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Differences in dbx 160 line of compressors

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rockstarbassist, Oct 13, 2005.


  1. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I've got a bday coming up, and instead of a chair, I'm going with a compressor and a few other gadgets.

    So my question is, what's really the difference in the dbx 160 line?? I've seen the X, XT and A versions, but not entirely clear on why they're so different, if they even are. I know the A seems to be at the top, but don't know where the others rank.

    I'm also checking out an Alesis 3630 per some good reviews, along with Aphex's Expressor.. But from what I've seen on here, nothing beats a good old dbx 160-line compressor... thoughts?
     
  2. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Really interested in the XT model... Is it basically the same as the X, just made outside the US? That's all I've been able to dig up thus far...
     
  3. I believe the A is the latest model where X and XT where previous generations. Whatever that means...
    I am using the A and I love it. Unlike other compressors the 160 series doesn't let you setup the attack and release, it is programmed and varies with input levels.
    That's what give the dbx this specific sound.

    I find it a very efficient and yet very subtle compressor. Well, you pay the price for it... ;)
     
  4. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Sweet man.

    Only problem with the A is, I JUST ordered some custom cables for my rack for a possible compressor in my FX loop of my pre, and they're 1/4-1/4. I didn't figure people made anything but those nowadays! So if I got the A, I'd have to get some more custom XLR-1/4 jobs done, and that'd kinda suck...

    But it's either the 160XT or Rane DC24 right now. I mean I like compression and all, but some of those are just a liiiiiiil bit pricey for what I'll be using it for...

    thx for the input!
     
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I used a Rane DC24 and really liked it. There's more knobs, but I like that you can split the signal, treat the high and low different, and then combine them again. Nice unit.
     
  6. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    For what it is worth, I am looking at my 160A, and it has both XLR and 1/4" on it. It runs great with unbalanced 1/4 in the effects loop of my GK 1001RB-II.

    - Tim
     
  7. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I use a dBX 160X.

    The dBX model 160A is the model that was being built after Harmon Kardon bought dBX. When talking with many pro studio engineers when researching the difference, some said that the component quality of the 160X is higher than the 160A, as HK used lower quality parts to trim costs of producing the unit. I can not confirm this as fact though.

    Physically, the two can not slave one to the other. The new model 160A replaced the hard wiring with an XLR ins and outs. The 160X still has TRS in/outs though.
     
  8. I'm looking at a DBX 166XL, but I'm wondering where in the signal path would a compressor go? First after the bass? First in the loop? Somewhere else?
     
  9. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    Hmm, maybe you got an early first-run model or something??
    I was at GC yesterday looking at new 160A's, and they only had the XLR In/Outs on them...???
     
  10. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't think the 166x is in the same quality as the other 160 series, for bass anyway
    Murphy
     
  11. Weird, I was surprised by your comment on cables... and now this. I am using 1/4 in and out. It indeed also has XLR in/outs.

    FYI, I bought mine new from B&H in NY, NY. :)
     
  12. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    What's a good price for these units? Say a dbx 160X for example, in preetty good condition? I've got one I'm looking at, but it feels a little high, but don't know the market for them so not sure.

    Is $250 a lil steep or good? W/o shipping.
     
  13. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I think that is a good price, as I've seen them on evilbay for nearly $4oo
     
  14. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    Ok, cool. With this price, I should have enough to go ahead and get a Korg rack tuner as well!

    Swiz-eet!
     
  15. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Have a look at the dbx web page for the 160A - http://www.dbxpro.com/160A.htm - and click "rear" to see the back. The 1/4" as well as the XLR connectors are clearly visible . . . . . so apparently dbx does not know that they only come w/XLR . . . . :D :D :D :D The specifications and "cut sheet" also clearly show and state that XLR and 1/4" are on the unit.Not sure what to think on this one . . . .

    - Tim
     
  16. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Man I don't even know... Even the guy at GC (like that counts!) told me it only had XLR connectors on it. Although I did present the question as having no alternative, so I'm sure he just agreed with me and didn't figure I'd buy it. Oh well! Sucks for them!
     
  17. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Well, if your GC is anything like the ones out here, I can get slightly better product advice from an unglazed red brick . . . . . .

    GC is kinda like the Home Depot of music gear to me - if I don't know what I want when I go in, they sure aren't going to help me much . . . . .

    - Tim
     
  18. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    Haha, I think they're worse. I actually had a guy at the one in Arlington give me correct answers before. Needless to say, I was astounded!
     
  19. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I bought my 160X for $170.00 shipped. They usually are $150.00-$200.00

     
  20. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Hmm, you must of got a deal, methinks. All the ones I've seen on the 'bay in the past few weeks were over and right about the $250 I paid for mine. Plus it's got hardly a scratch on it from what I've seen. Looks to be in excellent condition.