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.