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Thread: Anyone has experience with DBX's 120a subharmonics synthetizer?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    The Furman DJM-8 mixer is my preamp. It does the job for now. But honestly I will maybe spend more money on a higher quality mixer in the future and use a DBX 120a between the active crossover and the power amp. But it's a nice little gear for parties.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy in WNY View Post
    Hello,
    I use the DBX 3BX in my system, put on the tape loop from the Marantz integreated amp. This makes it easy to take out for new CD's and other stuff that is already "hot" enough for your tastes. Any time you want a little sizzle and boom, hit the tape button and go for it!
    I really like it for records. Helps them a lot.
    I also own and have used the 120, but the 3bx suited my needs so much more. Rack mountable and with a corded remote! How cool is that?
    I used a DBX 3BX for years, really liked it. Do have to use it in moderation. Some of the switches got noisy, for awhile I could switch them on/off/on/off a couple of times and clean up the connection but eventually that quit working. I tried spraying some contact cleaner on them to no avail. Mine was rack mounted but no remote. Didn't really need a remote though. Still have it, anyone know where to get replacement switches?

  3. #18
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    I returned the mixer to the seller. It had an unbearable hum. I will look for a quality DJ mixer. But I did enjoy the subharmonic synthetizer so much that I purchased a brand new DBX 120a. Basically, it will makes any flat LP sound like a 200gr Jamaican pressing 12" 45rpm dub plate... The 120a will be inserted between the active crossover and the power amps for the bass channels so that it doesn't interefere in the upper ranges. Now looking for a quality analog mixer with 4 channels. Maybe a UREI 1603, or an Allen Heath... No knobs there. I want sliders... Oh, and I made some 18U cabinets with casters this weekend. It has a serie of holes at the bottom to allow fresh air to enter, and has a free U at the top to evacuate hot air, while the back is fully open. Now waiting for the rails to arrive in order to mount everything properly.




  4. #19
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    The specs make it look like it could be used for the LFE on movie tracks too. Have you tried that?

    edit: the owner's manual says high levels of bass can make cd players skip. I must admit I never had that happen. Maybe I've got to just let it rip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Montreal View Post
    I returned the mixer to the seller. It had an unbearable hum. I will look for a quality DJ mixer. But I did enjoy the subharmonic synthetizer so much that I purchased a brand new DBX 120a. Basically, it will makes any flat LP sound like a 200gr Jamaican pressing 12" 45rpm dub plate... The 120a will be inserted between the active crossover and the power amps for the bass channels so that it doesn't interefere in the upper ranges. Now looking for a quality analog mixer with 4 channels. Maybe a UREI 1603, or an Allen Heath... No knobs there. I want sliders... Oh, and I made some 18U cabinets with casters this weekend. It has a serie of holes at the bottom to allow fresh air to enter, and has a free U at the top to evacuate hot air, while the back is fully open. Now waiting for the rails to arrive in order to mount everything properly.




  5. #20
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    I'll wait until I get the 120a and test it. Results I liked were from the Furman's "Punch" subharmonics synthetizer. I think the DBX 120a's purpose is to cover for badly mastered sources. I have 12" 45rpm singles that have deep and powerfull bass, and for which I don't need any processing. At the same time, someother records sond "emasculated". It looks like the engineer deliberately cut the bottom octave. Which is where the DBX will shine by restoring it. On film soundtracks, it is the opposite. They are usually mastered with a much inflated 20-50Hz range. I am sure that the DBX may make films sound huge, but perhaps too much of a good thing is just... too much. Not sure that scenes will dialogs and deep voice tones will like that processing...Anyway, the idea of extending the bass is a good one. I have a "Q modifier" in the form of a Kef Kube 200. That thing is fine on certain types of music, but too brutal for many others. It also adds like 20db at 20Hz. Tough on wooders. And I think there's no need to boost that much a frequency range with no content from bad mastering anyway...

  6. #21
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    the 'phase coupled activator' by audiocontrol may be of interest to you guys also...
    it is reported to restore the lower frequencies dropped off during mastering/mixdown...
    basically

    also has a built in xover...



    here's a link to a hosted manual
    http://mypicsonline.net/gallery/d/32...ers_Manual.pdf

    and a review on the third iteration of the unit...
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_3_1/v3n1h.html

  7. #22
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    There's also a subharmonic nestled into the Driverack PA+.

  8. #23
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    I almost brought up the Audio Control thing, I still have one and although it's not currently in use I think it sounds far better than the DBX subsonic synthesizer that comes in the PA or the 260. I'll have to dig it out and see how it compares to the 4800.

    I haven't looked in a while, is Audio Control Industrial still alive?
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  9. #24
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1audiohack View Post
    I haven't looked in a while, is Audio Control Industrial still alive?
    think audiocontrol is into car and home theater, still in business...
    I called over there recently looking for schematics for one of their fixed freq EQs...

    they do not share schematics with the public, at all...

  10. #25
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Here are my first impressions after a week. I effing love that mofo of a device.
    Every bass head shall have one. I sure won't get 20Hz from my 4520s but now the bottom end is so much fuller. The 120a is located between the preamp and the CDX2496 and adds no extra noise into the chain. The added dynamic is quite impressive. It's a $200 device that is well worth it. The only glitch (for me) is that there's no on/off switch. Basically you have to pull the plug daily, or keep it on at all time.

    If I had subwoofers for the bottom octave, I am sure I would destroy the house's foundations...

    BTW I listen to mostly vinyl and haven't yet tested with CDs. I don't really listen to ceedez...

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  11. #26
    Member Guy in WNY's Avatar
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    remote unit for dbx

    Hello Lee,
    I finally got around to getting a picture or two of the remote. It's not a very common device, from what I understand, so here are the pix:Name:  05-29-09 006.jpg
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    It's on the end of a cord about 20 feet long, with a multi pin chinch-jones plug on the end.
    Guy in WNY

  12. #27
    Senior Member duaneage's Avatar
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    I've had a 120x-ds for about 25 years, mine is the home version. It has 4 bands of adjustable gain which allows fine tuning of where the bass is augmented. There is a full range or high pass switch on the back as well as a separate sub out if used post volume control. The unit can handle very large signal inputs so it's capable of operating between power amps and preamps.

    The 120 is one of DBX most famous products and was behind dance must for decades. I use it with a 3bx-ds as well and the two work well together. Those who use straightwire preamps and shun equalization shriek in horror at such manipulation but the production of most music involves heavy manipulation. The DBX processors are extensions of what they used to record a lot of it.
    Why buy used when you can build your own?

  13. #28
    Senior Member Eaulive's Avatar
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    I played a little with the DSP version of my Driverack and didn't like it too much, it sounds too artificial to my taste. I rather play with the PEQ for the LF channel of the crossover section, it sounds smoother.

    Granted, I didn't play with it extensively.

    Remember that below 28-30Hz nothing happens with the 4520s, the cones move and that's about it.
    My avatar: 4520 loaded with 2225H on E140 frames,
    1x B&C 12PE32 on custom front loaded horn, 2x 2426 on 2370.

  14. #29
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    Interesting. I have a dBx 110 subharmonic synthesizer and it doesn't say "boombox" on it.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Eaulive's Avatar
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    I felt like listening to Donna Summer (RIP) when I arrived from work today, and for fun I tried to setup the sub-harmonic synthetizer in my Driverack PA.
    Oh wow! It definitely makes a good difference, very good on those old recordings that were not having very much information below 50Hz. Now it grooves like newer recordings
    My avatar: 4520 loaded with 2225H on E140 frames,
    1x B&C 12PE32 on custom front loaded horn, 2x 2426 on 2370.

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