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dbx 160s vs 160sl?
Old 17th November 2002
  #1
dbx 160s vs 160sl?

what is the diff. between the original 160s vs. the current 160sl? i know there is an upgrade option for the 160s turning the unit into 160sl. what components are changed for this mod.? anyone has done this?
Old 18th November 2002
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

The 160sl upgrade includes the AutoVelocity feature. You can download a great white paper that details Auto Velocity here;

http://www.dbxpro.com/literature.htm

For questions about what components are needed, feel free to contact me. I'll get you in touch with a bench tech who can detail what is involved with the conversion.
Old 18th November 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
AudioGaff's Avatar
As someone who uses and owns one of each, the 160S being of the original design is about 90% in the same tone as the older 160VU or 160XT and the 165. The 160SL is less than 90% but is much better suited for the sub buss or 2-mix bus. The 160SL is also much tighter sounding and has the same kind of spank and glue effect as the SSL compressors. I think the upgrade is about $500. Even though the 160SL is less like the older 160/165 than the 160S, I prefer the 160SL.
Old 18th November 2002
  #4
besides the auto-velocity features, what other things are changed or added on the current 160sl? better components and parts?

btw, i do have a 165a and like it a lot.
Old 18th November 2002
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

That's about it. The componentry in the 160s is already top shelf. There isn't really a step up in parts quality to be had.

I have three 165a's two strapped, and one mono. I dig them too, especially on vocals. Well, on snare too, umm, they're pretty cool on kick also. Uh, they're great for strapped and smashed overheads too. The 165a is NOT a subtle comp, which is what is cool about it.

However, the 160s and 160sl can do the subtle thing and the colored thing equally well. Inline with an LA2A, it's pretty much the vocal nirvana combo IMHO.
Old 18th November 2002
  #6
Quote:
Originally posted by cram

However, the 160s and 160sl can do the subtle thing and the colored thing equally well. Inline with an LA2A, it's pretty much the vocal nirvana combo IMHO.
Hi Tom,

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but this opinion sounds a little biased. I think the one problem with the 160S and the SL is subtlety. Basically there isn't much, unless you like very high thresholds and low ratios for everything.

Once you turn the knobs past 2:1 its just full fledged compression, no variations in colors(even through this is the "traffic lights" in the compression rack).heh

This is what disappointed me most about the unit.

I think the unit actually sounds the best in bypass.Just running signals through it gave it an extra dimension(Kudos to the electronics).

Again YMMV.

Just an opinion.
Old 18th November 2002
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Then, I hope you don't take my reply the wrong way.

Opinions by very definition are biased, that is why they are called opinions. I couldn't disagree more with your asessment of the 160s and sl. But that's o.k., because of that opinion thing mentioned above.

Now, on to your problem; if you are in full fledged compression after 2:1, then your unit is obviously out of cal. You need to contact me so that we can get it back in cal. I'll be expecting your call. Don't forget to have your serial number handy.
Old 18th November 2002
  #8
Hi Tom,

Its too late because I sold it 2 months ago. But it wasn't the first that i have noticed this on(I purchased a 160S back when they first came out) and this was about 98 or 99? The compression thing after 2:1 is just how it sounds. I am not the first person who has said this. Some guys like that and there are units made with this in mind(Joe Meek SC2,Alan Smart C2,RidgeFarm Boiler). I just felt for the price and the hype, I hoped it would be a little bit more variable.

Again its just an opinion.
Old 18th November 2002
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Bummer, I was hoping to be able help you out. The 160sl I have operates quite differently than you describe, leading me to believe that yours was out of cal.

Quote:
I just felt for the price and the hype,
Hype! I wish! There have been like, three ads run about the Blue Series since it was introduced. This isn't a slam, I'm just suprised by the comment. The Blue Series has been the least hyped product I have ever seen come out of this factory. In fact our marketing 'geniuses' didn't run a single ad for the Blue Series for TWO solid years. I would have liked to have seen even a LITTLE hype.rollz I guess that is why I'm a tech support bozo and not in marketing. I don't think I would last long in that dept.

Anywho.
Old 18th November 2002
  #10
Hmmm, I am starting to get gear lust for one o them, blue units!

Old 18th November 2002
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Haha!

Oh Jules, you slut you! If you weren't across the pond I'd lend you mine.
Old 18th November 2002
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Mats Olsson's Avatar
 

Jules, I know what gear lust is like... after holding back for several weeks I thought I was cured but... today my eyes glanced an old green Land Rover pickup that was for sale at a low low price... you figure out the rest

I called the seller and set up a meeting tomorrow afternoon.

Seems like the gear lust disease is spreading in my body, great!

(Sorry for the rant, I just had to vent and this place seemed as good as any).

/Mats
Old 18th November 2002
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
Sorry for the rant, I just had to vent and this place seemed as good as any
The bbs is called GEARslutz, I suppose that the GEAR portion is pretty non-specific. heh

Mats, ya gonna get any pics of that Land Rover for us to drool over?
Old 18th November 2002
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Mats Olsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by cram


Mats, ya gonna get any pics of that Land Rover for us to drool over?
You bet!, as a true gear slut, I also have several fine cameras that I use frequently...

Until I have any pictures to show, here's a link with Land Rover facts that got me even more inspired for tomorrows test-drive.

/Mats
Old 18th November 2002
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
"The car was meant to survive the charge of a adult bull rhino and be field-stripped in the jungle with essentially a screwdriver and a crescent wrench." --TerriAnn Wakeman
I love it! Sounds like my Harley. I've got one of those multi-bit screwdrivers and a Craftsman RoboGrip in my saddle bag. I've done some pretty serious repairs with only those two tools. If it doesn't fit in your pocket, you don't need it.heh
Old 19th November 2002
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I started looking around Ebay since this thread reminded me that I always wanted a DBX 160... and I found some DBX 160x and xl, and other crappy looking stuff labeled with the 160 name. Whats the deal with this? Two entirely different lines with the same name? (surely not) or: Marketing trickery perhaps?
Are those "x" version compressors any good?
Old 19th November 2002
  #17
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Mats...i have a Land Rover Defender 90 V8...drives like a sportscar,carries complete studio/club systems..PS...it has no top or windows...that wont do for you!!
Old 20th November 2002
  #18
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bjornson's Avatar
 

Cram, I know your "not in marketing" but a guy like you answering questions honestly about your companies products goes much further with a lot of us than a glossy ad in some trade rag. Thanks!
Old 21st November 2002
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Mats Olsson's Avatar
 

Now I have borrowed the Landy for a couple of days, it is a very special vehicle - forget about comfort, speed, silence... but it is also highly amusing and so addictive it should be illegal...

More later, gotta drive some more (it's dark here already and we've got some snow, yesterday we had a minor snow storm even. Wit this ride, it is not a problem - it's a challenge!)

/Mats
Old 25th April 2005
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Hi Tom,

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but this opinion sounds a little biased. I think the one problem with the 160S and the SL is subtlety. Basically there isn't much, unless you like very high thresholds and low ratios for everything.

Once you turn the knobs past 2:1 its just full fledged compression, no variations in colors(even through this is the "traffic lights" in the compression rack).heh

This is what disappointed me most about the unit.

I think the unit actually sounds the best in bypass.Just running signals through it gave it an extra dimension(Kudos to the electronics).

Again YMMV.

Just an opinion.
Sorry to bring up an old old thread, but I have tried more than once in the past to resolve this issue regarding my own 160SL directly with Tom Cram, without any joy.

Tom - what is the deal with the ratio and the 160SL? Is it supposed to act in a totally non linear way as mine does? Is my 160 also out of cal too? I also only get subtle differences after 2:1.

And where is the email support? My 160sl recently went down for the third time in three years (right channel dropping out when unit is cold) and yet again I didnt receive any response from dbx when I mailed asking for service advice - I am UK based, I have no faith in the support, Harmon Pro (uk distributors) didnt even seem to know what my compressor was when I called them a while back, very reasurring! Yesterday I finally mangaged to find a trustworthy guy to come round and fix the unit privately for me. I feel like I am banging my head against a wall sometimes with dbx`s uk operation.

All I want is some advice about this compressor - a unit I personally love to bits. I have always had my suspicions regarding the way the ratio control operated, it being totally different to both the 1066 and 266 I also used to use.

Many thanks if you or anyone can help.
Chris.
Old 25th April 2005
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
Tom - what is the deal with the ratio and the 160SL? Is it supposed to act in a totally non linear way as mine does? Is my 160 also out of cal too? I also only get subtle differences after 2:1.
It sounds like you may have the Auto-Velocity engaged.

Quote:
And where is the email support? My 160sl recently went down for the third time in three years (right channel dropping out when unit is cold) and yet again I didnt receive any response from dbx when I mailed asking for service advice
I'm the only guy doing dbx e-mail tech support and that is only for domestic issues. For international service you must contact your local dealer or rep.

Quote:
All I want is some advice about this compressor - a unit I personally love to bits. I have always had my suspicions regarding the way the ratio control operated, it being totally different to both the 1066 and 266 I also used to use.
If your unit is in cal then definitely check and see if the Auto-Velocity circuit is engaged.
Old 25th April 2005
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the reply. OK the manual I have for my 160SL is the 160S manual. I bought the unit brand new from a UK dealer and this was the shipped manual, which makes no mention of auto velocity. I understand the main difference between the S and SL is the auto velocity feature, so unfortunatly I have no idea how to check whether its engaged or not.. I didnt even know you could disengage it! Could you tell me how I can check on mine and what exacly does auto vel. do?

Thanks Tom..


Chris.
Old 25th April 2005
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

You have to take the top cover off. When you remove the cover you should see a push-button switch on the inside rear of the front panel. This allows you to engage or disengage the Auto-Velocity. If the Ratio still acts funny after you have switched the internal switch then it is not the Auto-Velocity, and your unit is probably out of cal. At that point it would need to get to a service center.
Old 25th April 2005
  #24
Here for the gear
 

OK I have now realised that AVD refers to either program dependant attack and release or non program dependant. I have mine set to non program dependant which I did by opening the unit and changing the switch - but to be honest this made no difference to the ratio control at the time I did it.

So if my ratio is out of Cal, why are seemingly so many other 160SL owners units out of cal also and is this a diy possible job to calibrate it?
Old 25th April 2005
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Whoops posted same time as you. Ok thanks, looks like its been out of cal since new then, grreat.

Also both front VU meter lights are blown (believe me I have cherished this unit though you might not think so!) what spec are the replacement bulbs I need?

Thanks again.
Old 25th April 2005
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

dbx internal part number: 28-3254 Axial Lamp 6v. 70mA
Old 25th April 2005
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cram
dbx internal part number: 28-3254 Axial Lamp 6v. 70mA
Thank you Tom, much appreciated!
Old 25th April 2005
  #28
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 

I have a 160S and I'm using it on a record right now. I like it for some snare sounds, kinda like a hi-fi 160VU. I can see how one might like it as a vocal comp because an old school friend used to use an LA2A into a 160VU. I know what Thrill means about the kicking in right away thing but I always thought the 160VU sorta did the same thing.
Old 18th April 2018
  #29
Gear Head
 
mprooxis's Avatar
 

Just purchased a used 160SL..
turned it on and no signal goes thru and a hum on the right channel....Signal only goes thru in by pass or when unit is off...
I hate to return it but will have to...
Is it worth keeping and getting it repaired/refurbished?
I paid $1100 for it
Tempted to send it back and just buy another used one...

Also,
how can I tell if a 160SL needs to be calibrated?

thanks in advance
Old 25th February 2019
  #30
Here for the gear
 

I have fixed our Dbx 160sl twice. The signal would dropout on one side or the other. Both times I used a jeweler's magnifying glass to find cold solder joints. Check the solder joints under the VCA and the XLR jacks. That is were our cold solder joints were. Touched them up and it works great.
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