All user reviews for the dbx 166XL

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Average Score:3.9( 3.9/5 based on 9 reviews )
 2 reviews22 %
 6 reviews67 %
 1 user review11 %
Audience: Beginners
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moosers's review

dbx 166XL
The dbx 166XL is a compressor - limiter - gate in the form of a rackmountable piece of outboard gear. It is an analog piece of equipment and it has both XLR microphone inputs and outputs and has 1/4 inch inputs and outputs. This is handy because I can either plug my instrument direct or plug a microphone into it before I send it to my audio interface.


The configuration of the 166XL is straightforward and is your basic compressor. It is easy to get a good sound out of it and is capable of getting a couple of different types of sounds out of it - ranging from a light compression sound to really squishing the signal, and it is also a sufficient gate. It all depends on what you'd like to do with it. The manual is pretty complete and was helpful when setting it up with my configuration.


The sound quality of the dbx 166XL is a little bit above average in my opinion. While its pretty clean, the sound won't blow you away. It is a basic compressor and is definitley helpful to have a few of them around for recording drums if you like to track with compression. I have used this on snare drum, kick drum, guitars, and bass guitar. I like it a lot on drums, as it will fatten up your signal a bit and is clean. Its faults I think come in the that it sometimes gets too tinny, but if you use it in the right situations, it usually is reliable and sounds good.


I've been using the 166XL for a few years. They are a real cheap option for the home studio owner who wants a few compressors to use for tracking. They sound good and are easy to use, while being quite well built and reliable in terms of it not breaking down. I like this model better than the dbx 266XL, but they are pretty similar in nature, I just think that the 166xl sounds better and cleaner, and is probably worth the difference in price. I definitley recommend those home studio owners on a budget to check out the 166XL as a reliable option for using compression.

blancjs's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Classic, transparent, goes everywhere ..."

dbx 166XL
Compressor 2 independent or coupled analog voice.
XLR and jack connectors


All the settings are the basic threshold, ratio etc. ...
Simple manual, without any interest.


I use it on bass, guitar, bass drum and snare drum.
Do not look for a bigger sound, it only master the dynamics. And that's all. This is not a tool for working with sound, but to master the level. Do not ask him to do the job of a large Tubetech or api ...


Too expensive new!
Fall back on the secondhand.
It works well and is ca forget is reliable and clean. Nothing extraordinary, but you want to master the dynamics of a bass or a guitar that moves in front of the microphone, ca does so without flinching.

arnsky's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Full"

dbx 166XL
compressor digital real-time control rack. Xlr and jacks.


very easy to use, the manual is clear and examples provide a good understanding of the system.


Very good sound quality, low blows, I use an insert out of the mix my general table.


I use it for over 5 years, the interesting feature is the side chain and very effective over easy mode for easy editing of compression. Very good value for money. I would do this choice without hesitation.

patcho's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" overall review quality / efficiency / reliability / price"

dbx 166XL
Well, a model compressor "dual mono" or (your choice and it's super via a little switch) Stereo!
But + gate limit, all by hand! (Or linckable so if you want to work on a stereo pair)

Very simple, 1U rack mount, with the expected adjustment (sic) for an analog audio compressor
threshold / release to the gate expader
threshold / ratio / attack / relase / output gain compression
PeakStop limit for the ... uh ... limit!

In short, a tool 3 in one, and any time 2 or double mono, with rear jack and XLR connectors

Archi reliable, rot, can cumbersome ... ideal analog insert on tables ;-) What especially at this price.

Well, no editing via a computer, it's really cut "for the road", not to prepare patches at home! Super


use, fairly intuitive tools (if you know what it's like a compression!) And with everything close at hand, no menu, nothing, everything at your fingertips ...

But with a manual for beginners with nickel even "proposed" standard setting super efficient and very educational (well explained and well translated monpotes!). It is rare in the records!

And it's stupid, ais looove the little lights that tell you if your 166XL works well (or not) in a glance, you know that it turns, it optimizes your signal, if the "dual mono" or the gate is "in" etc.. Well done and enjoyable performance: you gain time, because if you ask yourself a question of compression, he answer you in visual! Super


effective as fact, but be careful, look no "color" with this ... "Too expensive my son"

For me, it's just vital for those who are working with such a makie onyx or soundcraft spirit or type in short, the first "real" small consoles with 16 votes analog inserts (uh, if they did not cuts added since ;-)

to put an insert on a kick and then possibly (depending on caisseux) on the snare and / or the toms (if a group toms caisseux metalheads with 30 barrels, hop, is a slap in 166XL stereo insert on the group of toms! and it is almost the same taf an insert for voice) and there you blessed the gate if you have the microphone proximity everywhere! Anyway, I use rarely gate, matter of taste, I find it not very musical in general, except metal, and yet ;-)

I've got two (uh, huh 166XL, remain polite) are 4 cuts, often with
one on the lead,
one on the bass or guitar
one on the kick
and one on the snare ... and it Roulle


review overall quality / efficiency / reliability / price

I'm using it since uh, forever (!) Type 10 years ... and am still not tired ... are nickel, like new in their everyday racks. Only the transition to a digital table that I use less, but I use it in a home studio in addition to my TL Audio (well, not like it either) but that if I made the taf too many tracks at once.

To my taste this is a must to start cheap in the world of analog devices LIVE without breaking the bank ... made with real!

Avoid especially the so-called "equivalent" or Beringer = Sanson is the mud, their pseudo-treatment side of it! Super

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

dbx 166XL
Analog compressor


Yes Yes



Used on a console soundcraft M8 for 2 channels.
Easy to use, it is an effective compressor through the automatic functions of management and attack and release mode overeasy "apparently typical of DBX.
It's my first compressor, so I do not really have a point of comparison.
My settings: ratio 3 / 1, Threshold set to be a reduction of 5-6 dB in loud and gain to 5-6 dB and OverEasy engaged and attack / release in the car. No audible noise live. It is a subtle voice and it's put forward without being aggressive.
Here, I use it only in this application and lightly, but the difference is clearly audible.
I would do without hesitation that choice if I were to resume this type of material.
tyler core01/23/2008

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

dbx 166XL
150 times worth remembering that these details are found in the manual or tlchargeable resellers ...

Only dtail I do not really like, but with which one learns easily live: No button on / off (can be another hallmark of DBX found on other mod the most expensive).

VU had a little nitre t nice to compare the output level with that of ...

But given the difficulty of putting more on the faade, I Tolra ... as the main sound quality, flexibility and robustness of the machine.


Used mainly to gain momentum only to change the sound. And it does plutt well.

Without going into dtails, there are more suitable compressors situations than others. Ms. compressor trs premium, if t could dcevoir some poorly chosen. Because quite often it is more expensive, the more typ ... a bit like cars.


The sound is clean trs, may be even be a little too much.

Some are not transparent enough, which I find ridiculous since before the compression is done really feel, even when it is necessary to go a little in the excs level rglages ... it is also the concern of the compressors in these price ranges: the lack of grain.

APRS when I read that the compression is felt even too much, I think these people do not know what a LA2A or 1176 o the sound is really most striking about the pump ... they may be they need a behringer finally (you turn the knobs and you always feel be bypassed until the time for the source).
Transparency is good, but too much not to make money and SAVE ...

In short, trs matrisable compression, a small lack of personality when looking cratifs effects on a battery or bass.
Contour button quite effective and the function OverEasy.

The peak limiter is quite efficient and relatively transparent.
The expander / gate when he is much better than I could use on aircraft of this price, but not as flexible as it should be ... and in this case it is better to be vigilant about the sources of isolation by optimal placement of microphones.


For those who do not want to ruin it's really a good product, reliable and well thought out.

This is a good camera to learn to use a compressor, as it requires to really get the rglages to get out a good rsultat. Trs instructive when searching, you can really get out of pretty things (personal, bass drum and snare and supercharged gain roundness).

A ct of I has an optical compressor circuit with a Class A lamp that is more musical but ultimately less flexible.
For a more pro, I think it belongs in a toolbox, as if they have another compressor to sound more color to broaden the possibilities.

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

dbx 166XL
Gate / Compressor / Limiter 1 or 2 mono channels Stereo Gate rglage threshold and relchement Comp: rglage threshold, compression ratio, speed and dclenchement relchement, gain Output Limiter: rglage level of the peak max Connectors: XLR and Jack except sidechain (Jack only)


Use of live voice and bass drum mainly in insert.
Manuel clear, even if I find lightweight, I would have AIM, for example schmas assembly, with the sidechain, not just an explanation ...
Good point, to outline the key which does not compress much lower than the rest of the spectrum.


For the small live, great! No noise gate, compression efficient, effective rglages.


I use it for a year and a half, I hsit with the 266xl.
Previously I had the S-Com More Samson. Finally I took the 166XL for the limiter. I do not regret at all the extra cost compared to the S-Com Plus. Much better sound level, compression is not the sound of the gate, the quality of manufacturing is felt more at the touch of the notches of pots ...
I do not regret buying the S-Com Plus, because it made me realize the difference between the two machines. For me the diffrence in price is justified and weaker and weaker.
In this price range, there is also the MaxCom BBE (no essay.
I intend to buy one in order to compress multiple vocal tracks.

July 2009 Edit: I have a ratchet deuxime, and they really suit me. Now I look for one with a little grain of characters for variety.

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

dbx 166XL
Gate + + compression limiter


Simple enough

automatic features easy editing +


Compression top
limiter PeakStop: blah but it does not matter in auto mode


Used for 2 years
the esoteric (Urei, Tube Tech, Avalon & co) is very beautiful and very expensive, but it dbx
works well ... and that's why he remains a true benchmark in terms of compression.

Course to 10 times the price there is better, but it pays me the price of everything else.

Those who found this product "limit" do not know how to use a compressor in my opinion!

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

dbx 166XL
Compressor 2-channel linkable analog rather simplistic


Rglages simple koi c compressor ...


This compressor works ok but I told him no records prcieux
when we hear even when it compresses
c produces a range of say even when above the behringer (yet happy) but hey nothing to do with a 160 or a BBS DPR


Used in a small room on kick, snare, vocals (Group) but good not great even when c is better one or a BSS Audio LA (ca c on!)