[Review] Useful function of “dbx166xs”. Different points with 266xs

[Review] Useful function of “dbx166xs”. Different points with 266xs

dbx 166xs is a outboard equipment that including “Compressor”, “Limiter” and “Gate”. 

Compressor may essential for almost all one’s mix and (pre)mastering work. But, someone or many one may doing mix and (pre)mastering work with only plugin soft in the latest. A golden day’s of plugin softs recently. But now, I pick up about outboard compressor “dbx 166XS” and I mention about

  • outline of “dbx 166xs”
  • useful function of “dbx166xs”
  • different between the dbx166xs and 266xs

in this article.

Outline of dbx 166xs Compressor/Limiter/Gate


dbx 166XS Compressor/Limiter/Gate is a outboard equipment that including Compressor, Limiter and Gate function. dbx 266XS is a similar model of dbx 166XS.



dbx 166XS_4

dbx 166xs is composition by 3 sections.



and this is high frequency in used parameters.


  • Threshold
  • Release



  • Threshold
  • Ratio
  • Attack
  • Release
  • Output Gain



  • Peakstop



Possible control range of Threshold is like this

  • COMPRESSOR→-40dBu~+20dBu


Attack, Release

Possible control range of Attack time and Release time are




Possible control range of Ratio is

  • 1:1~∞:1



Possible control range of Peakstop (in Limiter part) is

  • 0dBu~+20dBu

Gain Reduction Mater

dbx 166XS_2_2

This is a Gain Reduction Mater that a frame by red border.


(I dare to switching on full lamp)


If Gain Reduction gets more and more, red lamp switch on right to the left.

detail of dbx 166XS

Useful function of dbx166xs

dbx 166XS_5c

Also, useful function of dbx 166XS are like this.

  • Stereo Couple function
  • Over Easy function
  • Bypass function


Stereo Couple function


(in case of push “Bypass”, “Stereo Couple” ON. Lamps switch on like a above picture.)


dbx 166XS is a stereo compressor. So, dbx 166xs is including Channel ONE and Channel TWO.

In the case of use compressor to both channel, you can control parameters independently. But, Channel ONE’s setting reflection to Channel TWO automatically if you push “Stereo Couple button” ON. In a word, this approach is better, if you get high work efficiency.


Over Easy function


(in case of push “Over Easy” button ON)


What is more, dbx 166XS is including Over Easy button.

If you push Over Easy button “ON”, Knee*2 of Ratio*1 gets softer than in case of not push.So, if you want to naturally compression, this function may good.

*1・・・Rate of Compression. In case of Ratio is 2:1, the sounds that gets over threshold are compression to 1/2.
*2・・・Curve of near threshold point. Compression  curve is linearly in normally. But, Knee gets soft, compression curve gets roundness.


Bypass function

dbx 166XS_bypass

In addition, dbx 166XS is including Bypass button. So you can compare “Compressor ON” and “Compressor OFF” with push Bypass button ON or OFF.

detail of dbx 166XS

different point between the dbx166xs and 266xs

dbx266xs is a similar model of dbx 166XS as I was mentioned at the beginning. And different point of each other is this.

  • including Limiter function or not


Presence of Limiter function

Different point between the dbx 166XS and dbx 266XS is like this. The former is including Compressor, Limiter, Gate. But, the latter is including only Compressor and Gate. Simply, there are including Limiter function or not.

dbx266xs isn’t including Limiter function. So price is lower than dbx 166XS.

detail of dbx 266 XS
矢印(右) Amazon


Monaural Compressor, dbx160A

If you don’t care about use Monaural Compressor, you can choose dbx160A. dbx 160A is including Over Easy function too. So, it can control hard knee or soft knee.

detail of dbx 160A
矢印(右) Amazon
detail of dbx 166XS
矢印(右) Amazon


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