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BBE BMax-T Users?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sanctum, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. I noticed in my searches that most ppl have chosen the SS model over the Tube.

    $300 retail difference seems to be the reason?

    The only differences I can see from the literature is the tube stage (duh) and the Jenson DI - dunno if that is $300 worth of extras.

    What I'm wondering is why they didn't put the Jenson DI in the SS model as well, I hear they are really nice outputs.

    So anyone own and been using the T for awhile now?
  2. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    Howdy Sanctum,

    I got your email as well but i'll answer this question here.

    The BMAX-T came first. The idea being to make the best sounding tube preamp ever made at a price somewhere under the Alembic preamp.

    The price reflects the Groove Tubes Premium tube, the Jensen transformer, the Teflon coated silver conductor wires used to wire the tube socket and the big torroidial transfomer used in the power supply. All of these items add to the cost of the BMAX-T.

    We got everything in there we found people really wanted in that type of device.

    The requirement I made of our engineer for the solid-state BMAX was, "make it sound as close as you can to the T in a package we can offer for around $300.00"

    The Jensen is awfully expensive on it's own, our cost is almost $40.00 and we would not have been able to offer the BMAX at the price if we had added that.

    The DI section of the BMAX is our DI-100X which is about as transparent and open sounding of a DI as I've ever heard.

    I think the reason folks have gravitated to the BMAX is not price alone but also the very open sound of it and the quickness of its response to fast transients.

    You should check out both and decide based on what your ears tell you.

    I hope this helps.

  3. Thanks for the reply! I ordered my BMax yesterday, so I should know more next week :)
  4. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    imho, you could not have made a better choice.


    thanks for the support.
  5. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    thanks Judd for your posts on here...we've got great "inside" info from you and Bob Lee (QSC). one of the reasons this place has great value to a bass player.
  6. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    likewise...this board and the insight you guys provide means i can serve the bass playing community better.

    have a great holiday and thanks so much for everyones support.
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    pardon the temporary hi-jack... :)

    JUDD!! hey bro....my 383 is still going strong....making it hard to part with it...nice to see ya around!

  8. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Yes; please give us an in-depth review after you've given it a good gigging.
  9. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    After checking out basstasters.com, I've decided on trying either alembic f1-x or bbe-max-t. I'm leaning toward the alembic because the bbe is a little brighter, but i also hear the lows on the bbe units are crazy.

    hard to decide.
  10. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    QSC and BBE...both local So. Cal. companies with great products and great customer service. Combined, they form a choice rig.
  11. Q-Phonix


    Sep 28, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    djnylonpants,I have a couple of questions about the bmax preamp.Are the eq knobs boost and cut,and what are there frequency centers? Also when you turn up the volume on the preamp does it affect the level sent out of the D.I.? I am interested in getting one of these preamps,but am concerned that when I turn up my stage volume I will be changing the level sent to the mixing board. Thanks in advance
  12. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    Howdy Q,

    I just saw this, sorry for the late reply.

    1) low is boost only
    mid is cut only
    high is boost only
    there are not frequency centers per se; because of the nature of this passive eq design, the centers will change depending on where the others are set. this is the same circuit fender used in the showman heads and most all of their passive eq preamp sections.

    2) the gain and master level controls will affect the DI out.

    i hope this helps and i really appreciate the inquiry.
  13. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I don't quite understand the reasoning behind this type of tone circuitry.
    Why would this be better than a equal-amount boost/cut circuit?
    Is there a great sonic benefit to a passive tone circuit or is it just easier and cheaper?
  14. One of the reasons I returned my BMax was because of the EQ - I found it to be ungodly hot, especially with my active basses. I guess if I didn't want to do any EQ at the bass, it would be ok, but I like to work that way. I couldn't boost the bass on the BMax past 8o'clock without hearing speaker distortion. I messed with the thing for a full day before deciding it wasn't for me. I only had 72 hours to decide :)

    I'm just too used to boost/cut circuits I guess.
  15. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    I just got my BBE Bmax-T in the mail today.

    Will post a review once I hook it up tomorrow at practice.

  16. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    We were really going after the quality of the Alembic F-2B which uses the same EQ topology. Our market research told us that great number of players really loved the Alembic/Fender design.

    As I've said many times here before, let your ears be the judge of what works best for you. Some people love what we've done and others find that it doesn't quite work for what they do...it's all good. Sanctum's experience is a testament to that.

    Thanks so much for the interest.
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    If the bass was already too hot, why turn the bass control up?

    Did you try running the preamp flat (2, 10, 2)?

    Did you try cutting the bass control on your bass guitar?

    [Curious cause I'm pretty interested in these based on the sound clips on www.basstasters.com.]
  18. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I like the sound of the Alembic when used with a complementary speaker cab, but I think it would take me awhile to get the hang of all the ways to get different sounds out of it (3 switches and 3 or 4 tone knobs), just not intuitive to me. Having said that, jumping through hoops to get the right sound doesn't really bother me as long as the right sound is righteous enough. I've had to do pretty much the same getting 'my tone' out of my Dem 201S.
  19. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    This pre-amp rocks. I'm still tweaking the tone but it has a lot more tubey bass goodness than my sansamp did. Its a helluva lot louder too with a tube gain stage (compared to sansamp RBI).

    Furman PL-Plus
    BBE Bmax-Tube
    QSC PLX 1602
    2xAguilar GS112

    I plan on pickin up one of the new Aguilar S210s and hopefully also a new bass to complete my rig
  20. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Glad you're happy with the pre.
    --off topic--
    You should check out running one of your GS112 together with a GS210, great combination!
    [You might decide to trade one of your GS112's for a GS210.]