BBE Sonic Maximizer 411

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Axtman, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have a rack mount BBE Sonic Maximizer 411. As far as I can tell it does nothing except flash lights and boost the bass.

    What do you guys think about these things?
  2. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
  3. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    The BBE Sonic Maximizer is a dynamic treble EQ. As you get louder it boosts more. similar to using only the top section of the dbx IIIbx dynamic range expander from "the old days" So that it doesn't sound too shrieky, it has a fixed bass boost to fill the bottom end. They used to make all kinds of bizzare claims about them, but this was only because they didn't want to call it an EQ.

    The problems with it are that if you don't have any treble you can't get any boost, and also it can create a LOT of treble boost - around 20 dB I think - so you can cause a dangerous increase in bass and treble levels. Watch out for your tweeters and clip levels!

    Some people like them, but I find it hard to listen to.
  4. cocobass


    Aug 25, 2006
    I have one in my rack. along with my World 1.2 & Alembic F1-X. I love it. I use it with Bag End S-15D & S-15XD, been using it for about 13 years.

    It is designed to operate as a time alignment device: Standing away from your amp, low frequencies reach the ears at a different time than high frequencies. The 400 series of Sonic Maximizers was designed to affect the timing of frequencies that should in the end give the listener a more uniform sound- bass, mids & treble all reaching the ear in about the same time.

    I like mine- looking forward to another 10+ years of service from it.
  5. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Well yeah, but how does BBE know how far away you are from your amp? I think there is a lot of poppycock going on, as the timing isn't even adjustable. What's that you say? "But it is adjustable w/ the Process & Lo-Contour controls!". Nope. They are just craftily labeled shelving controls, sorry. Even BBE's own spec sheets confirm this.

    Does the BBE circuitry do some split-band time delaying? Yes, it looks like it does. In fact they bought out the original DBX circuit/patent that accomplishes this (as I understand). However, without knowing the distances being utilized by the end user, BBE can only guess at what they are aligning. This brings me to the conclusion that the end users are primarily hearing the amount of Low & High shelving eq that they dial in on the front panel.
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I have no clue about any technical aspects of it, but I have one in my bass rack and a stomp version for my guitars. Love 'em both.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Instant EQ in a box. They really do work if you're dealing with marginal PA gear or need to add clarity. Its not for everybody and it not appropriate for every situation. Couple of repeating complaints:

    *"High end sounds tinny, artificial, over-processed."

    *"Mids sound scooped."

    *"Meh...I can accomplish the same thing via a GEQ or PEQ."

    So be it. When I do find it to be useful, I adjust / match the low contour with unaffected signal and boost the process no higher than 3 - 3.5....a little goes a long way. Proof of the pudding is in the pie: sit a willing volunteer 25' - 30' away from the source and play either some canned tracks or (god forbid) live tunes with the SM both in and out of the signal chain.

    FTR, in PA applications, the SM should be placed in the L & R main inserts and not the Aux Send / Return. In bass rigs, it can be placed in either the effects loop or betweenst the preamp and power amp....YMMV.

  8. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I own a 411 and I use it in my pa rack, even though I've read that this particular model was made to be used on the specific instrument level (i.e., in a bass rack). I used it in my bass rack for a while, bu did not care for the scooped mids, so I use it for the pa, where it seems to work fine.
  9. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    That's just it, I totally accept the "Instant EQ in a Box" description. That's exactly how it sounds to me, and how the controls actually work. It's a boost-only high and low shelving eq. Thus, the much-reported 'scooped mids' complaint. Can this be accomplished with eq? (And more than 90% likely the eq already on your amp head?) Yup.

    As to the "time alignment", I guess, maybe. But I reiterate- what I believe most folks are hearing is the shiny smiley face eq treatment. Not phase-alignment chicanery.
  10. 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.

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