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Distressor vs dbx 160x
Old 6th March 2010
  #1
Distressor vs dbx 160x

I just finished the Disco D documentary "Hustle Harder" and as he goes through his gear he notes how great the dbx 160x's for his/others kick and snare umph. I sold my pair of dbx's before I started to turn my attention to hip hop and bought a bunch of Distressors (I was a serious slut for a few weeks, I had 4 but realized I couldn't justify the cost for my current income). Now I sit with 2 Distressors and no dbx's wondering if I should snag another pair.

My other comps:

ART PRO VLA
ART Dual Levelar
FMR RNLA
FMR RNC
Gain Brain (x2)
Summit Audio TLA 100A
Summit Audio TLA 50



Thoughts? Comments?



I'm definitely making a Fatso my next buy.
Old 6th March 2010
  #2
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Stitch333's Avatar
 

I'll help you out, no problem!
Send me those Distressors and I'll send a clean pair of 160X's post-haste...
Old 6th March 2010
  #3
Can I trade you my RE20 for a Realistic Karaoke Mic?

Hah!

I mean in conjuction with the Distressors.
Old 6th March 2010
  #4
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Stitch333's Avatar
 

Oh, ooops.

FWIW: My take on all the "so and so used it, should I?" is this:
Rock what you got.

Disco (RIP) was a very talented producer but, just another producer, all-in-all.
Find a unique sound and recording style and you will stand out from the
masses of "pro-duce-azzz yo" that abound like Wall-marts.

The 160x is a good and standard piece.
The Distressor is a good and standard piece.

How about some level-locs?
Old 6th March 2010
  #5
Totally agree. I meant it more from the standpoint of "Would I like these enough that I should re-buy?"

I'd love to hear an C800G on my voice but I'm also totally happy with my Soundelux/GAMA chain.

I forgot to put my Level Loc on that list...good catch.

Ever use a stereo pair? My friend thought they sound to whacked out since each unit sounds so different from the next.
Old 6th March 2010
  #6
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Stitch333's Avatar
 

RE your friends units: there very well might have been something wrong with one of the pair.
Also, the X/XT/A are all kinda different. The fact that they have been produced for many years, as well,
bodes poorly for random matched pairs that sound and behave similar.

I have used them a few times as drum buss inserts.
They were ok but a little pinched in the furthest HF and LF bandwidths.
I have a laundry list of Mods for the 160x that opens up and focus's the bass
and softens the mid freq pushyness (as well as selected opamp and VCA replacement) that I'd like to do the next time I have some loot to spare to grab some.
But, even stock, they are pretty cool and useful in a (not bad) trashy way.

Honestly, in consideration of the amount of dynamics units you already have,
I think they would be handy but not necessary.
Old 6th March 2010
  #7
Do many compressors in the discussion

I actually meant a pair of Level Loc's.
Old 6th March 2010
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretty_Suite View Post

I'd love to hear an C800G on my voice but I'm also totally happy with my Soundelux/GAMA chain.
Don't buy a Sony, you'll regret having bought the other mics you own heh

I'm not buying any mics anymore until I buy a c800g next september.
Old 13th July 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Ijustmake-Beats's Avatar
 

I own both Distressors and DBX 160XTs.

In my opinion after running hours of comparisons, the DBX are still a worthy addition to any studio dealing extensively with hip hop.

They are not nearly as versatile as the Distressors, they don't give you nearly as many compression sound options, but for a one-trick-pony they do a very, very good drum sound for a far cheaper price. Also it's a sound you can dial up in about half the time it takes you to search for a good sound in the Distressors and one that is classically hip hop all the way. If nothing else the 160s will free up your Distressors for other channels without forcing you to sacrifice the overall quality of your drum sound.

The Distressors do a huge range of compression sounds (for those willing to put the time in to explore), which includes a great hip hop drum sound, but you'll have to work a little harder to dial in exactly what you're after and for anyone who doesn't already own them there's a reasonably large cost involved in getting 'em.

The 160 compression also sounds just a tiny bit sharper than the Distressor. A tiny bit. So they snap with just a tad more bite, just a tad. For the record, I generally prefer DBX on kick and I'm undecided on the snare. Sometimes I the DBX sound is enough, sometimes I want more sound shaping options so I'll opt for the Distressor.

That's just my 2 cents...
Old 13th July 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Distressor vs dbx 160x

I can't imagine the need for any more than a stereo pair (at best) of hardware compressors for recording or mixing hip-hop, unless you're running a full analog studio with An HD system.

But that's just opinion.
Old 14th July 2010
  #11
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio507 View Post
I can't imagine the need for any more than a stereo pair (at best) of hardware compressors for recording or mixing hip-hop, unless you're running a full analog studio with An HD system.

But that's just opinion.
Studio,
What you as engineer at HQz can say about neccessity of 160 from a pure sonics standpoint? Especially as a glueing tool for layered kicks and\or dynamics reshaper after EQing?
Old 14th July 2010
  #12
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KRStudio's Avatar
 

Your Gain Brains sound very similar to the DBX 160a. You might be getting more of the same thing. Just a thought.
Old 14th July 2010
  #13
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Distressor vs dbx 160x

I think it's a serviceable vocal compressor. It works. I can't imagine bussing each drum sound through it though unless i was working in a analog studio where I might have a bunch of them for cost reasons or something
Old 18th October 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Prince Vision's Avatar
If I had a choice I would take the dbx 160x over a distressor... mainly because its a better sounding unit in my opinion. The distressor is a solid compressor, but I agree with those who feel it has a plastic-y sound to it. The 160x get plenty of use in my studio for instruments and vocals. I find that more times than less, when I patch in the Distressor, it just doesn't cut it (especially for vocals).
Old 19th October 2013
  #15
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E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by R'shonn View Post
If I had a choice I would take the dbx 160x over a distressor... mainly because its a better sounding unit in my opinion. The distressor is a solid compressor, but I agree with those who feel it has a plastic-y sound to it. The 160x get plenty of use in my studio for instruments and vocals. I find that more times than less, when I patch in the Distressor, it just doesn't cut it (especially for vocals).
I've used both extensively and just can't figure out what people are thinking when they say they can't use Distressor on vox. Plastic-y? What does that mean? I know some comps are better than others but can't fathom not being able to get a useable sound out of any of them.
Old 20th October 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
i loathe the distressor for vocals....

i love it for rock gtrs.

ej
Old 20th October 2013
  #17
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Vanilla_Dutches's Avatar
 

The 160x works best for me cuz it's all I know
Old 21st October 2013
  #18
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madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
i loathe the distressor for vocals....
+1



Sent from Galaxy Note 2
Old 21st October 2013
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by R'shonn View Post
If I had a choice I would take the dbx 160x over a distressor... mainly because its a better sounding unit in my opinion. The distressor is a solid compressor, but I agree with those who feel it has a plastic-y sound to it. The 160x get plenty of use in my studio for instruments and vocals. I find that more times than less, when I patch in the Distressor, it just doesn't cut it (especially for vocals).
Do you have a 160x for sale that you're trying to drive the price up on, or something?
Old 21st October 2013
  #20
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Sotsirc's Avatar
 

Love my DBX 160x. Probably best bang for buck in my arsenal.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #21
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Love the 160x on bass and kick drum. For vocals the distressor is my favorite option.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #22
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Vanilla_Dutches's Avatar
 

lol it's amazing how polarized peoples opinions can be on one piece of hardware.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #23
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E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla_Dutches View Post
lol it's amazing how polarized peoples opinions can be on one piece of hardware.
Yup.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla_Dutches View Post
lol it's amazing how polarized peoples opinions can be on one piece of hardware.
It's crazy b/c....

If I were to post a thread about what compressor I should get ... people recommend the Distressor and say it sounds good.

Then.. if I post a thread asking specific abotu the Distressor... all the sudden people don't think it sounds good and feel you can do better.

There is very little consistency when it comes to the sound of the Distressor lol. The only common theme I see is that people say it's very versatile.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #25
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Vanilla_Dutches's Avatar
 

I just find it hard to believe a compressor that costs a stack and a half would be good on X and crappy on Y....I'm nobody to tell anybody what they are hearing but I tend to believe these differences are more psychoacoustics at play than anything
Old 23rd October 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla_Dutches View Post
I just find it hard to believe a compressor that costs a stack and a half would be good on X and crappy on Y....I'm nobody to tell anybody what they are hearing but I tend to believe these differences are more psychoacoustics at play than anything
There are dozens of examples of gear that costs far more than $1.5k sounding great in place and not great in others. I wouldn't use my Sta Level on a snare drum, but it's easily one of the best vocal compressor in the rack. Conversely, I've never loved 33609s on vocals, but it's slammin' on drums.
Old 24th October 2013
  #27
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madehumble's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
There are dozens of examples of gear that costs far more than $1.5k sounding great in place and not great in others. I wouldn't use my Sta Level on a snare drum, but it's easily one of the best vocal compressor in the rack. Conversely, I've never loved 33609s on vocals, but it's slammin' on drums.
+1
Old 24th October 2013
  #28
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
There are dozens of examples of gear that costs far more than $1.5k sounding great in place and not great in others. I wouldn't use my Sta Level on a snare drum, but it's easily one of the best vocal compressor in the rack. Conversely, I've never loved 33609s on vocals, but it's slammin' on drums.
Exactly.

Some people tend to forget that audio and what any one person may like to hear is all about preference. What someone likes to use on one thing, another may dislike, and so on. That is pretty much common sense.

On the internet you also have to sometimes take opinions with a grain of salt, because comments can come from people with little to no real experience with the hardware or whatever it is they are commenting on as well.
Old 24th October 2013
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
On the internet you also have to sometimes take opinions with a grain of salt, because comments can come from people with little to no real experience with the hardware or whatever it is they are commenting on as well.
Or, lately, with people whose only experience with a given piece of hardware is via UAD emulations

Anyway, one thing I always thought was funny/odd was people who were particularly adamant about a certain piece of gear being "terrible" on a source that it's kinda famous for being good on. Like, people who say they hate the sound of 57s on guitar amps, and find them totally unusable in that context. Fair enough, but what about when they put on a rock record? Do they hate the sound of virtually every rock guitar ever recorded? Can they pick out that minority of records where 57s weren't used?

I dunno. Seems weird to me.

Anyway, disclaimer: I rarely use 57s on guitars myself. But I wouldn't go so far as to say they sound "terrible", or even "bad". I just have a couple different mics I prefer.
Old 25th October 2013
  #30
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Or, lately, with people whose only experience with a given piece of hardware is via UAD emulations

Anyway, one thing I always thought was funny/odd was people who were particularly adamant about a certain piece of gear being "terrible" on a source that it's kinda famous for being good on. Like, people who say they hate the sound of 57s on guitar amps, and find them totally unusable in that context. Fair enough, but what about when they put on a rock record? Do they hate the sound of virtually every rock guitar ever recorded? Can they pick out that minority of records where 57s weren't used?

I dunno. Seems weird to me.

Anyway, disclaimer: I rarely use 57s on guitars myself. But I wouldn't go so far as to say they sound "terrible", or even "bad". I just have a couple different mics I prefer.
When I see people taking that type of stance I feel like they do it just to try and stand apart from everyone else. Sure everyone has their preferences, but certain things become a staple for a reason.
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