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dbx® 1046

Quad-channel compressor/limiter

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Our take on the dbx® 1046

by Steve Kindig
DBX

What does a compressor/limiter do?

A compressor/limiter is a type of processor that controls the dynamics of your audio signals. One of our resident sound engineers describes them as an invisible hand on the volume knob, automatically reducing, limiting, or maintaining signal levels. A compressor/limiter can be a really helpful tool for creating a polished-sounding mix.

More flexibility, not more gear

The more channels of compression you have, the more options you have when you're running the board during a live performance or studio recording. The dbx 1046 compressor/limiter offers 4 channels of clean, classic dbx compression, perfectly suited for use on individual tracks of your multitrack recorder. And in virtually all applications the separate channels can be individually interfaced and used for entirely independent purposes. In compression mode you can instantly add that classic dbx response to your mix with a touch of the Auto button. Or use the independent attack and release controls to tailor the 1046's output to your specific needs.

dbx 1046

The 1046 can be used to process four independent mono channels or two linked pairs of stereo channels.

Precision and protection

If you've been looking for an uncomplicated way to control the level, placement in the mix, or overall characteristics of four independent signals — or control the gain leveling on a couple of stereo pairs — the dbx 1046 is for you. At the heart of this workhorse is a special voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA) that was developed especially for dbx's 10-series processors like the 1046 and 1066. This VCA boasts superb dynamic range characteristics while maintaining very low distortion and almost immeasurable noise characteristics. Selectable "hard-knee" or OverEasy® characteristics make the 1046 ideal for your gain control needs, whether you're looking for "heavy" special-effects-style compression or soft, smooth gain leveling.

Whether as part of the signal chain in a studio or broadcast facility, sound reinforcement in an auditorium or church, or on the road with a PA, the 1046 can help you push the limits of your system while helping to prevent excessive levels from distorting power amps and/or damaging speaker drivers. For overall speaker protection, it's tough to beat dbx's PeakStopPlus™ limiter technology. It squashes unwanted transients, keeping them from blowing your drivers, and can also be used to prevent obnoxious-sounding digital signal overload. Selectable input and output metering with bright LED displays let you confirm that everything is matched up level-wise with just a glance.

Highlights:

  • four independent channels of operation provide pro-quality dynamics control for any type of program material
  • selectable quad mono or dual true stereo operation (channels 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 linked)
  • error-proof operation to smooth uneven levels, add sustain to guitars, fatten drums or tighten up mixes
  • selectable auto (classic dbx) or manual (variable attack and release) compression
  • selectable OverEasy® or classic "hard knee" compression curves
  • PeakStopPlus™ limiter provides control of maximum peak output levels to protect downstream equipment
  • precision metering of input level, output level, and gain reduction
  • selectable +4dB or -10dB operation for compatibility with pro and consumer gear
  • balanced inputs and outputs with 1/4" TRS and XLR connectors
  • compressor threshold range: -40dB to +20dB
  • compressor ratio: 1:1 to infinity:1
  • attack time: variable program-dependent; 3mS to 340mS for 15dB gain reduction
  • frequency response: 20-20,000Hz (±0.5dB)
  • 19"W x 1-3/4"H x 9"D (1U rack space)
  • weight: 5.2 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years parts and labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
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