Question about Lexicon MX200 effects unit (with )

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The unit itself is generating too much noise(hiss). some effects are noisier than others but overall noise level is unacceptable. all the product reviews say how quiet this unit is. tried changing signal path, levels, changing universal parameters etc.

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  • Lexicon Master
  • 5,603 Answers

Check that: You are using BALANCED interconnection lines (TRS or XLR) everywhere. Low quality cables can cause or let in noise and hiss.

Check that ALL, and I mean ALL interconnected equipment is powered from the SAME receptacle or power conditioner.

Check that you are not using a noisy source or recording system like the internal audio of a PC for instance.

Short the inputs to ground and see if the output noise goes away. Some effects are noisy because the inut signal after effects gets added back into the output.

You haven't described your setup and without that information there is not much more I can add. Ferreting out noise is one of my specialties. In general your input level should NOT be too small as this leads to less signal to noise ratio due to digitizing noise. Look at the Lexicon specs to find what the levels should be. Without the description of your setup I can add no more...

Posted on Jul 16, 2011

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  • brian_mimile Jul 16, 2011

    this unit only has 1/4'' inputs-outputs. guitar-Lex input/ Lex output-amp is the signal path (this is acceptable according to Lexicon manual). both plugged in to same power outlet. amp is quiet with guitar. noisy with Lexicon unit plugged in without the guitar. Lexicon input level has no effect on ambient noise.

  • Fred Yearian Jul 16, 2011

    The LEX output to the amp should be a 1/4 inch TRS balanced cable... while they may say that unbalanced connection is OK, that OFTEN doesn't get the job done regarding noise. There is the possibility tthat the LEX has a problem... this is what I want you to do: Using a pair of headphones, plug into the LEX output's one at a time and listen if the hiss is there... Now ONLY the one side of the headphones (left side) will have sound because the outs of the LEX jacks are mono. If you can detect the hiss there objectionably, then the LEX is bad... it happens... and it is likely the CODEC chip in the LEX. Exercize your warranty in this case. Be aware that electronics due to the statistical laws of physics, has a noise floor that we just can't get all the noise out. Unfortunately effects units that massage the sound tend to worsen any noise that is generated in the early stages of the chain within the units.

  • brian_mimile Jul 16, 2011

    I tried the headphone test- it seemed relatively quiet. I bought a balanced TRS cable and tried that on the output to the amp. Didn't have any effect on the noise at all. I may try a different power supply, I don't think the one that came with it is the original (bought used no warranty).
    Thanks for all your help, good suggestions.

  • Fred Yearian Jul 17, 2011

    Oh, oh... some replacement supplies have switching regulators that can leak into the equipment. The fact that headphones seems clean would indicae a ground loop from the LEX to whatever recording system you are using... You haven't told me what this is driving and in analyzing possible causes this is important.

  • brian_mimile Jul 17, 2011

    The signal path is very simple: guitar - Lex mono input/ Lex mono output - guitar amp. The noise I am getting doesn't sound like ground hum so much as it sounds like tape hiss or radio static. I finally was able to verify that the power supply is the model that is specified for the unit. I think your worst-case assessment may be correct - that the Lex has some defective component that is generating noise. Unfortunately I bought the unit used and have no warranty. I have contacted Lexicon re: parts and repair costs and await their response. I opened the unit up and found that replacing individual resistors etc. on such a small scale is going to be beyond my skill level. I could probably fix a jack or pot or replace the whole board without too much trouble. There were quite a few processor type chips on the board and I couldn't see any obvious flaws or hot spots. I think my best option is that a replacement board is not too expensive.

  • Fred Yearian Jul 17, 2011

    I suspect you will find a replacement board is beyond economic repair sense... I would first try some circuit cooler on individual chips. I suspect you will find that the A-D and D-A convertors are the source of the noise... you might get lucky... I have replaced some chips... just did a little 28 legged CODEC chip... not fun the chip is 1/6 the size of a postage stamp. If you can get the thing to show itself with circuit cooler that is a start... use cooler one at a time on the chips and wait a good five seconds for cool to soak in... remember you are looking for a CHANGE... might get better, might get worse...

  • brian_mimile Jul 17, 2011

    Thanks I'll try that.

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Try this using a differeent computer. Some computers generate a lot of digital noise. Also use a lot of gain from the guitar to improve the signal to noise ratio.

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All interconnected equipment MUST be powered from the same receptacle or source. The XLR to the speakers should NOT have ground lift. The power for the mixer should come from where the speakers are and be routed alongside the XLR cables. All the other connected items should also be powered by the same source. The ground bounce within a building cannot only cause noise, but can rupture the input circuits of equipment. As an electrical engineer I don't know why manuals supplied with the equipment doesn't go into this more. The professionals at the big venues all know this as they have had to pay to get equipment repaired.

Now to get down to "hiss" once you get the other stuff straightened out, there are two things to know at the start: The first is that due to the statistical nature in electronics "noise and hiss" are among the laws of physics that we can't completely get around. The level of the hiss should NOT be objectionable however. The second thing is that proper level setup is important to minimize the effects of noise and hiss. You should be sending the levels to the powered speakers at near full line level into the line inouts, never mic inputs that some have. Using excess gain at the speakers will amplify any noise pickup on your audio lines. Next, at the mixer, try to keep all the level controls around 10 to 2 0'clock for rotaries and 70% for faders. Excess gain at certain stages will cause hiss to be objectionable.

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I have a Peavey 8600 amplifier. It sounds great but when only operating vocals, in order to get the highs of your voice just right, the speakers put off a large amount of white noise. While singing, you...


There is not enough info here to provide a complete answer, but let me give you some background:

There will always be some hiss. This is due to general amplification where a small amount of noise is amplified along with the general signal. In most cases, the signal is strong enough to overpower any noise that is present (vocals in your example). This noise should not be that noticable in normal cases. If there is an automatic gain control in the line, this could account for it as with "silent" times, the gain will automatically be increased potentially to the degree where the noise is noticable.

Barring that scenerio, if the input signal is too low, the overall gain necessary to produce reasonable volume at the speakers will also be such that the noise is noticable. In order to track this down, please provide details about the current setup including:

1) Microphone make and model being used
2) Input being used on the mixer
3) Gain level being used for the mic channel
4) Gain level being used at the master level.

Dan

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1 Answer

HOW DO YOU TURN DOWN THE HISSING NOISE


You can cut the treble gain some BUT most importantly is to send adequate signal to this speaker so volume level does not have to be set high when sending LINE LEVEL signals to it. Hissing noise is a product of the statistical noise that occurs in electronics. Running any device at high gain invariably brings up the hiss level. Managing thee signal levels is the responsibility of the sound engineer.

ALSO feed ALL interconnected equipment from the same receptacle or power source, even if it means running a power cable to a mixer alongside the snake. ALWAYS USE BALANCED audio cables whenever possible.

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If you are having the treble/high turned up there will be hiss. This is due to the statistical noise in electronics, including semiconductors. It is a matter of degree. The hiss should be 30 Db below your program level or so.

It is very common for one to change settings and suddenly start to notice hiss or hum at certain settings.

IF YOU CAN, go to a music store and COMPARE the amp to yours at the same setting with NOTHING plugged in. (cables and guitars can generate hiss or other noise themselves).

There is very little in your amp that would have changed to suddenly start generating hiss, so FIRST compare. This will minimize the chance of spending money at a shop to be told it is normal.

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That is indicative of the statistical electronic noise common to amplifiers. It depends how loud it is relative to the program level. If you get no output while this is turned up, then likely the input to that section of the circuit has failed and that will worsen the noise problem. At wide open you can expect to hear some hiss... probably an annoying level if you are close to the unit. This statistical noise is a problem that plagues engineers and part of it is due to the laws of physics... there are some chips that have better noise performance, but none can totally eliminate it... you can't fool mother nature as they say.

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1 Answer

Hiss


If trim controls or gains are set near maximum, HISS is normal as electronics generates a thermal type noise.

If gains are set in normal operating area, the noise SHOULD be minimal.

Other sources of interference like nearby radio transmitters, welders, arc lights, etc. can create noise.

Start with ALL gains turned down and find which if any cause the noise to be unacceptable.

MAKE SURE all power to this and ALL the other connected equipment come from a single receptacle to avoid ground loops.

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The slider or the amps for channel 1 may have a problem.

Sliders do wear out.

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