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PCM 90 or PCM 91?
Old 24th January 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
PCM 90 or PCM 91?

I just got a fat check from my insurance company in the mail and I also sold a control surface on ebay so I got some money to burn. Right now its carte blanche. I have quite a budget (nothing like a Bricasti type processor). I am looking at either getting a PCM 90 or a PCM 91. Now I MUST have XLR I/O's. I understand that the 80,70,etc. don't have XLR i/o's. (does the pcm 90 have xlr?)

Anyone out there give me some advice on what I should do.

I could also go for an M3000 but then I'd be spending most of my money. I just need someone out there in gearslutz land to tell me what direction to go. I would be using this processor via mixing (like when I EQ or comp something). It will be used PRIMARY for vocal tracks but I might as well try it out on drums, keyboards, etc.

Keep in mind I've tried 2C-AETHER reverb, ALTIVERB 7, BREVERB, UAD REVERB PLUGINS, waves reverb plugins (i.e. IR-1 FULL). So I really need to know if this is pointless in that perhaps the plugins are JUST as good as the hardware. PLEASE someone out there help me out!

Thanks
Old 25th January 2013
  #2
Tui
Gear Guru
 
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I used to have a PCM 90, it was a nice machine. I really liked the delays, but I found the reverbs difficult to control and make them sit well with the music. I felt I had to work too hard to get a good sound.

So, I eventually I sold it and got a M3000. I think the reverbs are more exciting and sit better in the mix, and the stereo chorus is second to none.

I suggest checking out a few soft verbs, such as Tsar, Spaces, Redline, and the new offerings by NI.
Old 25th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
syntheticrhyme's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I used to have the pcm91. It sounds great, but nowadays the plugins are just as good. If you are set on buying it, by all means do it but maybe you could spend the money elsewhere. A reverb that I used to own that I have not heard a plugin come close to is the quantec yardstick. It was digital (aes) and just sounded incredible
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui ➑️
I used to have a PCM 90, it was a nice machine. I really liked the delays, but I found the reverbs difficult to control and make them sit well with the music. I felt I had to work too hard to get a good sound.

So, I eventually I sold it and got a M3000. I think the reverbs are more exciting and sit better in the mix, and the stereo chorus is second to none.

I suggest checking out a few soft verbs, such as Tsar, Spaces, Redline, and the new offerings by NI.
errr the PCM 90 does not have delays, it's a reverb only box, if you got the dual reverb card for the 90 that pretty much gives you a 91. I still own a 90 and I used to own an M3000, the 90 always worked better in the mix for me. Last year I sold my M3000 and got a R4000 which is a much nicer box.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab ➑️
errr the PCM 90 does not have delays
Er, it does. I should know, it's on two of my albums.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui ➑️
Er, it does. I should know, it's on two of my albums.
I think you're thinking of the 80 which was a multi fx box, the pcm 90 has 5 algorithms, Random Hall, Ambience, Plate, Concert Hall and Chamber Room.
Old 26th January 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
I've used a PCM 91 fairly often, and it's nice, but I'd save up for a PCM 92. It's worth the extra couple hundred dollars
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab ➑️
I think you're thinking of the 80 which was a multi fx box, the pcm 90 has 5 algorithms, Random Hall, Ambience, Plate, Concert Hall and Chamber Room.
I'm thinking of the PCM 90. FYI, here's a list of the presets:

http://www.lexiconpro.com/system/doc...pdf?1340218443
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui ➑️
I'm thinking of the PCM 90. FYI, here's a list of the presets:

http://www.lexiconpro.com/system/doc...pdf?1340218443
ok so out of a few hundred patches, there are a tiny number of delay patches, and you have to hunt for them, and a few of them are with verb. So technically your right, but other than you I've never heard of anyone using a 90 for delay and I've owned one since they came out, even in the original literature about the 90 they billed it as the reverb and the 80 as the multi fx box. As far as the M3000, I always preferred to 90 to it and finally I replaced my M3000 with a R4000, which is a much nicer box.
Old 27th January 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Hi there,

I have had a PCM90 since new, and also a PCM80. Over the years the PCM90 developed several faults which I was able to repair, but eventually a fault on the digital processor board was fatal. The PCM 90 is no longer supported for parts or even the schematics for the Processor board.

I bought another second hand PCM90 because I loved it so much, and I couldn't find a better alternative. Recently the software Lexicon has become available at a reduced price, so I bought that as well, so that if I had problems with the hardware, I would have another option.

The software is probably as good as the hardware, but each has their own way of being accessed and producing different results. On the whole I prefer the hardware for my setup.

So, I totally recommend a PCM90 or 91, but be aware that the PCM90 is no longer supported. I am not sure of the situation with the PCM91, you would need to check that. Unlike the person above, I love the way the PCM90 reverbs integrate in my mixes. If I want delay I use other devices or the PCM80.
Old 27th January 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Jantex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Since you mentioned that you would also accept a plugin verb, I must tell you that you just missed the best plugins. If you want a vintage top Lexicon sound, try Relab LX480, which is a spot on 480l emulation, or Native Instruments, which have modelled 480 and 224.

If you would prefer a more advanced, modern take on a reverb, try the two plugins from Exponential Audio which are amazing. Phoenix verb is the most natural ITB reverb on the market, while R2 is a modern take on Lexicon sound. You can also try Lexicon PCM Reverb bundle, which are a port of PCM96 code into a plugin land.

In 2013 I would't even bother with the legacy reverb boxes. The only hardware worth buying these days is a Bricasti, in case you go for that sound. Apart from this, the native plugin solutions have managed to catch up the historic hardware boxes. As I have already told you, you unfortunately just missed the best software verbs, by trying only those you mentioned and please take your time and try them before shelling out money for old boxes.
Old 28th January 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Nick Morris's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex ➑️
Since you mentioned that you would also accept a plugin verb, I must tell you that you just missed the best plugins. If you want a vintage top Lexicon sound, try Relab LX480, which is a spot on 480l emulation, or Native Instruments, which have modelled 480 and 224.

If you would prefer a more advanced, modern take on a reverb, try the two plugins from Exponential Audio which are amazing. Phoenix verb is the most natural ITB reverb on the market, while R2 is a modern take on Lexicon sound. You can also try Lexicon PCM Reverb bundle, which are a port of PCM96 code into a plugin land.

In 2013 I would't even bother with the legacy reverb boxes. The only hardware worth buying these days is a Bricasti, in case you go for that sound. Apart from this, the native plugin solutions have managed to catch up the historic hardware boxes. As I have already told you, you unfortunately just missed the best software verbs, by trying only those you mentioned and please take your time and try them before shelling out money for old boxes.
+1
Old 28th January 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
90 vs 91

I know a little something about those two boxes. There's really only one appreciable difference. The PCM91 has a few algorithms built in that required an extra algorithm card on the PCM90. So you'd find that it covers a little more ground. The other differences had more to do with manufacturability and don't have any effect on the sound.

Got one around here someplace but haven't fired it up in ages.
Old 28th January 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
By the way, some PCM80s DO have XLR inputs. Some early ones were 1/4" only, then later they started using the "combo" jacks which are both XLR and 1/4". I know this for a fact because I have one with combo jacks.

But anyway, there's nothing so wrong with 1/4" jacks, just get the appropriate cables, it's not a big deal. In fact you can probably get a PCM80 with 1/4" jacks cheaper. Save a few bucks. No loss in quality.

Also have a PCM91, excellent unit for sure. Gets used a lot.

Also have a few TC Electronics Reverb 4000 units... also an awesome piece... just like Musiclab, I once had an M3000 but then upgraded to the Reverb 4000... definitely a step up. Great unit!!! Very realistic.

All of these units can be gotten used at a steal compared to what they originally cost new. It's ridiculous really. Incredible value.

Like for instance, a new Reverb 4000 is $2679.00 brand new from Sweetwater. Likely you could get a used one for like $1000 less or so... great deal. And in my opinion, a way better route to go than dealing with plug-ins. I have not yet heard a reverb plug-in that I liked... plus plug-ins can just be a pain in general... sorry, I guess I'm just old school. Whatever works.

Old 28th January 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
+1 for PCM92

It's 2013 and modern hardware reverb units still sounds sweeter!

Great I/O routing options and connectivity as well.

Old 31st January 2013
  #16
tj7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I've started a rack reverb comparison thread
with a download link for a dry drum track included.
It would be awesome if hardware reverb owners could contribute by
running the audio through some plate, room and hall
settings and upload the results...!

The idea is for this thread to be a one stop rack reverb comparison
thread, so readers can get some idea of how their flavours vary.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-...o-plugins.html

Please have a look at the
thread and help get it started if you have time!
Old 31st January 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Nick Morris's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristoreie ➑️
It sounds great, but nowadays the plugins are just as good.
Yep
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