Since its introduction in the mid 1970's, the dbx®160 series has been the world's most popular line of audio compressors. After the classic 160 (which is still used daily in many world class studios), came the 165, the 160X, and the 160XT. The 160X/XT were the models that truly became the industry standard. Solid construction, foolproof operation, great sound, at-a-glance metering, and a bulletproof output stage all contributed to its popularity with musicians, recording studios, consultants and installers, and broadcast media production people alike. The dbx 160A is the newest model in the legendary dbx 160 family of compressor/limiters. The same classic sound, easy set-up, and no compromise metering are now married to an improved signal path and stronger chassis design. The result is an industry standard compressor/limiter that is digital-ready and road tough.
Featuring switch-selectable OverEasy® and Hard Knee compression curves along with extremely wide-ranging threshold, ratio, and output controls, the dbx 160A is up to any task. True RMS level detection provides the most natural-sounding dynamics processing available, from subtle compression to "brick wall" peak limiting. Choose low ratios and OverEasy compression to transparently smooth out fluctuating vocal and instrumental levels. Or use the 160A's Hard Knee compression and high ratios (up to and beyond :1 and over 60dB gain reduction) for bombproof protection against overload distortion in digital recording, P.A. systems, and broadcast signals.
The 160A is fully compatible with +4/-10dB and balanced/ unbalanced systems, and its electronically balanced output stage is an outstanding line driver for long cable runs (an output transformer is optional). The 19-segment, switchable input/ output LED metering can be easily calibrated to any operating level. 12-segment gain reduction LEDs provide precise analysis at a glance.
The dbx 160A's unique "INFINITY +" inverse-compression mode actually decreases the audio output level below unity gain when the input exceeds threshold, a real lifesaver for correcting overbearing vocal choruses and controlling runaway house mix levels. A detector input can be used with an equalizer for de-essing sibilant vocals and selectively smoothing out boomy notes on acoustic guitar and bass. Two 160As can be stereo-coupled to process an entire mix or instruments mic'd in stereo, without shifting the left/right image. Its musical sound, easy operation, and unequaled versatility made the original dbx 160 a world standard. The 160A follows that tradition, while meeting the challenges of a digital world.