DBX 166xs

Dual-Channel Compressor, Limiter And Gate

OUR PART #:  166XS

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  • Smooth uneven levels, add sustain to guitars, fatten drums, or tighten up mixes
  • New gate-timing algorithms ensure smoothest release characteristics
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Bring a more-professional sound to your mix.

Adding a dbx® 166xs Compressor/Limiter/Gate to your live sound rig or studio gives you more dynamic control to help create a more polished, professional sound. Having compression in your audio chain gives you the ability to smooth out uneven levels, add sustain to guitars and fatten up your drums. It also makes it easy to bring vocals to the front of your mix - adding greater clarity and making them stand out from the surrounding instruments. To protect your expensive amps and speakers the PeakStop® limiter provides an absolute ceiling for peak excursions or large transients that could damage your equipment. dbx knows compressors...after all we invented them! The 166xs is the latest in a long line of the world's most successful compressors from the inventors of the technology. Its patented Overeasy® compression technology provides smooth and musical performance while the AutoDynamic™ attack and release controls, found only on dbx compressors, puts great sound within easy reach. The 166xs can operate in stereo or dual-mono modes, has true RMS power summing and features quality XLR and 1/4" TRS inputs and outputs. It cuts no corners on visual feedback with gain reduction metering and easy-to-read backlit switches.


  • Smooth uneven levels, add sustain to guitars, fatten drums, or tighten up mixes
  • New gate-timing algorithms ensure smoothest release characteristics
  • Stereo or dual-mono operation
  • Balanced I/O on 1/4" TRS and XLR connectors
  • Side Chain insert


  • Input Connectors: 1/4" TRS, female XLR (pin 2 hot)
  • Input Impedance:
    • >50kOhm balanced
    • >25kOhm unbalanced
  • Max Input: >+24dBu, Balanced or Unbalanced
  • Input Type: Electronically balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered
  • Sidechain: 1/4" TRS Phone, Normalled: Ring =Output (send); tip = Input (return)
  • Sidechain ImpedanceL: Tip = >10kOhm (Input), Ring = 2kOhm (Output)
  • Sidechain Max Input Level: >+20dBu (tip/input); >+20dBu (ring/output)
  • Output Connectors: 1/4" TRS, female XLR (pin 2 hot)
  • Output Impedance: 120-Ohm balanced, >60-Ohm unbalanced
  • Max Output:
    • +21dBu balanced/unbalanced into 2kOhm or greater
    • >+18 dBm balanced/unbalanced (into 600-Ohm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz; +0, -0.5dB, Typical 3dB points are 0.35Hz and 110kHz, unity gain
  • Noise: < -90dBu, 22Hz to 22kHz, no weighting, unity gain
  • THD+Noise:
    • Typically < 0.04%
    • Any Amount of Compression Up to 40dB @ 1kHz
  • IMD: Typically
  • Compressor Threshold Range: -40dBu to +20dBu
  • Compressor Threshold Characteristic: Selectable OverEasy® or hard knee
  • Compressor Ratio: Variable; 1:1 to Infinity: 1; 60dB Maximum Compression
  • Compressor Attack Time: Variable program-dependent; 3ms to 340ms for 15dB gain reduction
  • Compressor Release Time: Variable program-dependent; 200dB/Sec to 3dB/Sec
  • Expander/Gate Threshold Range: OFF to +15dBu
  • Expander/Gate Ratio: 10:1
  • Expander/Gate Max Depth: >60dB
  • Expander/Gate Attack Time: < 500µs (from Maximum Depth)
  • Expander/Gate Release Time: Adjustable, 30ms to 3 sec (to 30dB attenuation)
  • Limiter Threshold Range: 0dBu to +20dBu
  • CMRR: >40dB, typically >55dB at 1kHz
  • Interchannel Crosstalk: < -80dB, 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Dynamic Range: >115 dB, unweighted
  • Stereo Coupling: True RMS Power Summing™
  • Power Consumption: 15 Watts Maximum
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 45°C (32°F to113°F)
  • Dimensions: 1.75" x 19" x 6.75" (4.45 x 48.2 x 17.15 cm)
  • Unit Weight: 5.05 lbs. (2.29 kg)
  • Shipping Weight: 7.20 lbs. (3.27 kg)
  • Reference: 0dBu = 0.775Vrms
  • Operating Voltage: 100 VAC 50/60Hz; 120VAC 60Hz; 230 VAC 50/60Hz

WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

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