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Don't know why the DBX 566 gets dissed
Old 30th April 2015
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
22 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Don't know why the DBX 566 gets dissed

Wanted to add another cheap compressor for an additional flavor to use on occasion and to fill a couple rack spaces. The DBX 566 does not get any love round here nor does any of the other DBX Silver Series. However, I've been aware that DBX didn't design the 566, they bought the design from IVL, and it's reportedly the same comp as the Digitech VCS-1. I once had one of those and liked it, so I thought the DBX 566 might be worth a try even though it gets lots of bad reviews here. Got it today and tried it out. This is a very cool comp. It sounds great to me and I have no complaints about the way it's layed out, or the way it functions, and that's with the original Chinese tubes still in there. Doesn't mess with the highs in any bad way. Doesn't pinch the sound like some I've had. Built like a tank and looks really nice. Large, well lit, easy to read meters. DBX must have made some changes to the design because it sounds much smoother than the Digitech I had a few years ago. The tube drive also sounds way better than the Digitech did. I've read people's suggestion to just turn the tube drive on these way down because they sound nasty etc. I disagree. The tube drive at around 1 O'clock I think sounds really nice, even with the cheap tubes. Just goes to show: don't believe everything you read from the Gearslutz echo chamber.
Old 30th April 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I liked the 376 that I had a long time ago.That one gets trashed too.

im using a modded DBX 164 on my master bus right now and if i asked most people here, im sure im doing the wrong thing there too.
That's why I don't ask.
Old 31st May 2015
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
The DBX 566 is a great sounding compressor. It's a great for tracking vocals, bass and guitars but it really shines on the drum bus. I have lots of high end compressors on various busses. However the dbx 566 always gets favoured for the drum bus in my setup. The drive feature is adding great harmonics and color that I like about this unit. I have had some hum and buzz in the past that was quickly resolved. After more than a decade the tubes are producing a lot of heat loosing the solder joints on them sockets. Once that was done I no longer want to miss this unit.
Old 15th August 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates ➡️
Wanted to add another cheap compressor for an additional flavor to use on occasion and to fill a couple rack spaces. The DBX 566 does not get any love round here nor does any of the other DBX Silver Series. However, I've been aware that DBX didn't design the 566, they bought the design from IVL, and it's reportedly the same comp as the Digitech VCS-1. I once had one of those and liked it, so I thought the DBX 566 might be worth a try even though it gets lots of bad reviews here. Got it today and tried it out. This is a very cool comp. It sounds great to me and I have no complaints about the way it's layed out, or the way it functions, and that's with the original Chinese tubes still in there. Doesn't mess with the highs in any bad way. Doesn't pinch the sound like some I've had. Built like a tank and looks really nice. Large, well lit, easy to read meters. DBX must have made some changes to the design because it sounds much smoother than the Digitech I had a few years ago. The tube drive also sounds way better than the Digitech did. I've read people's suggestion to just turn the tube drive on these way down because they sound nasty etc. I disagree. The tube drive at around 1 O'clock I think sounds really nice, even with the cheap tubes. Just goes to show: don't believe everything you read from the Gearslutz echo chamber.

Hi Rob,
I'm considering buying VSC-1 version of that compressor - are you saying that the two (Digitech and DBX) are not the same after all?

In fact, I'm bumping this old thread to ask if anyone knows what are the VCA chip, and the preamp chip used in VCS-1 /566?

Thanks!
Old 16th August 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
To answer my own question, VCS-1 schematics are not easy to find, but I checked 566:

preamp is LM833 chip, guess it's close to 5532 but more modern (lower noise figures).
VCA chip is V1, that's dbx custom chip but nothing too fancy, they put it into 160x series...
But there is several of that chips per channel, and one THAT2252, which is another VCA chip.

Not sure why so many VCA chips. I don't have time to examine it in detail atm, but it seems there is some compression going on before and after the tube??
Output preamp is 5532 per channel, but there is something like toroid transformer between that chip and XLR connector.

All seems like a decent design, once one agrees with an idea of tube not being preamp element, but only a saturation device after the IC preamp. Typical for several mid-range gear names (like ART, TLAudio...) but here it's at least done full voltage.
Very similar design, give or take few chips and features, are shared with few dbx models (566, 576) and few Digitech models (VCS-1, VTP-1), all done by Canadian IVL company.
Old 17th December 2016
  #6
Gear Nut
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
So...finally
Both are not the same...
Both sounds good
Am I rigth ??..
Im thinking buy a VCS-1 ...

Last edited by PereGrinoz; 25th December 2016 at 09:28 PM.. Reason: VCS1
Old 18th December 2016
  #7
Old 30th December 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
yes, fake tube light on dbx sucks for sure (digitech doesn't have that).

but another thing is bugging me:

my VCS-1 finally arrived after very long waiting, and it sounds kinda ok, but tube gain is too mild. and consequently, compressor doesn't really pump.

I have some NOS tubes and wanted to open the box. Canadian guys put 'normal' screws (guess name is 'phillips') all round except for one allen screw.
No problem, here is allen key set, except... the size of the screw is exactly between two keys in my set.

Did anyone have the same problem?


However I managed to peek inside the box, and tubes are labeled "VPT-1", mentioned in manual as "russian premium" (sure), which means they were crap from the start and never changed in 20 years, which explains the sound.
Old 30th December 2016 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog greg ➡️
I have some NOS tubes and wanted to open the box. Canadian guys put 'normal' screws (guess name is 'phillips') all round except for one allen screw.
No problem, here is allen key set, except... the size of the screw is exactly between two keys in my set.
Metric vs Imperial. I bet the threads don't exactly match, either.
Old 30th December 2016 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka ➡️
Metric vs Imperial. I bet the threads don't exactly match, either.

really???
i've got lots of usa made gear (i'm in europe), and i've never noticed that. ok, not that i checked all the allen screws around racks and keyboards...
Old 30th December 2016
  #11
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
kafka you're right.

i checked allen screws on lexicon racks, and its exactly the same.


though, i remember servicing cannondale bike with this same allen set... (made in usa for euro market?) hmmm.
anyhow, i must try luck with another allen set, or i will have to:
a) buy usa allen key from ebay (stupid)
b) damage digitech box (more stupid)
c) sell digitech box (more sane but don't want that).
Old 30th December 2016 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog greg ➡️
though, i remember servicing cannondale bike with this same allen set... (made in usa for euro market?) hmmm.
Bikes are almost always metric in the US. Never leave home without a 5mm.

We're not really all Imperial here. It's the dumbest thing. I have to have two socket sets, two wrench sets, two allen sets, two drill bit sets, two tap and die sets, etc. And then occasionally you'll find yourself working on something that uses both. That's a real hoot.

My favorite is when they mix measurement styles, like cutting inches into 10ths, 100ths, and 1000ths. Or when you get a measurement like 9.1mm. Then there's measurements like 8.54mm, which is just over 1/3 of an inch, or 5.15mm, which is .2", and are Imperial measurement we don't use. I mean, wtf?

It's funny that the Canadians put an Imperial bolt on. They're metric up there.

Last edited by kafka; 30th December 2016 at 06:33 PM..
Old 30th December 2016 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka ➡️
Bikes are almost always metric in the US. Never leave home without a 5mm.
ha! that explains everything.
indeed, i loved my cannondale - for the fist time one key (5mm as you say) was enough for almost the whole bike.
traveled most of europe with it.. ah happy times. (wiping a tear)



Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka ➡️
We're not really all Imperial here. It's the dumbest thing. I have to have two socket sets, two wrench sets, two allen sets, two drill bit sets, two tap and die sets, etc. And then occasionally you'll find yourself working on something that uses both. That's a real hoot.
OMG. didn't know that.. keeping even one set of all those tools in a house is a pain sometimes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka ➡️
It's funny that the Canadians put an Imperial bolt on. They're metric up there.
it's little unclear where the unit was assembled. could be canada, or utah (digitech), which would explain an imperial bolt.
but i think that an engineer did mistake in the first place, by putting single allen into a lid attached with phillips.

now i'll got little paranoid when thinking of all those allen screws on ensoniq keys and modules i own, they do have allens...
oh well, just another new paranoia.
Old 25th November 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 
travis.funk's Avatar
many uses for this compressor

I keep my 566 on the Main Insert of my Mackie Onyx 1640 w/EQ wet mod. Out of the DAW I send stems to the analog console for analog summing and tracking tools like cue mixes. I can mix/EQ/insert with the console, compress/limit/tube saturate the stereo bus, and then use the optional digital output back to my interface via SPDIF. Record that SPDIF input in real time and I have an analog bounce of my mixed track right in the session! I can bypass as much of the 566 as I choose and still get EQ/analog summing from my console (the Onyx FireWire card gave up long ago).
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