Quad Compressor / Limiter

In today's recording and sound reinforcement environments, the need for multiple channels of high quality, easy to use compression is growing rapidly. The new dbx® 1046 is designed to provide the audio professional with just that: 4 channels of great sounding dbx compression for a variety of applications. Incorporating the industry standard dbx designs and the latest available manufacturing techniques, the dbx 1046 provides pristine sonic quality with that classic dbx sound. 

The 1046 provides 4 channels of smooth classic dbx OverEasy® or Hard Knee compression that are perfectly suited for use on individual tracks of your multitrack recorder, and in virtually all applications the separate channels can be individually interfaced and used for entirely independent purposes. Additionally the newly developed PeakStopPlus™ is ideal for protecting your system from the oppressive peaks that can take out valuable drivers in your sound reinforcement rig or studio monitors.

All four channels have the following controls:

Threshold - allows you to set the level at which the compressor starts affecting the gain

OverEasy - allows you to select between soft compression for overall gain control or Hard Knee compression based on the characteristics of the original dbx 160.

Ratio - allows you to set the slope of gain reduction affecting the signal over the threshold level.

Input/Output Meter - allows you to set the meter to check the input and output levels for maximum signal-to-noise ratio and best level matching.

Output Gain - allows you to add make-up gain or to adjust the output level for that channel to match the next device's input gain.

Bypass - hard wire bypass allows you to hear how the compressor is affecting your signal.

PeakStopPlus - allows you to set the maximum signal level you want to pass through this channel. While it's virtually impossible to eliminate distortion, the PeakStopPlus circuit does it gracefully and effectively with minimal distortion.

Stereo Link - allows you to link channels 1&2 and 3&4 for two channels of true stereo compression.

All four channels feature balanced gold plated XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs, and switchable +4dBu or -10dBV operating level to interface each individual channel with any other device.

So whether you need to control the level, placement in the mix, or overall characteristics of 4 independent signals or control the gain leveling on a couple of stereo pairs, the dbx 1046 is for you.


·       Four independent channels of operation, stereo linkable in two pairs

·       PeakStopPlus™ limiting control for setting maximum allowable level regardless of compressor settings

·       Independent Threshold and ratio controls

·       Switchable OverEasy® or Hard Knee compression

·       Classic dbx® compression

·       Differentially balanced gold-plated XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs

·       True RMS level detection

·       Precision metering of input level, output level, and gain reduction

·       Dual True stereo or quad mono operation

·       Switchable +4dBu or -10dBV operation per channel


Input Connectors

XLR and 1/4" TRS (Pin 2 and tip hot)

Input Type

Electronically balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered

Input Impedance

Balanced > 40 kOhm, unbalanced >20 kOhm

Max Input

> +22 dBu balanced or unbalanced


Typically >50 dB at 1 kHz

Output Connectors

XLR and 1/4" TRS (Pin 2 and tip hot)

Output Type

Servo-balanced/unbalanced, RF filtered

Output Impedance

Balanced 30 Ohm, unbalanced 15 Ohm

Max Output

> +22 dBm balanced, > +20 dBm unbalanced


20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0/-0.5 dB

Frequency Response

0.35 Hz to 90kHz, +0/-3 dB


< -96 dBu, unweighted, 22 kHz measurement bandwidth

Dynamic Range

> 118 dB, unweighted


>0.008% typical at +4 dBu (1 kHz unity gain), 0.08% typical at +20 dBu (1 kHz unity gain), < 0.1% any

amount of compression up to 40 dB, 1 kHz


< 0.1% SMPTE

Interchannel Crosstalk

< -80 dB 20Hz to 20 kHz

Stereo Coupling

True RMS Power Summing

Compressor Threshold Range

-40 dBu to +20 dBu

Compressor Ratio

1:1 to infinity:1

Compressor Threshold Characteristic

Selectable OverEasy® or hard knee

Compressor Attack/Release Characteristic


Compressor Attack Time


Compressor Release Time


Compressor Output Gain

-20 to +20 dB

Limiter Threshold Range

0 dBu to +24 dBu (off)

Limiter Ratio


Limiter Type

PeakStopPlus® two-stage limiter

Limiter Stage 1

PeakStop® brickwall limiter

Limiter Stage 1 Attack Time


Limiter Stage 1 Release Time


Limiter Stage 2

Predictive intelligent program limiter

Limiter Stage 2 Attack Time


Limiter Stage 2 Release Time


OverEasy® Switch

Activates the OverEasy compression function

I/O Meter Switch

Switches between monitoring input and output levels on the Input/Output Level meter

Bypass Switch

Activates the direct input-to-output hard-wire bypass

Operating Level Switch

(rear panel) Switches the nominal operating level between -10 dBV and +4 dBu simultaneously for both

input and output levels

ST Link Switch

Links channels in stereo pairs. Channels One and Three become the master channels

Gain Reduction Meter

8 segment LED bar graph at 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 dB

I/O Meter

8-segment LED bar graph at -24, -18, -12, -6, 0, +6, +12, and +18 dBu

PeakStop™ Indicator

1 LED to indicate PeakStop™ limiting

Function Switches

LED indicator for each front-panel switch

Output Transformer Options

Jensen® JT-123-dbx or JT- 11-dbx, BCI RE- 123-dbx or RE-11-dbx

Operating Voltage

Switchable:100-120 VAC 50-60 Hz or 200-240 VAC 50/60 Hz

Power Consumption

20 Watts


100-120 VAC:250 mA Slow Blow, 200-240 VAC:125 mA Type T

Power Connector

IEC receptacle


1.75"Hx19"Wx9"D (4.4cmx48.3cmx20.1cm)

Unit Weight

5.2 lbs. (2.4 kg)

Shipping Weight

7.6 lbs. (3.5 kg) 

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