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QUESTION ABOUT STEVE HARRIS COMPRESSOR DBX

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bassman3401, May 13, 2010.


  1. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
    Hi everybody,

    Anyone knows why steve harris old dbx compressor 160 is made by 2 identical dbx 160 one alongside the other?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The original 160's are old, and old electronics can fail sometimes. If I was bringing such old electronic equipment onstage, I would bring a backup too. :)
     
  3. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
    So you think it's there just for an eventual break of the other?
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes--but I have not heard him say what his reasons are, so it's just what makes sense to me. There would not be any benefit to running the two in series, because it would sound muddy and noisy. Is there a crossover in his rack? If yes, then he might be running a dual-band setup, where the highs go through one 160 and the lows go through the other.
     
  5. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Ah. Well, I can tell you there's more gear in there than he could possibly need for one bass amp rig. There is a mixer, two bands of graphic EQ, four digital processors (unknown kind), a fancy control box that looks like it would control lighting or pyro effects, and what looks like a very old version of the two-channel Aphex Exciter. So maybe there is a crossover in the digital processors or the Aphex device or that crazy switch box, but I don't know. What I do know is that he almost couldn't use all of that at the same time just for one monophonic bass guitar signal going to one speaker array. So the fact that there are two compressors doesn't really say anything about how he uses them. For all we know, maybe they just manage his onstage monitor sound, not even going into the PA mixer.

    Just a side note, the 160 is not a tube device. :)
     
  7. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
    where is the 2 graphic EQ in the rig?i can't figure them out...
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It is the first unit at the top of the rack. Two channels in 1RU.
     
  9. There is only one compressor in that picture. It is a stereo device with two channels. He's probably just using one, though. Many rack devices are stereo.
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I'm pretty sure that's two 160's mounted side by side. The stereo version was the 162:

    DBX_162_stereo_compressor_limiter_main.
     
    BassYerFaceoff likes this.
  11. Oh, fair enough. You're the compressor man, I just assumed it was a stereo unit.
     
  12. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
    anyone can figure out what the brand of the graphic EQ is?
    And after that...why 2 channel EQ?and not just one?
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    There are lots of possible reasons why he has a two-channel EQ. My guess is that his rack controls routing of his signal to various different PA and amp channels, so he may have different EQ for different channels. I don't recognize the brand though.

    Notice the white marking on the upper right corner--it is the same as the markings on the digital devices below it. So maybe they are all the same brand; or maybe they are labels put on later, and they all say "Steve's Rack". :)

    For that matter, I am not really 100% positive it's a graphic EQ. Those vertical lines could be LED meter bars on an A/D converter. It's too hard to see.
     
  14. René_Julien

    René_Julien

    Jun 26, 2008
    Belgium
    As a Steve Harris fanboi I searched over and over again what gear he uses. But... you know the internet, lots of information that sometimes contradicts itself.

    I never saw somewhere listed that he uses a graphic equalizer unit. Doesn't mean that the unit on top couldn't be a graphic equalizer.

    In an interview he said that he doesn't DI to the PA. Just two mic's, one for the top end of his sound and one for the bottom end of his sound.
    So... it might be that he biamps. I don't know, I never saw any mention of that, two different processed signals in his rig.


    As for the brand of the possible graphic equalizer: I think the wireless receivers underneath are Sony (??, well, I read that he uses Sony).
     
  15. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
    i'm 100% sure he uses sony wrr and sony wrt wireless.

    by the way i'm almost near steve harris rig:

    MARSHALL 1960AV With EVM-12L
    TRACE ELLIOT GP12X Preamp
    C-AUDIO SR707 Power Amp
    DBX-160A Compressor(Looking for 160)
    Fender Precision bass 2009 Steve Harris
     
  16. René_Julien

    René_Julien

    Jun 26, 2008
    Belgium
    Well...

    He used the Trace Elliot often in the 90s, but it seems that he phased out Trace Elliot in favor of his Electron preamp, which is modelled after a Hiwatt 200.

    In an interview Steve said that an Ampeg SVT-CL is a regular amp that sounds closest to his custom rig.
    Which I find strange myself, unless it might be that I don't know Ampeg that good. Not sure if an SVT-CL can go as clean and "hi-fi" (for a tube amp) as Steve Harris' sound.

    And compressor... there are alternatives.
    Stompbox: Maxon CP9PRO+ maybe, DBX based circuitry.
    Probably as good as a rack DBX.
    Maybe bongo can enlighten us on the hits and misses of DBX products, and what are better alternatives.
    I went with the Maxon stombox for portability. So far, I am liking it (just got it 2 weeks.) Better controls than the CS-3 I was using.

    Preamp... I hope the new Tech21 Leeds is very close.
    I am going to get one.
    I know Tech21 is good, I'm hoping the Leeds does the tonestack of Hiwatt well.


    I thought about this too... but Steve Harris rig on a budget and portability for the weekend warrior.


    Anyway, it's your prerogative to get his exact same gear. ;)
    Whatever makes you happy. And it will be great too.
     
  17. bassman3401

    bassman3401

    Feb 2, 2009
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The first unit is an old Aphex processor. Unfortunately I don't remember the specific model number, and it's not shown on their website. Here is the closest model they show, which is a compressor:

    [​IMG]

    As to the dbx units, the original 160 (with no suffix) is really its own unique thing, it does not share any design elements with the 160A, 160XT, or any other 160(suffix). So the Maxon pedal is similar enough to the later 160(suffix) models, but not the old 160's. To be honest though I have not owned the old 160 yet, so the difference I'm describing is what I've read from other people (including dbx designers), not personal experience.
     
  19. René_Julien

    René_Julien

    Jun 26, 2008
    Belgium
    I got the Maxon based on your positive review of it.
    (And I was ordering a bass from an American store... and pedals are much cheaper in the US. So I smuggled one in with the bass.)

    IIRC, the rack compressors of DBX you reviewed, there isn't a particular DBX you are enthusiastic about... right?
    Not really negative about it, but none of them were perfect.
    ??
     
  20. AndyLES

    AndyLES

    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    The fancy "pyro control box" is actually a Pete Cornish signal router that connect everything together, switches between amps and wireless packs, etc.
     

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