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DBX 160X Compressor vs Axe-FX 3 Compressor


New Member
I saw one session player utilizing Axe-FX 3 with DBX 160X compressor.
What's the compressor model in Fractal that sounds closest to the DBX 160X?
Does the Fractal compressor sound as good as the real rack compressor?


He's got 160A to be exact.
- Why did Mike [Landau] switch to the 160A version of the DBX? > Robert Bradshaw, ±2022: Probably because that was the one available at the time… I believe he was moving from the CAD comp.

- What’s the dfference between DBX 160X and 160A? > Michael Nielsen, 2021: There's an opamp difference. Not really a significant enough difference to care for use on guitar signal in a rack. If I was going to strap it on a lead vocal, or perhaps across a 2bus in a mix, I’d be more concerned (but I also wouldn’t be using the 160 for that).

- David Phillips, 2022: The client chose the later DBX [160X?]. I like the original better [160A?]. www.facebook.com/groups/HugeGuitarRacks/posts/2412338475639548


What are you wanting it for?

I've always associated the DBX160 with the LA funky compressed cleans... (might have YouTube compression on top...)

Only much later did I learn it was mostly used as a peak limiter, so I guess I'm still confused how someone like Steve Lukather used his one unit(?) live. He certainly had something close to that sound back then, which I LOVE.

Also check out guitarnerdswe threads for info about this compressor (and a thread with an elaborate Luke preset somewhere, including his take on the compressor — possibly the one shared by Leon?).

This guy once was here too, and might still be...
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Personally I was never all that impressed with the 160 Series (any of them) as a peak limiter. I believe the 160x in particular works well as an over-all compressor when set to 2:1 or 4:1 with a relatively low-ish threshold (so it’s gently working most of the time) BUT only with a peak limiter (1176) in front of it to keep random spikes from making the dbx gag all over itself.


I prefer the 160VU only, either as single mono or two linked together as a pair. The others to me don’t have the same character.
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