Zorx Electronics
LVX - Meris

LVX - Meris

by Sam Chittenden

As I dove into Meris’ LVX modular delay pedal I kept being reminded of The Heart of Gold from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In the novel, The Heart of Gold is the most advanced, powerful, and unique spaceship in the galaxy. It is powered by the “Infinite Improbability Drive,” which allows it to perform feats of interstellar travel that include seemingly impossible jumps across both space and time, happy accidents, and results that are both a surprise and a delight. Like The Heart of Gold, Meris’ LVX—with its brilliant white finish and retro-futuristic UI—is more than capable of transporting you through improbable spaces.
At its heart the LVX is a delay pedal, but in reality it is much, much more than that. Indeed, the amount of options and parameters available is staggering. Fortunately, the LVX is blessed with not one, but two excellent UI designs that make diving in and tweaking not only a breeze, but actually fun. The default graphical interface is a bubble-based affair with the category of the parameter [Delay, for example] surrounded by the various editable parameters [Time, Feedback, etc.] within that category. The second option is to switch to a text-based interface, wherein each of the LVX’s knobs are assigned a parameter [per category screen]. I found the default graphic view entirely usable [though both versions are quite easy to use], but because of the depth and breadth of options available, I preferred the text based interface. In that view the parameters that are available—even if they are spread over a few pages—are more readily apparent, and the knob per parameter mapping makes things quick and intuitive.
Meris has borrowed some of the best bits from many of their other fantastic pedals and included them in some form, and the further I spelunked into the depths and possibilities available the more I came to realize the power that Meris has crammed in.
Along the back the LVX has ¼ inch jacks for stereo input and output, an expression pedal input [also ¼ inch], and five-pin DIN MIDI in and out. There is also a USB-C port for firmware updates and a standard 9v center-negative DC power input. On the face of the pedal along the bottom edge there are four foot switches that perform various functions such as loop control, preset selection, and tap-tempo. Above that, and centered around LVX’s beautiful color screen, are the three main navigation controllers, C1, C2, and C3, along with four knobs dedicated [unless you are editing] to top level controls over Time, Feedback, Mod[ulation], and Mix. The C3 encoder is used to navigate through presets as well as through the different category pages while editing. C1 and C2 control two “favorite” parameters for each preset, both of which can be assigned as you see fit when editing a patch, allowing for quick access to parameters of your choice.
The LVX comes with 99 factory presets in 3 banks of 33 and I found the presets excellent. They range from straightforward to otherworldly and are a great way to get your head around the capabilities of the pedal. Out of the box the LVX will keep your ears busy with everything from multi-tap delays, envelope following pitch shifters, bit-crushed and filtered reverb trails, and more. On top of that it seems that anything that gets fed into the LVX just sounds better coming out the other side, and whether you are going for an extreme change or something more subtle, this pedal will make magic.
When crafting your own sounds the LVX offers a stunning array of options, and if it wasn’t so intuitive to navigate, this depth could easily be overwhelming. All of this can be broken down into a few categories, but since this is a “delay” pedal it makes sense to start with the delays. There are several different delay types to choose from: a clean and pristine digital version, a bucket brigade style, and a magnetic emulation. There are also six different delay structures which can add delay taps, filters to delay lines, reverse direction, and even a stereo port of Meris’ own Polymoon algorithm.
If that amount of options isn’t enough, then hold on to your space helmet because in addition to the delay parameters and types, the LVX has a further five categories of options to play with. First up is the dynamics section which gives access to both a compressor and limiter as well as Swell—an automatic volume swell that removes that attack of the signal—and a Diffusion parameter, which smears a series of short multitap delays for reverb-type effects. The LVX contains five different preamp models [six if you count the Volume Pedal parameter which is included in this part of the interface]; a tube model, a transistor based version with a focus on higher frequencies, an Op-Amp for a more broadly dispersed boost, an overdrive, and a bit-crusher, each with their own set of customizable settings.
Did you say filter? There are four different filter models onboard: a ladder filter [brought over from the Meris Enzo], a state-variable version [also from the Enzo], a comb filter, and a single-band parametric EQ. In the pitch-shifting category we have several models adapted from Meris’ Hedra pedal: both a poly and a monophonic chromatic pitch shifter, a micro-tuned shifter, a harmonizer with two independent diatonic shifters [one for each channel], and a Lo-Fi pitch shifter that has been adapted from Meris’ Ottobit Jr.
Last but not least there are seven different modulation effects including chorus, two different flanging effects, a cassette emulation with degradation controls, a ring modulator, a barber pole phaser effect, and a granular engine for stuttering and freezing effects and evolving textures.
While all of those raw elements are impressive, what makes the LVX so powerful is the flexible nature of the signal path and the way in which different effect types can be placed in different parts of the signal chain. Each of the elements can be placed before or after the delays, in the feedback path, or applied to both the dry and the pre-effect signal. The looper also allows for elements to be placed in post-mix location. Additionally, each of the above elements are in stereo and can process the right and left signals independently. It’s a lot to take in.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the LVX also has a suite of modulation controls? Yep. There are two independent LFOs, an envelope follower, a sample and hold, and a 16-step sequencer. All of these can be assigned to the various parameters available in the delay and effect categories. At the risk of sounding overwhelming, the LVX also features a capable sixty-second stereo looper, a tuner, and an extensive set of Global configuration options. If your set-up includes MIDI, the LVX has a comprehensive map of MIDI CC mappings for external control over the pedal’s parameters, and it also has an expression pedal input which can be assigned for macro control over any of the same parameters as the internal modulators.
As I keep saying, the amount of options is utterly staggering, but the interface is so well thought out that the LVX is surprisingly never overwhelming to use. The flexibility of the signal routing is great and experimenting with differing placements can wildly affect the sound. The inclusion of a looper is a great feature and is easy to use, and apart from the fact that the LVX is an incredibly gorgeous delay pedal, the flexible nature of its architecture means you can apply its pre-amp models, dynamics processing, and pitch shifting independently of the delay line, turning the LVX into a kind of multi-effects pedal as well.
I honestly can’t recommend the LVX enough. It’s an incredible achievement from Meris and a pedal that deserves a serious look by any musician, regardless of the instrument you plan to run through it.

Price: $599