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DBX 160SL Dual Compressor Limiter

£1,950.00 £1,625.00 (ex. vat)


  • DBX 160SL
  • DBX 160SL Rear


The DBX 160 SL is a 2U, dual compressor limiter that combines the best features of all the great dbx compressors, past and present, and gives you more versatile performance than ever before. 

The same striking blue front panel machined from 1/4" aircraft aluminum, handcrafted solid aluminum knobs, LEDs mounted individually in machined stainless steel housings, custom VU meters with peak indicators, and heavy gauge chassis still mark the 160SL as the leader for decades to come.

In addition to having the auto attack and release as well as the hard knee threshold characteristics of the classic dbx 160, the 160SL now offers AutoVelocity manual mode, in addition to our classic OverEasy® mode, made standard by the classic dbx 165A. And speaking of the 165A, all of its features, including variable attack and release controls, as well as dbx's latest limiting algorithm PeakStopPlus, are included in the 160SL.

The heart of any dynamics processor is its VCA. The dbx 160SL is no different. It features dual proprietary V8 VCA modules. This state-of-the-art implementation of dbx's original Blackmer decilinear VCA boasts an unheard-of 127dB dynamic range and ultra-low distortion. Encased in a specially designed aluminum-zinc housing for shielding and thermal characteristics, the V8 maintains its superior performance in harsh environments. The new 160S takes full advantage of the most technologically superior components available today. Premium active electronics, precision 0.1% and 1% metal film resistors, great sounding temperature stable polypropylene capacitors, high-reliability board-to-board connectors with gold-palladium-nickel contacts, Jensen® transformers, gold plated Neutrik® XLRs, rare earth magnet relays with gold contacts in a hermetically sealed nitrogen environment, military grade glass epoxy circuit boards, to mention a few, contribute to the most technologically advanced compressor in the world.

Since its inception the DBX160S has become the mark for which other compressors reach. As the leader in VCA and compressor design and engineering, DBX are always seeking to improve their products and give you the best possible compression solutions. With the newly improved 160SL, DBX introduce the patent-pending AutoVelocity technology. With AutoVelocity it is now easier than ever to dial up the exact attack and release effect you are looking for, via the program-dependent, or non program dependent manual mode. Still on board is the venerable dbx Auto mode. Now you can set your maximum preferred settings in manual mode, and let the 160SL do the rest for you, depending on your program material. 

DBX 160SL Features

  • Patent-pending AutoVelocity™ circuit
  • 127dB of Dynamic Range
  • High-Drive output transformer circuit drives 1000 ft. of Belden® cable at +30dBu with only .007% THD
  • Switchable between Hard-knee and OverEasy® Compression
  • Program-dependent "Auto," AutoVelocity™ or fully variable attack ad release manual modes


  • Input Connectors: Female XLR Pin 2 hot, pin 1 lift switch
  • Input Type: Electronically balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered
  • Input Impedance: Balanced > 20 k ohm, unbalanced > 10 k ohm
  • Max Input: >+30dBu balanced, > +26dBu unbalanced
  • CMRR: >100dB 20 Hz to 200 Hz, >80dB 200 Hz to 2 kHz, >60dB 2 kHz to 20 kHz
  • Output Connectors: Male XLR Pin 2 hot
  • Output Type: Transformer balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered
  • Output Impedance: Balanced 50ohm, unbalanced 25ohm
  • Max Output: Bal >+30dBm (into 600 ohm); Unbalanced (with UNBAL switch engaged) >+24dBm (into 600 ohm)
  • Sidechain Input Connector: Female XLR Pin 2 hot
  • Sidechain Input Type: Electronically balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered
  • Sidechain Impedance: Balanced >20 k ohm, unbalanced >10k ohm
  • Sidechain Max Input Level: >+30dBu balanced or unbalanced
  • Sidechain Output Connector: Male XLR Pin 2 hot
  • Sidechain Output Type: Unbuffered, hard-wired to INPUT, RF filtered
  • Bandwidth: 01dB: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.1dB, no gain reduction, unity gain; 1.0dB: <4 Hz to >40 kHz +0/-1.0dB, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • Frequency Response: <2 Hz to >200 kHz +0/-3.0dB, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • Noise: <-92dBu, unweighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz measurement bandwidth
  • Dynamic Range: >122dB
  • THD+Noise: 0.008% typical at +4dBu, 1kHz, unity gain; 0.05% typical at +30dBu, 1kHz, unity gain; <0.1% any amount of compression up to 30dB, 1kHz
  • IMD: <0.02% SMPTE 4:1, no gain reduction, unity gain
  • Deviation From Linear Phase: <1.0 degree, <10 Hz to 200 kHz, 30dB of compression
  • Interchannel Crosstalk: <-100dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • VCA: dbx V8™
  • VCA Dynamic Range: >127dB
  • VCA THD + Noise: 0.006% typical at +4dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain
  • Stereo Coupling: True RMS Power Summing


  • Compressor Threshold Range: -40 to +30dBu
  • Compressor Ratio: 1:1 to Infinity:1
  • Compressor Threshold Characteristic: Selectable OverEasy® or hard knee
  • Compressor Attack/Release Modes: Selectable Manual or Auto
  • Compressor Manual Attack Time: Scalable program-dependent. Typically 400dB/msec to 1dB/msec
  • Compressor Manual Release Time: Scalable program-dependent. Typically 4000dB/sec to 10dB/sec
  • Compressor Auto Attack Time: Program-dependent, typically 15 ms for 10dB, 5 ms for 20dB, 3 ms for 30dB
  • Compressor Auto Release Time: Program-dependent, typically 120dB/sec
  • Compressor Output Gain: -20 to +20dB


  • Limiter Threshold Range: +4dBu to >+30dBu (off)
  • Limiter Ratio: 4:1
  • Limiter Type: PeakStopPlus® two-stage limiter
  • Limiter Stage 1: Instantaneous Transient Clamp
  • Limiter Stage 1 Attack Time: Zero
  • Limiter Stage 1 Release Time: Zero
  • Limiter Stage 2: Intelligent Predictive Limiting
  • Limiter Stage 2 Attack Time: Program dependent, typically <5 msec.
  • Limiter Stage 2 Release Time: Program dependent, typically 22dB/sec


  • Dimensions: 3.5” H X 19” W X 11.25” D
  • Unit Weight: 20.5 lbs (9.3 kg)
  • Shipping Weight: 25.0 lbs (11.3 kg)
  • Reference: 0dBu = 0.775Vrms
Manufacturer DBX
Model 160SL
GTIN 0691991400063
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