DBX 286 S

Watching

Microphone processor

  • Studio / Live microphone preamp
  • 48V Phantom power, de-esser, enhancer, compressor and expander gate
  • Design: 19", 1U
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Guitar
  • Snare
  • Vox

Further Information

Channels 1
Number of microphone inputs 1
Instrument input No
Tubes No
Compressor/Limiter Yes
Equalizer No
De-Esser Yes
Phantom power Yes
Phase Reverse No
External effect loops Yes
Analogue Outputs Jack
Digitale Outputs None
Headphone connection No
Level Meter Yes

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DBX 286 S + the t.bone SCT 700 +
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starting from £265

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Our most popular Compressors, Gates and De-essers
274 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.7 /5
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
handling
features
sound
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Professional value at affordable price
Steve Galloway, 06.04.2020
I use voice recording in an office/studio which operates a lot of electrical equipment and and having a hardware sound chain and preamp in one channel strip like the dbx 286 S Microphone Processor helps me cope with white noise and outside traffic noise while coping with anything from Office 365 Teams telephony and professional voice production.

Packaged in a 19" rackmount form factor may terrify those who are new to audio production, but the unit enjoys plenty of professional YouTube commentary to help understand the learning curve and configure this workhorse. The unit is excellent for those moving up from entry level microphones to prosumer and professional tools. Also, a hardware sound chain like the dbx 286 S may be quicker to get to grips with than learning audio processing software to achieve the same results in tools like Audacity, Reaper, and other post processing apps.

I can disable the sound processing chain and record raw mic input for post processing, and I can always fall back to preconfigured settings for telephony/rush recordings, casting etc. In this respect the High Pass filters and Expander/Gate really help cope with outside neighbourhood noise and suppressing electronics fans etc.

I marked down the the "Features" by one star because the unit does not have a power on/off button. This means having to unplug the unit from my rackmount power strip, and it is a feature I would be very pleased to see included in future iterations.
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Total
handling
features
sound
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Nice unit, preamp not an upgrade from interface
Robin L, 06.05.2020
Great looking device with well thought out features.
Very easy to use.

The low and high frequency detail (which isn't "just" EQ) sounds nice as long as you don't pump it all the way up.
It can just add that tad which is missing especially when you are using the 80hz cut off.
The De-esser does it job, similar to the compressor.
It's not too fast, not too slow. So perfect for controlling rather than removing peaks.

Tho for non-sensitive mics, beware for the noisy preamp.
I originally bought it thinking it would probably be less noisy than my Audient iD14 preamps but I was wrong.
From 30dB you start to hear the hiss.
Since you have to drive the compressor, it only amplifies it.
Not an issue for the majority of condenser mics since you will stay under 35dB anyways.

If you are buying it mostly for the effects section, it might be better to use the insert with another preamp if you are going to use gain hungry mics and especially if you are going into another (multiband)compressor/broadcast processor.

I'd probably recommend it more for people who are going to record instruments or loud vocals and not so much for people doing voice acting.

It's certainly a decent product for the price.
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Beast features for the budget
OneFlash, 31.01.2020
I'm on the second unit, first one broken on warranty, got repaired, and has broken again out of warranty (~3 years)

Bought the second one because i think that's the perfect piece of equipment for my microphone adjustments, that comes at a really low cost comparing to other mic preamps that don't have that much features.
And if it will break again i will buy the 3rd unit. Hope not :)).
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Next time would change my mind
Adonis Storr, 07.11.2017
Was interested in getting this as it fit my purposes for killing two birds with one stone - a pre amp and a compressor.. However in future I would get seperate units. This is a wonderful device - it does exactly what it says it will.. however having studied a little more I think I would transfer the pre amplified signal into an EQ before putting into a compressor. If you have the money then I recommend doing this as I think you would achieve a better sound. On the other hand I was trying to save money and still, the audio out of the box is of undoubtable quality. If you're looking to save money, or especially for voiceovers I think this is a great cheap alternative, however if you're looking to make a more serious long term investment I would go with seperate units.
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£142
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In stock within 5-7 weeks

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