dbx 286 A

dbx 286 A

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286 A, Solid-State Pre-amp from dbx.

7 user reviews
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dbx 286 A tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: dbx
  • Model: 286 A
  • Category: Solid-State Pre-amps
  • Added in our database on: 08/24/2002

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dbx 286 A user reviews

Average Score:4.0( 4/5 based on 7 reviews )
 3 reviews43 %
 3 reviews43 %
 1 user review14 %
Audience: Value For Money :

RickD's review

dbx 286 A
This 100% analogue, there is no digital circuitry involved at all.
And so it's perfect if you have a digital recorder: compress the signal and add the gate before you go into the digital domain and you end up with optimal use of the dynamic range in your recorder and pretty much no noise at all.

XLR and TRS input.
XLR and TRS output if i remember correctly.

Preamp, compressor, deesser, enhancer, gate. It does all of those very decently for the money, by the way.

It's a normal 19 inch 1 unit rack.


You can't get much simpler than this: compressor has only 2 settings but in 7 years i never found that a problem. Used mainly on vocals and acoustic guitars, the unit did a good job and the gate worked great.
You have to be careful with your settings or you'll bring up hiss (enhancer and compressor). The unit is not exactly silent when you turn everything up but if you stick to the preamp then there's not much you can complain about.

Never needed the manual and when i sold this on, just recently, i realized the manual was perfectly new. I doubt the new owner will need it either...


This is budget product so don't expect miracles, but if you can't produce decent results with this then you need to learn how to use it! The sound is fine, it's just not going to rival with much more expensive gear, which is obvious anyway.


Took me a looong time to outgrow this!
It's an excellent swiss knife, it's just not the best knife or the best corkscrew.

If you want to upgrade from this, the only thing i can think of is the SPL Channel One...and that is about 7 times more expensive...
I would think the DBX286A is a very very good starting point and i don't regret the purchase at all.

Roycool's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

dbx 286 A
Transistor technology.
XLR connector and output jack.
Preamp / compressor / de-esser / gate


The manual is clear and ample.

On the compressor, it is a disconcerting simplcité to use ..

The threshold and the rate is fixed the release.

The noise gate is quite useful to make direct takes to cut external sounds.
Attention to the balance between the input threshold and rate ... We need to use the following tests.


Used for the moment with a Rode NT2 taken for work (not DEF.), The preamp is neutral and the compressor does its job!

The preamp DBX does not stain and the compressor works like a compressor opto.


Used for two weeks of intensive, I find the report QP excellent. (Bought 80 €)

I also Joemeeck VC1Q and I prefer the preamp DBX, much more precise.

elcascador's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

dbx 286 A
Pramp discrete tracking comp, gate, goddess, "enhancer" bass and treble.
Between XLR and jack, direct out (between pramp and comp) jack, output jack.


Using fairly simple, the user screws is clear amateur ...
Preamp: enough diodes for rgler
Comp: it only has the intensity (threshold + ratio?) And rapid (the time of the attack and release). A bit of percussion limited to work or treatment spciaux but OK for voice and others.
Goddess: the rglages are sufficient; ca grate is not easy because not enough diodes.
Enhancer: it is obvious that the IDAL t have the power rgler frequencies. The gadget is!
Expander: but why have they placed all the rest APRS? They have nothing in the CRNE jojos DBX. At least compltement forget not to use the comp!
Specially mention the direct output to extract the signal before it is rotten treatment.


Pramp: it does its job. I find it quite pchu. Treble going well. It is the home studio. No audible coloration by me (in a good and bad ways). Sr is sought not the saturation of the transistor is dgueu. But it is not the purpose of the craft, although sr.
Comp: use, efficient and fairly neutral on vocals, keyboard, bass. It is the basic for the attack or live sound card. Not mixing.
Goddess in use in concert, not useful trs. At home, you should remove the "sss" with a soft.
"Enhancer" hum. The most weird of the device. It's not a psycho-acoustic processor, but a double equalizer "loudness" trs not convincing. However, little ca use a quick boost bass sound. But I find it trs gadget. Enhancer or a real EQ paramtrique t have much more useful.
Expander: APRS effective but useless because the comp. A scandal.


Overall, the further along the chain of treatment is more dtriore ca.
I use it as pramp with the direct output, sometimes the comp is also useful. The rest is not useful nor tural imagination.
Its only advantage is that in the CATEGORY "pramp discrete low price" is the best. It is foolish to seek the lamps below € 1000.
A remake.

RickD's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

dbx 286 A
See further notice.


Very easy to use, it is true, however, that the leds are slightly limits rgler sound. It's playable, but it would be 2 or 3 diodes apprci more.
The 2 SETTING THE compression is sufficient for decision-ways and guitar. On percussion, not top.
Not agree at all with the advice of elcascador: the desseur works well, is super easy to use. In short, it does its job.
The enhancer is used with modration because it is quite aggressive, but to make the prsence and bring out an instrument or voice, did the trick. Similarly, it is possible to give the body using the rglage serious. But overall, a SETTING THE 3 of 10 is sufficient, beyond that of a risk.

The gate walk trs trs well elcascador DLIR. It's fast, and much better than the alternatives numriques who massacre the signal. It is perfectly usable and can save a voice recording environment a bit noisy. Moreover, it is because of him that I intend to buy a deuxime 286A, taken for Stereo.


Trs trs its good and works great on vocals especially.
For me, the excellent hardware for the price.


In short, an affordable and complete hardware trs that is what is asked and the fact plutt well.

NB This is not a compressor but the mix dstin decision.

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Other names: 286 a, 286a

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