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Product 183548

dbx 166XL Dual Compressor Limiter   

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Most compressor/gates provide less than musical compression, coupled with gating that swallows transients or closes early, cutting off decay and rev...Click To Read More About This Product

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Most compressor/gates provide less than musical compression, coupled with gating that swallows transients or closes early, cutting off decay and reverb tails. The superb engineering in the 166XL ensures that both its compression and gating provide versatility and excellent sonic performance in situations where other compressor/gates typically produce undesirable processing artifacts.

The dbx 166XL Dual Compressor Limiter uses advanced gate circuitry to yield ultrasmooth release characteristics, no matter how complex the signals. The Stereo Couple mode with True RMS Power Summing produces a solid image, even with high compression. Full sidechain functionality with hard knee or OverEasy compression algorithms. Single rackspace.

  • Ultrasmooth release characteristics
  • Stereo Couple mode with True RMS Power Summing
  • Full sidechain functionality
  • Hard knee or OverEasy compression algorithms

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 9 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great for Starting Bands

By Carlo-jEFxo

from Ashburn, VA

I had a problem with my PA. My AKG Perception 200 mic was taking in too much room noise [reverb], so as a temporary solution I put the mic in a room while the rest of the band was outside of the room. It improved, but not to the extent that I wanted to. With the DBX 166xl... that all vanished. The noise gate blocked out all room ambience and I can turn up the mixer's main mix all the way up to +4 dB without feedback. Best investment for feedback negation. In addition, I haven't even messed around with the limiter/compressor. I can't wait to learn all the features of this little 1U box. (it's 1U and pretty compact.


awsome for bass!

By chris-wI3j5

from ruidoso, NM

See all my reviews

I bought it for my bass rig, its awsome! far surpasses any other compressor i've used, its worth ever penny!


The standard.

By E-rok

from San Marcos TX

See all my reviews

I've been using these in a PA system for the past 6 months. Absolutely indespensible. We ring out the feedback to the best of our abilities but the room we work in is a giant feedback loop. The gate on this thing helps us hide the ringing and keeps the kick nice and tight. The compressor helps me boost the weaker lyrics while keeping the screamers under control. I bought one for my guitar rig to help me gate out the unwanted squealing on my lead channel. It does so effectively. Everyone in my band is happy I purchased this for my guitar rig.


They don't get much better

By That sound guy

from Colorado

I have the privelege of working with 4 266xl's at work and in studio, and I must say, THEY RULE!!! They're so easy to use, sound completely natural, and have a lot of cool features. In my opinion, they're most useful for drums, but awesome for limiting vocals too. Yes, it costs a little more than the 266xl, BUT it's well worth the extra dough. If you're looking to get a seriously kickbutt compressor, look no further. As long as you know how to use one of these, I think you'll be very happy!!


Unbelievable for the price

By Bret-kCf8I

from Falls Church VA

My knowledge of compressors isn't all that great, but for my home recording studio, this dual channel unit is unbeatable for the price!

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Entered a whole new world with this tiny inexpensive product. I play music with a lot of hard hitting bass and prior to this purchase I'd always have to check if the amp was clipping, or to avoid clipping I'd have to turn the bass down. Now my compressor lets the bass run rich and full, and the limiter prevents the clip light from ever turning red on my amplifiers. Mobile DJs need this, it changes the way your dancefloor hears bass, whether you have headroom on your amps or not. And those of us that rent out our gear know that idiot MCs love screaming into the mic; this prevents them from blowing our drivers.


Dont wait... just go buy it!!!

By Joe-__M-7

from Boston, MA

See all my reviews

I bought 2 of these units to cover 4 vocal mics in a live situation. They took a little time to get used to because I was using the presonus comp16 before them - which had presets. Once you get used to these compressors... you'll love them. They are quiet... clean... and do what they are meant to do. They are also built like a tank... unlike the behringer units. The gates work fantastic too. I actually went and bought a 3rd unit and use it for compressing the overall mix as well. These compressor/gates work well in recording situations too.If you buy this unit... you'll be very pleased!

(0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


destroys clean channel

By Tony-o7Ill

from Phoenix, AZ

I brought this thing home yesterday and tried it out on my Crate 1/2 stack with the three different Epi guitars I use on stage. In any given set, I use all three channels on my amp to give more feeling and musicality to my band's songs; In alot of Metal, the clean channel's just as important as your most distorted one and you CANNOT play a clean passage and a distorted passage in the same song without having to completely reset this thing mid song, which is impossible while still putting on a decent performance. While the distorted channels still sound ok, it's a little choppy, and forget about even being able to hold a whole note chord on clean...even with varied settings; it could not work on multiple channels, and the last thing my band wants to do is sacrifice musicality for a piece of equipment.Long story short, not compatible with channel switching.I'm taking this thing back and getting a pedal gate, something that I can actually control.


Fantastic live or in the studio

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I have been using software compressors/limiters for years in a home studio configuration. When I bought this 166XL a couple years ago, it made a huge difference in my home recordings. It's awesome for bass guitar, and just great for vocals. If your vocalist is a screamer, you can set the threshold and ratio more aggressive to eliminate all digital clipping. I mainly use it for an insert effect with a Mackie mixer for vocals and bass. This thing is rock solid. Knobs have a rubbery and strong feel to them. The gating lights are very nice and ultra bright. You can use this for almost everything including running a full mix through it, a drum set, or individual instruments.Great piece of gear!

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