Dbx encoded discs

Is anyone familiar with dbx encoded discs? I have a single recording (Pictures at An Exhibition/Nigh on Bald Mountain), but there were other recordings made. I have not found a catalog though.
I had to go to Wikipedia to make sure you weren't making things up. :)

Never heard of it, but it would have been a good idea, IMHO.
dbx discs had to be played through playback software for the recording to play with the right dynamics. It was developed to compete with Dolby B on cassettes but it never really took off. When it was playing with the right playback level it could give startling results but many cassette player manufacturers would not take it up as they could not see the point in having two noise reduction programs. The one you have of the disc is even rarer because you had to buy a processor that went between your preamp and amp or in your tape loop and the processor would expand the compressed signal to give you pretty awesome realistic playback ( for the time ).
 I remember visiting quite a few audio shows and being treated to "Pictures" quite a few times in a night.
I have these three dbx encoded LP Discs:

dbx Recording technology Showcase Series   volume 1
Mark Levinson presents.....
a collection of individual musical instrument recordings and selections from jazz and classical repertoire

Heroic Fantasy for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra
Based on the Hawaiian Legend Paintings of John Thomas

24 PRELUDES, OP. 11     5 PRELUDES, OP. 74      POEM, OP. 32, NO. 1

I am not into dbx or LPs nowadays.   For some reason I have two of each.  One of each still in wrapping.   Are they worth anything? 


I’m surprised that DBX was used for noise reduction on CDs, since CDP, by design (CD standard), has its own noise reduction by pre-emphasis and de-emphasis. Each CD provides "flag" that can turn de-emphasis on, but it is almost never used. The main purpose of it was to reduce hiss of the analog tape, but almost all recordings these days are digital. DBX encoded CDs would have value only for somebody who either doesn’t care about the sound or has DBX processor.
Pretty sure we are talking about Dbx  encoded vinyl records here not cd.
Even though the terminology of disc might be misleading.
At least that was my take on it.
According to Discogs they have 235 entries for dbx encoded material.
Including Supertramp, Cat Stevens, Heart, Moody Blues, J.Geils Band (lol!).
Fancy that.

So it looks like Discogs might be best resource for both pricing and as a catalogue.
@uberwaltz You are right I should have called it vinyl because when dbx was going around CD was not even invented yet and everyone then called vinyl either discs or records. Sorry for being so old fashioned and giving away my age.
We are all getting there in these forums I suspect.
I vaguely remember dbx records for sale back in England but pretty sure I never heard one played.

I own about 50 of these albums. They are truly amazing. The sound is spectacular. It is a shame they stopped producing these DBX recordings. The cd was the major contributor to its downfall. At that time in the early 80's all of the buzz was about digital and analog took a backseat in the industry. They do have value. A few links for you to check out.


Hey Benjie.
Nice collection.
And yes I found Discogs to be invaluable as to what records were offered in dbx format.
What are you using to decode?
I just discovered I have approximately 9 dbx encoded Cassette tapes.
I am using the DBX NX40 decoder. Nice small unit. I run it through the tape loop from my pre amp. I disconnect the cables from my reel to reel and connect the NX40. Fast and easy.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of these discs available on Discogs.  I have placed a few into my cart and wil place the order once the stimulus check arrives.
@rok2id5 you can get an idea for the value by going to discogs and performing a search. If you want, i can perform the search for you and get back to you.
@benjie I run mine through the tape-loop of my SAE5000 (which I run through the tape loop of my Soundcraftsman EQ). That frees my preamp to just run my tape decks.
@uberwaltz - I did find about 4-5 recordings at Discogs. A lot was music that I was unfamiliar with though.
Uber hi, A little story regarding dbx . This was late 70s early 80s and my guitar teacher who was a stunning classical guitarist displayed an interest in a friend of mine who was a recording engineer with the BBC in Glasgow and Edinburgh and he wanted to have some reel to reel tapes to copy onto cassettes so the students could listen to him play pieces they were learning for them to pick up the idiom of the pieces. Now it so happened I worked in a camera shop as a photo producer and the store had a specialist hi fi store up the street a half mile away and many a lunch break I used to have listening to Quad stats 57 and 63 at the time. I remember they had taken on a dbx dealership and this mind you when it was still trying to gain a foothold.          They stocked the device that the amature market had access to it was for recording to the tape recorder with the machine compressing the signal then after recording you played it back this time with the machine expanding the signal. I took my teacher up to Glasgow and we had a couple of hours time in the studio. At first my pal taped my teacher with his normal BBC gear ( Studer at the time ) at 7 1/2 and 15 ips. with no noise reduction which was par for the course then. After an hour my pal jimmy wanted to hear the new dbx unit in action so we put it between the mike mixer and the tape recorder. My teacher then played a piece by Issac Albeniz named Asturias which is a very intricate piano tune which was adapted for guitar.Well he played it back through the monitors and we literally couldn't believe our ears, Jimmy was open mouthed and he had seen and done it all so to speak. I just stood there with a massive grin on my face listening to this box no bigger than a preamp and everything inside it hard wired. The Beeb had at one time pondered Dolby A and B noise reduction but were never really happy so that idea was shelved. This box literally blew away all forms of Dolby noise reduction I had heard up to date. The sound coming out of those monitors was trully awesome as I had heard true master tapes many times but always with that little bit of tape hiss thrown in. If you listen to classical music you quickly learn that it's not always rock music that is the most dynamic it is just that it is usually louder thereby giving you the misconception that it is. The sad news about dbx is the big boys in the recording industry put paid to it. If any of you have any of those discs then if you don't have the dbx box your stylus will just be shoving an overly compressed signal into your preamp.
Prices that I found on Discogs:HTH

I thought there were quite a number of dbx discs for sale at Discogs?
At some pretty high prices though!
like $100 for Supertramp and $55 for Heart.
I usually only listen to rock so have not much fun idea on the classical side.


Actually never been to Glasgow or Edinburgh.
I lived in the midlands, Nottingham, Derby area.
Great story and a real shame the industry killed it in yet another format war where money won and not the best application.
@uberwaltz - No there are. But many are not ones I would purchase as a normal recording, let alone shell out, as you said, 100.00+ USD. :D
jcipale ,

Thanks for the info.   The prices are more than I paid, but probably not worth the hassle of selling them.   I also find myself with many, many Cassette and RTR tapes, all dbx encoded.   Mostly Jazz and Classical.   After all these years I am not sure the tapes are playable.   Seems like such a waste.

Back in the day I had all the dbx electronics, for LP and tape,  Click and pop machines (Burwen), equalizers, RTR, Cassette, fm Tuner and turntables.   I thought, the more the better.   Now I have  receivers and CD players. 

Interestingly I ran into the few DBX records I have left.  Back in the day
I would buy one and copy it to a Teac A-3340S at 15ips.  It would make 
a perfect copy.  I don't remember the model number of the DBX "compander" as they were known.  But it had both record and tape functions (record/play), don't know why they were separate functions.

I hated Dolby at the time it always sounded like it was "pumping" to me, searching for the proper level.  Any one else have that experience?
... Interestingly I ran into the few DBX records I have left ...
I would buy one and copy it to a Teac A-3340S at 15ips ... I don't remember the model number of the DBX "compander" as they were known. But it had both record and tape functions (record/play), don't know why they were separate functions.
The DBX compander was originally developed for tape, not LP, so it had to encode the tape in record and decode it on playback
I hated Dolby at the time it always sounded like it was "pumping" to me, searching for the proper level. Any one else have that experience?
That was common problem, because Dolby protocols (there were several) each required precise alignment of a reference level ("Dolby level"). That demanded that the deck's bias and EQ also be properly aligned so that it would be flat on playback. Many consumer machines either couldn't be properly aligned or wouldn't maintain alignment, and many users couldn't be bothered to set their deck up properly. So Dolby NR got a somewhat undeserved bad rap.

Dolby worked extraordinarily well when it was set up properly on a good deck, such as Nakamichi or Tandberg.
I had a DBX unit in my car. Big upgrade over Dolby b in noise and dynamics. Also had home unit. Loved it back in the day.