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Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now. Product Points Applications: Studio recording. The Score : The dbx is a real winner — greatsounding, fully professional and inexensive! The dbx is, in a nutshell, a one-rack unit, dual solid-state microphone preamplifier with a tube-amp stage and built-in analog-to-digital conversion using the dbx Type IV process.
The is housed behind the familiar dbx Silver Series brushed-metal faceplate and features sturdy, retro-looking knobs and a wealth of translucent LED buttons. A post-tube section TRS insert jack is provided for each channel for patching in a compressor or equalizer into the path. Also on the back panel are the digital outputs and word clock jacks. As usual, the XLR connector should be used with ohm cable and the coaxial connection requires 75 ohms.
This extra flexibility is very rarely seen, let alone in a unit at this price point. Also not characteristic of this price range, external BNC word clock input and output jacks are provided.
Going the extra mile, the permits jumper-selectable ohm termination — handy for house sync or BNC t-tapped word clock configurations. So on to the front panel. Plugging a cable into this jack overrides the rear line input automatically assuming the channel is in line input mode. The first knob we come to on the front panel is the drive control, which adjusts the amount of gain feeding the vacuum tube section from the solid-state preamp.
A peak LED, located above the drive knob, lights up 3 dB before the input stage clips. Individually selectable phantom power, 20 dB pad, and phase-reverse buttons follow, and only affect the mic input. A low-cut button engages a 12 dB per octave shelving high-pass filter starting at 75 Hz.
Control over the analog and digital output level is accomplished via separate knobs, and a stage LED output meter is selectable between the two outputs.
In between the individual channel controls is the digital converter control section. The key is necessary because each button changes color with repeated pushes, indicating various settings. The first button selects the type of dithering to be used for or bit output. The next button chooses the noise-shaping curve, selectable between mild shape 1 and more aggressive shape 2 to none at all.
A sample rate button selects a If an external clock source is connected to the word clock in jack, the incoming sample rate will be automatically used and the sample rate LED will glow accordingly. The LED will flash if the external clock should drop out, indicating a lack of sync.
Pushing the flashing button automatically reverts to the appropriate sample rate using the internal clock. Wordlength is selectable between 16, 20 or 24 bits on the forth button. I used the dbx on a variety of sources with pleasing results. I first tried the most obvious application: using the to get a mic signal into a DAW. The clocks locked immediately. I selected a bit word-length with no dither or noise shaping, popped in the phantom power and adjusted the drive.
Within minutes, I went from boxed up to hooked up and recording. Unfortunately, the otherwise well-written and organized manual does very little to inform the curious on the details of these algorithms. Okay, nada. For a much more competent explanation of the Type IV conversion process, see the dbx web site.
Adjusting the drive level allowed me to control the characteristically pleasing tube saturation, from subtle to affected. I loved subtly pushing the tube circuit on vocal recordings and not so subtly on a bass plugged directly into the unit. As advertised, due to the Type IV system, the converter is practically impossible to clip.
In some ways the sounded better at the higher levels where other converters would be cringing from fear of transient or not-so-transient overload. By going balanced analog into the line in of the , and going out digitally into the DAT recorder, I was able to record a hotter, more friendly sounding mix.
While specs can say a lot about the performance of a particular piece of gear see bench test, p. While this may not be the quietest mic pre I have heard, the musicality of the dbx won me over.
With a wealth of features, good sound and a great price, the dbx is an excellent buy. For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to our newsletter here. Your browser is out-of-date! Subscribe For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to our newsletter here.
Dbx 386 User Manual
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