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DBX 586
Old 25th December 2002
  #1
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

DBX 586

I just picked up a dbx 586 for about 400 dollars on ebay

I know that since this is a Starved Tube Design, the tube is pretty much a waste of time. But how does it sound without the tubish distortion added in?

Is it worth me keeping?
Marshall
Old 25th December 2002
  #2
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e-cue's Avatar
 

What are the differences in this unit and the 576? I used one of the 576's a couple weeks back and hated it because I couldn't get rid of a nasty odd ordered harmonic distortion nastiness when the vocalist would belt loud notes. The DRIVE control is supposed to be at about 12:00 to 2:00, but I swear I must've had a busted unit. I'd love to see someone's recall sheet for a decent starting point tracking R&B vocals.
Old 25th December 2002
  #3
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

$200 a channel for a molestable EQ and limit circut... its not too bad if you dont drive the drive AT ALL... keep the master gain all the way up. i have one i got for about the same $$$ and i use it all the time on basic tracking. mainly for the close toms [since i know how im going to EQ them already and i usually gate the close tom mics so JUST the hits make it... or not use them at all...] or other really ****ed up sources that dont need pristine amplification.

but if its worth it is fully up to you. dont expect it to compete with a nice preamp but if you see it for what it is... i wont get rid of mine [but i dont get rid of ANYTHING]
Old 25th December 2002
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
It's not clean sounding and it never will be. Like AJ said, it's molestable. One of my friends got one and the matching compressor to use as a front end to his DAW and he's most unhappy with it. The compressor isn't bad but the preamps are kind of in the ART "toob" catagory. Personally I wouldn't pay more then $250 or so for one just because I wouldn't use it a lot.

BTW, did you get those channel strips shipped yet?
Old 27th December 2002
  #5
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Henchman's Avatar
Notice how manufacturers are putting more effort in how things look now. Something that looks cool and Hi-tech, must sound cool and Hightech. Same thing with all the lame plug-ins. Just make it look cool, and people just won't accept that it actually sounds like ****.
Old 27th December 2002
  #6
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adam_w's Avatar
Hmm..not sure what peoples problem is with that unit..its the 2/3u silver thing, right ? Change the valves in it so you know youre getting 100% of what you're supposed to and listen to it again yourself. A/B it on guitar sources..you might like it.
Old 27th December 2002
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Yeah, and if you pull those tubes out of the sockets and look you'll notice a yellow LED in the center of each one. Makes it look like those toobs are workin' really ****in' hard for ya.


Rule of thumb, if somethings says "professional" on it it probably isn't. And if you can see the tubes they probably ain't doing a hell of a lot of good. If you love what it does then great, I know too many people that don't like it that much.
Old 28th December 2002
  #8
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adam_w's Avatar
Yeah..that L.E.D thing IS a bit naughty and is a blatant example of what not to do if you're trying to be taken seriously ! Anyway, re-valve, use yer ears blah blah blah YMMV IMHO etc etc..you guys tried the 786, or am I asking for trouble ? Mr Cram..help me out !
Old 29th December 2002
  #9
Here for the gear
 
bbchessman's Avatar
 

I had someone bring over a 376 and leave it here. I haven't found one good use for it except when it's cold out as a hand warmer for guitar players and as a coffee cup warmer.
It puts out nice heat and it will keep your coffee warm.
I tried it on a number of applications and could never seem to get rid of this nasty harmonic distortion that seemed to occur everytime I pushed the unit hard. The de-esser isn't worth a ****, the compressor sucks ass big time. I don't know why anyone would manufacture something like this.

I'll keep it here through winter.
Old 29th December 2002
  #10
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

hmmm, the 586 i have puts out like no heat at all. now my flamingo on the other hand...

its a cheap pre. then again, i can make a bellari sound cool too. its all about how you use things.
Old 29th December 2002
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Actually the Bellari isn't half bad. Put in new tubes, upgrade the opamps and replace the transformers (if you want to go that far) and it can sound really nice.
Old 30th December 2002
  #12
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

maybe i should say, i can make a STOCK bellari sound cool if push comes to shove.
Old 30th December 2002
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
We had both the mic pre and compressor at the studio I bought out to start my own studio. The first units I decided I didn't were the DBX silver guys. I actually like the ART toob models MUCH more than the DBX. I can fide uses for the ART stuff, the DBX, not so much.

YMMV
Old 30th December 2002
  #14
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
maybe i should say, i can make a STOCK bellari sound cool if push comes to shove.
I should've put that the Bellari is ok when stock but better when modded for not a lot of money.
Old 30th December 2002
  #15
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

The modded belari sounds very interesting for not a whole lot of money.

I have the ward beck pre's coming, so i want something on the opposite end of the spectrum of coloured. I'll prolly end up selling the DBX586. I bid on it, but i didn't expect to win.

I've used some cheepie tube stuff, and i didn't like it much, it just seemed muddy with a lack of transients to me (akg solidtube microphone... ok on vocals, pretty bad on guitars)
Old 30th December 2002
  #16
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

well if you want a cool tube pre, get a freakin vipre.
Old 30th December 2002
  #17
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

I've been eyeing the vipre, except that its mono and i do quite a bit of stereo recording, and two of them is WAY out of my budget.

Plus, with all the new pre's coming out with variable inupt impedences, what does the vipre have thats worth it anymore. I mean from everyone's reviews its a killer tube pre, but the impedence matching took the cake.

Marshall
Old 30th December 2002
  #18
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sonic dogg's Avatar
I tried both the 3 series dbx stuff and the 5 series...both pres and comps....none of them sounded half as good as my ART ProVLA and the ProMPA......I still dont get the slamming of these two units....they are very much budget items but for the bang for your buck they sound great...they dont break and i've never seen any literature put out by ART claiming them to be a fine replacement for any $2000 per channel pre or comp...now the rest of the ART collection of stuff kinda sucks except for the Pro TubeChannel which has some use to it..........andit has been mentioned....if you want to dabble in rebuilding some of the Cheep tube pre's you can usually make em sound a lot better...as for dbx....the silver stuff sucks for tone....the blue series stuff ala 700 series...is a whole different thing.....peece
Old 31st December 2002
  #19
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon
Plus, with all the new pre's coming out with variable inupt impedences, what does the vipre have thats worth it anymore.

variable rise time which blows variable impedance away. also balanced path throughout and 7hz-100khz bandwidth. its one of the best possible pres out there.
Old 31st December 2002
  #20
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

I guess i'll continue saving up my pennies tho.

Is there a stereo unit that has similar specs like the vipre?
Old 3rd January 2003
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

The 500 (and 300) Series stuff is NOT a starved plate design. The tube runs @ 230v., and the pre will not operate without the tube in the circuit. If you are getting weird harmonics and THD, bring down the drive knob. Everybody mistakes this for an input gain control, it is not. It's a tube saturation control. I rarely (if ever) go higher than noon with that control. All of your gain is derived from the output gain control.

Or replace the tube. We have had units come back in with problem descriptions like: "too much THD," or "unit clipping early," etc. And we break it open to find that the tube has gone south. Also replacing the tube with a nice NOS GE or Tung-Sol really does wonders for the tone as well.

I own a 576 and use it all the time with great success on many different sources. I think of it as an FX pre-amp. It fits a niche in my pallette of pre-amps.

If you want clean, detailed and silky get a 786. If you want a little hair on your signal, then try the 500 Series.

If you want to hear what a 576 sounds like, track down a CD or download an MP3 of The James Woods Band "Moodswing" CD. I recorded all of the vocals through the 576. I think they sound great.

We get bashed a bit for allowing marketing to convince us to put LED's underneath the tubes, legitimately bashed IMHO. Our marketing dept. can be lame. However, the LED's do not compromise the unit sonically, so it's kind of a b.s. complaint.
Old 4th January 2003
  #22
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Maybe, but's it's still pretty lame. Ooooo, look at the glowy thing... The first time I saw one I thought something was wrong with the tube's heater element.... If only it was a purple LED.
Old 5th January 2003
  #23
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

Mr. cram

I have a couple of questions for you....


1) if the tube is running at full voltage, why does the tube give so much distortion. I only thought that was a product of a starved plate design. Shouldn't a tube with a high voltage create a relatively clean output?

2) There are several screw potentiometers inside the unit, what does each one do, and will changing the factory value increase or decrease the sound quality of the unit. (the 586)


Thanks

I'm thinking of selling it, but i don't know what i should get next. Maybe i'll wait to see how the new studio projects tube pre sounds (supposed to be full plate voltage instead of the starved plate design of the vtb1)

Thanks
Marshall
Old 5th January 2003
  #24
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

well its difficult to know what you are looking for... why a tube? first of all, you shouldnt expect a tube design to be all that unless a good bit of money was thrown into its design. using a Vipre compared to the 586 is like night and day.

what kind of sound are you looking for. i use my 586 as an utility/FX box as well. my output knob is all the way up to start with and the drive is all the way down. i only bring the drive up if i need more gain, it usually only makes it to 9 oclock or so.

there is a ****load of pres out there, and a lot of solid state pres sound pretty damn fat.
Old 6th January 2003
  #25
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

Well, basically, i'm trying to get the three major flavors of mic pres as a starting point. clean, coloured tube, and coloured transistor..


I already have a good coloured transistor(ward beck 460's), and i have a good idea of what i want for my clean channels(millennia, john hardy), but the coloured tube is much harder to find for a resonable price.. I've been looking around for the peavey tube pre, but they are nearly impossible to find.

I'm not buing a tube because of the supposed warmth that they introduce, i just notice that they handle transients alot differently then something like the mackie or the ward becks.


I'm also doing the same thing on the microphone side:

Small diagphragm (schoeps)
large diaphragm (ksm32---- although i'm thinking about changing this)
dynamic (re20, 421)
ribbon (aea r84)


each of these gives a vastly different sound to the same source, and i'm looking for the same thing in my pre's. I know i want my tube pre to be coloured, but at the same time, i don't want it to be like the UA job, where it seemed to be overtly done.


Does this make sense?
Thanks
Marshall
Old 6th January 2003
  #26
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

its that reasonable price thats a bitch. have you tried the summit stuff? tlaudio? pendulum? im sure there are others....

but then there is the vipre. i need one myself.
Old 6th January 2003
  #27
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Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

I've actually been very intersted in the summit audio stuff. However, their lower priced stuff, based on the higher end stuff scares me. What have they taken out of the cheeper stuff to make it fit that price point, have they sacrificed sound quality, or just fetures. The problem with living in the middle of nowhere is that you can't audition pieces of gear. I love the ideas of the pendulum products, but its also kinda expensive... I wouldn't be hesitant to buy the gear at those specific price points, its just hard to come up with the cash as a college student.
Old 6th January 2003
  #28
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 

Why don't you get a Telefunken V72? It's about $500 on the used market and you'll have a hard time finding a sweeter tube tone for that price. It's fixed gain (40dB) but with a Shure variable pad in front and a compressor/eq unit that has the ability to add some make up gain after it you can use it for most standard things. Just an idea...

Good luck in your quest!
Old 6th January 2003
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
If only it was a purple LED.
Dammit Jay! Our marketing department reads this stuff! Don't give them any ideas!

Quote:
1) if the tube is running at full voltage, why does the tube give so much distortion. I only thought that was a product of a starved plate design. Shouldn't a tube with a high voltage create a relatively clean output?
Depends on the design. In this unit I feel we gave too MUCH control over the saturation of the tube. I feel we should have given the user a narrower range of control so it was impossible to put the tube into full ugly clip. What do I know, I'm just a tech support guy...

Quote:
2) There are several screw potentiometers inside the unit, what does each one do, and will changing the factory value increase or decrease the sound quality of the unit. (the 586)
They control the calibration of the RMS settings of the limiters that are on each channel and the calibration of the VU meters. I don't understand what you mean by "increasing or decreasing the sound quality." They aren't "suck" knobs.
Old 7th January 2003
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 

The telefunken does sound very intersting. This sounds like a line amp tho (am i correct?) Is there a model that will give me more gain the just 40db? I have a ribbon mic that i really want to use. The makeup gain for with the compressor is a good idea, i've been doing that alot with the direct outs from the mackie board, since they are usually pretty quiet.

Marsh
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