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dbx 160SL

Blues Series Dual Compressor / Limiter w/ AVD

Product Code 6821

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Since its inception the 160S has become the mark for which other compressors reach. As the leader in VCA and compressor design and engineering, we at dbx are always seeking to improve our products and give you the best possible compression solutions. With the newly improved 160SL, we introduce the patent-pending AutoVelocity technology. With AutoVelocity it is now easier than ever to dial up the exact attack and release effect you are looking for, via the program-dependent, or non program dependent manual mode. Still on board is the venerable dbx Auto mode. Now you can set your maximum preferred settings in manual mode, and let the 160SL do the rest for you, depending on your program material.

The same striking blue front panel machined from 1/4" aircraft aluminum, handcrafted solid aluminum knobs, LEDs mounted individually in machined stainless steel housings, custom VU meters with peak indicators, and heavy gauge chassis still mark the 160SL as the leader for decades to come. The 160SL combines the best features of all the great dbx compressors, past and present, and gives you more versatile performance than ever before. In addition to having the auto attack and release as well as the hard knee threshold characteristics of the classic dbx 160, the 160SL now offers AutoVelocity manual mode, in addition to our classic OverEasy® mode, made standard by the classic dbx 165A. And speaking of the 165A, all of its features, including variable attack and release controls, as well as dbx's latest limiting algorithm PeakStopPlus, are included in the 160SL.

The heart of any dynamics processor is its VCA. The dbx 160SL is no different. It features dual proprietary V8 VCA modules. This state-of-the-art implementation of dbx's original Blackmer decilinear VCA boasts an unheard-of 127dB dynamic range and ultra-low distortion. Encased in a specially designed aluminum-zinc housing for shielding and thermal characteristics, the V8 maintains its superior performance in harsh environments. The new 160S takes full advantage of the most technologically superior components available today. Premium active electronics, precision 0.1% and 1% metal film resistors, great sounding temperature stable polypropylene capacitors, high-reliability board-to-board connectors with gold-palladium-nickel contacts, Jensen® transformers, gold plated Neutrik® XLRs, rare earth magnet relays with gold contacts in a hermetically sealed nitrogen environment, military grade glass epoxy circuit boards, to mention a few, contribute to the most technologically advanced compressor in the world.

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  • Patent-pending AutoVelocity™ circuit
  • 127 dB of Dynamic Range
  • High-Drive output transformer circuit drives 1000 ft. of Belden® cable at +30 dBu with only .007% THD
  • Switchable between Hard-knee and OverEasy® Compression
  • Program-dependent "Auto", AutoVelocity™, or fully variable attack and release manual modes

  • Connectors: Female XLR Pin 2 hot, pin 1 lift switch
  • Type: Electronically balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered
  • Impedance: Balanced > 20 k ohm, unbalanced > 10 k ohm
  • Maximum Input Level: >+30dBu balanced, > +26dBu unbalanced
  • CMRR: >100dB 20 Hz to 200 Hz, >80dB 200 Hz to 2 kHz, >60dB 2 kHz to 20 kHz

  • Connectors: Male XLR Pin 2 hot
  • Type: Transformer balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered.
  • Impedance: Balanced 50ohm, unbalanced 25ohm
  • Maximum Output Level: Bal >+30dBm (into 600 ohm).
  • Unbalanced (with UNBAL switch engaged) >+24dBm (into 600 ohm).
  • Connector: Male XLR Pin 2 hot
  • Type: Unbuffered, hard-wired to INPUT, RF filtered
  • Connector: Female XLR Pin 2 hot
  • Type: Electronically balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered
  • Impedance: Balanced >20 k ohm, unbalanced >10k ohm
  • Maximum Input Level: >+30dBu balanced or unbalanced

  • 0.1dB Bandwidth: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.1dB, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • 1.0dB Bandwidth: <4 Hz to >40 kHz +0/-1.0dB, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • Frequency Response: <2 Hz to >200 kHz +0/-3.0dB, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • Noise: <-92dBu, unweighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz measurement bandwidth
  • Dynamic Range: >122dB
  • THD + Noise: 0.008% typical at +4dBu, 1kHz, unity gain
    0.05% typical at +30dBu, 1kHz, unity gain
  • <0.1% any amount of compression up to 30dB, 1kHz
  • IMD: <0.02% SMPTE 4:1, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • Deviation From Linear Phase: <1.0 degree, <10 Hz to 200 kHz, 30dB of compression
  • Interchannel Crosstalk: <-100dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • VCA: dbx V8™
  • VCA Dynamic Range: >127dB
  • VCA THD + Noise: 0.006% typical at +4dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain
  • Stereo Coupling: True RMS Power Summing™

  • Threshold Range: -40 to +30dBu
  • Ratio: 1:1 to 4:1
  • Threshold Characteristic: Selectable OverEasy® or hard knee
  • Attack/Release Modes: Selectable Manual or Auto
  • Manual Attack Time: Scalable program-dependent.
  • Typically 400dB/msec to 1dB/msec
  • Manual Release Time: Scalable program-dependent.
  • Typically 4000dB/sec to 10dB/sec
  • Auto Attack Time: Program-dependent, typically 15 ms for 10dB, 5 ms for 20dB, 3 ms for 30dB
  • Auto Release Time: Program-dependent, typically 120dB/sec
  • Output Gain: -20 to +20dB

  • Threshold Range: +4dBu to >+30dBu (off)
  • Ratio: 4:1
  • Limiter Type: PeakStopPlus® two-stage limiter
  • Stage 1: Instantaneous Transient Clamp
  • Attack Time: Zero
  • ReleaseTime: Zero
  • Stage 2: Intelligent Predictive Limiting
  • Attack Time: Program dependent, typically <5 msec.
  • Release Time: Program dependent, typically 22dB/sec

  • Dimensions: 3.5" H X 19" W X 11.25" D
  • Weight: 20.5 lbs (9.3 kg)
  • Note: 0 dBu = 0.775V RMS.

    Specifications are subject to change without notice.


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