BBE B-max review!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by caesarbass, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Let me start by saying that I think that demo'ing a piece of gear in the worst of conditions is probably the best way to see how it really works. I started a Disneyland run about three weekends ago, I'm playing at the Tomorrowland terrace, the stage that comes out of the ground. I've been playing there on and off for about 9 years with many different bands. Unfortunately they have the WORST back line gear, an old hartke 4X10 and an old GK 41X10 cab, to power these cabs they have an SM-900, which I blew up about a year ago and it's never been fixed, and an old GK 800RB that has never worked right, and an SVT that acually really sounds great despite the horrible cabs they have. Jens, I believe that's how he spells his name, the BBE rep, was nice enough to loan me a BMAX to demo. I'm running the BMAX into the power amp in of the SVT head. I'm running the EQ at the "flat" setting, 2-10-2, and I'm not using the comp, sonic max, or the para mids. I'm using my Sadowsky MV5 metro right into the front end of the pre. I really like the way this pre sounds. It is very quick, and by that I mean, it doesn't seem compressed at all, whatever you play comes out without hesitation. I've had some experience with other pre's that don't react as quickly and seem a bit sluggish when it comes to responding to the notes being played. I did encounter a problem with the sonic maximizer, it was very very noisy whenever I turned it on. This is a demo unit and has probably seen better days, so I'm sure BBE will fix this as soon as they know this is faulty. The gain control is very sensitive, I only have it turned up to about 9 o'clock and it is giving me plenty of gain. I think BBE has done a great job with this piece of gear. The FOH guys seem to like it also, plenty of positive comments from them. I will post the rest of my review tomorrow, Sunday, when this weekend run is over, I'll get the exact model SVT and try some settings with the mids.
  2. I've only had mine for a short time so I am by no means done tweaking but so far I agree that it is very fast responding. I also prefer the flat settings with no Sonic Maximizer or Compressor. I'm having a little difficulty dialing in the right gain. I'm not used to such a high gain structure because I've been using pedal (Sansamp, Aguilar) preamps lately which are very low in gain. This pre will be with me for a while I think but I can't help but wonder what all the others sound like. I'm helplessly gassed! :D
  3. MuzikMan-Is the sonic maximizer on yours noisy? The unit I'm borrowing sounds really bad when the maximizer is engaged. I have chronic gass...would taking "beano" help?!?!?!
    By the way...My main rig is an Avalon U5>QSC PLX2402>Avatar 212.
  4. The Sonic Maximizer sounds clean on mine. I just like the tone better with it off.

    The U5 is on my long list of preamp gas.
  5. I figured the sonic maximizer on the demo unit might be bad, I'm sure this unit has been put through the paces, probably a quick fix on BBE's end. In regards to the Avalon, it's far surpassing my expectations. It is super warm for solid state and has a great smooth sounding top end that solid state pre's usually don't have. I am of the less is more school of eq'ing and the Avalon is a set it and forget it type of deal. It is very quick to respond to whatever you're playing. I'm curious to try out the BMAX with my QSC and 212 cab, it might be pretty awesome sounding.
  6. I forgot...this pre is built like a TANK!!!! I love the feel of the knobs, very smooth and not loose at all, and the thickness of the chasis, this thing is ready for some road use.
  7. If there's one complaint that I have with the Bmax it is too many knobs to twiddle. I like the less is more approach and I don't like heavy EQ either. I do like the availability of a para-mid control. It came in handy at last nights gig when I had to dial out a little bit of 250hz.
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    The maximizer on mine is clean (no hum,) but to my ears it can color the sound some. It does add some "meat" when using an inexpensive bass. I can take it or leave it. The maximizer aside, I really love it!
  9. The Maximizer in mine is silent when I'm not playing anything, but causes some hiss while a note is ringing. I only notice it when I'm listening for it, though. Overall I like what the Maximizer does for the sound.
  10. I liked this preamp very much. I would like to try a brand new unit that has a working sonic maximizer. If I didn't have a U5 I would definitely consider this unit or the BMAX-T. The DI sounded really good and I think my favorite thing about this pre is it's quick response, it does not have a compressed feeling to it. :bassist: :D