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dbx 160vu.... overrated?
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #31
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
The 160 vU has an underspecified power supply,and goes into very brief expansion when hit with transients, giving a more pronounced attack envelope.

Mike Chafee
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
lozion's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use my 2 162's all the time on kicks, snares and bass...thumbsup
Sorta a stereo version of the 160vu.
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #33
Lives for gear
 
Chaellus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i like them on drumbusses and bass in general
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
drmmrboy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow, 6 year old thread, but I'm in..

We have a few x's & a handful of VU's. I don't think I've used them all at once.. well, not yet..
Bass, clean electric, kick, snare.. Lottsa places.. I've been getting into cutting vocals with just a touch. thumbsup
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #35
Gear Addict
 
Clayphish's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a single 160vu. Love it on a lot of things (bass, snare, kick), but its also great on horns. It makes them sizzle 70's style. I also have a 118, but I have yet to use it.. I'm not expecting much out of it.
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #36
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Have any of you real 160 VU owners had a chance to compare them with the recently released UAD-1 emulation? It's getting similar love/hate dialogue over on their forum, so maybe they got it right!
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David R. ➑️
I've used one to squish bass and synth bass only. Found them good for that.

I have two Alesis 3630 compressors I'll trade you for them. The meters even work on them. C'mon. You would get four channels of that fine dfegad Alesis sound that is destined to be a classic!

heh heh heh
I think the going rate is 147 3630's to 1 160.
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #38
Gear Addict
 
Clayphish's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy ➑️
Have any of you real 160 VU owners had a chance to compare them with the recently released UAD-1 emulation? It's getting similar love/hate dialogue over on their forum, so maybe they got it right!
Nope, but I did compare it to the URS strip pro compressor and it wasn't quite right. It also didn't have the harmonic content or the EQ curve. I can only imagine that the UAD-1 would be a lot closer though.
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #39
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge ➑️
Yep .I find they work on so many things.just gotta find the sweet spot.
just another good tool.
when it works it works..when it don't..use another wrench that does.


..
Second that. It takes a minute to adjust for the "sweet spot"...when you find it you love it. One of my new favorite uses for the 160vu is Hip Hop vocals.

-Matt
Old 28th May 2008 | Show parent
  #40
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Chafee ➑️
The 160 vU has an underspecified power supply,and goes into very brief expansion when hit with transients, giving a more pronounced attack envelope.

Mike Chafee
I don't know about the expansion, but the psu's are under filtered. They used a pair of 470 uf caps off the power transformer secondary. A pair of 4700 uf caps fixes that problem and adds energy to bass frequencies.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 29th May 2008 | Show parent
  #41
Lives for gear
 
emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire Prod ➑️
I haven't found anything that does the 70's "thwack" thing on kick and snares quite like them.
related but somewhat off-topic: Allison Research Gain Brain's give one of those other most typical 70's kick/snare things; you hear it for the first time and say 'oh, that's what makes that sound'. Especially on kick. Though the DBX and the GB are totally different beasts.

I have the modern Foote Control Systems (formerly Pico) Compressor, which uses the evolution of the DBX / Blackmer VCA/detector design (now a THAT Corp chip set), and is in itself a damn fine design. Very clean in comparison to the originals, while successfully doing the things you wish you could get the originals to do. I know I used to try a 162 on the mix bus with dubious results; the FCS stereo version behaves very well when pushed to obviously extreme settings on a mix or submix. Worth checking out. Beats the pants off the mid-range DBX products, and I think fully competes with the high-$$ DBX stuff. one man's opinion....
Old 29th May 2008 | Show parent
  #42
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ARIEL's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Thinking Of getting a Dbx unit , a newer one of course , i have used some of the cheaper models - like 266 - and they do have a sound that i liked . Now My question is - the cheaper 160a or the 160 SL or 162 SL - mainly i will be using it to process drums kik snare n toms - and as an after thought vocals as well - but more important is drum aspect - are the SL versions much better ? the SL version give the same thwack but more open/clean or is just the same sound /quality with more controls ? Thanks - Ariel
Old 24th July 2009 | Show parent
  #43
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules ➑️
I had a similar experience when I got mine half a year back - 2 months of Huh? WTF?

I had 'grown up with them' back when I started and not had much recent contact with em..

They add a grainy sound that helps kick n snare through the mix..

It's not uncommon to be underwelmed by them I believe, they are kinda like roughage or bran, good for you but not the most exciting of foods...

It's perhaps the fixed 'knee' of them that makes them one trick units I understand (?)

Anyone care to add a thesis on this undeniable classic?

Moderator Jon loves his!

Sure:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4408621-post6.html
Old 28th May 2020
  #44
Here for the gear
 
A pair of dbx 160 VU are installed right into Alan Parsons 5088 NEVE console desk at Parsonics Studio. I have seen him use them a lot - daily. They are all over VOX, AGT and BAS on his newest album "The Secret". The dbx 160 VU seem good enough for Alan Parsons.
Old 29th May 2020
  #45
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I don’t think anyone in 2002 thought 18 years later those things would be going for a grand a piece on reverb. Definitely not worth it...
Old 29th May 2020
  #46
Lives for gear
 
adam_f's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Wow I posted on this thread back in 2008, still love the the 160VU pair I have, totally worth it, what great texture they give.
Old 29th May 2020 | Show parent
  #47
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
funny to read some zombie threads and notice what kinda gear got either much love or hate during a specific era...

i'll take a dbx160 over say an avalon any day although imo nothing comes close to a cranesong stc-8 - or what's currently getting hyped?

c ya in approx. 20 years again...
Old 29th May 2020
  #48
Gear Guru
160/161 VU's remain a very popular design here for upgrading. Removing most of the hiss is beneficial when tracking to digital so you no longer print any noise. 161's are a bargain and can be converted to fully balanced I/O with a max +27 dbu output, 6 db more than the 160VU.
Old 24th March 2021 | Show parent
  #49
Here for the gear
 
WoollyWonka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
probaly going to hit you Jim with some of my 160VUs for the upgrades i've got 4 in varying degrees of function
Old 26th March 2021 | Show parent
  #50
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoollyWonka ➑️
probaly going to hit you Jim with some of my 160VUs for the upgrades i've got 4 in varying degrees of function
Can't recommend Jim's mod enough!!!
Major upgrade IMHO
Old 26th March 2021
  #51
Lives for gear
 
emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Been awhile, but I recall a sort of darkening/lightening envelope in the treble with these that was uniquely colorful amongst SS comps. Like the treble was sagging more than anything else under compression.
Old 27th March 2021
  #52
Gear Guru
160 sonics vary as earlier models used 4558 opamps for the audio path, later issues switched to lf353's. The 4558 versions are very slow sounding (1V us slew rate).

A common issue on all of them is the thin low end and excessive phase shift. They used a .33 uf cap into a 100k resistor. Drop in a 3.3 uf cap and all the missing depth comes back.
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