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Effects Processor, Digital (hardware)

February 1, 2001

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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