dbx Repair and Service
We service many (but not all) vintage dbx pro audio models including the 160 (sometimes called the “160 VU”), 161, 162, 165, 165a, 160S, and 160SL.
We don’t service dbx consumer (hi-fi) gear, the 3BX or 4BX models, or the later 1 RU compressors like the 160X, 160A, 166, etc.
The dbx 160, 161, 162, and 165 are unique, classic limiter / compressors with amazing dynamics action that no other models can match. These units produce great sounding, super punchy sonics with a wide range of parametric control. Compression ratio is continuously adjustable from 1:1 to 20:1, allowing light touch compresion, ultra-distressed squashing, or anything in between. Unlike most compressors with their slow metering modes, these models have unusual meters are super fast responding, giving immediate and accurate visual feedback. No other compressor limiter offers the same dynamics, or even comes close.
Many of these 20-30 year old units have never been recapped, calibrated, or even tested since they were first sold. The 160 and 162 were flagship models and dbx built them to very high standards, but deterioration of capacitors and other parts is inevitable, and in almost all cases, units that have never been serviced are way out of their original specs. Fortunately, these units can be fully restored, and will sound like new again.
Our standard service includes:
- Replacement of all electrolytic capacitors
- Calibration of all gain reduction and metering functions
- Power supply check out and VU lamp replacement
- Switches and pots cleaned
- Performance test including frequency response, signal/noise ratio, gain, distortion, and output level.
Our prices for dbx servicing are:
- One 160 unit: $605.00
- Two 160 units: $1,210.00
- One 161 unit: $510.00
- Two 161 units: $1,020.00
- 165 or 165A unit: $770.00
- 162 (stereo) unit: $895.00
For dual 165 racked pairs, we offer custom dual link cables for stereo use. We also build durable, high quality lugs – XLR adaptor cables for “plug and play” operation, which can be found on our web store.
Most units can be fully serviced for the prices above but if unusual or major problems are found, there is an additional charge. Please note that all declined DBX repairs are subject to a $75 testing and evaluation fee. If you have any questions about repair costs or policies, please contact us. A unit serviced by us has been given a new lease on life and is likely to be trouble free for many years. We service most other dbx products, vintage and current, including all 900 series modules and frames, the 160SL, and many other models. Most dbx parts and manuals are available from us, prices on request. We service many other vintage limiters like UREI, Teletronix, RCA, Collins, etc. and most other pro audio gear. Thanks for looking, and please email us with any questions.
If you have vintage and classic dbx 160, 161, 162, or 165 that you might like to sell (in any condition) please drop us a line. We’re always looking to buy old gear, for repair or spare parts.