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160a 160s 160x 161 162 etc. Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 27th February 2003
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
JRE Productions's Avatar
 

I certainly hope we don't loose guys like Cram or any Rep for that matter! There are really only a few good forums online line these days, and slowly but surely the guys with all the knowledge are getting pissed off and leaving. Not just here but everywhere.

A lot of the vintage gear we love where built by guys that are getting up there in age or have worked at these companies for many years. We need (I need) these type of people around to be available to answer questions. I've got tons of questions that need answering...don't you guys?

As for dbx.....whether or not anyone likes the new gear is not the point, we do like there older gear and need info on it, just like the original posting.


Old 27th February 2003
  #32
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by cram
Jay haven't you been reading anything at all? A lot of the dbx products you dislike were designed and introduced before the Harman buyout and by the same exact design team and management that designed the 160VU. Why couldn't they build anything that sounds like the original 160VU?

That was a real cheap shot Jay, I expect better from a moderator. I've gotten anti-dbx commentary from you before Jay, I guess I didn't get the whole message. I won't post here again.

Tom,

I'm sorry that you saw that as an anti-dbx remark. I didn't mean anything by it other then a laugh. There are a lot of people that wonder why dbx hasn't made anything that sounds like the original 160. Plus I'd hope you know that I'm a smartass. I mean, haven't we had some laughs in the past over the yellow LED incident (I love busting your balls over that one, sorry man) and whatever else? Also, I remember you helped out one of my drummer/engineer client friends when his power supply went up in smoke and it was only a month or so out of warranty. Having a manufacturer and tech guy like yourself around is of benefit to everyone.

As far as my like or dislike of dbx products in general, that's neither here nor there. You guys make some good, useful stuff and some total crap. Sorry to say, I'm not alone in my dislike of the 160A. Hell, I even have a love/hate relationship with my pair of original 160's. I also had a 2215 EQ that I regret selling and a 120XP that I love so don't tell me that I hate anything dbx.

I emailed Steve and asked him to take a picture of the back of the dbx rack with the 4 160X's. If he sends it to me I'll forward it to you, if he sends it right to you please let me know so I don't bug him about it everytime I talk to him.
Old 27th February 2003
  #33
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Maybe that's why you can't build anything that sounds like the original 160 anymore.


I just sent Steve an email. It's easier for him to take a picture then me.
I plan to take the picture today sometime. I will post it from the field shop ASAP!

Stay tuned...
Old 27th February 2003
  #34
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

O.k., I've been encouraged by many offline to continue posting. Here is a copy of my offline response to Jay:

Jay, the reason I saw it as a cheap shot is that you should KNOW that we DO currently make stuff that sounds like the 160VU. The 160SL can, and the DDP can. Also, the topic of the thread was the 160X, this unit sounds nothing like the 160VU. So, why would you even bring up the 160VU?


Jay, I know you are a smartass, but I felt this was more than your usual ribbing. Especially since I don’t see you do it to any other manufacturer to the degree that you do it to dbx. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but in this case you are incorrect. We do make stuff that sounds like the 160VU.

Steve, I appreciate you taking the time to take pictures of your 160X's, I look forward to adding them to our database.
Old 27th February 2003
  #35
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
I've always liked this thread here:

http://www.recording.org/cgi-local/u...=000406#000000
Old 27th February 2003
  #36
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by cram
Jay, the reason I saw it as a cheap shot is that you should KNOW that we DO currently make stuff that sounds like the 160VU. The 160SL can, and the DDP can. Also, the topic of the thread was the 160X, this unit sounds nothing like the 160VU. So, why would you even bring up the 160VU?

Jay, I know you are a smartass, but I felt this was more than your usual ribbing. Especially since I don’t see you do it to any other manufacturer to the degree that you do it to dbx. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but in this case you are incorrect. We do make stuff that sounds like the 160VU.

And my email to Tom was;

I spent a little bit of time with the DDP when it first came out and I could see uses for it, but there wasn't much that I liked. From a practical standpoint it makes a lot of sense. I saw it as a mini-Finalizer kind of thing rather then a replacement for analog compressors. I haven't had a chance to use a 160SL, just the first Blue 160 which wasn't too kickin' for what it cost IMNSHO. It didn't suck but it's kind of like the 9098 pre/EQ, for what it cost there are other things I'd rather own and use on a regular basis.

The reason I brought up the 160VU was because it was the big daddy that started it all (just like the ad with the Blue 160 says) and since the 162, 165 and 161 were in the subject and very closely related to the VU I thought it was worth mentioning.

---- ---- ----

Nah, then you aren't paying attention. lol I've trashed Wackie on a number of occasions, Digidesign on a regular basis (remember the 882 on a stick? that was me), most of Digitech's gear blows chucks (say hi to Susie for me if she's still there), Marshall solid state guitar amps have always sucked. So I'm wrong, you say there's something that sounds like a 160VU and you're wrong with the 160X's being made in Japan. What a world. = ) And I still like my 120XP, just used it yesterday and it's going to get used extensively on the next album I'm mixing, same with the 160VU's that I still have a love hate relationship with.

I think it was a bit of a misunderstanding. Are we cool?
Old 27th February 2003
  #37
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

We’re cool, I just didn’t want to post somewhere I wasn’t wanted and be drawn into some bull**** defense. Besides, if you want to bitch about how much the 266xl or the mini-pre sucks, I’m right there with you.

Also, I’m wrong all the time about aspects of dbx history. When a company has been in business for 30 years, stuff gets garbled. I have no problem with being corrected about historical or genealogical data. It’s no skin off my nose, I just correct the database and move on.
Old 27th February 2003
  #38
Gear Addict
 

Tom, don't correct those databases too quickly. Fender and Gibson have each made good profits by every few years rediscovering essential lost knowledge of why the old guitars were great, and issuing new products utilizing this knowledge. Until they come across a new Holy Grail bit of lost knowledge and release that product at NAMM 3 years later.

What's interesting me is the number of people championing the dbx 163 as a great bang for the buck champion of compressors. Any insights into that besides it being bare bones as hell (just one slider)?

Bear
Old 27th February 2003
  #39
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Truth be told, I don't understand at all why the 163 is experiencing a renaissance. It sounds like a 266xl and has less features, these would both be negatives IMHO.
Old 1st March 2003
  #40
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Here's the dbx 160x pictures you needed.

All four of my dbx 160Xs sound the same. Two were made in MA, the others in Japan.
Attached Thumbnails
160a 160s 160x 161 162 etc.-dbx160x.jpg  
Old 3rd March 2003
  #41
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Thank you for taking the time to shoot those Steve, I appreciate it. We are thinking of doing a family tree on the website, this will help fill in some holes.


Again, thanks.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #42
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I'm glad I can Help!
Old 26th March 2003
  #43
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
I just bought 3 Japanese made 160x's myself yesterday. death
Old 27th March 2003
  #44
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
Hey Tom thanx for stayin...SOME of us actually really like dbx products...well ok...most of em....since you've mentoned a 'family tree' what part of the kingdom of crush would the 903 be a part of?...i love mine...and the 905 para-eq's....ya wanna get that lead gitar to stick out a bit more? 905 it...snare too kick too....Jay do we need to discuss 'people skills?'...I know its eastside but some of us live out west.....peace
Old 28th March 2003
  #45
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
People skills? Fuk you you fukkin' fukker...

Sometimes it's an east coast vs. west coast thing. New Yorkers tend to be more sarcastic and a bit faster and more cinical then in other parts of the country. When I visit my sister in Maine I get aniexity attacks because everyone is soooo laid back.

Or, maybe it's just a personality thing. You can't please everyone all the time. Someone once told me that if you aren't pissing off at least a few people then you aren't doing anything right.
Old 28th March 2003
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Ya got me man. I have three examples here on my desk

1. Boston made, w/tin cans

2. Cali made, w/sip pack

3. Utah made w/sip pack

The board layout between the Cali and the Utah one look different, but it looks like they are the same circuit design.

One way you can tell what you have is by board rev#

The Utah made ones (therefore sip pack) have board #'s following this format

xx-xxxx

If its different than that and has no tin can VCA's, it's most likely a Cali sip pack.
Old 1st April 2003
  #47
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Ok, so I just picked up a 160x but no manual. Any idea where I can get some information on this beast?
Old 1st April 2003
  #48
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
What do you need to know about it? Those are pretty easy to figure out from the front panel. Have you tried the dbx website? The 160A manual will cover all the basics of the controls since they're basicly the same. But, for some reason the 160A doesn't sound as good to me.
Old 1st April 2003
  #49
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Really just need to know about the overeasy switch. Is this just a soft knee vs hard knee switch?
Old 1st April 2003
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Yep.
Old 1st April 2003
  #51
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
One more question....

The ratio above 10:1 goes to an infinity:1 symbol and then negative numbers as you continue to turn the knob to the right. Is this expanding beyond Infinity or just a funny way of expressing extreme ratios?
Old 1st April 2003
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Once you are past infinity you are into expansion. This is great for helping recover some dynamic range from overcompressed tracks.
Old 14th April 2003
  #53
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 

Sorry to regress but I was very very interested by the comment about upgrading a 161 to 160 status by installing a transformer.
I love my 161 and have been looking for more info on this. If anybody has done this or knows how, I would love to know.

I think one explination to why these old units rock so hard was found in the manual where I read (and I am paraphrasing from my faulty memory here) that the harmonic distortion generated by the unit increased as the frequency of the content increased. In other words lower freq. stuff is left more or less alone but the higher harmonics are given some teeth.....very nice.

PS - I am in in the camp that doesn't like the later 16x's as much. I have both a 160x and a 160a and don't like them nearly as much as my 161. Though I do find uses for them.

Thanks for any help with the transformer thing.....

Stuntmixer
Old 14th April 2003
  #54
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
am in in the camp that doesn't like the later 16x's as much. I have both a 160x and a 160a and don't like them nearly as much as my 161. Though I do find uses for them.
Well, don't forget that the 161 and the 160x are different beasts, different input circuit and different VCAs. The 160x and the 160a are part of the same "family," the 161 is not. It has more in common with the 160VU
Old 14th April 2003
  #55
Gear Nut
 
stuntmixer's Avatar
 

Tom,

Thanks for the reply. I understand the difference. I was just casting my vote in the the "yea for the 160/161 family and OK for the 160x/a family....trying to address the original question.

Do you have any info as to how to add some iron to 161? Is it easy, expensive. What kind of tranie? Is that the only difference betwixt the 160 and the 161?...etc

Thanks again
Old 14th April 2003
  #56
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

I honestly don't know. I don't have any data here about the 161's.
Old 16th April 2003
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
JRE Productions's Avatar
 

161 upgrade to 160

You may want to ask Fletcher over at Mercenary, he had mentioned this upgrade at one time.

Joe
Old 3rd December 2005
  #58
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone Fission

What's interesting me is the number of people championing the dbx 163 as a great bang for the buck champion of compressors. Any insights into that besides it being bare bones as hell (just one slider)?

Bear
I have 5 163X's and like them quite a bit for what they are. I've replaced a lot of the IC's with OPA2134's and a few other Burr-Brown chips, recapped them, and they do a really good job on channell inserts (unbalanced). The next thing I want to try is replacing the old VCA's (2152 I think) with the new THAT 2180LA. Any ideas on how this would change the sound?

Cheers,
Zach
Old 3rd December 2005
  #59
Lives for gear
 

a little off topic (especially for low end) but Tom can you tell us the difference between the 160SL and 162SL

also does the 160A with transformer output have a special name/code or anything i havnt seen any around here listed so just wondering what i should be looking out for
cheers
Old 4th December 2005
  #60
Lives for gear
 
7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cram
Germanium caps sound different from the new surface mount caps.
AFAIK, germanium has never been used in capacitors, only in diodes, transistors, and LED's. Germanium diodes are (electrically) considerably different to other forms of diodes, and will sound totally different and need different supporting circuitry to work.
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