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le_kornichon 04/06/2010

dbx 160X : le_kornichon's user review

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A super mono compressor, stupid: threshold, ratio, and an output gain. Over a button-easy (for a more gradual compression, and a bypass, a truth, which directly connects the input jack to output jack.
Stereo linkable with a simple TRS.
A function that is often overlooked: in addition to jacks, there is a screw terminal. On this terminal, there is a jumper between the compressor inlet and the detection input: by removing the jumper cables and fashioning appropriate, you can compress a track based on the level of another. For example: the bass drum that compresses the low ... On the 160A, this entry exists in jack, the terminal has disappeared.

There are two versions 160X: oldest are manufactured in the USA, most recently in Japan. And 160A are made in China ...

UTILIZATION

There's no easier to use! We chose a ratio, and adjust the Threshold watching small LEDs that work well: when it is green, the sound level is below the threshold, when it's red, it is above the threshold and the compressor acts as the ratio selected. When it triggers the OverEasy, a third LED operating between the two previous ones: the orange LED indicates that the level is "around" the threshold in the area or compress it gently, that is not as much as the ratio selected but a bit anyway.
Finally, we can give a little gain with the last pot.

Live, it's happiness can not hope to find a compressor that adjusts so quickly and that sounds all the time.

If you use two 160X stereo from time to time, you can leave the jack coupling continuously. When you need it, it triggers the button "slave" on one of two compressors, and it made all the settings on the other. Not only does it once the settings for both, but it behaves like a "real" stereo: the sound is compressed to the same on both channels even if only one of two (and any both) exceeds the threshold.

SOUND QUALITY

This is actually the most transparent compressor I had the opportunity to test. There are other very real compressors, much more expensive as the 1176 or the dbx 165, LA2A ... that have great sound but a color particulère their own. This 160X has no color, it gets bigger, it wakes up the details buried in his home, but added nothing.
The output gain is monstrous: it can increase the level in reasonable proportions, without any degradation or even discrete staining, no breath, nothing! This machine gives an impression of "his own".

The over-easy is the voice or if you just want to smooth the level of an instrument without audible compression effect. Once it was removed, it was a more punchy, more honest with attacks.

For cuts of pork, we can push beyond the ratio of the infinite (!) And have a sound that loses the level when it exceeds the threshold. And then pump it damn, if that's what we're looking ...

OVERALL OPINION

I have two, one American and one Japanese, and I think back one or two others. There are other hardware compressors that attract me much, but they are so much more expensive ...