Skip to main content

Dbx Blues?

Member for

21 years 2 months
As a charter AGS member (Association of Gear Sluts) I'm always interested in any cool looking box with lots of knobs and lights. And speaking of cool looking, I've always wondered about the dbx Blue series (mic pre, compressor). I don't think I've ever heard them mentioned around here, which is pretty unusual in and of itself. So what's the scoop? Good value? Pieces of Trash? Mediocrity personified? Had no chance to use any myself yet...

Comments

Member for

20 years 7 months

mixfactory Tue, 03/12/2002 - 15:04
I had a 160SL compressor back when it first came out. I thought at the time it was pretty useful, but not enough to offset the price(this was about five years ago). It definitely has the characteristic DBX sound, and it was easy to screw your sound up with it. This was also the drawback(not known for its subtelty). I liked it a lot on acoustic guitars, Kicks and snares. Vocals was an off and on love affair(regrettably mostly off). I eventually sold it, and just bought the older stuff(160Vu and 160X's). Does it sound like an 160VU, nah. Closer to the 165 and sometimes the 160X, only cleaner and smoother. At a great used price, I wouldn't mind adding it to the arsenal once more. With the "street like" lights and its cool smooth appearance it was definitely a looker. I got more compliments on it than any other piece in my rack(the Avalon 2044 compressor and the Red 3 are a good close, based on the looks department).

Member for

20 years 9 months

AudioGaff Tue, 03/12/2002 - 22:02
I've got both the 160S and the 160SL and love them dearly. I think they both do the 160VU and 165 thing very well but with much better bandwidth and headroom which I think is a good thing. The SL can really smack and spank the drum sub or mix 2-bus. One of the fastest compressors I used. I can remove the initial hand slap or stick hit on drums/purcussion. Sitting in the same rack with my Focusrite Red and Gold Massive Passive is one awesome sight to behold.

- Bruce -

Member for

20 years 8 months

Tom Cram Wed, 03/13/2002 - 05:19
>Drundall said; Does look very cool. I had some luck on snare and percussion, and I could see it working on acoustic guitar. Lead vocals was a no go for me. Haven't used it lately 'cause it blew up.
E-mail me offline with your contact info and I'll get you taken care of. Don't let it rot in your rack.

Member for

20 years 7 months

mixfactory Wed, 03/13/2002 - 06:43
I think of all the pieces that have passed through my rack(and there have been many), the ones that got the most compliments based on appearance were:

1)DBX 160S-It looked like a cool piece out of a Stanley Kubrick film. Would it take over the studio? Did you have to wait when the lights turned red and proceed when they were green? Definitely a conversation piece.
2) The Focusrite Red 3-The red striking appearance with the lights-kind a reminds you of a Ferrari.(Most compliments by female clients).
3)The Avalon 2044 compressor- Smooth,classy, and cool to boot. With its oval shaped meters, it just oozes class.(Most compliments by people that new nothing about music, but just dig its looks).
4)The Joe Meek SC2-remember when it first came out. Wow something bright and green can be cool!! It never matched with anything, but who cared with big knobs that did who knows what it was just cool.
5)The DW Fearn VT1- Back to the Red thing again, with retro meters. It looked like something that was digged out of a vault from the past!!!(Geraldo anyone?). Musicians would always ask"hey can you put me through that thing?"I eventually got rid of it. :-( But it was fun just to have it around.
One thing I've come to learn though, that appearance and functionality sometimes don't come hand in hand. All of the pieces above are one trick ponies. I guess they have to trick the looks all out to justify the prices.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 03/14/2002 - 22:32
Most of the times I've worked with 160VU's was at a place whereI could not link them and anyway I was putting them on Kick and Snare. Often using a pair of 165's for kit comp there too unless they had there rental SSL. I've been looking to grab a pair of VU's for some time now. A smart C2 is very cool too!

Are you keeping your SSL strapped across the 2-bus for good? By the way I'm getting back to an analog board like Thrillfactor... :eek: :tu: :w:

Member for

20 years 7 months

mixfactory Fri, 03/15/2002 - 21:49
Hi Jules,

Why don't you borrow or rent either a Focusrite Red 3 or a Neve 33609. These are actually my 2 favorites on the mix bus(I like them better than the SSL comp), and you might be plesantly surprised. If you try the Red 3 just go with a high threshold and a very low ratio. You just want to hear the mix going through it, not mashing it too pieces. It doesn't sound great for this purpose. Almost the same goes for the 33609, but its a "Neve", so hey just see what magic it gives you. If its light or extreme its a Neve, so you'll get something you like.

Member for

20 years 7 months

MadMoose Sun, 03/17/2002 - 08:32
Originally posted by groundcontrol:
Most of the times I've worked with 160VU's was at a place whereI could not link them and anyway I was putting them on Kick and Snare. Often using a pair of 165's for kit comp there too unless they had there rental SSL. I've been looking to grab a pair of VU's for some time now.
Send me an email. I have a pair of 160VU's that I might part with for Distressors or Daking comps. MooseAudio@aol.com

Member for

20 years 7 months

mixfactory Sun, 03/17/2002 - 15:29
Hi Coldsnow,

My 2044 serves one purpose in my setup, that is as a "chorus/Backgrounds"compressor. I have that patched directly into a 2055 EQ. The reason I don't use it on the 2-bus is that, even though its solid state class A, it has the characteristic of a tube. It definitely does something to the low end, and that kinda thing scares me. The low end is what's the hardest to get right in a mix. That is one of the reasons I never liked using the Vari mU for this purpose. I could see how in a mastering situation it would be great though, if its matched with an SSL comp or a STC-8. You have (2) different colors to choose from, dark and warm, and clean and clear. I much prefer the RED 3, and I am use to it by now. I would never use a Joe Meek on a 2-bus(alright I'll admit it I did do it once for a dance tune, but that's it!!!). Its nature is too hard to predict, which when you are mixing a lot of different songs, you can't afford. You need repeatibility, first and foremost. The SC2 is more of an effect to me, sometimes it works and sometimes not. I haven't acually touched mine in (2) years!! The need hasn't came up for it.

Tags

x