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BBE BMAX-T one improvement

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Hullaballoo, Apr 4, 2009.


  1. Here's the story - my old (solid-stae) BBE developed a fault, and was replaced by the dealer with a BMAX-T because they couldn't get hold of a new BMAX.
    I was VERY disapointed with the tone - not much treble, generally lifeless, and not a patch on the BMAX for penetration etc. I was considering buying a new BMAX as well because I missed the top end so much, and was having to run the -T with the treble rght up, the high mids up, and the Maximiser almost right up to get any punch at all.
    As a long shot, I read up some reviews of various 12AX7's, and sent off for a 12AX7EH (by Electroharmonix). Now I'm very anti audiophile bsh*t like "the sound stage became more open and 3D" etc, and wasn't holding out much hope.
    Now, either the GTECC83 (by Groove Tubes) in the (new) -T was just a bad one, or, it's not a patch on the 12Ax7EH in this application -MY GOD - WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Bags of top end, more volume, and I've got my old, punchy, trebly-but-full-of-bottom sound back again. I've seen several posts where people have moaned about the -T's lack of treble, and if you are one of these unfortunates, risk £8 or so on an 12AX7EH (or whatever takes your fancy), because the difference is PHENOMENAL (no bullsh*t!!)
     
  2. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    That's funny, your "BBE BMAX / BMAX-T " thread is why I got the BMax instead of the BMax-T (well that and the money difference).
     
  3. Good to hear you got it sorted :)

    If you were wanting to be adventurous you could always buy a few 12AX7's/ECC83's and see what differences there are.
     
  4. Sorry about that tallboy bass - but I still think I prefer the BBE overall. The bass on the -T is more "organic" if you like - rich and full, but the BBE still has bags more top end, and I thiunk that's what counts in the mix really.
    And I_got_a_mohawk - I might just do that some day. I think I've got some really old Mullard ECC83's somewhere, and if I can ever find them, according to the "buffs" they might be even better!. I really liked the way the BBE can slice your face off even without the "bright" switch in. I contacted the makers and like someone else posted, they deny there is a problem with the "bright" switch on the -T. "There is no fix because no-one has ever complained" was what they said to me, but I know people have, and I also know it does NOTHING on the -T, which is a shame, as a bit more treble would still be nice. I find that bags of top is what gets you through the mix, even though it might sound horrible indoors.
    I thinks i'd still swap you tallboybass, so I'm not going to feel too guilty, and I saved you all that money!
     
  5. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I have a " T " and might be interested in swapping tubes. What exactly is involved, besides getting a different tube? Do you have to dismantle the whole thing to get at the tube?
     
  6. Replacing the tube is a cakewalk,just remove the top cover with it having been unplugged for a hour or more and replace the tube.
    I sold my T-Max for that exact reason so now Im curious if I would have kept it with the better tube but I LOVE my Eden Navigator.
     
  7. It really is easy - undo the two small phillips screws at the back/top/centre of the case, the four screws on each side, and the one Allen screw in the centre/front/top of the case, and slide the top off.
    Then pull out the old valve, put in the new, and put the case back on. Takes about 10 minutes, but mind, the case top can be tight so you have to wiggle it off. And reassemble it on a flat surace, or it might go out of line and then all four feet won't touch the floor, like mine didn't until I loosened the screws and re-tightened them!
    If you think it's too woolly, it might be worth a go rather than get rid of it - all you've lost is a few pounds/dollars.
     
  8. Envincibal

    Envincibal Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Central Florida
    I have a BMAX-T and get plenty of top end with (stock tube). The bright switch adds a noticable amount of top and the treble control I keep pretty low (set about 3 to 3.5). I don't see myself unloading this unit without any serious seller's remorse.
    Just my 2 cents.
     
  9. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    Intresting...I have a groove tube 12AX7 and dig it in this unit.
     
  10. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Not a problem Hullaballoo, I almost always have a harder time generating highs than lows. So far, I like the BMax but still haven't had it out on a gig. I bought mine from FuzzBoxVoodoo (who is great to deal with) as an experiment. I like the built-in compressor and the native tone (set about 2B-10M-3T). I WAS surprised it didn't have a removable power cord.
     
  11. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    My MaxT puts out more treble as I boost the bass and have had no issues with not enough...
    In fact at times, it's too much... Mine's less than a year old and just went in for a tune up cuz it was buzzing...
     
  12. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Does anyone not keep the Middle on flat? Just wondering how it affects the bass and treble.
     
  13. IbanezATK

    IbanezATK

    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    I have a BMAX coming... I can't wait.

    I couldn't afford the tube version... so I have a VT pedal and a Bass Big Muff instead!
     
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I very strongly suspect that the original tube was defective in some way.
    There should not be as large a difference as you describe between the two tubes that you mentioned (if they're both healthy).

    To the person asking about setting the midrange flat -- the BMax & BMax-T use a tone stack that is approximately flat when set to 2-9-2 (bass-mid-treble).
     
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    P.S. I thought that the BMax & BMax-T sound fairly similar -- with the 'T' having the edge in projecting a more 3-D type tone (slightly smoother midrange & airier treble) & the bass of the BMax seems a slight touch quicker.

    All IMO, of course.
     
  16. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    If you are refering to me, what I was asking was how the Middle affects the Bass and Treble when it is NOT set flat. It seems like everyone who uses this pre seems to keep the middle on flat ( 10 ) and adjust Bass and Treble to taste. I realize the Middle control is a cut only , but how does it effect the other two when it is not set flat?
     
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Somewhere on the internet is a fender tone stack simulator app that can show you pretty close.
     
  18. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I apologize for the misunderstanding (I should be in bed -- it's been a very long day).
     
  19. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Here's one of them.
     
  20. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    One thing I have noticed ( and it may be true with the SS model too ), is that, with an active bass, the BMax T really opens up, almost to the point where it's too clear and cutting. Probably has to do with the bass' eq ( mine is a MIM Jazz Deluxe ), I don't know, but it is a world of difference as compared to my MIA passive Jazz.
     

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