DBX 160a - Would I be insane to say no to this??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jwilson67, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    I have an opportunity to get a DBX 160a in excellent condition for $150. My wife has said I can have it for my birthday. Should I go for it?? I just need the mental support to make sure I'm making the right decision.


    Edit: I'll be using it through the effects loop in my Ashdown ABM500 (non EVO pre-onboard compressor model).
    Squittolo, Spidey2112 and BrentSimons like this.
  2. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
  3. I would. :) If the Mrs is giving you the go-ahead then you are already cleared my friend! Enjoy it!
    Happy Holidays!
  4. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    It’s only a good idea if you want a compressor.
  5. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    Thanks @BrentSimons ! I can always depend on you!
    I do. I use compression but I had to sell my MXR M87 to cover the cost of some other things and since then I've been using the models in my Zoom B3 which are just ok. I think I've forgotten what truly good compression sounds like. I have always wanted to try a rack unit too through my effects loop as an always on thing.
    jfh2112, Squittolo and BrentSimons like this.
  6. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    The guy I'm buying it from is also selling an Aguilar GS112 for $200 and I've been wanting a smaller cab for a while but I think I want the DBX more.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  7. I've heard those are great cabs! If its in good condition that's a great price!
    It is the holiday season? ;)
    Squittolo likes this.
  8. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
  9. Squittolo likes this.
  10. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    I think you are better off with a pedal. See Arranging your effects. The last bullet-point has some good comments on rack vs. pedal. Basically, pedal comps are so good these days, you are not 'stepping up' in quality by going rack, but you are loosing flexibility with a rack system. It really depends on what you want to use it for. Also, keep in mind that rack systems are less popular with bass players due, in part, to the popularity of new micro heads. Most studios are using software comps in recording situations. This may effect your resale value.
    Squittolo and Ant Illington like this.
  11. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    I'm going to go to his place to test run all of this stuff tonight. He works with my wife and is selling all this stuff for his friend's uncle's brother's friend who is moving to Maui and can't take everything.
    Squittolo likes this.
  12. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    That is a good, valid point as far as the effect chain is concerned. I kind of think of it though as the same as having a built in compressor as many of the newer heads these days do. I may just end up running everything through my effects loop anyway because the Ashdown has the ability to run the DI pre/post EQ.

    I'm bringing my pedalboard down there to his place tonight anyway so I can get an idea of how it would sound.
    Squittolo likes this.
  13. Get the DBX. For that price (and spousal approval), you cannot ask for more!

    Go ahead. I dare ya!
    Squittolo likes this.
  14. If I had the disposables I wouldn't mind having it just for home use, but for $150 you could have a high quality DBX type comp that you can take with you anywhere in the form of a used Keeley Bassist. Be prepared to sell it for a loss or to keep it for life, because as was mentioned above, it will be increasingly harder to flip in time.
  15. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    TL; dr. Great deal, great compressor.

    It depends on your intended use for it and I am not savvy enough to understand what you wrote as your intended use.

    I have the 160a on my pedal board after removing it from a giant rack box that I quit using with the dawn of little amps. I put it on the board for ease/security of packing and transport (PedalTrain flight case) but it's obviously a pain in the butt to adjust with it on the floor and at a downward pitch. Fortunately, I almost never adjust it but I wonder what greatness I might find if it were more readily adjustable without risk of banging my bass neck/headstock into any number of things (amps, cabs, desk, wall, stands) For $150, it's a great deal but if the compressor world weren't so overwhelming I, personally, would have long ago searched for a pedal that would suffice. If you do the typical rack mount thing, go for it for sure.
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  16. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I'll take the other route.
    There is not a dbx clone pedal that has better specs than a 160.
    The 160 can work at mic or line level meaning you can use it with your amp or traditional recording.
    Ironically, mine is not working but it is old and has a million hours of use.
    $150 is a fair price for a pro grade piece of gear.
    Those things have been used on zillions of hit records; pedals, not nearly as much.
    The only time I ever used a pedal in a studio was a quick demo in a home studio with few plug ins; every other recording has been with a real compressor.
    Agreed that the 160 will be harder to sell, so don't buy it if there is a question about lugging it around.

    With this said, I am looking at pedal compressors for convenience when I don't use a rack set up.
    And, if convenience is the issue, I want battery powered and no wall wart.

    And to really stir things up, the higher end Behringer rack mount sounds awesome and is more adjustable.
    ExaltBass, Squittolo and jwilson67 like this.
  17. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    I wonder if I could talk him down to $200 for that Aguilar Pre? LOL
  18. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Those DBX 160 units are sweet. I sold a used XT in fantastic shape a few years ago for $185.
    Squittolo likes this.
  19. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    Thanks everyone for the input! Lots to think about here. I really have to analyze how I plan to use it which will be revealed when I go to the seller's place tonight to try it out. @bongomania 's point on the Ovnilab page about rackmount compressors being "separate" and on the back end of effects does make a lot of sense since typically you want to compress before certain things - especially dirt. On the other hand I'm using distortions in a very unusual manner in general.
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  20. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    A 166xl is used here but primarily as a "chain end" noise gate and speaker protection. It sits in front of a QSC-2402 that has about double the RMS needed for ACME B2's. Andy did say be careful when I talked to him about it.

    @jwilson67 For the 166 setup, the manual was used as a starting point and then about 20 to 30 minutes of playing around with the rig at stage volume level to make the 166 "almost not heard" but working well as a gate/smoother/speaker protector.
    BrentSimons and jwilson67 like this.
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