Vintage Digital

Latest User Reviews

The DBX 160SL, The slept on compressor

By Scott B

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 100%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 100%
Reliability 50%

The DBX 160SL has become a standard in our studio rack. From super smooth compression and limiting, to lightning fast, aggressive pumping and distortion. This box has it all. With the addition of internal switching to allow 2 different styles of compression, it is one of the most versatile boxes we have at our disposal.

While it isn’t the easiest box to dial in, after spending time with it, I have been able to use it on almost any source material, achieving near undetectable compression, to the most gritty / artifact sounds. The biggest drawback of these units are the main vca modules, the V8 VCA. Unfortunately, these modules tend to go bad, particularly in the early units, as the VCA’s ran at 24v. This, along with the power supply caused heat issues, eventually damaging the V8 VCA’s.

As the V8 modules are potted, this makes them unserviceable. However, there are companies (Van-Daal Electronics) who make replacement V8 modules that can bring these units back to life. If you happen to have access to one, I highly recommend taking the time to check them out.

Boss is the boss for authentic reggae sound system delays!

By PaddyRanx

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 10%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 100%
Reliability 100%

We use this for our roots reggae sound system on our send controls. The unit clearly echo’s mid/high range vocals and instruments at the turn of one control once you have set the delay speed, feedback and output on the mix. It will oscillate when opened above 75% to recreate long delays through both music and mic line. A must have for anyone looking for an authentic rack mounted delay to compliment your preamp. We have two of these units after trial and era using Deltalabs, Maxons, Soundcraft and Roland Space Echo, the latter that everyone bangs on about. This unit in my opinion is the best I have used to date and if you get it at the right price, you’ll be laughing. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Incredible Machine!

By James Mather

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 100%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 50%
Reliability 90%

The Sony PCM-9000 was an incredible machine that would probably still stand up today from a sound quality point of view. They were dear as poison when they were released (around US$20K) and go for chicken feed today which is crazy in itself. The timing for the release of the PCM-9000 was right when hard drives were taking over, but still, it’s success as a master recorder for archiving would have sustained it for a while I am sure. Anyway, great machine from a great time in Sony’s professional audio products peak period.

Nice and Warm!

By Gary Rogers

Sound Quality 95%
Build Quality 90%
Usefullness 95%
Mojo/Funk 75%
Reliability 90%

The DBX 676 Tube Mic Channel Strip is a joy to use. Its warm valve and OverEasy compressed sound enhanced everything I put through it, making it sound bigger and better. The DBX 676 is an appealing option, especially if you are looking for something special and love the valve sound.

What a surprise!

By Gary Rogers

Sound Quality 90%
Build Quality 90%
Usefullness 90%
Mojo/Funk 70%
Reliability 100%

I was not sure where this fitted in with Yamaha’s line of reverbs, was it a top end model or a low end. One listen and I was surprised to find it must be near their top end as it sounded very good indeed. Not your typical Yamaha design styling but don’t let the looks put you off, it is a great reverb.

Rather Dark and Disappointing

By Gary Rogers

Sound Quality 60%
Build Quality 90%
Usefullness 50%
Mojo/Funk 60%
Reliability 90%

I bought this with great anticipation, only to be massively disappointed when I plugged it in. The unit sounds very dark and boring really. I sold it almost immediately after it arrived.

Pleasant Surprise!

By Hollowman9

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 95%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 75%
Reliability 90%

I’m still getting to know this unit. I recently changed the battery and capacitors. It’s remarkably clean sounding with good headroom. It has a handful of excellent presets but the rest are sort of snore boring. I was hoping this unit would have similarly cool and useful presets like its brother the V55 but unfortunately not even close. The V55 had stellar presets IMO but its quality doesn’t even compare to the V77. This is light years ahead sonically in every regard. Clearly I need to dig in and create presets I like but out of the ones I have taken a shine to I can say that they are splendid. There’s obviously a great deal of power inside this box and I can’t wait to unleash it all.

Nonlinear Verb Rocks!

By Hollowman9

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 100%
Usefullness 75%
Mojo/Funk 65%
Reliability 100%

At first I didn’t like it. A few years later I started to like it a little bit. Now it’s pretty damn good. The presets are uninspired and bland so that you think it’s a poor product and not worth keeping. You need to edit up your own and then you see the light. Eventually you wander across the nonlinear algorithm and suddenly you’re Gollum with his ring, my precious! This particular algorithm is pretty much what everyone is seeking with all of fancy, expensive shoegazer focused products out there. If Roland didn’t hide it this box may have had an entirely different outlook in life. Plus in addition you can add chorus, phasor and compression to your patches and create some truly immersive and unusual sonic environments. This box is wedded to my DSI PolyEvolver most of the time. Not just because both are blue but because that synth and these far out nonlinear patches are like peanut butter and chocolate. Not a one trick pony however. The small rooms and ambiances are actually quite good and very useful for drums and bass guitar to give that hint of being somewhere in a room of some kind. For those type sound this box really shines and gets picked over ones much more expensive regularly. I took off points for useless presets. Editing the box isn’t as terrible as some reverb units. The menus don’t go very deep at all. What’s tedious is having to edit both blocks separately for stereo patches. Egads!

Nice and slick

By John McPhearson

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 100%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 50%
Reliability 100%

I have not had it long, but I can say this is a totally transparent sounding DA converter. Build quality like all SPL gear I have used, is excellent, the switches all feel great, and it looks a million dollars.

Nice but…

By John McPhearson

Sound Quality 90%
Build Quality 90%
Usefullness 80%
Mojo/Funk 50%
Reliability 70%

I bought this box to do a mix ‘in the box’ and had hopes it would add something to the mix, but it did not add anything significant that I could notice. It was a reasonably well made box and looked good in the rack, but it did not take long for one of the meters to no longer light up, which I believe is common for TL Audio. I also had a Symetrix summing box which I felt did just as little to be honest. I get more of the summing effect I want by using Harrison Mixbus to do my mixes if I am totally honest.

Unique, useful and sounds amazing

By Hollowman9

Sound Quality 100%
Build Quality 75%
Usefullness 100%
Mojo/Funk 90%
Reliability 100%

I’ve had this since it was new. This is a very deep machine and in all these years I feel I am only still scratching the surface. I probably won’t exhaust its possibilities in my lifetime. I took points off for not having a power switch and for the line lump PSU. Beyond that it’s hard to find fault. To my ears it sounds awesome and has incredibly nice conversion. Sometimes I run other effects into it digitally just to use its converters. The algorithms are a mixed bag. Some sound as generic as your average VST effects but others are absolutely outstanding. With tweaking there’s much more than meets the eye. Even the tame sounding algorithms have extended parameters which can be used to wake them up and make them shine. The more extreme algorithms are cool AF. The unusual reverbs and delays can trip you out for endless hours. The overdrives and distortions are full and organic. The Quantize + Alias can be very carefully adjusted to emulate the different sounds of vintage samplers really closely. The frequency shifter and ringmod are the best examples I’ve ever heard. The compression algorithms are surprisingly good! I would use them on a mix bus without hesitation. When you dig deep into the extended parameters you inevitably find gold. Just make sure you have enough time because it’s like a bottomless pit. If they ever reissue this machine take my money, please.

Filthasaurus Rex

By Hollowman9

Sound Quality 35%
Build Quality 80%
Usefullness 55%
Mojo/Funk 100%
Reliability 100%

It took awhile to find what this unit is good for and how to use it in a mix. It sounds incredible on analog synths. Almost like it is another extension of the synth itself it takes a patch and adds a new dimension to it – an artificial dimension slightly similar to an analog BBD based reverb but without the darkness. With sampled percussion loops it will add a dynamically shifting aura that can be mesmerizing or even terrifying at some settings. This is a sound design tool. Don’t go to it wanting to sound like you’re in a concert hall. Be prepared for lots of noise and grit. Maybe someone can coax convincing spaces from this box but that isn’t using it to its true nature. That nature is filth. A wonderous treasure trove of dirty textures and warped realities. There is no subtlety, it will gobble up your mix.

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