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What's the best equivalent of dbx160a in pedal form

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Andyprime, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Andyprime


    Nov 9, 2018
    Hi I've seen older thread's about this but never found a definite answer.
    I had this rack mounted compressor/limiter and haven't found any thing that comes close to it but it's impractical for me to take a rack to gigs now so I'm looking for it in pedal form, any idea's?
  2. Cheers,

    Take a few minutes to take a look at the Darkglass Hyper Luminal Compressor.

    I think that one of the three types onboard will get you there in a pedal format. It's a power hungry 250mA draw pedal and requires a power supply.
    I have the Limited Edition in Black, same thing!
    Mickeyb48 likes this.
  3. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    There’s nothing dbx160a about the Hyper Luminal. I’d say the Broughton Apex or Empress compressor.
    Loring likes this.
  4. Well, that's why I said "take a look at ONE of the three types on a 250mA draw pedal."

    I wouldn't use a battery operated Compressor! (60mA/100mA)
  5. The Keely Bassist, Maxon CP-9 and DOD Milkbox apparently come close with the DOD actually being designed by dbx. Look here for more details.
    Squittolo likes this.
  6. ClusterFlux

    ClusterFlux Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Most of the Zoom multi-effects have 160 emulators that work fairly well.
    Rocksolid, Inara and BrentSimons like this.
  7. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Schalltechnik_04 Pumpernickel: Schalltechnik_04 Pumpernickel

    It is a DIY kit though - however the review says it's closest competition is the Keeley Bassist, Maxon CP9Pro+, and MXR M87.
    Teryup likes this.
  8. Andyprime


    Nov 9, 2018
    Interesting, thank you
  9. Andyprime


    Nov 9, 2018
    That sounds great but unfortunately i don't trust my skills with assembling it
  10. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I just grabbed a Pettyjohn Crush which, like the 160a, is a VCA compressor. I’m familiar with the 160a’s sound and the Crush is in the ballpark. Not an identical sound, but they’re closer than they are different.
    2tonic likes this.
  11. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    What does current draw have to do with sounding most like a 160a? I'm not trying to be snarky, just curious if you're familiar with something about the 160a's circuit that is drawing you towards that criteria.
  13. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I had had the Maxon and have had a dbx 160 for probably 25 years.
    Did not care for the Maxon at all and is one of the few reviews that I did not agree with from Cyrus.
    Closest for me is the old MXR 143.
    bongomania likes this.
  14. Gosh Silky,

    I was suggesting a product that may work for someone wanting a good pedal compressor that has a great deal of flexibility and is using a bunch of juice to cleanly do what needs to be done. (When a battery may last for 5 hours on 60mA draw and slide out of functional specification.) The OP may want to consider a pedal that is high performance like a studio rack compressor.

    He was clearly looking for options as dbx hasn't found the price point market yet for the 160A pedal.
  15. Outbush


    Nov 6, 2016
    Always think half of my dbx166 would be about the same width as my EA Doubler and in the ball-park of quite a few other Class D heads. Don't think I'd get way with an angle grinder with a cutting disk and a soldering iron though (sadly). I've had my old Jazz bass through one side of the 166 and it seemed to be pretty good - better than my Diamond to my ear.
  16. From the Keeley Bassist and GC 2 owners manual.

    "The THAT Corp 4320 IC, a chip developed by former dbx engineers, has allowed us to produce a foot pedal compressor that in many ways can equal the performance of the legendary dbx 160A..."
    TakeABreak, Zooberwerx and RudyTardy like this.
  17. RudyTardy

    RudyTardy Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Keeley GC-2 all the way. Love mine for slap.
  18. not particularly helpful, but chiming in that i LOVE the old dbx166a in its use as a bass preamp. i was impressed how well it took being pummeled by a fuzz!
  19. I think this is the right answer.

    My first ever pedal was DOD Milk box, and I loved the sound and feel. Later I wanted to move on to a smaller and more reliable pedal. I tried a few, until I settled on Keeley Bassist. I keep it at the end of my pedal chain. It just makes everything sound better.

    MXR M87 work differently, I think. It feels more like a limiter. It especially clamps hard on low notes. I used it for long, but never really loved it.
  20. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    I dont know if anyone mentioned this, but DBX came in mini, sort of pedal version.
    It's called MC6 and it is discontinued, however look on a second hand market
    Roland GR 88 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 28, 2021

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