Getting that Lexicon PCM-42 Delay Sound

MBreinin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,364
So, is there something you can buy today that will give you that '80s Lexicon PCM-42 type of delay that basically was all over every hard rock recording from the era without dropping a grand on a vintage rack delay? I have an original issue Flashback and I really don't think it is all that great. I really want that '80s rack delay sound.
 

kiki_90291

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,928
$300 new. I see them pretty regularly locally on Craigslist for around $200.
 

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,139
The DIG has nowhere near the large three-dimensional quality of a PCM 41 or 42, 2290, SDE 3000, SDD 1200 or 3000, etc. It sounds like a typical flat 2-D delay, albeit with two delay lines.

Although not the same tonality in the repeats, the Memory Lane Jr. is the closest pedal I've played that captures that quality. Moreso than even the Providence delays.
 

Jim S

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
15,296
The DIG has nowhere near the large three-dimensional quality of a PCM 41 or 42, 2290, SDE 3000, SDD 1200 or 3000, etc. It sounds like a typical flat 2-D delay, albeit with two delay lines.

Although not the same tonality in the repeats, the Memory Lane Jr. is the closest pedal I've played that captures that quality. Moreso than even the Providence delays.
Then how is the Memory Lane Jr like the PCM41? :dunno
Not arguing; genuinely curious.

What about the Korg SDE 3000 pedal ?
 

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,139
Again, its the 3D v 2D thing. It's not as simple as saying fat or thin. With better delays, there's a thickness to the delay line that makes it seem like you can almost physically touch it. The MLJR has that, the DIG did not.

Had the SDD3000 pedal a year or so ago. I recall it being a really good sounding pedal, but the modulation was a deal breaker and I quickly moved on.
 

awallace

Member
Messages
1,448
Although not the same tonality in the repeats, the Memory Lane Jr. is the closest pedal I've played that captures that quality.

Interesting... I'm not very familiar with the PCM42 and have no experience using one. My understanding though is that it uses variable sample rates to vary the delay times and to modulate the delay signal which is the same thing we do with the Memory Lane Jr.
Looking at a block diagram of the PCM42 it also looks like a lot of the basic functionality is done in the analog domain as opposed to "on the chip" like a lot of modern digital delays- feedback is done by sending the analog output of the DAC back to the input and the mix is also done in the analog realm. Memory Lane Jr uses this same basic architecture. I suspect that the analog circuits are responsible for at least some of the PCM42's sound. Does a MLNJr sound anything like a PCM42? I have no idea... I'll defer to anyone who might have experience with both.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
30,125
If you can stand the elitism there's a great thread in the Rack Space sub-forum about this. The argument is that the large format and budget of devices like the PCM42 allow more robust power supplies (for better overhead), more careful build and layout of the analog section of the circuit, fewer compromises in choice of things like op-amps. So, in general, the thought is that pedals are never going to reach the sound of the old rack stuff, even if the algorithms are good. The fun argument is whether software, since it doesn't require analog processing at all, can surpass pedals and create accurate clones of the PCM42 function?

As to the ML Jr.-the concept of using an AD/A system with sound stored in RAM and then doing all the manipulation by adjusting clock speed, and with feedback external to the digital process (say that all 10 times fast!) is the basic concept behind all the PT2399 based delays, as well as the DD2 IIRC. Not going to sound like a 42 for the above reasons, but very cool in their own right!
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
27,735
Have you looked into a pcm-41?

not the same as a pcm42, re: input/ouput hardware; i almost remember one of the designers (Gary Hall) telling me there was something different about the nature of the PCM, too? maybe, maybe not. i can ask.

also, on the pcm41, there's no VC of "FEEDBACK", nor is there VC of "MIX".

EDIT: deleted my previous error, vis à vis @Flogger59's response.

a pcm41 is very nice as it is, though!
 
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splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
27,735
If you can stand the elitism there's a great thread in the Rack Space sub-forum about this. The argument is that the large format and budget of devices like the PCM42 allow more robust power supplies (for better overhead), more careful build and layout of the analog section of the circuit, fewer compromises in choice of things like op-amps. So, in general, the thought is that pedals are never going to reach the sound of the old rack stuff, even if the algorithms are good. The fun argument is whether software, since it doesn't require analog processing at all, can surpass pedals and create accurate clones of the PCM42 function?

As to the ML Jr.-the concept of using an AD/A system with sound stored in RAM and then doing all the manipulation by adjusting clock speed, and with feedback external to the digital process (say that all 10 times fast!) is the basic concept behind all the PT2399 based delays, as well as the DD2 IIRC. Not going to sound like a 42 for the above reasons, but very cool in their own right!

elitism, meh.

pcm42 sounds & acts differently; it has been copied muchly (in old hardware), but maintains its own personality.

there are some super-nice new devices (and the older PSP software) that can parallel the pcm42, but that certainly doesn’t mean that an original pcm42 has lost its unique sonic value.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
30,125
@splatt, you know I love you! But some of the posters in that thread positively foamed at the mouth at times. That's what I meant by elitism, not the basic question.

And yes, I own hardware: PCM80, 2290, H3000, H8000, Marshall Time Modulator so I've drunk the kool-aid, so I kinda feel like I've paid my dues to post about rack vs pedals.
 




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