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The Lexicon I-ONIX U42S thread
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
The Lexicon I-ONIX U42S thread

Just borrowed a U42S from the swedish distributor.

I'm going to compare it to the Apogee Duet. I need a sound card for my living room, when not in the studio. I've been thinking about getting ribbon mics (coles 4038) for a long time.

Could anyone provide more info on the DBX preamps in the card.

Its says DBX hi-voltage ultra-low noise preamps. Would be great to get more info on what that would mean.

I could probably go for a pair of external ribbon mic preamps if the ones onboard isnt sufficient.

Would be awesome with some input on this topic. (such as, what is the dB levels the preamps can create and how does it sound compared to for example Apogee Duet, which i also have here testing out)

Best regards Emil
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
first thing ive found is, (without being a tech expert). the preamps seems to sound reasonable, but when turning ALL way up the very last steps are huge on the analog gain button. i guess its supposed to act that way.
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by nilsemil ➑️
first thing ive found is, (without being a tech expert). the preamps seems to sound reasonable, but when turning ALL way up the very last steps are huge on the analog gain button. i guess its supposed to act that way.
The gain structure is kind of screwy. That circuit has been fixed, but it may take some time to get those units in the pipeline. Since it's so sensitive, I found a little Sharpie mark was just the right thing.

Yeah I work for the company, but I had nothing to do with the interfaces. Having said that, I've used the U82 (same preamps) on a few live classical recordings. I've used expensive mics (KM-140s) and inexpensive ones (Perception 420s) and I think the preamps are a pretty good value for the money. Haven't tried ribbons. Wish I had some.

And although I complained about the look of the unit while it was in design, I've grown to appreciate it. No rack ears to tear up your car seat, and the front panel is in a good position to monitor while you're recording.
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
just bought the review from SOS but i feel free to copy paste the info atleast;

USB 2.0 audio & MIDI Interface. β€’ 24-bit digital recording and playback at
sampling rates up to 96kHz. β€’ Compatible with Mac OS 10.4.9 or higher and
32-bit Windows XP/Vista. β€’ Analogue inputs: eight mic/line preamps fed
from rear-panel balanced combi-jack/XLRs, each with 58dB available gain via front-panel control; first two preamps can accept instrument-level signals via side-access jack sockets; rear-panel phantom power switches for each input pair, each with front-panel status LED.
β€’ Analogue outputs: two line-level outputs on TRS jacks with front-panel rotary level control.
β€’ Headphone output: two side-access headphone jack outputs with front-panel level controls; headphone feed follows main outputs.
β€’ Digital I/O: coaxial S/PDIF input and output. β€’ Metering: eight-segment LED bar-graph meter for all analogue inputs and outputs; status
LEDs for all three hardware monitor-mixer
dynamics modules. β€’ Other I/O: MIDI In and Out; USB sockets; 12V
DC mains inlet.
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
copy+paste; """The preamps are of a very similar design to those in the FW810S, and as such are clean, quiet, and quite neutral, which means that they’ll cope with the gamut of project-studio recording tasks confidently. As on the flagship, though, the gain range is fairly ordinary, so some ribbon mics may pose a challenge, and the gain is also bunched a little towards the upper end of the control, especially the last 6dB or so. Although the conversion doesn’t feature Dbx’s Type IV peak-protection system, as the FW810S does, the quality nonetheless seemed fine to me, and headroom is less of a concern with modern 24-bit interfaces than it used to be in the days of 16-bit."""
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
got this answer from lexicon, which sounds good to me.

> Hello Emil,
> The preamps are a high-quality professional design. The original preamp design was by Soundcraft for use in their consoles. Dbx then became involved to re-engineer the preamp design for the Lexicon IONIX series.
> The U42S will work with ribbon mics.
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
toine6's Avatar
🎧 10 years
There's a good chance they're using the same pre's that they used in the Lexicon Omega.. Which are the DBX Silver Series line pre-amps.. Pretty decent sounding to my ears.

Edit... doesn't look like it actually, maybe they've reworked them? the Omega's line has -118 dB @ 51 dB gain (150 Ohm source impedance) -120 dB A-weighted

which, the only thing that make sense to me, as I don't get overly technical.... is that the Omega is listed at 51 dB versus the I-Onix's 58 dB...

Same company, so I'd think they'd use the same measuring standard too.
Old 3rd October 2010
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
Planning to buy this one and have questions to those who use/used this one.
-there were few complains in the web about huge delay when playing guitar through it, for example. Does the latency really suck? one guy even gave a number of 30 ms for ASIO loopback
-stability in win7 64-bit environment and stability in other windows.

thanks in advance!

Last edited by tlg666; 3rd October 2010 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 3rd October 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
jnorman's Avatar
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
i've been using a U42s for about a year for chamber music, and i fond the preamps to be quite acceptable. the unit was perfectly stable from day one, drivers are solid. the gain structure is, as mentioned, a tad weird, but you get used to it.

the only real complaint i have about the unit is its shape. while it is nice on the studio desktop (easy access and useablility), it is awkward to pack up for remote work due to its odd shape.
Old 3rd October 2010 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
thanks! one more vote for good preamps amps and stability but still hot question about latency, as far as i understood, you do not have experience
Old 20th December 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
My Review
Find the latest User Reviews | Harmony Central

Product: Lexicon IONIX U42S
Price Paid: UNKNOWN
Submitted 05/16/2009 at 06:21pm by Gerald

General : 7
I'm converting from an ADAT 8 Track recording setup to completely computer based recording. I already own a Lexicon PCM80 so I was pleased to see they were introducing USB Interfaces. I picked the U42S but I could have easily picked the U82S for the extra channels, to avoid plugging and unplugging. But now that I've bought it I'll plug/unplug the four channels as needed. I have mic/guitar/Drum L/Drum R so it's enough channels for my "live" setup. In any case I only record one track at a time.

It has a solid metal/plastic case which should withstand any bumps. I don't intend to use it for gigs.

It has a strip of LED's for each of the four channels, two for the Output and one for the monitor mixer. They're not bad but are not really that accurate - seems like the same number of leds are lit up regardless of the level control know setting until you hit the peak then it lights up all the leds and peaks (more on this later).

The knobs, switches, inputs are all high quality. It has two headphone jacks, two instrument jacks (which override the mic inputs 1 and 2) and 4 mic jacks. There are also two main outs which I route to my mixer for mixing/monitoring.

The headphone outputs are good - enough volume and you don;t have to crank them to hear the live/recorded mix.

There's a level control for each channel. These are not that good - I found the level didn't change a lot until you cranked it - then at the last bit you got a big jump in volume and it overdrove the channel. It was still clean but it overloaded the signal going to the software. I would have liked to see the change in level more even over the range of the volume knob.

The monitor mix knob works well - no latency for the live signal and you can blend in the previously recorded tracks perfectly.

Connectivity : 10
USB 2.0 works flawlessly.

I/O : 9
Preamps sound excellent for guitar (Marshall/SM57). I run a RODE NTK and it sounded rather thin but clean. I prefer to preamp it through my mixer with a compressor insert for some more bottom end/eq.

It has SPDIF and MIDI which I'll never use.

2 Headphone outs, with individual volume control. Ample volume through the headphones.

Power : 10
It has it's own power cord - not a wall wart but an inline transformer. 9VAC so you need the specific adapter not 9VDC so Radio Shack adapters won't work.

Has phantom power (in pairs) for the 4 preamps.

Technical specs : No Opinion
I run 44100 but it will do higher sample rates. It has ASIO driversa and I downloaded the most recent set from the website.

Other : 10
It comes with CUBASE LE but I use SONAR 6 PE so I never installed it. It comes with EZDRUMMER which I will try later.
It took about an hour to load the software/drivers from DVD and register everything.

Overall : 8
The sudden jump in volume on the channel volume control worries me. I would have expected it to be a smoother increase overall.
I had latency with SONAR 6 PE but I set the AUDIO/OPTIONS/ADVANCED Manual Offset (Recording Latency) to 1000 and every track recorded in sync. The latency was frustrating until somebody on Harmony Central suggested I try this.

I would probably buy another one but maybe the U82S for more channels.

Plus it doesn't have an on/off switch.???
Old 12th April 2011 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years

can anyone please confirm that they have a U42S working fine with Windows 7, 64 bit? There's lots of complaints on the net about drivers, but it's not clear how many are using the most up to date drivers

Old 28th October 2014
Gear Head
🎧 5 years
Did anyone or has anyone anything to offer on that last question? I know it's a while ago but still...I'm running win7 64bit and am considering this unit.
Old 29th October 2014 | Show parent
Lives for gear
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by abz7777 ➑️
Did anyone or has anyone anything to offer on that last question? I know it's a while ago but still...I'm running win7 64bit and am considering this unit.
Yes it works fine - I have an HP Laptop G6 with Windows 7 and no problems for 3 years. I've upgraded the drivers from their website but I can't remember when it was a long time back - probably when I first bought the laptop.

I should point out the input gain overload on the channels was apparently fixed by Lexicon on units that were manufactured after Oct 2009.
Here's the email I got when I asked about it.


This issue has been resolved on all units manufactured after 10/06/09. There should be a sticker on the outside of the packaging box which has a serial number and manufacture date. Most other units in stores have been fixed to meet the same standard.


Shane Vander Veur
Lexicon/DigiTech Support
Phone# (801)566-8800

So check the date of manufacture before buying. They sent me new pots but I never bothered to replace. I just got used to recording at a level below the problem area. I'm using Sonar X3 Producer at 32Bit install BTW as I needed to keep some plugins.
Old 19th November 2014
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Lexicon U82 not working with Pro Tools 11 on my mac

I can't get my Pro tools or even my Macbook to recognize my Lexicon U82. Does any one have this problem? Im running off of Mavericks operating system, 10.9.5, Pro Tools 11. Does this have some thing to do with the operating system? I downloaded recent drivers that Lexicon has on their site but all I get are glitches. I go through the MIDI setup in the utilities folder and the Lexicon keeps coming in and out. Any idea whats going on here?
Old 20th November 2014
Lives for gear
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I use windows 7 so no ideas. Send them an email and ask...they respond quickly.
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