DBX 576 - Can this turd be polished?

Help Support GroupDIY:


Active member
Jan 6, 2020
I'm about to move into a small project studio and need a proper preamp (currently using Focusrite Scarlett 18i20). I also thought it would be fun to try jumping into modding gear, having mostly built guitar pedals. Very inspired by what I've been reading on sites like Mod Defecation: ModDefecation.COM

There's not a ton of options locally, if you're a value fiend like, but right now there's a DBX 576 cheap. Now I know that it might not be a huge upgrade - or an upgrade at all, based on the lukewarm reviews I could find... and the fact that it's 90's tech, before the stiff competition that we're seeing now.

But it seems the Silver Series was their midrange gear and I thought that it might be a worthy candidate. The tube is not a starved plate and it uses ICs like the SSM2017 preamp chips that afaik can relatively easily be upgraded. I believe it's SMD, but I'm fairly good with a soldering iron and have read up on the SMD-techniques for soldering/desoldering (not to mention high voltage safety - also in the middle of building guitar tube amps).

Combined with a tube swap and possibly some other mods (like adding input transformer like a lot of the Mod Defecation mods?). Can the turd be polished?

Schematics are here: dbx 576 - https://dbxpro.com/en/product_documents/576-schematicszip


Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
Have you ever heard one before? picking mod's without ever putting a piece through its paces is a sure fire way to waste a lot of money and likely never see any appreciable results. There are almost always mods that can theoretically be done but until you know what its strengths and weaknesses are, you are at best shooting blind


Well-known member
Feb 21, 2015
Sunny...Sometimes Florida- USA
Agree with grid_stopper....If you like the way a piece of gear does it's thing, then maybe doing a couple of things to it can make it worthwhile. A lot of time can be better spent building something if your intentions are to mod something into what it's not.


Well-known member
GDIY Supporter
May 9, 2008
I'm about to move into a small project studio and need a proper preamp

There's really good and simple to build preamp projects around here.
You have the Neve 1290, API 312 the SSL 9000.
All of them are amazing Mic Preamps and very well documented here with good project help threads.

I built the Neve 1290 and SSL 9000 in the first month I joined this forum, I had limited knowledge and only had a soldering iron and a Multimeter but was capable to build those projects without any problems.

I would advise you to look into build those for your studio
Best regards