Lexicon MPX 500


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For many people Lexicon is the definitive brand of digital reverb. Along with EMT, Lexicon dominated the market in the 1980s, with a range of devices from the PCM70 and Lexicon 200 to high-end units like the legendary 480L

Lexicon subsequently developed a proprietary digital reverb processor, the Lexichip, which allowed them to build cheaper, more compact effects processors. A later version of that processor, the Lexichip II, led to the Lexicon PCM 80 and Reflex and the updated Lexichip III is used in the MPX 500

The MPX 500 is a true-stereo, 24-bit Lexicon reverb / effects unit with balanced inputs & outputs. It’s a big step up from the MPX100 with many more programs, a lot more flexibility and, most importantly, that high-end Lexicon reverb sound

“Based on the same Lexichip III reverb engine that powers the new generation of Lexicon reverb processors, the MPX500 expands on the MPX100’s philosophy while offering a sound quality that lies somewhere between the MPX100 and the PCM90/91”

“I think it’s fair to say that the MPX100 set a new standard for very-low-cost reverb/effects”

“You can buy more versatile multi-effects boxes than the MPX500 for around the same price, but I don’t think any of them offers the quality of reverb available here”
The MPX 500 has 24 banks of preset programs plus a user bank to store edited effects. Banks are divided into single programs, where the inputs feed one effect, and dual programs, where each input feeds a separate effect (see below). The dedicated processor chip is powerful enough to run two programs simultaneously so the MPX 500 can be used as two separate effects units. These can be configured in various ways – split, cascade, dual mono, dual stereo, etc

There are 240 preset programs, each with up to 16 editable parameters. The four key parameters are automatically assigned to dedicated front-panel knobs for easy editing, and edited programs can be stored in the user memories

The MPX 500 has the usual Lexicon in-depth Midi implementation with programs selectable via Midi program changes, parameters patched for real-time control and Sysex dumps to save & restore effects settings. Tempo-based effects can be setup using Midi clock or via a front-panel Tap Tempo button

A quick run through a few presets revealed quite a lot. The display is large & easy to read with the current patch name, number and effect type prominently displayed. Parameters assigned to the four controllers are listed along the bottom of the display and editing is simply a matter of grabbing the relevant knob & tweaking away. Left & Right input levels are shown as bargraphs in the display, useful on a device that can run two programs simultaneously

The unit is very quick to respond to control inputs and feels as though it has lots of processing power. Audio quality is just as you’d expect from a Lexicon – smooth & effortless-sounding with a wide bandwidth. It’s super-easy to get to know and there’s no real need to read the manual unless you want to delve into some of the deeper aspects of the unit

The MPX 500 is a great all-rounder – it’s quick & easy to use, has proper balanced XLR inputs & outputs, plus jacks, true stereo / dual mono operation – and that indefinable Lexicon reverb quality


MPX 500 Single Programs
1   Plate
2 Gate
3 Hall
4 Chamber
5 Ambience
6 Rooms
7 Tremelo
8 Rotary
9 Chorus
10 Flange
11 Detune
12 Pitch
13 Delay, Echo


MPX 500 Dual Programs
14   Special Effects
15 Flange-Delay
16 Pitch-Delay
17 Chorus-Delay
18 Delay-Reverb
19 Flange-Reverb
20 Pitch-Reverb
21 Chorus-Reverb
22 Mono Split Delay
23 Mono Split Reverb
24 Dual Mono
Balanced stereo inputs & outputs are on XLRs and jack sockets and the unit works at a nominal 0 dBm level. The unit uses 24-bit convertors with 56-bit internal processing and is clocked via an internal 44.1 or 48 KHz reference or the SP/DIF digital input. When Dry is selected the analogue input feeds the digital output so the unit can be used as an A-to-D convertor The back panel footswitch jack socket can be used for bypass and tap tempo. Midi In & Out / Thru jacks are on the back panel along with SP/DIF digital inputs & outputs on phono sockets. LCD contrast can be changed via a rear-panel control - useful for units mounted in a rack The 500 has a proper internal power supply which accepts 90-250 Volts AC. Mains input is a standard IEC socket. IEC mains lead supplied on request
1U device suitable for mounting in a standard 19" rack. Mains input is a standard IEC socket. IEC mains lead supplied on request
Product page http://www.lexiconpro.com/en/products/mpx-500 Owners Manual http://rdn.harmanpro.com/product_documents/documents/1103_1340213089/MPX500_User_Guide_Rev1_original.pdf Sound on Sound Review http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb00/articles/lexicon.htm GearJunkies Review http://www.gearjunkies.com/product_info.php?products_id=11145
Excellent, used condition. Photos show a unit sold previously