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looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:38 pm
by jantonuk
I'm thinking about putting a dbx 266xs https://dbxpro.com/en-US/products/266xs in front of my Audition channel distribution amplifier to control recording levels.

I've got way too many peaks hitting 0 dbfs and sounding ratty.

At only $150 I'm wondering how good it can be.

But is way cheaper than the Aphex 320D compellor I was looking at.

Any experience or reviews here?

thanks,
John

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:06 am
by Dale H. Cook
Is this in a college or other non-professional environment? Hardware control of levels is at best a Band-Aid in lieu of proper board operation.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:30 am
by Shane
Check Bay Country Sales in Maryland for used Compellors which come in often.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:48 pm
by dbuckley
Although the dbx compressors are great tools, they are probably the wrong shaped tools for the job you want.

This is a compressor intended to be inserted in the channel of a mixer for a single instrument, not a compressor intended to tame an entire mix.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:53 pm
by Deep Thought
First off, in this application you get what you pay for. Nothing in that price range is going to do even a passable job controlling levels for something like this. As mentioned the 266 is a mixing tool, not a mastering tool.

Can you set the input to the recorder to -10 when the board indicates 0? That may solve the problem. Otherwise you'll need to embark on an education program that'll probably not solve the problem so you're back looking at the Compellor again.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:58 pm
by ChuckG
I have one of those stuck in front of an STL, another I keep in my parts box as an emergency replacement for all sorts of applications.
It's the best $150 compressor you can buy.....there are far worse, Alesis, Sampson, Behringer... but it's still a $150 compressor.
You can hear it operate no matter how gentle the settings. The peak limiter is slow and punches holes, it'll prevent a sustained overload, but it's all wrong for a production processor.
I'll 4th (or maybe 5th, I lost count) the Compellor. They just work.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:36 am
by Dale H. Cook
ChuckG wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:58 pm
I'll 4th (or maybe 5th, I lost count) the Compellor. They just work.
That they do. I have been using Compellors in front of A-to-D converters since about 1990. I have used them in front of T1 lines, digital STLs, ISDNs, stream encoders (public and private), and probably other stuff that my old-man brain can't recall. Nothing else works anywhere near as well for control of program levels without creating objectionable artifacts.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:04 am
by KPJL FM
If there are peaks that sound ratty, the audio is already peak limiting. You may want an ACG unit like the Symetrix 422.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:13 pm
by jantonuk
All,

The "production" here is on-the-fly recordings for AM talk morning show interviews and phone calls. Not really high quality stuff. And since it is live there are no re-takes.

I've been doing this for 40 years and you still can't get the announcers to watch their levels in any kind of station, whether it is college, public, or commercial.

While my stations are commercial, I have a $1000 expense limit before it becomes capital and requires corporate approval (which is never granted). Therefore I'm looking at the $150 dbx solution.

I'm hoping some kind of compressor/limiter is better than none.


By the way, I did just see a used Aphex Compellor 320D at Bay Country Sales for only $749. Reputable? Might be the way to go.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:18 pm
by jantonuk
I've got a line on a source for very reasonably priced, gently used Compellors.

Only processed church audio on Sundays... ;)

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:40 pm
by Shane
Bay Country has a good rep.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:54 am
by Dale H. Cook
Shane wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:40 pm
Bay Country has a good rep.
I have purchased many items from them and have always been pleased.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:04 pm
by dbuckley
jantonuk wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:13 pm
AM talk morning show interviews and phone calls.
For that kind of use the dbx will be just fine. It's done all the time with this kind of tool in live and conference settings. Talk is different to full programme material where a multiband excels.

Re: looking for review of dbx 266XS

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:47 pm
by ChuckG
dbuckley wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:04 pm
jantonuk wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:13 pm
AM talk morning show interviews and phone calls.
For that kind of use the dbx will be just fine. It's done all the time with this kind of tool in live and conference settings. Talk is different to full programme material where a multiband excels.
I'd try it for plain voice, might work fine. You can get away with more on phone calls and short interviews...... If not, Steve at Bay Country is a reputable guy.