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Effects Processor, Digital (hardware)

February 1, 2001
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Lexicon MPX 500Lexicon's MPX 500 fills the price and feature gap between the stellar MPX 1, which snagged an Editors' Choice award in 1998, and the entry-level MPX 100, which is arguably the best bargain found in a hardware multi-effects processor. The MPX 500 had to be good to top the hot competition. We couldn't resist the variety and quality of effects Lexicon delivered, especially for such a modest price.

The MPX 500 derives its power from Lexicon's proprietary Lexichip. It boasts 24-bit digital converters and 24-bit internal processing. Like the MPX 100, the MPX 500's focus is on presets. What pushes the MPX 500 into the next class is its user interface, which includes a well-organized LCD, a generous editing allowance, and an ability to store up to 30 user programs.

Four dedicated Edit buttons offer easy access to as many as 16 editable parameters per program. A variety of global parameters are available, including Output Level, Input Source, Clock Source (internal 44.1 or 48 kHz, or external S/PDIF), and modes such as Mix, Bypass, Tempo, Program Load, and Digital Output. The MPX 500's killer sound and its wealth of useful presets cinch the deal. Our reviewer - who owns an MPX1 - was happy with nearly all the presets, and was downright thrilled with several of them. He especially liked the tremolo effects - but then, he's a guitarist, so what can you expect?

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