Lexicon PCM 60
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Lexicon PCM 60

PCM 60, Reverberación from Lexicon in the PCM series.

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content in English
briank 27/08/2011

Lexicon PCM 60 : la opinión de briank (content in English)

"A very basic oldie but goodie"
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The Lexicon PCM 60 is a 16-bit mono in/"stereo" out digital reverbration unit dating to the mid-1980s.

The unit is a dead-simple bare bones affair, with only two main programs: Plate and Room. For either program, there are two banks of four additional shaping settings: one for decay time, from short to long, and another set for effect size, from small to large, which also affects perceived reverb time. The only other sonic shaping available are two "Contour" filters, one for bass and the other for treble.

The unit's front panel also has controls for input and output level trims, effect mix from 0% to 100%, a bypass switch and unit power. Metering is a color-coded 5-segment affair that is easily viewed.

All connections are at the rear panel, are all analog, and are all 1/4" jacks. There is one input, "stereo" (but not true-stereo) output, and effects loop, and a footswitch jack for bypassing which I have never used. Operating levels in and out are switchable between +4dBu and -20dBv.

If you're after a multieffect unit, this isn't it. I rate this section based on what this unit IS--a simple reverb unit and NOT a multieffects unit. It does only what it endeavors to, and no more. That's good enough for me!

UTILIZATION

Reverb Units don't get much simpler than the PCM60. There are no displays, no menus to scroll through, just a single row of pushbuttons. Settings are easy as pie and although there's no recall, all you need to do is kick it old-school, write down the button and knob settings and keep that with your other sessions notes (you DO keep your sessions nice and organized, right?? ;-)

Setting input and output levels are simple, and the rotary pots are still smooth and reliable after all these years.

I prefer to use it as a mono-in, mono-out unit, preferring true stereo in and out reverb units where possible.

The manual is perfectly adequate; it explains the basic functions of the unit complete with pics and example settings, and also has a page that you can copy for recall sheets.



SOUND QUALITY

This is a 16-bit unit, so care should be taken to leave some headroom on the input level--we don't want any squared-off 80's digital distortion, now, do we!?

The quality of the reverbs is surprisingly good considering the vintage. The PCM60 has the familiar Lexicon family musical (but not transparent) character of sound to it. Bottom is smooth; higher frequencies come off as grainy yet lush, and smoother with the Treble Countour engaged.

The Countour filters are especially useful for vocal and drum reverbs; engaging them essentially rolls off highs or lows for a more absorbed sound at the frequency extremes.

The sounds this unit produces are of course limited, but when they work for a source (you will quickly find out if it does or not by twiddling a couple knobs and pushing a few different buttons), they work very well and sound...for lack of a better expression, nice!

I tend to go for the plate sounds more often and especially for vocals and drums, but the room program has its place, especially for some vocals and the odd guitar or drum track.

OVERALL OPINION

PCM60s seem to be trading today for around $400 give or take, which is a bit of a surprise. I'm not sure it represents the best value at that price, considering other, more feature-packed and sonically diverse units at that price and particularly on the used market (where there are also more modern Kurzweils, TCs, Yamahas, lower end Lexis etc)...but for a good classic Lexi and "vintage character piece," the price of entry is on the more doable end of things. The PCM60 will appeal to persons after a musical two-trick pony with a classic sound and character that other units don't achieve--the PCM60 does have its own place in the digital reverb world. If you can get a really good deal on the price and want a couple interesting reverbs of the Lexi variety, I say go for it.

The unit I'm most familiar with dates to the mid-80s and it's dead reliable, doesn't skip a beat.