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EL8X Distressor vs DBX 160A shoot out Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 19th December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

EL8X Distressor vs DBX 160A shoot out

Hi
What would you buy if limited on money? EL8X or DBX 160A?

Can every one please give me their thoughts on the differemce between these two compressors?

I need to buy one for vocals, bass guitar and electric guitars.

I was very happy with my Klark DN 500 and now its making a loud hiss while trying to track bass guitar. I dont think it will be worth reparing.dfegad

Please advise?

Cheers
Shaman
Old 19th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Halloween's Avatar
Distressor will change your life. The DBX's are good, but they are no Distressor by a long shot.
Old 19th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 

EL8X Distressor vs DBX 160A shoot out

Oh my god, man...

Distressor distressor distressor
Old 19th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dream View Post
Oh my god, man...

Distressor distressor distressor
I personally don't think you said it enough times...

DISTRESSOR!
Old 1st January 2011
  #5
Hi SHAMANROCK
AS I OWN THOSE 2 COMPS ; AND EVEN IF I LIKE DBX 160 A a lot ; go for the DISTRESSOR !!!!
VOCALS ; BASS ; GUITARS ; KEYS ...
THINK ALSO OF YOUR RECORDING CHAIN ; THE WEAKEST LINK IS THE LIMITATION OF THE ENTIRE CHAIN ...
SO IF U HAVE TO BUY OTHERS THINGS LIKE A GOOD MIKE !!!!

PEACE

MORDICUS
Old 1st January 2011
  #6
That's a pretty big difference in price! I really like DBX 160XT's (very similar to the A) on bass, kick, snare, and occasionally on vocals. Over-easy compression is something the Distressor can't do.

Personally, I'd spend $150 for a used DBX for now and save up and get something like a LA-3A, which is really nice on vocals and guitar. Distressors are useful, but there are a lot of other options.

Something you might consider is the Aphex 661. It is extremely flexible like a Distressor, but also have an over-easy compression circuit similar to a DBX 160. It sounds do that "explosive" room sound people like Distressors for, but I think there are a lot of plug-ins that sound similar enough to Distressors if you want to make things sound like they are blowing up heh. You can send it off to Jim Williams at Audio Upgrades to be modified and you'll be in heaven.
Old 1st January 2011
  #7
Another point to make is that every rental company in the world with have these to units available, it might be worth your time and money to rent both for a day and A/B for yourself.
Old 1st January 2011
  #8
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rob S's Avatar
thats sorts like asking whats your favorite screwdriver.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
bash's Avatar
 

Thought there was going to be an actual shoot-out in here. Pfft. Tease. :p Get the Distressor, it will change everything.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #10
Registered User
 

how about a really nice compressor?

or just get plugins
Old 2nd January 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dream View Post
Oh my god, man...

Distressor distressor distressor
now I have one of this on my list stereo with British mod I think but what about the components of this gear that makes it such a gamechanger???

I will be recording vocals,bass guitar,acoustic guitar, and plan on running my bfd v-drum played drum patterns through it as I heard it just sweetens things up.....music genre(gospel,Rythmn and bible,christian rap)

if things don't sound better I just use the regular dry track......

I guess I can use google..to find out more about this piece before I buy.....
just looking for some good old fashion gearslut reasons for buying the distressor....
Old 2nd January 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Aisle 6's Avatar
The Distressor is probably more versatile. Although I own 1 x Distressor and 2 x DBX 160x (I know...not 160A) and I am thinking of selling the Distressor, but I will never sell my 160x's. Different strokes I guess.
Old 24th January 2011
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aisle 6 View Post
The Distressor is probably more versatile. Although I own 1 x Distressor and 2 x DBX 160x (I know...not 160A) and I am thinking of selling the Distressor, but I will never sell my 160x's. Different strokes I guess.
Aisle 6, can u elaborate? Do u prefer the 160x over distressor for drums, vocals or both? What is it that makes u want to sell the distressor?

Thx
Old 24th January 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
both are great.

the distressor is very dynamic...you can do alot with it..

the 160 sounds great and is pretty idiot proof. throw it on...let it do its thing!

The dbx' attack time is really interesting. It does great things for di basses, banjos, and di guitars.
Old 24th January 2011
  #15
Distressor is great, but for the price of one EL8X you can probably buy around six DBX160A/X/XT if you search the GS classifieds. The DBX are much more limited of course. There is no attack or release knob and not much makeup gain.
Old 24th January 2011
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Adura's Avatar
 

Hi Shaman..
I got Distressors and DBX160's here...
The DBX are great, but they only work in some cases... mostly when you want to squash some things.. (great on snares, kicks, bass and rock vocals).
The Distressors can do that and SO MUCH MORE.
It depends on your budget.
If you can.. if I were you, I would get two Distressors and two dbx.
For both units there are no plugins that have that same sound.

One important thing that I recommend you... if you get the Distressor get the EL8-X. The British Mode is amazing.


Victor Adura
Old 27th January 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Sullivan View Post
That's a pretty big difference in price! I really like DBX 160XT's (very similar to the A) on bass, kick, snare, and occasionally on vocals. Over-easy compression is something the Distressor can't do.

Personally, I'd spend $150 for a used DBX for now and save up and get something like a LA-3A, which is really nice on vocals and guitar. Distressors are useful, but there are a lot of other options.

Something you might consider is the Aphex 661. It is extremely flexible like a Distressor, but also have an over-easy compression circuit similar to a DBX 160. It sounds do that "explosive" room sound people like Distressors for, but I think there are a lot of plug-ins that sound similar enough to Distressors if you want to make things sound like they are blowing up heh. You can send it off to Jim Williams at Audio Upgrades to be modified and you'll be in heaven.
Which plug-ins do that sound?

Thanks
Old 28th January 2011
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Plug ins

Sorry buddy, no plugins can do what the good analog stuff does!!!! It is that simple. But they're not bad stuff, just works and respond in a different way, and can be very helpfull due to automation advantages in any DAW. Besides, I really like the Bomb Factory LA2A, 1176 and LA3A emulations, they're never exactly the same as the analog machines. I really can't tell you why, scientifically speaking, but I assume it's because of the physical variations due to ambient temperature and other external influences, like capacitors and resistors and transformers (or not, in case of transformerless gear, like the Urei LA4 for eg., which I think is great, specially for electric guitars and I own a pair!!!), this are physical phenomenons that make a HUGE difference in frequency response and transients behavior, specially in dynamics processors and analog EQs.
I recommend you to try the analog ones AND the plugins and decide for your self, or, you can get the best of both worlds and use the two kinds. I assure you'll get great results if you them both properly, respecting how each one does its magic. Just don't forget that YOU are the most important piece of gear in the studio, not the gear you use. I've seen lots of people getting great results from Presonus, Behringer (believe or not!!!) or the low end semi-pro low budget Focusrite stuff just to mention a few. Obviously you'll always get best results using high end gear such as Neve, SSL, API or whatever pro grade stuff you choose, but in a studio environment the sky is the limit and there are no rules, at all!!! I myself used a Mackie 32-8 console for years and got great results, using only its preamps with ART VLA compressors, which I think are great for its price range, actually the BEST for a low budget studio, ART stuff really shines against, let's say, Behringer s***t!!!. Good luck, hope it helped.
Old 28th January 2011
  #19
Gear Head
 

@Venturin:
a bit offtopic, but you´re talking about the Art Pro compressor, and i´m thinking about getting one.
People on this board are always talking about,how hardware compressors are so much better than Software comps. Are they talking about Hardware comps compared to their Software simulations? (like the "real" API 2500 compared to the Waves API Comp?), or do they also think, that a Low-Budget COmp like the Art Pro beats the expensive Software comps like the Waves or UAD Stuff?!?
Old 28th January 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan Shore View Post
Aisle 6, can u elaborate? Do u prefer the 160x over distressor for drums, vocals or both? What is it that makes u want to sell the distressor?

Thx
Sorry for they late reply. : )
The 160x's are very fast and easy to set and I would much rather spend time recording than tweaking. They also sound very fat, almost soft and gooey. The Distressor is too clean for me and the THD sounds a bit too pushed. The Distressor has lots of variety in terms of compression character, but I love compression for tone and colour and I find that the Distressor will always work fine, but I can usually find a compressor that I like better, and do it very quickly. It is not that the Distressor is bad by any stretch, just not what I am usually looking for.
I know I will get flamed for this heresy.
Old 8th February 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Ijustmake-Beats's Avatar
 

I own both the DBX 160's (XT model) and Distressors.

These are just my opinions, and...

...personally I think they're both great. The Distressor would have to more versatile, I think you can pretty much use it on almost anything and get a great sound with a little tweaking. The DBX is far less versatile, but, where it works it works very well and it's very easy to dial in as you're only dealing with the 'threshold' and 'ratio'. The DBX easily works on kik / snr / hats and bass, and even I've read on here that people are using it on vocals and getting good results.

Since I do electronic music / hip hop my observations rotate around these genre's, but on drums:

The DBX gives you punchy, nicely-rounded drum sounds, real quick. But, you always only get just the one sound out of 'em (though for hip-hop it's a classic sound). It's a good sound if you like a punchy, fast VCA-style compression sound. Note: it's still generally-speaking a rounded VCA compression vs the sharp SSL / Alan Smart comps sound. Similar results on bass. I miss not being able to wind the attack back just a little when using them on bass, though you still get a good sound.

The Distressor gives you a whole lot more flavors. I've even emulated the DBX 160 sound on my Distressors and gotten pretty darn close (though the DBX themselves are still a little punchier, they do their own style really well), but, I can run the full gamut of fast VCA to slower attack-style compression on the Dist. I love searching around for the ultimate drum sound, so I opted for the Distressor on my drums. The Distressor itself has a really nice compression sound, I can't really describe it easily but to me it's tied up to it's versatility; it's a certain fluidity/elasticity quality. It's like the new classic of drum hip-hop drums, I think. It's versatile enough to work with any genre though.

The sound quality of the DBX is a tad darker sounding than the Distressor. Sometimes I don't mind or even notice their extra grit, but, I like the way I get a little extra fidelity out of the Distressors. That way all I'm 'adding' to the sound is the sound of the compression itself, which on the Distressor is a whole lot anyway.

That being said: I'd probably grab a couple of Distressors first and throw them on your most important channels and spend most of your time during the mix getting their compression 'just right'. Then keep a couple of DBX's on the side to compliment, throw them on channels of secondary importance and know that they'll produce a nice, punchy sound fairly quickly and easily.
Old 8th February 2011
  #22
Gear Addict
 
audioboffin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
thats sorts like asking whats your favorite screwdriver.
Very good analogy.. different tools fit different circumstances. The distressor has more control to offer over the dynamics.. is that what you are looking for? Or is simple fast control more the aim?

The distressor definitely has more options, but you need to try one yourself to justify the price differential I guess...
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