"It's going to be very difficult to send this particular channel strip back from whence it came. The dbx 676 really is an attractive option, especially if you're looking for that something special and you're into the sound of valves".
The dbx 676 employs a high-gain, Class A tube preamp section based around a 12AU7 vacuum tube that can be adjusted to be clean and pure-sounding or dirty and full of harmonic character. The 676 also incorporates the Compressor/Limiter design from the highly sought-after dbx 162SL and a 3-band parametric EQ, enabling exacting control of dynamics and tonal balance. Sound on Sound give their verdict in the new issue of the magazine.
“If you’re seeking a warm sonic character and effortless compression, this channel strip could be just the thing. Coupling the preamp’s ability to add warmth and edge to dbx’s renowned OverEasy compression mode gives the 676 an attractive sonic character that’s capable of enhancing most sources”.
“To my ears, a dbx compressor in its OverEasy mode is the shortest cut I know to achieving transparent, unobtrusive compression”.
“As any valve-enthusiast would, the first thing I did was to plug in my trusty and clean-sounding AKG C414 condenser mic and start winding up the 676’s preamp gain - and the results were more than pleasing…increasing the gain produced a sound that got progressively warmer and finally moved into a slightly crunchier area as the gain increased”.
“Singing gently into the mic with the gain set at around 12 to one o’clock gave my voice a warm and intimate character that I really liked”.
“However, it’s also the compression that we’re here to hear, and the 676 does not disappoint. Setting up the attack and release in auto mode, alongside the OverEasy soft-knee curve, gives you an unobtrusive, silky-smooth compression without any real effort on your part. It’s pretty much impossible to make a source sound bad. Vocals, together with acoustic and electric guitars and basses, were kept under control without losing their character, no matter how dynamic they might be. The automatic attack and release times never tripped up, no matter what I there at them. If this unit were mine, I doubt that I’d ever switch it out of Auto/OverEasy mode”.
“…the dbx 676 Tube Mic Cannel Strip was a pleasure to use and its valve-warmed, OverEasy compressed sound made everything that I ran through it (even my voice!) sound bigger and better, and it did so seemingly without any effort”.
The full review can be found in the August issue of Sound on Sound magazine on sale now. The dbx 676 Tube Mic Pre Channel Strip is available now at £949 RRP inc VAT.
dbx is distributed in the UK and ROI by Sound Technology Ltd. For more information please call 01462 480000 or visit www.soundtech.co.uk/dbx