Yamaha SPX50D Digital Reverb / Effects


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The Yamaha SPX90 was probably the first rackmount FX unit to achieve world dominance.  Before the SPX90 racks contained nothing but expensive outboard gear that did one or two things but, post-SPX, everyone could afford a multi-fx unit – so everyone bought one

The SPX90 was joined after a couple of years by the SPX50D.  They share the same 1U case, and most of the programs, but it’s D for Distortion because the 50D adds distortion to a number of effects presets.  The unit is pretty guitarist-friendly – it has a front-panel jack input plus an output for a guitar tuner.  It also has rear-panel jacks for connecting an external fx loop, which is switchable from the front panel, and jacks for bypass and program change footswitches.  The status of the effect loop (in or out) can be stored in a preset for easy recall

The SPX was, and still is, a great little fx unit.  It has a selection of very usable reverbs – including that 1980s speciality, gated reverb – plus early reflection programs and delays.  It also has a number of fairly basic pitch change presets plus panning, vibrato, parametric EQ and a compressor.  Of these, the reverbs (halls, plates, rooms) are the most useful.  To my mind, the best bits of the SPX range are the chorus / flanger / phaser effects, particularly Symphonic, and, in the 50D, the distortion effects

Symphonic is a great, deep chorus effect which is like a Dimension D on steroids.  It can be subtle, like a Dim D, or tweaked to create an over-the-top chorus with lots of pitch changing.  It’s great for widening synth basses, for warming up the low end of tracks, for adding movement to a Rhodes patch or for thickening an acoustic guitar

The addition of distortion and the provision of a front-panel input and effects loop makes the 50D far more appealing to guitarists.  Clearly Yamaha went to some trouble to make this is useful upgrade.  The front panel input with loop out for a tuner shows that a lot of thought went into it

Standard 1U device suitable for all 19" racks.  240 Volt & fixed mains cable with a UK mains plug
Product Page http://usa.yamaha.com/products/live_sound/processors/spx90/ Operating manual http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/pa/english/signal/SPX50DE.pdf Program Table and adjustable parameters http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/pa/english/signal/SPX90E2.pdf Youtube demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0ma4Iw38sE SPX90 / SPX50D Discussion http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=203766  
In excellent condition with very minor rack rash