DBX 286S

Microphone Channel Strip Processor

OUR PART #:  286S

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  • Studio quality Mic Preamp/Channel Strip Processor
  • Classic dbx compression
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All the mic processing you need in one box.

The dbx® 286s is a full-featured Channel Strip Processor that delivers a studio-quality microphone/instrument preamplifier and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination. The sonically pristine dbx 286s Mic Preamp has all the features you need, including wide-ranging input gain control, switchable +48V phantom power, and an 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low frequency hum, rumble, or wind. Use the patented dbx OverEasy® compressor to transparently smooth out uneven acoustic tracks or deliver that classic "in-your-face" vocal performance that only a dbx compressor can. Eliminate vocal sibilance and high frequency distortion from instruments such as cymbals with the frequency tunable De-Esser. Fine-tune the Enhancer HF Detail control to add sparkle and crispness to your tracks and make adjustments to the LF Detail control to add fullness and depth to vocals and bass instruments while cleaning up the muddy low midrange frequencies. And, the separate threshold and ratio controls on the Expander/Gate allow you to subtly reduce headphone leakage or radically gate noisy guitar amps. The dbx 286s offers a full complement of metering and status LEDs to visually guide you to achieving the right sound. The floating balanced XLR Mic Input accepts balanced or unbalanced inputs to easily connect to professional and home studio microphones. The additional 1/4" TRS Line Input can accept balanced/unbalanced signals to process live electronic instruments or pre-recorded tracks at mixdown. Use the Insert jack to interface between the Mic Preamp and the signal processing sections to "loop out" to external processors (such as EQ or delay unit) or to mix the Mic Preamp's signal out to an external destination.


  • Studio quality Mic Preamp/Channel Strip Processor
  • Classic dbx compression
  • Program-adaptive expander/gates
  • Insert jack for external processors
  • Full compliment of meters and status LEDs


  • Mic Preamp Connector: XLR Floating balanced, Pin 2 Hot
  • Mic Preamp Input Impedance: ~4.2 kOhms
  • Mic Preamp gain: 0dB to +60dB
  • Mic Preamp Phantom Power: +48VDC, applied to XLR pins 2 and 3 through 6.81 kOhm resistors
  • CMRR: >40dB, typically 55dB
  • Mic Preamp max input level: 0.2Vrms, Gain =30dB
  • Mic Preamp Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): -125dBu, 22 Hz - 22 kHz, 150 Ohm source impedance
  • Input Connectors (line): Floating balanced, TIP Hot
  • Input Impedance (line): 10 kOhms unbalanced, 20 kOhms balanced
  • Max Input (line): > +21dBu, balanced or unbalanced
  • Input Gain Range: (line) -15dB to +45 dB
  • Insert Connector: 1/4" TRS: Normalled; tip is Send, ring is Return
  • Insert Impedance: > 5 kOhms (ring-return);100 Ohms (tip-send)
  • Insert Max Level: > +21dBu; > +20dBm (600 Ohm load-tip)
  • Insert Noise: < -84dBu, unweighted (20Hz-20kHz); LINE GAIN Control set to 0dB
  • Insert Distortion: < 0.01% THD, 20Hz-20kHz,+10dBu
  • Output Connectors: 1/4" Balanced/Unbalanced TRS Connectors
  • Output Impedance: 100 Ohms unbalanced, 200 Ohms balanced
  • Max Output: > +21dBu, > +20dBm (600 Ohm load)
  • Gain Adjustment Range: -30dB to +10dB
  • Noise: < -80dBu unweighted (20Hz-20kHz);Both Gain Controls set for 0dB, all processing controls OFF
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0.5,-0.5dB
  • THD: < 0.08% THD, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, +10dBu, all Processing Controls OFF
  • Compressor Threshold Range: -40dBu to +20dBu
  • Compressor Threshold Characteristic: Over Easy
  • Compressor Ratio: > 4:1 For input levels beyond 20dB above threshold
  • Max Compression: 30dB
  • Compressor Attack Time: Program-Dependent; >1s for small level increases, down to 10ms for large increases
  • Compressor Release Time: Program-Dependent; adjustable between approximately 1dB/sec and 75dB/sec
  • Compressor Distortion: Typically < 0.05%THD, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 15dB G/R, +10dBu Output, DENSITY @ 0
  • IMD: SMPTE: < 0.05%; 60Hz/7kHz 4:1, 15dB G/R,+10dBu Output Level, DENSITY @ 0
  • De-esser Characteristic: Wideband Gain Reduction
  • De-esser Frequency Range: 800 Hz to 10 kHz High Pass, 12dB/octave
  • De-esser Release Time: 12dB/octave Program-Dependent; approximately 1mS/dB
  • Enhancer HF Detail Characteristic: Program-controlled shelving equalizer, approximately 15dB maximum HF boost
  • Enhancer LF Detail Characteristic: Bell-shaped boost @ 80Hz, bell-shaped cut @250Hz, ratio is approximately 2:1
  • Expander/Gate Threshold Range: OFF to +15dBu
  • Expander/Gate Ratio: Adjustable 1.5:1 to 10:1
  • Expander/Gate Max Depth: > 50dB
  • Expander/Gate Attack Time: Program-Dependent, approximately 2mS (at maximum attenuation)
  • Expander/Gate Release Time: Program-Dependent, approximately 10mS/dB
  • Expander/Gate Dynamic Range: Typically 105dB
  • Power Consumption: 15W
  • Operating Voltage: DO: 120VAC 60Hz, 100VAC50/60Hz; EU: 230VAC 50/60Hz
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 45°C (32°F to113°F)
  • Dimensions: 1.75" x 5.75" x 19" (4.5 x 14.6 x 48.5 cm)
  • Unit Weight: 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg)
  • Shipping Weight: 6.54 lbs (2.97 kg)

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