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Alesis 3630 or DBX 166xl?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by radioadbass, Mar 23, 2010.


  1. the 3630 all the way

    6.9%
  2. dbx all the way

    93.1%
  1. I'm a fairly new bass player-former drummer for my band. I want a rack compressor for my rig, and have heard mixed reviews about the Alesis and the DBX models...anyone have any suggestions? I've already taken into consideration DBX is priced higher, but is that for good reason or is it just an over-priced brand? Alesis...or DBX?:help:
     
  2. I'm not voting- although I used the 3630 for awhile, I've heard a lot of bad about it. The DBX stuff in general seems to have a better rep, but I have no first-hand experience.

    Did you read Bongomania's reviews?
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    between those two, the dbx because the 3630 is very noisy. but neither are much good for bass imho.
     
  4. I've got a dbx 166 and two 166A's. They are fine utility compressors which I use on bass players all the time. They just compress stuff in a fairly transparent manner, which is good if that's what you are looking to do. If you want something that sounds interesting in some way you probably need to look elsewhere.

    I encountered one of them Alesis units in a dude's project studio one time. I thought it sounded remarkably crappy but I was also struggling with the console EQ on a Mackie 8 bus and a set of low end KRK monitors at the same time, so who knows.
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    the reviews i've seen (as well as my own experience) are not mixed at all :spit:

    (edit: i take that back; some folks really like them wedged under doors or behind tires.)
     
  6. duderasta

    duderasta

    Feb 25, 2010
    Tampa, FL
    neither dbx 160a
     
  7. Agreed, for a workhorse compressor that can excel on bass go for a dbx 160. Not too pricey but a little more than the ones you have mentioned. Worth paying the price though for a workhorse!
     
  8. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    My 3630 isn't noisy at all, but I bought it from a studio that had it modded. I like it. It works great.

    EDIT: Here's a link to the mod: http://www.phillyspot.com/forums/index.php?act=ST&t=136&
     
  9. i've got one of the 166xl's. Never used the Alesis. I do like the 166xl but (like any compressor really) it's very easy to over do it. i use a switcher so i can have one set up for fingerstyle and one for a plectrum (i don't slap at gigs often).
     
  10. I've had good luck with my Alesis 3630 but I think I like my BBE OptoStomp better for what I want a compressor to do. I'm also running a BBE Sonic Maximizer through my effects loop as well as the compressor. YMMV.......
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    ya, well that's cheating ;) most folks' 3630's make sucking sounds and add noise.
     
  12. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    The 3630 is great!...



    ...as a paper weight or something to throw at a drummer.
     
  13. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Yeah, it's cheating, but I've never fought fairly. :smug:

    They sure have sold a lot of the 3630s. They can't suck that bad. Any cheap piece of gear is going to be noisier or not work as well as a more expensive unit for one reason or another, right? It's a budget piece. We make sacrifices for the sake of our wallet.

    ...or at someone who likes stirring the pot.

    Since when do blues guys use compression?
     
  14. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Agree... I've had just about every dbx. But if you get 'the touch'... you won't need it. I use mine for the kick now.
     
  15. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    If you're a "Fairly new bass player", then the last thing you should buy is a compressor. It will actually impede you're learning.
     
  16. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Unless you're using it to tame your slap sound, that is. And it doesn't impede your learning, really. Your technique could, possibly, suffer for it. It's not definite. Let's say this: If you squash everything with it, you might--might--screw up your technique.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    behringer sure sells a lot of stuff, too. alesis sort of traded on their reputation of doing other stuff very well. i guess it can be modded into something, but stock it kind of blows. just my opinion.
     
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    McDonalds sure has sold a lot of their so-called hamburgers.
     
  19. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Yeah, I know. But again, it's a budget piece.

    All I know is mine works fine for me. I can't imagine the replacement chips and whatever else making a huge difference. But then I can't be sure, as I've never owned a stock piece.

    What is your budget compressor recommendation?

    I respect what you have to say, Jimmy.
     
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I do have a whole website to answer this sort of question *hint hint* but if the question was narrowed to "what do I recommend, in rack form, for bass, at a price near the Alesis", I'd suggest these:

    --anything by Ashly or Symetrix (spendy new, but they sometimes go for insanely cheap used on Ebay, you just have to keep your eyes peeled for the deals)
    --Behringer MDX1600 (and probably other models in that line)
    --dbx 166 (no suffix letter)
    --Audio Arts 1200

    I've seen each of these go for well under $100 occasionally.
     

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