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160a 160s 160x 161 162 etc. Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 19th February 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
rubykitty2000's Avatar
 

160a 160s 160x 161 162 etc.

What's the word?

I have used but do not own a pair of 160 VU's and damned if that's not the sound I've always wanted for drums.

All the above units are more affordable. How do they compare? Is the VCA the same? If it is, what's different?

Is the 161 noisy?

Is the 162 really the same as two 160's? I like the 160's on overheads so a 162 would be useful if it's the same thing. It is alot cheaper.

Did anybody see that pair of 160's that went for $800 a few weeks ago on Ebay? I was totally watching those and then I spaced and missed the end. Dam dam dam dam dam dam dam.

Charles
Old 19th February 2003
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
The 161 is an unbalanced 160VU. The 160X was the next, followed by the XT, then the A. I've never been a big fan of the 160A. Lots of people don't like them, I can tolerate them on some things but I wouldn't go out of my way to use or own one. The 162 is a stereo 160VU and the 165 is like a 160 but with more control. I might've switched those last two around, I hardly ever run into them on a regular basis and when I do I need to ask which one is which.
Old 21st February 2003
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
JRE Productions's Avatar
 

I'm sure you can do a search here. This gets a lot of talk, and Tom Cram from DBX usually chimes in.

Here's what I remember (hope its accurate)

161 is the same as the 160 except for the lack of balanced input transformer, which gives it a lot of its collor. You can have them modified to the 160vu spec easily, as the spots on the circuit board for the transformers are there, they just did not use that section.

The 160x and xt are patently identicle circuits. One was made in Waltham Ma, and the other in Ca (I think) The xt has XLR and no barrier strip.

Tom could fill you in more, but there was 2 different VCA's (I think) used in the early production and one is more sought after than the other. I guess you can tell by the physical shape of the part. This may only be true in the 900 series modules though.

anyway...do a search.

Joe
Old 21st February 2003
  #4
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bjornson's Avatar
 

The guy who sold those units on ebay is a friend of mine. He bought them for 10 bucks at a church flea market!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm using them until his check clears.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #5
Here for the gear
 
rubykitty2000's Avatar
 

Thanks for the help, everybody. Think I'm gonna shoot for a 162.

Unless that check doesn't clear...let me know .

Charles
Old 22nd February 2003
  #6
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Hey everyone,

Many people call the DBX 160 a 160VU. That's not correct. The model number never had the VU in it. I believe people call it the 160VU, so it would be distinguishable from the later LED (meter) models like the 160X, 160XT, 160A...

When you purchased two of them with the rack mount kit, the actual model number was DBX160RM (two 160s in a 2u rack kit).

Sorry for the interruption...

Now, go back to calling it the 160VU.

Question:
I never seen or worked with a 162. Does anyone on this board have one? Does it (kind of) look like a 165?
Old 22nd February 2003
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I just found the answer to my 162 question:
Attached Thumbnails
160a 160s 160x 161 162 etc.-dbx162.jpg  
Old 22nd February 2003
  #8
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

dbx comps

Thanks for the help, everybody. Think I'm gonna shoot for a 162
******************************

If you are looking for a stereo version of the old DBX meters, you might also want to consider the 165, as somebody mentioned earlier. We picked one up at a studio closing sale back around Xmas, and I'd give anything to have bought the other one they had as well.

steve
[email protected]
Old 24th February 2003
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

I have nothing to add, you guys did great.
Old 24th February 2003
  #10
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Kris's Avatar
So what dbx unit does the Distressor emulate...

I'm guessing its the 160'vu'? or 'x'?

And even though dbx states on it's web site that the 160A is 'the same circuitry' as the 160x, it doesn't sound as good in ya'lls experience?

Find a vintage one? not a new 160A?
Old 25th February 2003
  #11
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JRE Productions's Avatar
 

The 160x and Xt's are all over the place for 225 bucks or so. The 160A are in the 300's and just don't sound as good. Mostly I assume that this is due to the change in manufacturing.

In general the dbx circuit hasn't changed over the years. But how they manufacture it has. EX: 160vu was point to point, 160x and xt was printed circuit boards, and the 160a is multi layered (IC based?) what ever they call the modern ****. (I think this is accurate)

I imagine the Distressor mostly resembles the 160vu, but in general most dbx model compressors have a certain sound. That DBX sound. And I figure thats what the distressor was after. Other VCA compressors just don't sound the same. For better or worst, that seems to be the case.

Just a guess though.

Joe
Old 25th February 2003
  #12
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Question

There is an option to get output transformers (Jensen) on the dbx160a (x/xt?).
Any one used that?
Any change in the sound?!?
Old 25th February 2003
  #13
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by JRE Productions

In general the dbx circuit hasn't changed over the years. But how they manufacture it has. EX: 160vu was point to point,

Joe
Nope, regular old circuit board construction on the older 160's and 162's.

Mark
Old 25th February 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by JRE Productions

In general the dbx circuit hasn't changed over the years. But how they manufacture it has. EX: 160vu was point to point,

Joe
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Nope, regular old circuit board construction on the older 160's and 162's.

Mark
You are both right. The main boards were hand stuffed, and the rest of the unit was point-to-point.

I will agree that the 160x(t) and the 160a sound different, but I'm not sure why. The input circuit is the same, the VCA is the same, parts are the same tolerance, etc. I chalk it up to calibration and newer parts. I've seen plenty of the older 160x(t)'s that have drifted and therefore sound different from the 160a's.

Bottom line is always; check one out.
Old 25th February 2003
  #15
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Kris's Avatar
Could it be that environmental regulations on metal production (wires components etc) have changed the basic composition of the metals over the years? That's my theory...
Old 25th February 2003
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Not to get really nitpicky here, but what year did the 160X production change from the USA to Japan? And when did the 160A go into production. I'm wondering if there's a coincidence between any of them.
Old 25th February 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

The 160X was never manufactured in Japan.

The 160a was introduced in 1993 when dbx was located in Ca.
Old 26th February 2003
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

I think the true signpost's would be the switch from point-to-point and handstuffed, then to machine stuffed and breakaway boards, then to auto-insert, then to surface-mount. The circuit design remains the same but the board layouts change to accomodate the new process' and the part styles change as well. The tolerances are the same but you go from an old thumb sized resistor (point-to-point) to a new gnat sized one (surface-mount).

At that point it becomes a question of whether those parts sound different. I know for a fact that the old Germanium caps sound different from the new surface mount caps. BUT, the auto-insert caps don't sound any different from the surface-mount caps. So, at what point does truth become myth, and myth become religion?
Old 26th February 2003
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by cram
The 160X was never manufactured in Japan.
Bull****in' ****. Just last week I was at Steve Remotes shop putting the dbx rack together and he has four 160X's. There's a pair that say made in Newton, MA and the other pair say made in Japan. They also have different lids but I forget which was which.
Old 26th February 2003
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
scotty-o's Avatar
 

I have a dbx 160x sitting right here that proudly displays:
"Made In Japan"
-Scotty
Old 26th February 2003
  #21
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Question

Transformer any one?!?
Old 26th February 2003
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
and the other pair say made in Japan.
Really? Strange, my records have no indication of any move to Japan. Even more strange, I don't have any record of anything ever going to Japan. I also talked to two of the 'old salts' here that were around back then and neither know of anything that was made in Japan. We've had some stuff made overseas, China, Korea, and such, but nothing in Japan.

Jay, we must have a hole in our records, or something is mislabelled. Anybody else have any Made in Japan 160X's out there? Jay, can you get a digital photo and e-mail it to me? I'd really appreciate it. It would help our records to have some verification.

When dbx moved from Boston to California a lot of stuff didn't survive the move. Additionally, the records I have from before the Harman buyout are a little sketchy. Help me out guys.
Old 26th February 2003
  #23
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Tim L's Avatar
 

I've seen both... the two I have are "Newton's". The date codes on mine are 'D78' & 'A88' with sn#'s about 500 apart... not that that means they're actualy 500 units apart but it certainly suggests it.

Perhaps Tom could shed some light on how the date codes translate? My first thought would be 'D78' is December 1978 but the units I have sure as hell don't seem like they were made 10 years apart. I also didn't think these things were being made in "78" but I could be very wrong on that. Anyway, considering you're "Senior technical dude", it shouldn't be too hard to look up.
Old 26th February 2003
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Actually it's impossible to look up, the records don't exist. The manufacture codes and serial numbers from that era may as well be egyptian. I imagine that the Blackmer's over at Earthworks may remember, but I doubt it.

Unfortunately being "Senior technical dude" doesn't give me superpowers.
Old 26th February 2003
  #25
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Tim L's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by cram
... Unfortunately being "Senior technical dude" doesn't give me superpowers.
You need to re-negotiate your contract.
Old 26th February 2003
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

LOL!!!! grggt grggt grggt
Old 26th February 2003
  #27
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by cram
Anybody else have any Made in Japan 160X's out there? Jay, can you get a digital photo and e-mail it to me? I'd really appreciate it. It would help our records to have some verification.

When dbx moved from Boston to California a lot of stuff didn't survive the move. Additionally, the records I have from before the Harman buyout are a little sketchy. Help me out guys.
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.
Old 26th February 2003
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
JRE Productions's Avatar
 

S H O C K E D !!!

I'm a huge dbx fan of the early units. I bought units like the 160 & 161(vu) and the 119, 128 etc new in the 70's.

I had followed the move from waltham to Ca. And new about the units made in hong kong and china (163x was made in both places). Japan! Did you say Japan!

dfegad on the Japan units.

I've actively have been looking for a 160x or xt, but sure is hell don't want a unit made in Japan! I guess I'll have to be a little more specific in my search for a USA made unit.

Thanks for the heads up.
Old 26th February 2003
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
Maybe that's why you can't build anything that sounds like the original 160 anymore.
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.
Old 26th February 2003
  #30
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toledo3's Avatar
 

aaaawwww
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