dbx 163X OverEasy Compressor


Single-channel, great-sounding, colour compressor from dbx. Has high-impedance DI input – great for use with bass guitar

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Vintage compressor from dbx. The 163X is a 1/2U single-channel “Over Easy” compressor which can be linked to a second 163X, to make a stereo compressor, or a 463X Noise Gate

When linked to a 463X, the pair can act as a stereo noise gate or a stereo compressor, depending on which unit is selected as master. With one of each unit you have the option of stereo compression or gating

The 163X has an additional high-impedance (Hi-Z) input on the front panel ideal for use as a DI (direct injection) input. The Over-Easy is a favourite with bass guitarists for this reason – it has a dedicated high impedance DI input and is one of the best bass compressors around. The DI input has a level trim on the back panel

dbx describes the 163X as “the Simplest Compressor in the World”. The instructions say to match the output level with the input level using the gain trim, then to push the slider over to whatever level of compression is desired

What the manual doesn’t say is that this is a great-sounding compressor with a big, dirty, squashy sound. The 163X is the polar opposite of a modern, bland VCA compressor. The 163X is what the Americans call a “Color” piece – it certainly colours the sound and is superb for bass guitar, electric guitar or keyboards. The 163X is also ideal for adding character as a parallel compressor

On test, I found the 163X to be quite addictive – it’s as close to a “Universal Improver” box as I’ve ever found. It adds colour that is hard to replicate and is simplicity itself to use. I’d like to try using it in parallel with a clean signal or a second compressor to see what can be achieved – I think it’d be amazing

Inputs & outputs are on jack sockets, stereo strapping on jacks plus a master / slave switch on each unit. The high-impedance (Hi-Z) DI input is on a front-panel jack with a gain trim on the back panel. Mains input is switchable 120/240 Volts and the unit has a captive 2-core mains lead with a new UK mains plug fused at 3 Amps
Standard 19" 1/2U device suitable for mounting two side-by-side in a 19" rack. Switchable 120 / 240 Volt with captive mains cable
Product Pages http://dbxpro.com/en/products/163X Owners manuals http://rdn.harmanpro.com/product_documents/documents/582_1324057686/163X%20Owners%20Manual_original.pdf
1/2 U
These units are in remarkably good condition for vintage kit - they have marks and scuffs but vintage pieces like this should have patina!

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