dbx 166, 166A, and 166XL: See this article for an explanation of dbx's product-numbering system. So on the one hand, you could get fantastic results by sending an old 166 in to a tech (like AudioUpgrades) to have its opamps and capacitors replaced, and maybe see if there is a power-decoupling mod for lower noise, as there is with the older 160/161. It's not a night-and-day difference, and at some settings you might not be able to hear a difference at all. I think that's what I remember the Harmon rep telling me years ago. All three models are a very good value for the money with their punchy clean sound, low noise (in the more recent ones), ruggedness, and versatility--just don't pay too much for them. I suspect they are very similar. Save some money and get rid of your quality unwanted goods of value, contact us for more information! You can find modded/upgraded ones for higher prices; I have not tested any of those upgrades to say whether they are worth the money.  During mixdwon I use it … When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. document.write('Find the dbx 166 series on Ebay');Find the dbx 166 series on Ebay or on Amazon, All text on this page written and owned by OVNIFX, 2006-2018, all rights reserved. The tone overall is quite clean, and fairly transparent aside from the dip in highs during heavy compression. I might be thinking of the 160 series though... Edit: Just noticed Wayne replied while is was typing.. cheers, for live and studio use and their rep i think you would be better off getting a couple of 160x/xt/a. Postage available at extra cost. All of them feature a "Peakstop Limiter", but unfortunately it's a terrible peak limiter. help: dbx 166XL vs. 266XL Sign in to disable this ad Hi. But before you go rushing out to buy an old 166, remember that these units are often noisy; they used opamps that were not as good as what's available today, and the components have deteriorated with age. Originally I had only reviewed the "A" version because it seemed at the time (some years ago) that the A was the one most commonly found on the used market. Fabulous, like the legendary 160, much better than the more recent versions (166A/166XT) Drums, bass, guitars OVERALL OPINION I've used it for quite some time in my studio, I generally use it for overheads with 2db gain reduction when recording. All three of these are built on the same core schematic, essentially the same circuit, just with different controls and different specific components used. It's a good feature to have available though. However, when I set them both to compress more strongly, the old 166 was a clear winner. They also have three more switches: Potentially better sound than the XL, and potentially lower noise than the old 166. the 166 is … "Auto" engages automatically changing attack and release times; and Comes with a 3 month warranty. All three of these are built on the same core schematic, essentially the same circuit, just with different controls and different specific components used. Of course the flip side of all the controls available is that it takes some effort to find the right settings; the oldest one is easier to dial in. The 166 has an attached AC power cord, while the A and XL take an IEC standard detachable AC cord. I'd really appreciate … I haven't inspected the XS yet. As with most other old/new gear discussions, people always say the oldest ones sound better. To be very clear, I am NOT saying the XL is "bad"... just that the A may be a little better. and which would be the best one to go for. WANT IT CHEAPER? However, it contains a different VCA from the 160A/X/XT units, so bang goes that theory. In other words, with Contour engaged, the whole signal isn't compressed as hard when you hit high-strength low notes. It also has extra features such as gating, expansion, and peak limiting. DBX 166A 2 CHANNEL COMPRESSOR LIMITER It is in used condition. The 166 is 8" deep front-to-back, while the A and XL are 6" deep. sixtyfive is a vintage-style, RMS Compressor, inspired by the dbx® 165A, a classic 1970′s compressor found in many studios, but it also adds a couple of new twists. Hey there! Print; Author Topic: dbx 166XL vs. dbx 166A (Read 12275 times) Scott Tucker. while you may be paying a bit more they will go alot further. During my original review sessions I directly A/B compared the 166A to the 160A, with close-to-identical input signals, and I actually preferred the 166A; I felt that it had slightly better tone, plus I like the Contour function (which the 160A doesn't have). It works great as a distortion effect, though--seriously!