bbe b-max settings?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chef, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've gotten so used to my TFB420, and Eden wt800 I kinda forgot I had the bbe b-max laying around.
    It's mated to a qsc/plx 1202, bridged at 1200 watts, firing into a Schroeder 1210. I have not had the input mod done, but feel like I need to...
    I'm playing all fingerstyle blues/rock, typically a Reverend 5L or old P or T bass for axes.
    I'm running the bright switch off,
    treble at 8,
    mids at 5,
    bass at 8,
    pararmids -2@600hz,
    compressor at 5,
    low contour at 8,
    and processor at 3.
    Without the input mod, I have to run the input gain very low, like 2 or less. No matter if the axe is passive, active, whatever. Otherwise it gets kinda crunchy kinda fast. This is most noticable thru the horn in the schroeder. Turn the input down a tad and everything goes back to kewl.
    The output volume is running somewhere b/t 2-5 depending how much thunder I need to call down;)
    This seems to give me a pretty big fat sound with enough bite and bark to it to still cut thru a live mix.
    Two things of note: all the tone controls seem much less responsive than the TFB420 or Eden. In other words, twiddle the knobs all you want, not much different happens. I'm used to pretty huge changes with small adjustments on the TFB and Eden.
    If I turn the input up, and or output up, the tone controls, and bass in particular, seem to get a little more responsive. Still not at a TFB or Eden level tho...In otherwords, knob twiddling makes a little more difference at higher volume.

    2 Q's: what's that about?
    And where do you run your bbe bmax for whompin good fingerstyle tone?

    thanks, chef-illiterate bmax user.
  2. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    Does the BBE bring a good amount of warmth or should I go with the BBE-T[ube]?
  3. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    I use the Bmax-T. You've got to understand that it WILL feel way different than your TF or Eden, because it is based on the old fender tone stack, and is completely different in how it operates. I'll assume your settings are o'clock positions? For me, I run the bright switch off, treble at 8:30, mids full on, bass at 8. I usually use the paremetric with the Freq. set at aboue 10 oclock, and the boost at no more than 1 oclock. I usually run the BBE process off, and the compresser at 9 o'clock-ish.

    Don't be afraid to make bigger sweeps on this EQ than you would on the Eden or TF. The controls go to 10 for a reason. Spend some time playing with it in all sorts of different settings, and notice that when you turn all three EQs all the way down, you'll get no sound. Also, as you change the position of one EQ knob, the way the other two react will be different.
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    All my posted setting were the numbers on the dials...
    Spent some more time messin', and I really think the input mod is going to help me a lot.
    After putting my regular 'ol P bass thru it, and Reverend 5L-both passive basses, I plugge in my '72 humbucker'd Telecaster, which has a huge output for a passive bass...
    I was running all of these thru the active channel so I could dail up the input past 'nothing'...the Telecaster really opnes the bbe up...and in fact I think that's the best I've ever heard the Tele sound. With the birght switch on, treble up to 10, and process turned up to about 12 o'clock the Tele has huuuge bottom end, and finally has some bite to it's highs.
    I'm gonna send the bmax off for the input mod Monday.
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    One other thing: why a two prong plug for the power cord? Man, I get a wicked ground buzz with everything, and the ground lift switch makes no dang diff whatsoever...
  6. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    I'm a BBM (boring Bmax user). I've got the solid state version and it's my pre of choice over the RBI, ART Tube Channel, Yamaha PB-1 and the built-in pres on a Gibson GB-440 and GK 700RB-II (can you tell I'm cheap?). I don't have any of the other pres/amps any more but I had them at different times and chose the Bmax (I originally wrote RBI here - sorry for the confusion) over them all.

    My settings are aimed at flat on the tone stack (~2-3 on bass, 10 on mids and ~2-3 on treble). I tweak the bass to match the room/cab setup (usually a bit of a cut with some setups). I have the bright switch off. I have the compressor on the least-compression setting and use it to set the input gain - so a slapped E is the only thing that might light up the limit light. Mids "off". BBE process off.

    That works for me.

    I just like the basic tone of the Bmax and do any additional adjusting on the bass.

    What can I say? I'm simple.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Craig; I'll go back and revisit "flat." Flat works real well on the other pre's I like.

    You wrote "I had them at different times and chose the RBI over them all"

    You meant Bmax, right? The reason I ended up with one is that I read a lot of threads here where guys like them, and NS&L had them new for about $220 to my door at one point.

    I couldn't resist;)

    ps: love the finish on your reverend. byt the time I bought mine, they weren't doing anything cool like that anymore. I saw the two lavaswirls they just built from spare parts and cried: already blew available funds christmas shopping on everyone else....
  8. I own a SS BMax, and had read somewhere that the flattest tone setting was 0-10-0, even though the manual says 2-10-2. So I e-mailed Paul Gagon, the designer of the BMax, and asked him. Here's his reply:

    "Hey Steve,

    0-10-0 should give the flattest response. Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the BMax.

    Thanks again for your support.
  9. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Your are correct - I'm going to go back and edit that. I chose the BMAX over them all.

    I'll have to give 0-10-0 a try and see what I think.

    I originally ordered metallic gold but went back and changed the order to bugeye (my favorite Reverend finish) when I found out they had some still available. I really like the engine turned aluminum (looks like fish scales to me) and flame etched smoke finishes too. Some folks have called my Reverend "bumper plate" (heathens!).
  10. Here's my reply to a previous thread on this subject back in
    October. I think the title was: Settings for BBE BMaxxx.
    If you do a search, you'll probably find a few more settings
    suggestions. I've been very happy with mine without doing
    any modifications to the input section.

    As far as actual settings, I've got the bass and treble set at
    about 8 o'clock(2nd dot), and the mids at 4 or 5 o'clock
    (about second to last dot). The para-mid is set way over to
    about 8 or 9 o'clock with the mid's gain just about maxed out.
    Bright switch on. Compressor varies depending on what I'm playing,
    be it Jazz or my regular show band.
    I set the Lo Contour at about 12:00 and the Process at about 2 or 3 o'clock.
    Gain and Master I tend to leave at: Gain: 9 or 10 o'clock Master: 11 o'clock.
    Since the Master also sends my level out to the board through
    the DI, I try to leave it alone and if I need more volume on stage,
    then I bump up my level on my power amp.
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks for the tips. I've tried all of your settings, and found some stuff I like. I called bbe to ask about sending it back for the input mod and got an RA number, so it's going back. I asked the service tech about my buzz, and if they could add a three prong grounded plug. He said it should not be necessary, and that it's most likely a cold solder joint at the chassis ground-and that they'd check it and fix that too (no charge) while it was in.

  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    1) I have gone back and tried *all of these,* so thanks!
    2) I also have to retract that the bmax is unusable for DB. Now that I've had the input gain mod done, it's doable. Not my favorite (thunderfunk), or second favorite (eden nav), but usable.
    3) I seem to end up basically setting it flat:
    treble at 3, mids at 10, bass at 3...para eq flat except for "as needed room or particular bass tweak," contour set at about 2 to 3 o'clock, and process nearly off, except for "very bassy basses." Process is nice to add back a little brightness. I also leave the bright switch off, except with my '72 "mudbucker equipped" Telecaster bass. I have to say, this preamp really works well with that bass, and with Fender and G&L's. I guess the fact that it's based on the Fender tone stack probably doesn't hurt that way...but man, this thing with a P bass or G&L really slams.

    4) bump for more info!
  13. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Inspired by this thread, I've gone back and redone some EQ tweaking, I'm now running it with the gain at 5 (used to be at 3 or so) I find this really fattens up the sound in a good way. I never had the input mod done, but maybe mine came from the factory that way? Anyway, I usually run it with the gain at 5, treble at 0, mid at 10, bass at 0-1 depending, and the compressor and the process off. To my ears, 0-10-0 really is the flattest it gets. Also, for some fun, try 0-0-10 (bass all the way up). It's a very bassy sound, but not in the way it would be with typical boost/cut circuits. It seems to me as if the tone stack works as follows: Each knob is basically a gain for a channel that is shaped in a certain way. I.E. The Bass knob turns up the volume on a channel that is using a low-pass filter, the treble knob is the gain for one with a high pass filter, and the mid knob is your unaffected signal. Anyway, It's a cool tonestack that I like a lot.
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    It might not be a ground buzz; it could be coming from your pickups. Does the buzz vary when you change the position and orientation of your bass?
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Bob: the buzz would go away when I touched the bridge, or a knob, or string. I tried running a ground wire from the bbe to the qsc, to the rack. This did not help. The 3 prong cord fixed it. I dunno why they don't just do that from the factory.

    Everyone else: I find the way the tone stack interacts very confusing and counter intuitive...turn the treble down and it turns up bass? Wierd to me. In other words, if I set treble at 4, then trun down to two, it not only rolls out treble, but seems to roll in bass. Mod and bass seem to work interactively the same way.
    As Dan noted, opening the gain above 3 really seems to fatten things up, also counter intuitive to me. But, I'm coming from an swr/eden/thunderfunk backround. Ya know, amps where knob tweaking is optional, and what knobs there are seem easy to understand. If my TFB or WT800B need any tweaking at all, it's easy to do.
    The bbe just kind of baffles me, and doesn't work at all like an old bassman tone stack, even tho everyone says that's what it might be based on. I don't remember my old bassman 100 being so...difficult.
    Right now I'm pretty borderline as to whether the bbe is a learnable and workable piece of gear for me. I'll take it to a few more jobs, and continue to mess with it, but my thoughts now are that this is just too much work for me...
  16. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    What's this 'input-mod' all about?
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine