Vintage Digital & Analogue Studio Effects

Vintage Digital

Lexicon 224

Lexicon 224 Digital Reverberator

The Lexicon 224 digital reverb announced in 1978 is the kind of stuff legends are made of. It is without a doubt the most admired and desirable reverb of the Lexicon line-up. It may be over 40 years old now, but the Lexicon 224 is still in use today at many studios regardless of it's limited bandwidth, and is loved by so many engineers, that they will only replace it when it dies. If it dies...


Unveiled at the AES Show in 1978, the Lexicon 224 was not the first digital reverb (that honor goes to EMT’s 250), but the 224 (and its 224X and 224XL cousins) was the most ubiquitous and popular high-end studio reverb in history.

The Lexicon 224 introduced in 1978 and manufactured through to 1986, is an early digital reverb that was well known for its spacey, extra long decays. Vangelis was an early pioneer of the extra long decays using this unit, most famously in the Blade Runner soundtrack.

The reverb was conceived when Dr. David Griesinger, a nuclear physicist/musician/classical recording engineer, started working on a digital solution to reverb. Seeing EMT’s 250 encouraged him to merge a microcomputer with his reverb design.

He pitched his rough prototype to Lexicon, which bought the invention and brought Griesinger on board to help refine the product. One of Griesinger’s concepts for the new reverb was creating a separate control unit for parameter adjustment and program access.

The 224 reverberation system had a console-top controller with a four-rackspace brain, two inputs, four outputs and interchangeable programs to simulate chambers, plates and rooms. The 224 was “affordable” – meaning $7,500 with two programs or $7,900 with four programs.

But at half the price of EMT’s 250, the 224 was a hit. Eventually, the 224 evolved into the improved 224X which used a higher sampling rate of 34.5kHz instead of the 224’s 20kHz and 224XL, which included the LARC (Lexicon Alphanumeric Remote Control), offering fingertip access to programs and parameters, dedicated function keys and a 24-character LED.

The Lexicon 224 used a fixed point processor, with a 16-bit word size. It was designed in the late 1970s using the best technology available, which at the time was the 8080 microprocessor, 12-bit converters (using DAC80 DAC IC), input transformers, and bucket loads of 74S/LS-series logic.

Although the converters themselves are 12-bit, a clever scaling circuit gives an extra 24dB of headroom by actively shifting the input gain. This gives a 16-bit conversion range overall, though precision is still only 12-bit.

From Talking Heads’ Remain In Light through to U2’s Unforgettable Fire, the Lexicon 224 has been used on some of history’s most iconic records and truly earned it’s place as one of the most desirable digital reverbs ever made.

Lexicon 224



Quantization: 12 bit
Sampling Frequency: 20kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 10.9kHz
Dynamic Range: Unknown
THD: 0.05%

Dimensions: 482mm x 172mm x ?
Weight: Heavy!

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Plug-In Options

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb
With all the flexibility you would expect from a native plug-in, this powerhouse Bundle delivers 7 legendary Lexicon reverbs with hundreds of the most versatile and finely-crafted studio presets, including recognizable classics from Lexicon’s immense library of sounds.
Native Instruments RC 24
Based on a reverb that gained wild popularity in the 80s and 90s, the Native Instruments RC 24 delivers larger-than-life ambience with stunning accuracy – right down to the 12-bit converters.
Slate Digital VerbSuite Classics
VerbSuite Classics is a partnership with LiquidSonics, and uses proprietary FUSION IR processing to capture the evolving and modulating characteristics of the modeled hardware reverb tone, including the Lexicon 480L.
Universal Audio Lexicon 224
From Talking Heads’ Remain In Light to U2’s The Unforgettable Fire, the Lexicon 224 remains one of the most popular digital reverb units of all time. Now you can track and mix with this singular piece of audio history with the Lexicon 224 Reverb plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Lexicon 224 Digital Reverberator Reviews

Have you owned this product? Let others know what you thought of it.

Community Score


(3 Reviews)

Build Quality 95%
Sound Quality 100%
Usefullness 97%
Mojo/Funk 98%
Reliability 83%

What other owners say...


By Anonymous

Build Quality 100%
Sound Quality 100%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 95%
Reliability 100%

224 since the 70's

By Anonymous

Build Quality 95%
Sound Quality 100%
Usefullness 90%
Mojo/Funk 100%
Reliability 80%

Great sounding machine that has served me well since I first bought it in the 70’s. Recently rebuilt the power supply and did some component updates. The Lexicon 224 has it’s own sound and works well with my Lexicon 480L and my Lexicon 300L. Just too bad Lexicon sold out to Harmon!


By Bernd

Build Quality 90%
Sound Quality 100%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 100%
Reliability 70%

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