a quantec QRS, 480L with classic cart, etc.

Downside of setup 2/3 is no matter how great the main reverb, things could sound a little same-ish after a while, but with synths I've learned a few pieces of high-quality gear is nearly always better than a lot of 2nd or 3rd tier.
Old 5th March 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
oldgearguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
read this thread from the High End forum to get some opinions on the 224, 224X, 224XL.
Old 5th March 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Wow, that is an AMAZING thread, it didn't show up in my google searches at all. Still reading through it. Found this especially interesting:

"The XL has more DSP memory than the X ( just a bunch of bigger devices on the same pcb ). This could account for the change in sound, a bigger DSP word length for more detailed calculations? I'm no programmer. Other than that the X and XL are physically the same bar the serial remote ( LARC ) rather than the parallel remote ( beige or blue metal )..and that just involves re-configuring the jumpers on the SBC card to use the other port. There is a different PCB to connect the serial remote to but essentially all that has on is 422 send and receive chips. All three use the same converter pair. The DSP engine changed drastically from original to X but stayed the same from X to XL, aside, as I said, from the 64k ( ! ) upgrade, oh, and more ROMS :-]. The OS changed of course but as I understand it there were no i/o word length or sample rate changes through all three models, 12 bit 32k all the way? The 224 may be different here to the X but I don't think so."

still seems diff opinions so far if 224x or xl sounds richer, all seem agreed both beat the orig, but then again, the orig is often a bit cheaper.
Old 5th March 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
oldgearguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years


I just remembered seeing a thread there some time ago, went to the High End, typed 224x in the search box, chose "search this forum", and there you go.
Also found this shorter one, but it also mentioned the darkness of the 224: yet another Lexicon 224 thread
Old 5th March 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
wow, amazing threads! Just reposted my orig question in the first thread as well, two diff thread audiences I'm guessing. After reading all the way through, I'm guessing 224xl or 480L with classic cart, OR, a non-lex. 224s I've heard seem more my style in general, but a little too dark, guessing the 224x or xl fixes that.

I really like some of the demos I've heard from the dynacord drs-78, dark but huge stereo image, feel like if I could mix that with the 224 demos I've heard, closer to what I'm imagining in my head. But beyond lex (which seems so standard), not sure if there's other things to think about for best bringing out the warm, organic tone of analog synths without overpowering them.
Old 5th March 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Gringo Starr's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For that price tag check out a Bricasti or the new Tegeler Audio Reverb unit. Those would be more than capable of bringing out the warmth of a synthesizer and they’re new so they won’t be breaking down. And if they do they’re totally fixable. I’m not sure but I’d guess that the Lexicon 224 has some parts that might not be easy to find. I was interested in a Model 200 until I found out some parts might be unobtanium.
Old 5th March 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
the bricasti is super pricey, but I've heard it's beyond amazing. In my experience, I've never heard anything that sounds as good as vintage on nearly anything, but reverb might be an exception, though being so blown away by the space station, I'd have to really hear it to be convinced. what's a decent used price on bricasti these days?

also, how often do these older lex units tend to break down these days? most vintage synths, so long as not moved much and cared for, can get 1-3 years or so before it needs a trip to the shop for minor work. Is a classic lex usually more or less reliable than that?
Old 5th March 2018 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo Starr ➡️
For that price tag check out a Bricasti or the new Tegeler Audio Reverb unit. Those would be more than capable of bringing out the warmth of a synthesizer and they’re new so they won’t be breaking down. And if they do they’re totally fixable. I’m not sure but I’d guess that the Lexicon 224 has some parts that might not be easy to find. I was interested in a Model 200 until I found out some parts might be unobtanium.
Yeah I've heard the 224 makes a good doorstop if it fails

(I know not much help bar a 2nd hand warning from someone on the internet)
Old 5th March 2018 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Gringo Starr's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle ➡️
the bricasti is super pricey
How much are you planning on paying for a Lexicon 224 that’s in perfect working condition?

I agree that these vintage units are still the benchmark for reverb. However the Bricasti constantly gets rave reviews and it can’t be that far off from clearing the bar these vintage units have set.

Check out the Tegeler demos. Sounds great and they have tubes in them if I’m not mistaken.
Old 5th March 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
dunno how much it makes SENSE to pay. trying these usually requires buying one. my guess is it makes sense to buy one that is working 'for now' (lower cost) to see what it sounds like, sell quickly if I don't gel with it, if keep, eventually overhaul.

just did some research on the bricasti, didn't realize the remote is so pricey (and no virtual version?!), then there's the v3/m200 issue. complicated.

for transparency, demos I've heard of the pcm 92 sound pretty damn good, and it's with a lot of lexicon swirlyness, lex 300 for a more vintage flavor, and both of those are much more affordable than either the 224x or bricasti route. hard to say if a more hi-fi 224(x) for character or more transparent (but modern) verb makes more sense in this case. Are there places to try out both (ie: guessing guitar center doesn't have a 224!).
Old 5th March 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
clusterchord's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
from direct experience 480 with classic cart sounds great. but different from 224.

Bricasti is a great clean realistic reverb. and sounds different, newer than 480 and 224.

so it depends what you want. as long as you dont expect a reverb X to sound exactly like Y, chosing to buy a newer one due to obsoletness and rare parts of old machines, is a perfectly valid logic. just make sure that is the sound you want.


AMS sounds great on drums with all sorts of non linear behaviour. and smaller ambiences on vocals n stuff. and when you want explosive complex early reflection which its famous for. but overall its reverb has no modulation and is very low density. which is perfect for some stuff. its more a special character piece. it doesnt have the density and mesmerizing trail of the 224. i tested an AMS just recently, and was about to buy it but the deal fell thru. in the end, they are just too different to talk in terms of better or worse. i think in domain of vintage reverbs its perfect complement to my 224X, so i hope i'll find another.


ams with synths: with grain of salt in that i havent enough play time in actual production with it, but my overall impression is i would use it first n foremost on drums, perc, vocals, in general stuff that has transients. didnt see the need to get it for my synths.

so, if you are looking for cinematic vast vintage spaces for synths then 224 or the "newer" sound of 300 and 480 are pieces you cannot go wrong with. they are all phenomenal.

Quantec i have even less experience with but listening to albums and reading about it, its a pretty straight clean reverb, without the modulation and spin parameters like lexicon, or later eventide. but it does have a mesmerizing trail. i would love to get one but they are even more expensive than ams or 224 currently. so crap.
Old 5th March 2018 | Show parent
  #12
Moderator
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord ➡️
i tested an AMS just recently, and was about to buy it but the deal fell thru.
What 'bout the 224XL? Did that 'fell thru' as well?
Old 5th March 2018 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
clusterchord's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris ➡️
What 'bout the 224XL? Did that 'fell thru' as well?
ah no, i was commenting on the original deal with Roginator. still haven't found the contact for the other option we discussed, so well see about ams and 224xl .
Old 5th March 2018 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
massimo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord ➡️
Quantec i have even less experience with but listening to albums and reading about it, its a pretty straight clean reverb, without the modulation and spin parameters like lexicon, or later eventide. but it does have a mesmerizing trail. i would love to get one but they are even more expensive than ams or 224 currently. so crap.
Are you talking about the older QRS and QRS/XL or the newer Yardsticks?

Best regards
Massimo
Old 5th March 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 
CathodeRay's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I had thought about getting a 300L for my synth rig , I held off, shopped around a while and ended up getting a PCM60, PCM70 , (3) PCM81's and a PCM91 for around the same price as the 300L.
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
my setup includes quantec, sony, tc, eventide, lexicon - each one gives me something that im not getting from any of the others (bricasti might be nice, but with all these boxes, i don't feel the need for it).

now which lexicon? every generation has it's own sound. - i like the pcm96s for it's versatility (can be used in any combination from quad mono to two stereo to surround; essentially several efx units in one box) and it's ability to come close to older versions (while you cannot come close to a pcm96s with older versions).
regarding older gear, i wouldn't go back any further than 300l or pcm70 (unless very affordable...)
Old 6th March 2018
  #17
Moderator
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle ➡️
Started by buying pcm 70, then lex 200, sold both, to my ears could do 95% of what they do with Valhalla.
So how come you didn't gel with the PCM-70? I've read somewhere it has many of algorithms ported from the 224XL series. But then, it was long ago perhaps i read that wrong.
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Firechild's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris ➡️
So how come you didn't gel with the PCM-70? I've read somewhere it has many of algorithms ported from the 224XL series. But then, it was long ago perhaps i read that wrong.
I read from the former Lexicon employee which I now have forgot the name of...sorry will edit my post when my brain works again, that NO Lexicon hardware have the same algorithms, ALL are different except the obvious, PCM92/96 have the same or overlapping algorithms and the same goes for Lexicon LXP1/15.
Meaning in the 960 you won´t find any 1:1 480 algorithms and no 224 1:1 algos in the PCM70.
However names could be similar but the algos are not.
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
I read from the former Lexicon employee which I now have forgot the name of...sorry will edit my post when my brain works again, that NO Lexicon hardware have the same algorithms, ALL are different except the obvious, PCM92/96 have the same or overlapping algorithms and the same goes for Lexicon LXP1/15.
Meaning in the 960 you won´t find any 1:1 480 algorithms and no 224 1:1 algos in the PCM70.
However names could be similar but the algos are not.
here's one of the many (and possibly one of the better) threads on lexicon efx:

Lexicon reverbs: a brief bestiary


and a brief note on quantec: i think their twist is different from all the others, regardless of whether qrs or 2496 (i happen to own both); i wouldn't call them dark though...
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris ➡️
So how come you didn't gel with the PCM-70? I've read somewhere it has many of algorithms ported from the 224XL series. But then, it was long ago perhaps i read that wrong.
It's not that I didn't gel with the pcm-70 or m200, they're amazing, no question!

BUT, I compared them a/b with valhalla, tweaked valhalla enough so that I was able to get so damn close, it shocked me. On full mixes there's a tiny bit extra depth to the pcm70/m200, but didn't feel like enough to justify the cost, but I could tell that the right reverb would have that extra mojo, and what it would sound like.

When I got the space station, I was like, there it is, that extra depth and 3D, clarity without any mud even at really wet settings. Also helps that the space station is also doing something really diff than the valhalla in all senses, with its loops through analog and multiple taps and overall oddness.
Old 6th March 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
anyone compare or xl with with classic cart? how diff do they sound on the same algorithms?

Currently 224 is about 2.5k USD, 224x/l is about 3k, and 480 3.5-4k (extra couple hundred with classic cart, and finding one takes time)? Also, how often do these break down, are they more or less reliable than the average vintage synth?
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
massimo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
and a brief note on quantec: i think their twist is different from all the others, regardless of whether qrs or 2496 (i happen to own both); i wouldn't call them dark though...
@ deedeeyeah
Do you think it makes sense today to get an original QRS when there is the new Yardstick249* around? Since you have them side by side, would you please mind commenting on similarities and differences?

best regards
Massimo
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo ➡️
[Do you think it makes sense today to get an original QRS when there is the new Yardstick249* around? Since you have them side by side, would you please mind commenting on similarities and differences?
hm... they share similarities (you could tell they belong to the same 'family'/brand, like lexicons do), yet i've never used them in the same way or tried to get them do the same thing (compared them):

i've been using the qrs mostly on stereo (or early pseudo-surround/quad mixes) in a traditional (true) stereo send, two stereo (front and back) return. when mixing in stereo, the rear return is like having a second stereo efx device with longer time setting/more diffusion and a somewhat darker, softer return. if you change parameters (which is very easy, mostly just one or two parameters), the rear effect changes acvordingly which i think is a huge advantage over adjusting two different effect devices! so: besides the sound (which one may like or not), the qrs is one of the 'fastest' efx to adjust!

now the 2496 is a somewhat different beast: i mostly use it to upmix from stereo to surround. what's amazing is that you can feed entire mixes (or groups/stems) through the quantec whitout getting splattered echos/delays or a huge wash (try this with any different device). so i use it mostly in a 'send only' approach (and mix with additional stereo/surround groups/stems).

people often talk about realism when trying to describe the sound they get when sending things into a efxc device: to mee, that doesn' really matter that much as i think my sony pictures spaces in a fairly realistic way (dunno about bricasti, but is told to do so). the 2496 for sure does this as well (and much more), but more importantly, it sounds 'convincing': once i find a setting, there is some kind of 'authority' than i simply do not question...

hope this makes some sense - cheers!


p.s. funny enough, when the power supply of my qrs once broke down during mixdown, i was trying to replace it with other devices and guess what: i felt i came the closest with two pcm70's (and not with the 2496)...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 6th March 2018 at 06:13 PM.. Reason: p.s. added
Old 6th March 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
massimo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thank you very much for your reply deedee.
I would use the Quantec mainly for acoustic music. I wonder if the old QRS would still hold its own compared to the Yardstick, or be audibly less 3dimensional or noisy or whatever. I am very tempted by the QRS as I really love hands-on control of parameters, something that I have really come to love using my Lexicon 200.

Best regards
Massimo
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
...maybe the 2402 could do the trick!

(which one could say is somewhere in between the qrs and the 249* - as the pcm81/91 is somewhere in between the pcm70 and the pcm96, to get closer to the original topic of this thread again... - sorry folks!)
Old 6th March 2018 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Nigel99's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild ➡️
I read from the former Lexicon employee which I now have forgot the name of...sorry will edit my post when my brain works again, that NO Lexicon hardware have the same algorithms, ALL are different except the obvious, PCM92/96 have the same or overlapping algorithms and the same goes for Lexicon LXP1/15.
Meaning in the 960 you won´t find any 1:1 480 algorithms and no 224 1:1 algos in the PCM70.
However names could be similar but the algos are not.
PCM-70 and 224 sound nothing alike to my ears. Especially the original flava 224 - which was dark and grainy as hell, compared to the clean ‘shine’ of the 70.
Old 6th March 2018
  #27
Deleted b6e9904
Guest
Pretty sure the Dynacord DRS-78 is mono.
Old 7th March 2018 | Show parent
  #28
Deleted c40a31f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
...maybe the 2402 could do the trick!
Definitely check out the Tegeler like Gringo Starr recommended! It has tubes and transformers and should be less expensive and easier to find then a Quantec. I think it also has a similar quality to its sound that reminds me of a Quantec.



Old 7th March 2018
  #29
Deleted b6e9904
Guest
What the hell is that on the front panel... is it some kinda display, or?
Old 7th March 2018 | Show parent
  #30
Deleted c40a31f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b6e9904 ➡️
What the hell is that on the front panel... is it some kinda display, or?
Yeah, that's a head scratcher for me as well. It's like there is a small round active part in the middle and then most of it is a static picture of outer space? Maybe the original design had an active display that filled the whole area but was just too expensive or the part became unavailable or something?

I'd personally rather just see multiple LED meters that show input level, output level, and maybe an effect only level etc. or maybe two VU meters with a switch to select the source.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 116 views: 43397
Avatar for project71
project71 11th January 2021
replies: 77 views: 11932
Avatar for TheLastByte
TheLastByte 6th November 2017
replies: 223 views: 31976
Avatar for nexxus
nexxus 12th July 2018
replies: 1565 views: 185473
Avatar for henryrobinett
henryrobinett 11th March 2022
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump