DBX 586

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by neilrut, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. neilrut

    neilrut Guest

    Anybody have any experiences with this unit? I plan to use it to get a little tube warmth when stereo tracking my synths. I have an avalon that I use for any mono source. All comments welcome and appreciated.

    Neil R
  2. Steve Jones

    Steve Jones Active Member

    Jul 25, 2003
    Sold mine, unimpressed, you could do better.
  3. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    I hated the unit. I struggled like hell to make it sound good on a vocalist for a good half an hour (which is unheard of for my pace). We had two in the rack at the studio I was at and either both were broke, or they aren't very useful tools. I happened to have a rack with some 737's in it in my ride (2nd booking at a project studio). I hooked them up, and the rest of the session went fine.

    I recommend you search elsewhere for a more useful tool.
  4. MixterRader

    MixterRader Guest

    Might I suggest the Gas Cooker from Ridge Farm Industries?
  5. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    You could try and track Tom Cram down at the musicgearnetwork forums or the DUC. He's a dbx employee and has some tweaks for the 386 which should translate to the 586. A couple of the ideas are surrounding the PSU with Mu-Metal and replacing the tubes with higher quality units.

    I had a 386 in the rack when I worked at Charter Media as their audio post PT Jockey. The S/PDIF output was nice, but other than that, I wasn't terribly impressed. The pre is a hybrid design, using the tube as a color stage only. It'll function without the tube in it's socket, IIRC. Not that it doesn't work, and the pre itself was better than the pre's in the Tascam M2524, but were I to do it again, I'd probably buy a Great River, or a Hardy with the Jensen XFrmrs, or something higher-end.

    The "warmth" that they advertise as coming from the tube doesn't sound "warm" to me. It just sounds kinda bad. Buzzy, etc. I didn't like the way it sounded with the tube driven aggressively. Keep in mind that it's a "starved plate" tube implementation. You're not using the tube to amplify the signal, which'd sound totally different, IMHO.

    It's a decent solid-state pre, I suppose, but you could certainly do better. I think if you're looking for something "warm" go with class a solid-state, preferably discrete, and perhaps get something with output transformers. Iron in the path seems to do it for me, more than tubes.
  6. kierankelly

    kierankelly Guest

    sorry but that piece sucks ............
  7. JeffreyMajeau

    JeffreyMajeau Active Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    And it sucks because? Come on, guys! Tell us WHY it sucks! It's all relative. It'll be light years ahead of the pre's in a Portastudio or MR8. I don't think it's going to give Neil what he wants in his application, but it's not a total boat anchor.
  8. kierankelly

    kierankelly Guest

    fizzy..... not a true tube design ( no transformers, starved plate design ) buy a demeter and an RNc and a spek eq will be worlds ahead . I dont like the avalon 727 either
  9. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    Sorry, I should have been more specific.

    Horrible distortion. Poor transients. It's not clearly laded out. When is the last time you needed a manual for a mic pre? The gain structure is difficult to work with. It's a noisy unit. The A/D, if you use it, in the unit is a steamy pile of chode.

    I emailed someone, who shall remain unnamed, at DBX with questions, and perhaps so ballpark settings to start with. The only response I got was that the tubes were old, that I had the drive cranked, or I was pulled into the LINE input. Later, the producer in the project studio said that one of the channels would cut out intermittently. He sent it to a tech who found that the unit had a bad op amp, but everything else checked out.

    Yeah, both sides of both them? Shesh. That piece of gear made me look like a total ass till I pulled the Avalons out of my truck. Someone offered me a unit for $200 a year ago, and I quickly passed, which says a lot because normally if I find a piece that cheap, I can tube swap and mess around to see if I can come up with something cool.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I love dbx...lots of their units are not suck-monsters...these two (386 586 are unfortunately)....the 700 series is a bit different however....unfortunately for it, it lies within the over $1500 Bermuda Triangle price range and has some serious competition at that rate. I'm afraid that my Art MPA and VLA are way better tools than these.
  11. lionyouth

    lionyouth Guest

    ok ok enough battering of the unit the truth is..................it really does suck.....its sounds like a vaccum alright ....a vacuum cleaner!....the digital output to the unit is not impressive and there so called technology by the press of a button is nothing short of mettalic in coloration....I got ok results going via analog into my m-audio delta66....on vocals I do not trecommend them maybe some other equiptment...other than that it is a failure

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