The DBX 166XS is a 2 channel compressor/limiter and gate. It is a rackable unit taking up only 1 rack space and comes in a fresh white color that pops out. Out of all of the DBX products that I have used in the past, I was very surprised on the actual build of this unit because I have used some other rackable units from them in the past that are not built very well and the knobs break off very easily. On the 1667XS I have yet to experience any problems with the knobs or the unit as a whole and I have been working with it for about 7 months now.
There are 2 XLR inputs and 2 ¼ inputs; 2 XLR outputs and 2 ¼ outputs with 2 ¼ side chain I/O. It is very easy to get this unit up and running, it only took me about 5 minutes to start working with and I didn’t even have to look at the manual. But strangely my unit didn’t come with a manual; I had to download it online. I am not sure if this was a mistake or if that is the way they are distributing the manual to cut down on paper cost.
I have tried many different things with this compressor and I love using it with different instruments and drums to see what sounds I can get. I like to use this to compress many different audio signals before pushing them through my interface to Pro Tools. I have used it on everything from guitars to brass instruments just to see how it sounds but my favorite is the kick drum because I can get some really cool sounds with the gate and compression.
This unit has turned into more of the “experimental” sounding unit for use. It only cost 239 dollars which was a lot less than most of the other compressors that I have ever purchased. Also DBX has a 266XS unit that is very good too and it is even cheaper than this one is as far as the price goes. But like I said with DBX you have to be careful because some of the products may be built “cheap”.