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BBE Bmax and BBE Bmax-T: Has Anyone A/Bed Them?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Oct 29, 2004.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I was wondering if anyone's played through both of these preamps and if they noticed any major differences in tone between the SS and tube models. Thanks!
     
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Thanks Eric. I'd actually already listened to those clips though-I was hoping for some other opinions.
     
  4. jusplayinmybass

    jusplayinmybass

    Apr 17, 2003
    Conyers, Ga
    Keith McMillan Instruments, SIT Strings, Accugroove Cabinets
    I've played through both back to back. They are both really good. If you read the review in Bass Player, I think that it was spot on about the characteristics of the two. the BMax is really fast and clean sounding. Really good for slapping. The BMax-T has more grit to the tone and is better suited for old school fingerstyle playing. They both can do everything. But the BMax is really controlled. The BMax-T is looser if that makes any sense.

    I tried these with a Crown MacroTech power amp and a Bergantino HT322 cab. I forget the basses I was using, but I did use a Fender Jazz at one point. Just to let you know what else was going on. B Easy

    Myron
     
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Hey, that helps a lot-thanks! What issue of BP was the review in? I've had a subscription forever, so I must have gotten it and missed the review.
     
  6. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    The difference is surprisingly drastic IMHO. The tube version was very fat and bloated with tons of pillowy bass, and a fairly slow response. The regular was a little crisper, and more responsive. I greatly preferred the regular over the tube, but it's all about preference, and the other gear you're combining with it for an overall sound. Let me know if you have specific questions. They also make a couple of killer DI boxes too...
     
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Thanks vanselus! The solid state Bmax sounds more like what I'm interested in. Is it overbearingly clean? I prefer not to hear every tiny finger noise I make when playing.

    I doubt it will be anytime soon, but I'm looking to replace my current head with a pre/power setup, and was considering a BBE pre with either the QSC 1450 or Crown XLS 402 (doesn't seem to be too much difference between the two other than price-unless anyone knows differently?). I was also looking at the Sansamp RBI, but the BBE seemed more up my ally (slightly simpler controls with mid sweep and no overdrive knob-I never really use overdrive).

    BTW, I was able to find out online the BP review was in the February issue, which is unfortunately buried deep in our storage unit right now :meh:
     
  8. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    No way, the BBE is not overbearingly clean by a long shot. More thing and punchy. I was shocked at how good it sounded for the price, especially alone through the DI. (although if it was me, i'd never use the maximizer).

    The BBE sounds much more organic and natural to my ear than the Sansamp, which has always sounded a little lifeless to me. IMHO of course.
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    By "thing and punchy" did you mean thick and punchy? Thanks for all your help again-I don't get the chance to play most things before I buy them, so I rely on the expertise of guys like you who have played one of, well, everything ;)
     
  10. troll

    troll

    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    If it matters, I'd say go with the PLX over the RMX. It's worth double the price to save 20 lbs in your rack. After years of running the RMX, I am now upgrading to the PLX to save the weight and gain a few more ponies. Going to the 1602 since I have power hungry BXT cabs. Now my rack won't weigh 80lbs :)

    Oh, and if you call your local GC, they might be able to snatch you one at their recent promo price of 499. But I have the last one in a box in all of their stores coming to me :Q

    Troll
     
  11. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    I like my Bmax/RMX 1450 setup a lot, got them both from Northern Sound and Light for quite a bit less than GC was offering. Free shipping and no tax saved me ... oh I don't remember, like $130.00 or something. I chose the QSC over the Crown because of the in/outputs on it and the 6 year warranty. I'm sure either one would be a fine choice.
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I was thinking of the PLXs-unfortunately half the weight=twice the price ;) The GC in CT doesn't have any in stock at all, so no promo price-$500 is a great price for a new one though. It probably doesn't matter as it'll be a while before I try to buy anything, so by then the $300 difference between the RMX and PLX may be negotiable.
     
  13. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I've had both at the same time and I ended up keeping the "T". I couldn't give you a definite reason, it was just more of what I was looking for. Sounds amazing through a PLX and Bergantino cabs - clean enough for me.
     
  14. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    A-freakin'-men. I bought the RMX 1850HD first, then bit the bullet and got a PLX 2402. I don't regret spending the $$$ for the PLX, not for a moment. I still have the RMX, in case I ever need a backup, but I don't use it much any more.
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
  16. Corwin81

    Corwin81

    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    RMX(at least the 850 anyways) isn't that heavy. I use one in a Cadence ATA rack and as long as you use both handles, or carry something in the other hand(equal or close load), it doesn't feel heavy. Think of it as unintentional exercise. Although if you do have some troubles, try doing some shoulder shrugs, hammer curls, and deadlifts. Those exercises hit the muscles that work the most when hauling gear.
     
  17. I'm sure the RMX would feel light compared to my QSC USA 1310. The PLX would be a feather.
     
  18. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    BTW, if anyone can make a scan of the Bass Player review, I'd really appreciate it. There's no way I'll be able to get it out of storage anytime soon.
     
  19. afroman

    afroman

    Aug 31, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    I sold my SS BMAX for a BMAX-T, and to me the difference was very easy to notice. I loved the Tube version a lot more than I expected. I though one tube woudn't make any difference but it added a warmth and a character to the sound that the SS Bmax lacked, IMO. To me both are really really good. If you're an a tight budget I coudn't think of a better preamp thasn the SS Bmax.And even if you have a more generous budget, the SS version could be your cup of tea. It's far more "fast" and clean in the fast transients. But i just Love the tube version.

    Hope this helped....

    PS. By the way, even though I loved the BMAX-T, I'm selling it on Ebay casue I need the money for other stuff.
     
  20. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Hey Afroman, wasn't it you who A/B'd the BMAX-T with the Fender TBP-1? Did you keep the Fender?

    I recently picked up a used Peavey Max preamp, changed the front-end tube to an Electro-Harmonix (not much difference, the stock tube was a Sovtek) that I'm starting to use for recording. Based on what I've read / seen, the Fender looks extremely gig-worthy.