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Lexicon Vortex non-repair

Lexicon Vortex

This here thingummy is a Lexicon Vortex. It’s a rather rare effects processor dating to the late ’80s/early ’90s. The chips in this seem to indicate that mine is roughly 93 vintage. I bought it as not working, sans power supply. The eBay listing said that it wasn’t working and that one of the knobs made the numbers change wildly on the display, and the level knob was scratchy.

The power supply issue was annoying — it requires a 9V AC supply, something rather rare. I was fishing around online looking for one, then noticed I actually had one. Sitting on my lab bench. D’oh. Anyway, I plugged it in and everything lit up. The level knob was indeed scratchy, but about 5 minutes of turning it back and forth fixed that. As for the other fault, it was a simple case of the person who had it previously not actually reading the manual. It had me confused briefly, long enough to actually take the thing apart and put it back together again (I wanted to check the caps anyway, so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

So it seems I have a fully working thing, at maybe a 5th of the going rate. It’s in pretty good condition for its age — near mint.

As for what it sounds like… It’s basically a bit like a delay/chorus/early reflections/random delay kind of thing, but with some rather odd weirdness thrown in. I can’t say it sounds exactly like anything else. A bit dark and dirty, maybe. Right up my street, actually! It occurs to me that it would be interesting to patch this inline with a more conventional reverb or delay to dirty up the tail and add a bit of interest.

Next repair is going to be a DBX 160A compressor that needs a couple of replacement switches, once they arrive from Harman.

In other news, the studio build is going, albeit slowly. I have nearly everything I need now, barring some cables that I have on order that should be here next week. I have a large box sitting there containing half a dozen 16 way TRS snakes and a vast quantity of TRS patch cables and another box containing 16 TRS to XLR female and another 16 TRS to XLR male, various MIDI cables, etc. One disappointment was I was hoping to use a couple of Behringer Ultrapatch Pro patchbays, which are really well made actually, but on testing them they turned out to not be TRS, i.e., they are unbalanced only, so I had to order a couple more Nady PB48 patchbays instead. I think I should have a total of 6, which is probably enough for all the gear. I think, if I’ve counted properly.

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Please note: this was cross-posted from my main blog at http://www.mageofmachines.com/main/2015/12/26/lexicon-vortex-non-repair/ -- If you want me to definitely see your replies, please reply there rather than here.

#Electronics, #MoMBlog, #MusicGear, #Recording


Congratulations! Good to hear good deals are still out there on eBay. One trick of mine was to look for misspellings in the descriptions.

January 2016



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