dbx 160A

Single-channel Compressor/Limiter
dbx 160A image 1
dbx 160A image 1
$429.95
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dbx 160A
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Classic DBX Compression, Pure and Simple!

One of the most popular compressor/limiters here at Sweetwater, the dbx 160A is the latest in the legendary dbx 160 family of signal processors. Featuring switchable OverEasy and hard-knee compression curves along with a wide range of threshold settings, the 160A can handle your toughest dynamics tasks. True RMS level detection provides some of the most natural sounding dynamics processing available. The 160A also provides an improved signal path, single front panel with integral rack ears, improved 1/4" jacks , a lighter, stronger one rack-space chassis design and more!

dbx 160A Compressor/Limiter Features:
  • OverEasy or classic hard knee compression with dbx's ultra-musical program dependent attack and release times
  • Compression Ratio variable from 1:1 through infinity :1 to negative compression
  • Precision dual RMS LED display monitors input or output and gain reduction over a wide range and calibrates for different operating levels
  • Over 60dB of gain reduction available
  • Exclusive Infinity+ compression allows negative compression
  • lndependent balanced and unbalanced outputs can drive 600 loads to +24dBm simultaneously
  • New floating balanced output stage drives any load
  • Optional output transformer capable
  • Strappable with another 160A for true RMS stereo summing operation
The dbx 160A is a versatile and musical compressor/limiter!

Additional Media

160A Spec Sheet
160A User Manual
Signal Processing Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 1
Controls Threshold, Ratio, Output Gain
Threshold -40 dB to 20 dB
Ratio 1:1 to -1:1
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
Outputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Depth 6.5"
Width 19"
Weight 4.45 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 160AD

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 11 reviews
Write your review
5/5

PERFECT FIRST COMPRESSOR

THIS IS MY FIRST RACK COMPRESSOR AND IT BLOWS AWAY ALL MY STOMBOXES AND EVERYTHING IN MY PROTOOLS SETUP. I USE IT ON BASS, MY VOCAL MICS AND EVEN ON DRUMS, I HAVENT USED IT ON GUITARS YET BUT I MOSTLY PLAY METAL SO I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR BIG POWERFUL IN YOUR FACE SOUNDS THERE TOO. I WAS WORRIED IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF MONEY BUT ITS NOT. I NEED A SECOND ONE!
Music background: IM A PLAYA
5/5

Exactly what I hoped it would be

Very happy. I am using this to compress a horn mix. I have used a few other compressors and this is my favorite. A little bit of compression can really tighten up the sound of a horn section and give it a little more punch. I use it with very modest settings (2:1 or less ratio, no more than 5-6db gain reduction). You can't even hear that it's being compressed, but then when you bypass it the horns sound flat in comparison. I don't like the over-easy mode at all for horns, but it might be handy. The best thing about this unit, at least for what I use it for, is the metering. Using a compressor on stage with horns is often a guessing game because getting good monitoring on a loud stage while playing is close to impossible. So what I end up doing is figuring out what settings sound good with recordings and repeating the settings visually on stage. The metering makes this super easy to do. First of all, being able to have such detailed metering on the input makes it really easy to set the threshold. Having detailed metering on the gain reduction makes it easy to duplicate subtler settings on stage. I can basically adjust the threshold until I see it peaking at 4-5 lights on the gain reduction meter, and I know it will sound great. I also have a great output level meter. I would buy another one if I could fit it in my rack.
Music background: Pro musician, Hobbyist home studio
5/5

A vocal piece to the puzzle!!!

This classic compresser has made my vocal projects a success. I had a great time using this compresser on the snare to make it pop. I want you to buy this all because it is a great compresser by far. Built like a tank and easy to use. Design and setup is also easy. I use this on all my client work now and am very happy with the warmness it brings to the effected Waveform.
Music background: Studio Director, CEO
5/5

old faithful

I used a 160 in my Bass rig back in the 80's and i loved it. I use a 160a in my Bass rig today and love it even more. The only thing i Love more than the 160 is my dog! (oops and the wife too!)
Music background: pro Musician
5/5

Solid, easy to use compressor

I have had experience with various incarnations of the 160 for years. The 160a is an easy to use, good-sounding incarnation of the legendary dbx lineage. I use mine as a tracking compressor, and have used it successfully on guitar, bass, vocals... just about anything. For the price, I don't think there is much out there that can compete... a very solid performer. Sure you can find sexier comps... but you will end up paying quite a bit more for them.

Sweetwater Advice

Stuart Niven

Tested, tried, and true. The 160 compressor from dbx has been a mainstay for engineers for decades. It's simple to use and does its thing providing dynamic control with musicality. It's like a firm hug on your bass guitar signal and the brick ceiling that stops your snare drum from going through the roof! Live sound or studio, every rack should have a pair of these.
See also: Compressors, dbx, dbx Compressors / Limiters, dbx Compressors / Limiters