Questions regarding DBX compressors

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Music Attorney, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Music Attorney

    Music Attorney

    Feb 22, 2004
    I want to add a compressor to my rig which is a SWR Mini Mo, SWR SM-500, and 2 Goliath III Jr.’s. My primary goal is to achieve the Marcus Miller sound.

    I know the DBX 160a is highly thought of and consistent with the sound I’m trying to achieve, but my questions are:

    1. Is the DBX 266XL the equivalent of two 160a’s?
    2. Since the Mo allows for separate stereo signals (e.g., one “clean” and one “wet”), do players with live stereo signals find that they ever have different compression settings on the individual channels?
    3. Do some of you think having MIDI as an option (which the Mo can trigger) is important enough to change compressors altogether? That is, if 80% or more of players that use compression spend time dialing in the settings and then, basically, just leave their compressor alone, then that’s likely to be me and the need for MIDI is less compelling.
    4. For those of you familiar with the features of SWR amps (e.g., the Limiter), do you think those features are sufficient or will the DBX compressor (or some other compressor) add enough of its own special sound component to the sound I’m trying to achieve? When I played this weekend, the sound was definitely close, but sometimes there's initial euphoria with new equipment that's not necessarily based on aural reality ;-)

    I really, REALLY appreciate all the incredible feedback I get from this community. For various reasons, it’s just not worth it to me to spend a bunch of time trying different compressors. I know what I want and research it to see if there is a strong opinion regarding what I am trying to achieve and, if there is, I go with that. I’m just trying to get close, not perfection. So far it’s worked. The DBX 160a seems a safe bet, but I still wanted to hear what you had to say. Thanks.

  2. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I can only really answer in regards to the DBX stuff. No, the 266 is not like 2 160a's. The 266 is not nearly as nice of a product. Having used both in studio/live sound situations the better choice is the 160a, if you need two you can buy an additional one and stereo link them. The 160a is a fine compressor I almost always use it on bass while in the studio. The 266 is a step or two down in quality but it does get the job done. You may be perfectly happy with the results of the 266, but with a couple of 160a's you will have a damn nice setup with better control and sonic integrity. Of coarse the price is reflective of this :D

    160a- $400.00
    266XL- $150.00
  3. DRN


    Mar 17, 2002
    Las Vegas
    DBX160a all the way. It is a great compressor. As for the price I got mine off e-bay what see to be almost new (a store was selling it) for $245.00.

    Just check around ebay. It is in my opinion the best compressor in this price range for bass.