dbx DX5 Compact Disc player

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#1
I'm bidding on one of these today...the dbx dx5 cd player...Do any of you all have any experience or advice about this? It looks like a really cool old CD player, with impact restoration and compression onboard.
Thoughts?
 

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#4
I found one at a pawn shop a few years back. Tried it out and sold it on ebay. I didn't think it was anything special though.
 

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I won the auction at $140...should be an interesting addition to the bedroom system. I'm on a dbx binge this week, a 3bx ds, this cd player, and a 120 subharmonic synthesizer toy. Got the last for $40 on a whim, a friend had one back in the day and he always raved about it. This is a curiosity satisfier buy for sure!
 

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Dave: You mean the dbx 100 Boombox? I haven't connected mine into my system, and I have an NOS one, but it's going to be something I want to do shortly. I love dbx gear, too. The 3BX DS and CDP are nice additions to your system.

Nando.
 

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Dave, why would a CD player need impact res r oration? I wasn't aware that CD recordings were compressed.
 

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I have the exact same dbx DX5 CD player, it is the best I ever heard PERIOD. CD's back in the 80s were compressed/brickwalled and the function has a nice range. I like the Ambience and the DRS also, some discs sound lifeless, crank the DRS on and you would be amazed how much impact there is. I have the remote, rack ears and manual also. This replaced the Carver CD player I had with the tube section, totally kills the Carver and ANY other CD player I have owned including the vaunted Sony ES players
 

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Dave, why would a CD player need impact res r oration? I wasn't aware that CD recordings were compressed.
Most people aren't aware of it. With recent recordings in particular, engineers have sacrificed dynamic range for 'loudness' in their final mix. The so-called "Loudness Wars" appear to be a result of a couple of things, FM broadcasts for one. A highly modulated FM signal reaches a wider audience in terms of transmitter range, so the bean counters have gotten engineers to sacrifice dynamics for loudness in their mix. Another audience is the rap scene, where the bigger the boom the better.
Whether those are the prime reasons or not, I am not sure. I am just repeating some information that I read about recently...some CDs are just lacking in dynamic range because the producers didn't do their job right...
At any rate, I have found my dbx gear way more useful than I imagined it would be for CD playback. I use it all the time (with considerable restraint) and it makes everything sound better. Even really good SACD recordings, like Steely Dan's "Gaucho" benefit from a tiny bit of expansion, but each case is different.
The other thing is that the old recordings that were done before CD was created were made to consider the limitations of the analog playback equipment of the day. It was simply physically very difficult to get a stylus to accelerate fast enough to capture the dynamic punch of a snare drum rim-shot or a very loud kick drum. So the dbx guys made a way around it that they call "Impact Restoration". It is said to work well, and I'm eager to get my new 3bx and the new dbx cd player next week. Both of them have this feature. Stay tuned, more info to follow...
 

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#11
Yes, do let us know what you think of it when you have had a chance to try it out. I only used the one I had for a short period as I had a 3bx in use at the time. Maybe mine wasn't working correctly or it could have been the cd's I was listening to.
 

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Dave: You mean the dbx 100 Boombox? I haven't connected mine into my system, and I have an NOS one, but it's going to be something I want to do shortly. I love dbx gear, too. The 3BX DS and CDP are nice additions to your system.

Nando.
Hi Nando, yes. I think it's the next generation after the dbx 100. If I'm thinking of the one you have, isn't it a 1/2 rack width unit, like the earlier classic dbx designs were? The 120 came out around 1982 or so,
Have you been able to compare the 3bx with the 3bx ds? My understanding is that the "ds" moniker stands for Digital Series, but there is no digital circuitry in the 'ds' series...at least no A to D or D to A converters. The audio portion is all analog.
I am eager to compare them side by side. I have a first generation 3bx, a couple of 3bx Series II, and now the 3bx ds. Should be cool to review them. I'll post my impressions when I've had a chance to compare them.
-Dave-
 

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Yes Dave, the dbx 100 I have is a half-rack component. I will wait until your evaluation of the 3BX DS, as I have the early model 3BX, only. Those units (3BX) were fairly expensive when they first became available.

Nando.
 

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#14
Even really good SACD recordings, like Steely Dan's "Gaucho" benefit from a tiny bit of expansion, but each case is different.
This replaced the Carver CD player I had with the tube section, totally kills the Carver and ANY other CD player I have owned including the vaunted Sony ES players
Totally intrigued and my interest is thoroughly piqued !

You can do DR "expansion" with many computer based tools, such as Sound Forge Pro, and I suspect some of the algorithms behind the software tools are similar to what DBX was doing in their gear. I've never tried to mess with what I considered to be already good sounding source recordings but now I'm persuaded to fiddle with 'Forge to see if I can find a positive effect - based upon what you've seen on SACD Premium.

I have to say, even having a DX5 to play around with sounds intriguing.
 
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premiumplus

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#15
I have the exact same dbx DX5 CD player, it is the best I ever heard PERIOD. CD's back in the 80s were compressed/brickwalled and the function has a nice range. I like the Ambience and the DRS also, some discs sound lifeless, crank the DRS on and you would be amazed how much impact there is. I have the remote, rack ears and manual also. This replaced the Carver CD player I had with the tube section, totally kills the Carver and ANY other CD player I have owned including the vaunted Sony ES players
Can the DX-5 play SACDs? I'm guessing no, but dbx (at least the vintage, original dbx) always seems to surprise me!
 
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Sent you a PM on that subject...no, I don't have one.
 
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