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dbx 160A Reviews

4.5 stars based on 11 customer reviews
Questions about the dbx 160A?

Questions about the dbx 160A?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

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.

  • from EAST-SIDE LONG BEACH September 15, 2016Music Background:
    IM A PLAYA

    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!

  • from June 4, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, Hobbyist home studio

    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.

  • from Orland Park, IL May 30, 2012Music Background:
    Studio Director, CEO

    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.

  • from Nashville March 23, 2007Music Background:
    pro Musician

    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!)

  • from March 5, 2007

    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.

  • from fort wayne August 22, 2006

    I love it!!!!

    I needed a solid compressor and had a limited budget
    and was recommended a dbx 160a. When i pulled it out of the box i wasn't sure what to think but once i plugged it it i was floored. There isn't anything this thing can't handle, doesn't add anything and is easy to use. i love it

  • from October 15, 2013Music Background:
    Recording and Mixing Engineer

    Must-Have!!!

    Must-have for tracking drums and percussion! When the kick or snare drum pass thru this unit - it starts sound wonderful. Exactly like you want! The only drawback - the lack of the "Power On / Off" button.

  • from Pompano Beach, FL July 6, 2015Music Background:
    Producers/Engineers/Musicians

    Classic

    Classic VCA compression every studio should own. Great for Drums, percussion, guitars.. you name it.

  • from Wadsworth, oh September 2, 2011Music Background:
    Music engineer

    Diz mastering proinstrumentals.com

    I never really give anything a 5 star, my 4 star is impressed. I have two of these stereo paired, and I can tell you.. This is not just a amazing lo end compressor, I have used this on vocals, for a stereo chorus, Kick, Bass, Strings, it gives that natural human feel, that sells albums, if you combo this up with some other great compressors, and obviously high end convertors/clock.. This can save the day when your song just doesn't have that Punch, that feel.. Flabby kick drums watch out!

  • from Il. March 23, 2013Music Background:
    Self taught Recording Engineer

    does a good job

    This is my first standalone comp. and it is pretty decent. Before owning this, I would comp. vox during the mix process, now i compress while tracking and the DBX 160-A does this very well

  • from Richmond, VA December 7, 2011Music Background:
    Recording & Performance

    A workhorse

    A great all-around compressor for most any application. Recommended for higher impact signal sources can be a little dry sounding for electric bass.

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