I didn\'t want to hijack chocothrax\'s thread so I\'m starting this one. I too am interested (not now--maybe in 6 months or so) in moving to hardware-based reverb. I\'ve heard Lexicon is the way to go.
Now, I\'m on a small budget so I\'m looking for something fairly affordable (I\'d be willing to spend no more than $300-400). I don\'t know if this is unreasonable or not, since I know zilch about reverb units. Where\'s a good online store to get good deals on this stuff? I checked eBay, but there are so many different model numbers, I have no idea what they are. Here\'s one Lexicon that appears to be a steal:
You don\'t mention what your motivation is to go to an outboard reverb unit. I will say, though, that for the budget you have, you are not likely to get the quality reverb sound that you could with software for the same price.
I do mainly orchestral work. I bought a Lexicon MPX 500 that I ultimately found wanting. It had a couple of useful \'small ambience\' presets good for \'pre-reverb\', and the hall programs were decent. But then I \'traded\' it for a TC Electronics M-One XL, and quality wise it was a step up, I think. I consider it a good buy in your price range, if you\'re buying new. Used Lexicon gear might do you better, that\'s a question of the right unit coming on the market at the right price. The PCM91 you mention is way more expensive than your budget, but highly regarded. I don\'t know the other unit you listed.
But ever since I got Altiverb, my hardware reverb has become dedicated to my road rack, I don\'t even bother to patch it into the studio anymore. Altiverb is just light years better. I am told that the convolution reverbs on PC\'s are close to in the same league (Acoustic mirror, etc). The added benefit of Altiverb is the availability of impulses that let you exactly emulate any gear. I have presets now for the Lexicon 480L, the 300 series, as well as some M3000 (TC Electronics)settings. I also have IR\'s for some world famous concert venues. Pretty amazing. And we\'ve only seen the tip of the IR iceberg so far, much more to come.
Ultimately, though, the reverb is just one more element in the overall sauce of a mix. I used to think it might be the magic ingredient to great sound, how naive of me. All other things being equal, the magic comes from the art of mixing. Of that, it seems I will forever remain but a humble student. And for the time being, my mixes go to a first rate mixing/mastering engineer before we print the CD.