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Rack for Fx loop Amp : Fx 2000 vs MX300

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by Pat Therien, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Pat Therien

    Pat Therien Member

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    Hi !
    i'm new to the world of rack Fx and i just bought a Behringer Fx2000.
    I Played with it about 5 ours and my fist impression are really good !
    For my use ( i don't need anything crazy ) just some good User Preset of Reverbs and some Fx such as Delays, Tremolo, Univibe (chorus ) and Leslie but mainly i want some variations of reverb ! so i'm working on my 20 presets and thats about how im gonna use my rack !

    maybe its because its my first rack but i'm really impressed by the reverb !
    I really like the compare fonction wich makes it really useful to make presets !
    I also, compared my spring reverb from my amp and the spring reverb algorith from the Fx2000 and I must say thats its a little better from the Behringer , its less cold and cavernous so thats a big plus as a guitarist !! that alone justify the price i paid 125$US

    I was skeptical about it and i had to decide between the Behringer Fx200 OR the Lexicon MX300 and i am still wondering if that would have been a better choice ( in terms of reverb quality ) but after some research i have found 1 major flaw on the MX300 : there is no knob for mix dry/wet AND the presets are 100 wet so its really not appropriate for loop fx in series !

    is there really no way to assign a knob for mix wet/dry ???
    what are your thoughts on a Behringer Fx2000 Vs Lexicon MX300 for a guitarist ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  2. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    There actually is a wet/dry mix control in the MX200/300/400 series (actually 2 on the MX200/300, and up to 4 of them on the MX400). That's not the problem though—the real problem is that there's no overall level control per preset, so if you have a verb or a delay setting that works fine for you at a certain level, it's all good; but if you like to have many different levels of FX going on, the MX series is a nightmare, needing a lot of extra help to "work" in a guitar rig (it can be done, it can just take a lot of work!).

    Out of all those Lexicons though, the MX400 is by far the best choice. Unlike the 200 & 300, you can physically separate the two FX engines audio paths in your rig, even running one in "Mix 1" and the other in "Mix 2" if you have a CAE-style mixer (it's a 4-in, 4-out)...so if you have that one level that works for all your chorus/flanger/phaser/etc. needs, you can set your "Mix 1" up for that level, and then set your "Mix 2" level up for something that works for delays/reverb/etc. (and maybe throw in a low-impedance stereo volume pedal to make subtle adjustments on-the-fly—at least that's what I'd do).

    The MX series does sound really good though. The MX200 was my first rack unit and I have fond memories of the verbs (not as nice as my PCM stuff now but still nice!) and the other FX sounded amazing too (especially the detune and delays, and chorus was pretty nice too). A mixer is definitely a must though, either way, no question about that!
     
  3. Pat Therien

    Pat Therien Member

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    i mean , there is no knob for MIX without going in the menu, right ? i ask because i just read the manual pdf and saw two reviews that stated that flaw...
     
  4. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    Oh yeah, the MX300 & 400 are quite a bit more complex than the 200, so that's in a menu, yep. No big deal, you're never going to adjust that anyway once you get your presets set up ;) Once you have a mixer you'll be making most of your adjustments from there anyway....
     
  5. Pat Therien

    Pat Therien Member

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    yeah , once the presets are done no problem , but overall for me i found that annoying because i don't want to get a mixer. I just need a rack with good reverbs to sit on my amp.

    so maybe that in that context the Behinger Fx2000 is better ? or maybe i just need to work for my presets and i will be more satisfied with better reverb from the Lexicon .. thats the question
     
  6. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    It's only 1 extra 1U space, put it in a 2-space rack and be done with it :D Not a big deal. You have to do stuff like this if you want to keep your tone, that's really all there is to it. Just about every Bradshaw system ever made has a mixer, for good reason—it's the "brain" of your rig, and it keeps your analog tone analog! And you can get a good one for $150-200 (maybe even less, if you get a used SM26).

    I'm playing through some pretty great MPX-1 reverb as we speak. It's running in parallel, and the reverb tails come through CRYSTAL clear (since the processor is using 100% of its output for just the verb), no noise (you'll get more of that if you run wet+dry inside the same box)....just perfect....and you can get pretty much that same quality from an MX400...it has practically all the same controls (and one of the best plugins I've ever seen too, if you ever want to hook it up to a computer—all the "knobs" are right there on the screen, and you don't even need MIDI to hook it up, since it uses USB).

    [​IMG]

    You don't have to use the plugin of course (all the parameters are on the screen too, no "hidden" stuff like Lexicon used to do with older processors), but it's nice to know it's there, especially if you want to organize & archive everything. I had this same program for the MX200 and it was the best editor I've ever used, hands down.

    At the end of the day, it all boils down to how much you care about the tone you have right now—if you value that, you'll put up with the (slight) inconvenience to adding a mixer to your rig (not to mention, you'll have room to grow if you do that too, it will be much easier to add extra processors later on!).

    The Lexicon will definitely have better reverb. The only unit Behringer put out that had comparable reverbs was one they were forced to take off the market, because it basically was a Kurzweil unit :rotflmao
     
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  7. Pat Therien

    Pat Therien Member

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    Thanks for the good info , that makes me see how to use a rack in a new way !

    I think i'm gonna take a chance and buy the Lexicon MX300 and try it against the Behringer.


    Thank you, i must take a decision before friday !
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
  8. Pat Therien

    Pat Therien Member

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    They are input level +4 to +20 dBu input, which are not really suitable for a guitar type rig (not enough headroom). You'd be better of with something that can take a -4dBu input, and is designed specifically for guitar.

    The TC M-One for example is -12dBu to +12dBu, which would likely be better spec wise.

    i have found that info, is that a real problem as i want to use it with a guitar amp ?
     
  9. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    No, that's not how this works! "Guitar"=pedals, that go before the amp, totally different! Everything is at instrument level or "hot instrument" level. You need the extra headroom that +20dB for preamps (which usually run at line level, or something close to it).

    No, that would actually be worse, spec-wise! Depending on how hot your levels are for the preamp portion of your rig, you could clip that on some settings. Better to be on the safe side and go for the extra headroom if you can, that a Lexicon would provide.

    Once we've left guitar pedals behind, "guitar" doesn't matter. Once we get into preamps and post-preamp FX, everything changes. This is where you can start having studio-quality FX in your rig, and it really sounds like it, not some imitation—and not only because we're using the gear that was used on the recordings (or maybe a 2nd/3rd generation processor since that era, that still retains a lot of their best qualities), but also because this gear is designed to run at line level. I'm no expert on the technical differences, but I have had plenty of experience comparing instrument vs. line level gear (even TC SCF vs. 1210—that's eye-opening if you ever get to try it), and there are real, tangible differences there. It's hard to explain...it's like the audio "breathes" more or something :rotflmaoPerhaps it's because it always sounds like it has the headroom to handle whatever you throw it at it, that makes it sound so good (you know when you push even a good pedal with a hot level, and the sound starts to "thin out" a little bit? you generally don't get that problem here unless you run your levels insanely loud...and as long as you have a good mixer, you can tailor the levels going into the processor anyway, so you never clip it).

    By the way, if you want to get an MX300, just get an MX400! I see them go for the same price all the time now, and you basically get another MX300 for free in there!!! (they should have called it the "MX600" :D ) At least get it so you can do seamless spillover for your delays/reverbs (it's super easy to set up, I can make a diagram showing you how if you want), or to just have extra "on-call" FX you can pop in & out without having to change presets ;)
     
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  10. Pat Therien

    Pat Therien Member

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    Thank you very much for the good information !
    I just went through the Manual od the mx300 and there is 2 things that bother me. in the list of reverbs, it is almost always mentionned Stereo and also many Modilation effects are wet only. so i feel that its not at all a rack fx for guitar ( in the fx loop ) or that it could only work with a Mixer ... am i right ?
    thank you and i appreciate all the good info that i learn
     
  11. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    It's only because certain FX need to be wet to come across right. You have to remember that the MX series also has quite a few "Insert" FX, where the sound is supposed to completely pass through the effect, and not necessarily guitar (remember, these were designed more for DAWs and live sound than guitar rigs, though they can work very well for the latter). Things like Compressor, De-esser, Phaser, Vibrato, Tremolo/Pan and perhaps Rotary too are all mean to be run as "insert" FX, vs. "send" (parallel) FX (delays, reverbs, chorus, detune, etc.). This is perfectly okay, even desirable in the context of a mixer:
    • since the MX400 can do series FX routings too, you can use the Compressor to make a more "squashed" delay or chorus sound (a lot of Boss choruses use a compressor in the circuit, for example).
    • Phaser is usually a 100% wet effect. Depending on which mixer you get, you can make something where it's easy to kill the dry signal if you want to use the MX phaser (either by MIDI control or by a simple footswitch, killing the dry signal—it will probably require a little extra gear though, so keep this in mind).
    • Vibrato, same deal; but even without a "dry kill," you can use this as a simple stereo chorus (that's all chorus is, vibrato happening alongside dry signal). I used to use this in the MX200. Also useful for pre- or post-processing other FX! You can make "vibrato verb" or add even more modulation to the Modulated Delay.
    • the Tremolo/Pan block can be used in conjunction with a delay in series to make a 2290-ish "auto-pan" delay (Mod Delay would be a great pairing with that)
    If I had to sum it all up, I'd say that with a "simple" mixer setup (i.e. just the mixer), you would be perfectly good to go with these....
    • reverb
    • delay
    • chorus (and "Vibrato," as a chorus)
    • layered pitch shifting (adding 5ths and octaves to your sound, etc.)
    • combinations of those FX in series ("phased delay" [like 'Neptune' from the Rocktron Xpression], flanged delay, vibrato-verb, auto-pan delay, "squashed" delay/verb, etc.)
    And with a little extra work later on, these too....
    • compressor
    • Phaser
    • Flanger
    • Rotary
    • pitch shift (like a Whammy, replacing original pitch)
    • Vibrato
    • Tremolo/Pan
    • wet Reverse Delay (you can of course run that as a normal delay w/the dry signal too—I'm just pointing this out because a lot of people only like to run it this way ;) ).
    ...and then after you get one of those "insert" FX, you still have room to add delay/reverb or whatever (just make sure to layer the delay/verb at something like 50% wet or lower, to let the original effect pass through).

    Some useful posts on this thread from a while back on the MX series:

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...fects-for-a-guitar-rig.1852093/#post-24597191

    You're welcome!
     
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