dbx 286s - Microphone Preamp/Channel Strip

dbx 286s - Microphone Preamp/Channel Strip

dbx 286s - Microphone Preamp/Channel Strip

B&H # DB286S MFR # DBX286SV
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dbx 286s - Microphone Preamp/Channel Strip


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Product Highlights

  • Single Channel
  • 4 Processors
  • Compressor
  • De-Esser
  • Enhancer
  • Expander/Gate
  • Phantom Power
  • Insert Jack
  • Meters
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  • 1Description

The 286s from dbx is a full featured channel strip that includes a studio quality microphone/instrument preamplifier, and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination. The hassle of patching together multiple processors for use on one track can be frustrating. The unit delivers the entire microphone processing chain needed in a single box, with the shortest, cleanest signal path.

Features include wide-ranging input gain control, switchable +48V phantom power, and an 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low frequency hum, rumble or wind. The dbx OverEasy compressor can transparently smooth out uneven acoustic tracks, or deliver the classic "in your face" vocal performance. Vocal sibilance can be tamed or even eliminated and high frequency distortion removed from instruments such as cymbals with the frequency tunable De-Esser.

The Enhancer provides both HF Detail and LF Detail controls that can add sparkle and crispness to vocals, while making adjustments to the low frequencies for adding fullness and depth to vocals and bass instruments. Muddy low midrange frequencies can be cleaned and the separate threshold and ratio controls on the Expander/Gate allow for subtly reducing headphone leakage, or radically gate noisy guitar amplifiers.

The channel strip provides a full complement of metering and status LEDs. The XLR microphone input accepts balanced or unbalanced inputs, allowing for easily connecting professional or home studio microphones. The 1/4" TRS line input can accept balanced/unbalanced signals to process live electronic instruments or pre-recorded tracks at mix-down, while an insert jack provides access to the signal flow between the preamp and the processing sections for connection to external processors.

Studio quality microphone preamp/channel strip processor
Classic dbx compression puts great sound within easy reach
Frequency tunable de-esser reduces sibilance and high frequency distortion
Enhancer increases the detail and definition of the high and low frequencies
Program adaptive expander/gate
Insert jack allows you to add an external processor
Full complement of meters and status LEDs
+48V phantom power
Precision detented controls
UPC: 691991401237
In the Box
dbx 286s - Microphone Preamp/Channel Strip
  • AC Power Cable
  • Two (2) Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
    Number of Channels Single
    Inputs 1 x XLR Microphone (p2 hot)
    1 x 1/4" TRS phone Line
    1 x 1/4" TRS phone Insert
    Outputs 1 x 1/4" TRS phone Insert
    Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz, +0.5/-0.5dB
    Noise <-80dBu unweighted (20Hz-20kHz); both gain controls set for 0dB, all processing controls OFF
    Gain Range 0dB to +60dB
    Maximum Output 0.25Vrms, Gain = 30dB
    Input Impedance ~4.2kΩ
    EIN -125dBu, 22Hz to 22kHz, 150Ω source impedance
    CMRR >40dB, typically 55dB
    Phantom Power +48VDC, applied to XLR pins 2 and 3 through 6.81kΩ resistors
    Line Input
    Impedance 10kΩ unbalanced, 20kΩ balanced
    Maximum Level >+21dBu, balanced or unbalanced
    Gain Range -15dB to +45 dB
    CMRR >40dB, typically 55dB
    Impedance Ring: >5kΩ
    Tip: 100Ω
    Maximum Level >+21dBu, >+20dBm (600Ω load)
    Noise <-89dBu, unweighted (20Hz to 20kHz); Line Gain control set to 0dB
    Distortion <0.01% THD, 20Hz to 20kHz, +10dBu
    Line Output
    Impedance 100Ω unbalanced, 200Ω balanced
    Maximum Level >+21dBu, >+20dBm (600Ω load)
    Gain Range -30dB to +10dB
    Noise <-80dBu unweighted (20Hz-20kHz); both Gain Controls set for 0dB, all processing controls OFF
    Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz, +0.5/-0.5dB
    Distortion <0.08%THD, 20Hz to 20kHz, +10dBu, all processing controls OFF
    Threshold Range -40dBu to +20dBu
    Ratio >4:1 for input levels beyond 20dB above threshold
    Attack Time Program dependent: >1S for small level increases, down to 10mS for large increases
    Release Time Program dependent: adjustable between approximately 1dB/sec and 75dB/sec
    Slope OverEasy
    Sidechain No
    Distortion Typically <0.05%THD, 20Hz to 20kHz, 15dB gain reduction, +10dBu Output, Density @ 0
    SMPTE Intermodulation Distortion: <0.05%; 60Hz/7kHz 4:1, 15dB gain reduction, +10dBu Output Level, Density @ 0
    Filter Type Not applicable
    Frequency Bands Not applicable
    Bandwidth Not applicable
    Range (Boost/Cut) Not applicable
    Light Indication
    Threshold Range Not applicable
    Ratio Not applicable
    Attack Time Not applicable
    Characteristics Wideband Gain Reduction
    Frequency Range 800Hz to 10kHz High Pass, 12dB/octave
    Release Time Program dependent approximately 1mS/dB
    HF Detail Program-controlled shelving equalizer, approximately 15dB maximum HF boost
    LF Detail Bell-shaped boost @ 80Hz, bell-shaped cut @250Hz, ratio is approximately 2:1
    Gate Threshold OFF to +15dBu
    Expansion Ratio Adjustable 1.5:1 to 10:1
    Maximum Depth >50dB
    Attack Time Program dependent, approximately 2mS (at maximum attenuation)
    Release Time Program dependent, approxiamtely 10mS/dB
    Dynamic Range Typically 105dB
    Power Requirements 120VAC 60Hz, 100VAC 50/60Hz
    15W consumption
    Operating Temperature 32°F to 113°F (0°C to 45°C)
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 19 x 5.75 x 1.75" (485 x 146 x 45mm)
    Weight 4.5 lb (2.04kg)
    Specialties Full compliment of meters and status LEDs
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 6.45 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 21.8 x 11.3 x 2.5"
    286s - Microphone Preamp/Channel Strip is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 15.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Channel Strip I am a VO guy that has been looking for the ultimate mic preamp/processor for a few years. I seem to have found it in the economically priced dbx 286s. If you are looking by price and thinking to yourself....well since it doesn't cost a lot....it probably isn't going to perform good. Well....change your thinking....the 286s is a true workhorse and turned out to be a thoroughbred. One of the good things about it is it's versatile without being too complex. Whether you're using an expensive condenser or a mid priced dynamic....the 286s can meet your needs. You can't go wrong with this unit. User friendly,too.....it only take a little time to tweak. You can't go wrong with the dbx 286s....try it.....you'll like it...A LOT!
    Date published: 2015-11-22
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good product It was difficult to decide between the dbx and the Presonus channel strips, but I went with the dbx 286s for a couple of reasons. I'm using it primarily for voice overs, and dbx has been making industry standard compressors for ever, plus I knew I needed some de-essing. I wasn't expecting to use the noise gate but it's very useful. This unit does a lot, quickly, simply, and it's very clean. There are also many positive reviews on the internet for this product. The Presonus is appealing for the tube and the EQ, which I could use in other applications, but I'm very happy with the dbx 286s. Ordering from B&H is always a great experience, which became painfully obvious when I ordered something from another site a few months ago.
    Date published: 2013-08-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Voice Over Guy Likes His New toy I am a professional voice over artist and voice actor who operates out of his home built studio. I am not at the level yet where I have a nice recording booth (whisper room or studio bricks) so I have to make due with sound production curtains and fabric dampening in a converted room dedicated as my studio. Sometimes noise from the outside interferes with my work day so I was looking for a way to cut out some low end noises and process the source before going into my computer for editing. The dbx did the trick. The expander/gate is an amazing noise reduction tool and the low hum removal is equally impressive. My noise floor is finally below -60dB which is industry standard.
    Date published: 2017-07-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from DBX 286S Mic Preamp/Processor I use the DBX 286s with my Electro-Voice RE320 dynamic microphone. The great thing about the 286s is that the compressor is program dependent! This means that the threshold, ratio, attack and release varies with the texture of the input and not fixed to were you set them at! This makes for a smoother sound than fixed settings! The de-esser works like a charm with a mic that has presence peaks. The low and high frequency detail pots are genius! The low frequency detail pot boosts 80Hz while simultaneously attenuating 250Hz (low/mid) at a 2:1 ratio with both frequencies boosted and cut with bell-shaped curves. The high frequency detail only enhances certain high frequencies that get lost in the mix most likely due to compression, but doesn't seem to contradict what the de-esser is trying to do. The expander/gate does wonders on gating out background noise! The 286s seems to be a bit quieter than the previous 286a model. The order of signal processes make good sense to. The 286s is well worth it's price and much more!
    Date published: 2012-08-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from dxb The 'X' Factor I have always loved dbx products; I own three others, which I purchased in the late 70's. This is the first piece of pro audio gear I have bought; I needed a pre-amp/processor for Voice Over work. To say the least, I'm not disappointed. First of all the pre-amp section is very low noise and can handle anything I throw at it, be it a ribbon, dynamic or condenser microphone cleanly. Surprisingly clean! It has a very effective 80hz high pass filter, which cuts the rumble, not the lows and of course can power any condenser mic with it's 48 volt phantom power.Next, the effects processing, from a very strong compressor, which dbx is known for, to the de-esser, which can do an effective job with out having to go into a DAW to do it. The expander/gate, another dbx triumph, can remove computer fan noise, mic self noise in audibly. That means, if you set it right, you are not going to get breathing. As with any effects processor, less is usually more, which I find with the enhancer. With all the effects on, the sound out from the 286s remains very clean.Amateurs, be fore warned, to get the best sound from this unit, read the manual, and don't over do the effects. The results will be disappointing to you! It takes a good balance and some learning to get things right, especially with so many options.Overall, for my use, it's perfect. The result is truly a professional studio sound. I can see where the 286s would have other uses, such as live, broadcast and recording instruments and vocalists. For $ it really can't be beat, I couldn't be more pleased. I researched other units that didn't have the features, value and reliability I have always found with dbx. A well-built unit, that's sure to last as log as all of my still working dbx gear!
    Date published: 2012-03-18
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slight humm I am a voice actor and have this unit in the studio with me. It does emit a very slight audible hum. It has a 240hz and 120hz humm that is picked up by the mic and is about 1 to 2db higher than my otherwise quiet noise floor (around -60 to -65db).I purchased another unit new from a different distributor and it had the same issue, so I know I didn't just get a defective unit.I am only using it for the pre-amp and other than the noise it works wonderfully.
    Date published: 2014-12-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Get that sound for only $! Awesome As a professional voice actor, I need gear that is clean, easy to use, and reliable. It's amazing for only $ this channel strip really packs in a ton of features! If you want anything from that sound (radio processed), to clean tracks it will produce great tracks each time. Highly recommended for voice over, podcasting, or any vocal recording.Keep in mind, the processing features can be pretty sensitive. Use a little and trust your ears. Especially with the low/high end enhancers. Just get it! But make sure you get a TRSM cable for your output.
    Date published: 2014-08-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works Great I am only using this to run my talkback mic for the radio show I produce, which it works great for. I'm not sure about the sound quality because, honestly, I never hear it. I also don't know how well all the effects sound because I only use it to gain my mic and nothing else. The one weird thing about it is that on the compressor it has a drive and density knob which I have no idea what it means.
    Date published: 2011-04-29
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