NAMM: DBX Debuts its 162SL Stereo Compressor/Limiter
A less expensive version of its flagship 160SL 19/01/04
The 160SL is shown here (not the 162SL)
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The DBX 160SL is the companies’ flagship unit, and a standard in numerous pro recording studios. It’s also quite expensive, putting it beyond the reach of many project and home studios, users who might otherwise enjoy having a fine DBX compressor in their palette. DBX has addressed this with their new 162SL compressor/limiter, a lower cost version of the 160SL.
The 162SL sports an attractive purple color instead of the deep blue of it’s bigger brother, but every other feature, knob, and button of the 160SL is present here. The front panel is machined from 1/4” aircraft aluminum, it has handcrafted aluminum knobs, custom VU meters with peak indicators, LED’s mounted individually in machined stainless steel housings, and a heavy gauge chassis. While less expensive than the 160SL, this is a solidly built unit.
The 162SL also features the classic DBX Overeasy mode (how could it not?), the AutoVelocity manual mode from the 160SL, and from the 165, variable attack and release controls, and DBX’s PeakStop Plus, DBX’s latest limiting algorithm.
According to the DBX rep I spoke with, DBX saved cost on building this compressor by using less expensive parts in non-critical areas, i.e. areas that don’t affect the sound. The specs are still quite impressive on this unit. Bandwidth is greater than 200kHz, signal to noise is 96 dB, deviation from phase is less than one degree from 20Hz to 20 kHz, and the dynamic range is greater than 118 dB. The unit also features Jensen output transformers. As a fan of DBX compression, I want to hear this unit!
Unfortunately, I didn’t discover the DBX booth unit the very end of the show, when workmen were tearing up the carpet, ripping the posters off the walls and tossing boxes around. The price will be around $2,000, but I didn’t quite catch whether that’s list or street price.