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BBE B-max straight to mixer for home studio?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Airfish, Jan 21, 2013.


  1. Hi.
    I have a small home studio and I´m looking for a bass preamp to my 19-inch rack. My main theoretical candidate is the solid state version of the BBE B-max. But I have no experience with such equipment and I need to know: Can you connect it straight to the mixer? Would that sound good, with the signal path consisting of just of the preamp, mixer and monitor speakers? Does the BBE B-max have some sort of speaker emulation on the output? Or if not the BBE B-max, is there any other 19-inch rack preamp with speaker emulation for a comparable price?
    Thanx in advance for your tips.
     
  2. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Yes, you can connect the bmax to a mixer through it's DI or unbalanced out. I have the bmaxT and I connected it to my focusrite saffire for my homestudio, very nice sound. I don't need any speaker emulator with this pre-amp, the tone shaping capabilities of this pre-amp are enough to get the tones I want be it reggea sub lows or snappy bright funk sizzle :bassist:
     
  3. That means the solid state BMAX could also sound good, even without speaker emulation? I have a pair of KRK VXT6 active monitors plus a 12-inch active KRK sub and a decent mixer. Really no need for other equipment?
     
  4. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    IMO it's not needed and would work great with your equipment. Are you after a specific sound?
    I used my bmaxT with several recordings and works great, never needed any emulation plug-ins for the recording software.
     
  5. GMSweet

    GMSweet

    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I'm another one who use the BMax (or my SVP-Pro) straight into my audio interface. One of the things I don't like about the BMax is the lack of an un-colored out, but I like the sound it offers. The 1/4" and XLR our are both processed and governed by the master volume. BBE has a manual for the BMax available from their website which shows a few configurations for connecting the preamp.

    Matt
     
  6. No specific sound, quite the opposite: as much versatility as possible. I have two completely different basses: a new fretted Peavey with active EMG humbuckers and a 20-year old fretless Ibanez with flatwound strings and original single-coils. You think they both could sound good on that Bmax with my equipment?
     
  7. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Why would you want an uncolored out? Set the tones controles to the "flat" setting as stated in the manual and start from there.
    I allways liked it that the xlr (with jensen transformer) is a post-pre out, also gives me more control onstage when I send that signal to the PA.
     
  8. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    I think the bmax will show you how these basses really sound.
    I really like the sound of the bmaxT, is a tad warmer/smoother then the bmax but the overall sound should be very similar.
     
  9. I can imagine that: a tube is a tube.... :smug:
    But since this is my first experience with such equipment, I will start with a cheaper solid state preamp and see (hear) what I get. And maybe later on I could invest more and buy a tube preamp.
     
  10. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    I haven't tried either of these pre amps but I have done similar things with the old Mesa studio pre amp inputed with an old Joe Meek VC6 compressor, with that odd drive q thing going on, not bad but this is far far better.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    :bassist:
     
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Damn... That looks like a crazy complicated way to get a bass sound! Bet it was fun to setup and experiment with though. Is that actually a Royer on the top cab ?

    Bmax or T straight to board... Check. Nice sounding pre. I preferte T myself. Know folks that prefer the Bmax SS though.
     
  12. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Crazy contraption Bassmec! :bassist:
    What's that 12"drum anomaly? :bag:
     
  13. Yeah, that drum-speaker looks weird. :cool:
    Is that just a joke, or does it have a serious purpose?
     
  14. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    It's called a sub kick, it is a speaker being used as a microphone with a transformer and pad to get the right impedance and level for a conventional mic pre.
    My one is based on an old Trio 12" sub bass speaker in an old pearl shell.
    Yamaha make one but it uses a 61/2" speaker:
    [​IMG]
    with a fundamental resonance at about 45Hz wich is a bit too high for what I want mine for.
    Also the yamaha's not got a matching transformer so it sounds a bit muddier to me.:bassist:
    Works just as well in front of a speaker as it does a kick drum.
    Full PHAT sub bass at the touch of a button.:bassist:
     
  15. GMSweet

    GMSweet

    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    The BMax-T and the BMax are slightly different when it comes to the DI out. The BMax is transformerless while the BMax-T has the Jensen transformer DI. However, I don't hear the BMaxt as flat even at 2-10-2 or variations around there. From my reading the Fender tone stack used doesn't get truly flat. In practice, if I plug directly into the instrument in on my Focusrite TwinTrak Pro, I get one sound. If I plug into my SVP-Pro and use the DI out pre eq, I get a very similar sound. If I plug in to the BBE I get a sound with a bigger bottom and a glossier top and a bit of a dip in the mids; tighter and drier. Once my license for TrueRTA comes in, I'll be running some tests just to satisfy my curiosity.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the sound, but I would like the option of the un-colored sound in addition to the processed sound along side of the full signal just for further playing inside of Sonar. All in all, it's a great unit for the price.

    BTW, there is a great thread on this unit here:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/anybody-tried-bbe-bmax-pre-amp-459220/
     
  16. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    If you like a modern-ish sound with a very detailed top-end and a quick response, you'll love the B-Max. It's not the most expensive or fancy pre on the market, but it's probably the greatest value, IMHO.
     
  17. craig.p

    craig.p

    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I've run into configurations where I get a slight hum from my BMax. In my experience it's been amplifier-dependent. So, something to be aware of.

    Run it 2-wire AC the way it's designed. Running it 3-wire (i.e. with ground) will only make the hum worse.

    IMO the Maximizer is what really makes this preamp worth it, specifically the "Lo Contour" knob. Adds lots of thickness and harmonic content that can broaden the BG's footprint in the mix. Many times I'll run the tone at 2-10-2 and add bass with the Lo Contour knob. Comes kinda close to what a BDDI or a tube power amp will sound like. Also, unlike the bass tone control, it seems not to boost the "mud" region too much.

    FWIW........
     
  18. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Indeed, it isn't flat, that's why I wrote "flat":smug:
    The sound you describe is exactly how I hear it too. When I plug my bass straight into the focusrite saffire I get a very dry sound(these pre-amps ARE flat from 20-20.000hz). The bmaxT has indeed a bigger bottom and more shimmering top.

    I can tell you that if you're going to measure it you're going to "see" what you hear.

    Btw. I didn't know the bmax didn't have the jensen DI.
     
  19. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Very astute there are actually two vintage ribbon mics on the speakers one is on the JBL D120f in the right hand bottom Tannoy i12 monitor cab. It's an Altec 417 in the other Tannoy with an original SM57 beta.
    And the other one is on one of the EVM 12's short basket drivers in the
    Old Laney 2x12 cab.
    These mic's are the original 1950's offset Reslo ribbon designs Mr David Royer admits to having repaired just before he designed his R121.:meh:
    [​IMG]
    They do look remarkably similar don't they.:D
    One of them has a Steven Sank fitted 1.6 micron RCA corrugated ribbon and a cloud transformer the other one has a 1.8 micron ribbon with an XAudia transformer.
    Here is the pre amp I use with them little ribbon beauties:
    [​IMG]
    RCA OP-6:hyper::hyper: Now what else is there for this job.
     
  20. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Great vintage stuff Bassmec!
    I also dig that sub-kick-mic :cool:
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 7, 2021

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