Vintage Digital & Analogue Studio Effects

Vintage Digital

dbx 160X

dbx 160X Compressor

The dbx 160X replaced the now legendary dbx 160(VU) and added the over easy compression of the dbx 165, and changed the form factor from the half rack size with wood side panels, to a single rack chassis.


The dbx 160X is a professional single channel compressor/limiter that features an exclusive combination of the dbx Over Easy and “hard knee” compression characteristics. dbx Over Easy compression permits extremely smooth, almost inaudible transitions into compression due to the gradual change of compression ratio around the threshold. The 160X offers the user the choice of using the Over Easy curve or a mathematically precise “hard” threshold—at any compression ratio selected. The Over Easy curve, coupled with dbx’s true-RMS level detector, wide-range Blackmer voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA) and feed-forward circuitry, makes it possible to achieve large amounts of compression without adverse audible side effects.

These features also allow the 160X to actually be set for INFINITY+TM compression. This is a special negative compression effect whereby the program dynamics are inverted above the set threshold (i.e., the higher the input level, the lower the output level). The detectors of two Model 160Xt can be coupled so that stereo programs are compressed with stable imaging, by means of a simple patch cable between the two units. The stereo coupling can be disengaged instantly by a front panel pushbutton.

Program-dependent attack and release times assure natural sound without the need for continuous manual adjustments. Threshold and compression ratios are adjustable over a wide range, so virtually any line level signal can be processed effectively. Output gain is also adjustable over a very wide range (±20 dB). These features make the Model 160X compatible with the operating levels of virtually all professional sound and creative audio equipment.

For metering, the 160X provides a true RMS dual wide-range LED array which simultaneously shows the amount of gain reduction up to 40 dB and the input or output level from —40 dB to +20 dB, depending on the setting of a front panel switch. The dbx 160X also features a true “hard-wired bypass” switch, separate detector inputs, Tip/Ring/Sleeve phone jacks as well as barrier strip connectors, balanced active inputs and +24 dBm single ended output drive capability which can be field-modified to provide transformer or active balanced operation.

The dbx 160X is well suited to a broad range of applications including tape recording, disc mastering, radio and TV production and broadcast, live concert sound reinforcement, mobile and theatrical production.



Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Dynamic Range: >89dB
THD Below Threshold: 0.07% 3rd Harmonic

Dimensions: 483mm x 44mm x 184mm
Weight: 3kg

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