BBE 383 vs. BMAX

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MuzikMan, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. I am about to begin the long journey to find the right pre for me. The pre-power setup is new to me and I don't have any experience to speak of with bass preamps. I have been doing a lot of reading on the forum and like the buzz about the BMAX.

    Since I will be likely to go through a bunch of preamps I want to stick to the used market for now.

    I want to begin my journey with the BMAX but they are difficult to find used at this point. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the 383 and BMAX and can shed some light on the differences between the two.

    The 383 sounds interesting based on the lower price and availability. I would just like to have a little better understanding of what I'm looking at.
  2. I have not used the 383 so I can not give a comparison. I bought BMax after reading through the comments on this site. When you decide which way to go, check They gave me a very good price on the BMax.

    Good luck.
  3. Thanks. I just sent in a request for a quote on the BMAX at Ricks. I am curious about the 383 just to see what the difference is.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have an old 383, which was my first preamp. For the money, new, at the time, you couldn't touch it. In fact, I think that they are still a great value on the used market. The compressor was unusable (except as a limiter, but it already has one of those), but the EQ settings are very well placed, the "punch" circuit was a big help, the variable crossover was very nice, and the BBE Process really made the thing shine. The XLR output was always quite a bit on the hot side, though, and caused some sound techs some difficulties.

    However, my suspicion is that the 383 and BMax (which I have not tried) have little in common, circuit-wise and sound-wise.
  5. I had a 383 and really didn't care for it so much. I had a hard time getting a clean sound out of it. I ended up just setting everything flat and using it for a Sonic Maximizer. I haven't used the B-Max but it has to be an improvement.
  6. Thanks for the info guys. Keep it comming.
  7. The clean tones I get out of the BMax are what I love about it. Keep in mind this is my 1st preamp, and I have nothing to compare it to, but I feel it's $$$ well spent.
  8. I see has a really good price on the BMAX. Hmmmmmmm.....
  9. Yeah. I could not decide whether to go after a used Ampeg preamp or the BMax. But when I saw their quote, I had to take it and run.