Classic Recording Studio Equipment

Vintage Digital

Lexicon PCM 42

Lexicon PCM 42 Digital Delay Processor

The Lexicon PCM42 improved on the PCM41 and became a studio staple, even today you will find this nearly 40-year-old digital delay in use around the world. The Lexicon PCM42 combines Lexicon’s reliability with features for musician. Unique in concept and execution, the Lexicon PCM-42 performs all of the functions you would of a high-quality digital delay line, while the door to realms of musical expression that were only a dream now.

Lexicon PCM 42 Digital Delay Processor Details

Imagine being able to overdub entire phrases of music, vocal or instrumental, layer into complex arrangements IN REAL TIME! Imagine a device that lets you lock delay times precisely to musical for rhythmic and expressive enhancements, welcome to the Lexicon PCM 42.

Imagine an unprecedented degree of footpedal control for live performance.  Imagine a delay line that cannot be audibly overloaded. Imagine a numeric display that tells you the EXACT delay time at any instant.

Now all of this in a unit with the superior, field-proven audio quality and the established reliability of the Lexicon PCM product series, backed by the resources and reputation of the world leader in digital audio and you’ll imagining the Lexicon PCM-42, the cutting of music technology.

The Lexicon PCM 42 incorporates all of the innovative features that have made the PCM series the top performing delay lines on the market today: studio quality PCM (pulse-code-modulation) encoding for super clean audio: multi-waveform sweeps for realistic vocal doubling, rich chorusing. and unique effects: reliability and excellence of construction that have long been PCM series hallmarks.

The Lexicon PCM-41 is the world standard in cost-effective, roadable delay processors and the PCM42 builds on this tradition. The 42 adds many new, sophisticated features including very long delay capacity and synchronising metronome/clock, bringing totally new to top performing artist.

The Lexicon PCM 42 combines a delay capacity of up to 4.8 seconds (with memory option) with a unique metronome/clock, infinite repeat/hold, and special foot controls to bring new possibilities in musical expression, use the delay memory as a short term “digital recorder” to enter entire phrases of music (as much as eight bars’) which will repeat indefinitely without degradation.

Use the repeating phrases as background to lead parts and dub any number of new parts in at will, to generate complicated, multi-layered arrangements LIVE. on-stage from even the simplest of inputs.

The metronome/clock feature provides the means to synchronise tempo with long delay periods. for a variety of fractional divisions of the delay period, it may be used as a visible/ audible metronome. or as a clock for many automatic sequencers and percussion units, driving these rhythmic devices in precise synchrony with the delay period.

Two new control/input Jacks. together with VCO, Bypass, and Repeat inputs, provide the means to control all of this power conveniently on stage. The Mix Control input allows smooth foot-pedal variation of the delay level.

The Re-circulation Control adjusts the amount of delayed audio fed back to the input for multiple repeats. These jacks also serve as auxiliary Inputs to connect to other delay lines, equalisers, reverberators, etc.

Lexicon PCM 42 Features

  • Super long delay times for new dimensions in music. Up to 4.8 seconds with memory option.
  • Unique new metronome/clock feature enables synchronisation of music and delay. Allows the user to generate musical backgrounds and textures with precise rhythmic control.
  • Accurate delay readout shows the exact amount of delay in effect at any time. Tracks all changes in delay no matter how rapid.
  • New footpedal functions provide an unprecedented degree of performer control. Delay level, re-circulation, sweep, bypass and infinite repeat may all be operated by foot controls.
  • Versatile Patching: Mix and Re-circulation Control Jacks may be used to connect Lexicon PCM 42 with other processing gear in a wide variety of configurations, for exciting multi-processed effects.
  • Input Overload Protection circuitry eliminates harsh digital clipping.
  • Proven quality design and reliability Lexicon’s traditional attention to excellence, together with field-proven technology ensures solid, trouble-free performance show after show, session after session, year after year.


  • Total Distortion and Noise:
    • 0.06% typical, 0.1% max @ 1 kHz, +9 dBm input
    • 0.2% typical over bandpass of 20 Hz to 15 kHz
  • Frequency Response:
    • 10 Hz to 16 kHz, +0.5 dB, -3 dB in X1 mode
    • 20 Hz to 6 kHz, +0.5 dB, -3 dB in X2 mode
  • Dynamic Range: Better than 90 dB, 20 Hz – 20 kHz noise bandwidth
  • Standard Memory:
    • 16 kHz mode:
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X0.5; 400 ms
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X1.5; 1200 ms
    • 6 kHz mode:
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X0.5; 800 ms
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X1.5; 2400 ms
  • Extended Memory:
    • 16 kHz mode:
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X0.5; 800 ms
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X1.5; 2400 ms
    • 6 kHz mode:
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X0.5; 1600 ms
      • MANUAL VCO-SWEEP = X1.5; 4800 ms
  • Delay Selection
    • Two delay ranges: X1 and X2, each providing 256 selectable delay taps.
    • All delay taps are adjustable over a 3 to 1 range using the VCO-SWEEP, MANUAL control.
  • Dimensions: 483mm x 44mm x 280mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg


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The details provided above are drawn from historical documents like advertising brochures or user manuals. They’re shared without bias or review. This info is given solely for your consideration, helping you gauge its usefulness to you.

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Lexicon PSP 42 is a high-quality digital stereo delay and phrase sampler plug-in based on the legendary Lexicon PCM 42 processor famous for its distinctive sound and unique concept.

Repeater features 23 authentic emulations of classic delay machines ranging from classic oil cans and tape machines to vintage digital designs.

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One of the best Delays

by Randy

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

It’s a great delay with that vintage digital grit, also really great for various things like Flanging or driving it for distortion. I do think they’ve become way too expensive over the years. Extremely reliable considering they’ve been around for 40 years and mine still works and I’m not even the first owner.


by Alex

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

Recognized many albums released in the 80’s and 90’s had this PCM 42 sound and is still in use after 40 years! One of the great delay system of all time. Sound and the delay quality is just superb, second to none.


by Franz Spencer

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


by Michael Behringer

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 80%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 100%
Reliability 75%

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