BBE Sonic maximizer - Is it worth it.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by GREGofTEMPLATE, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. I've got a SansAmp RBI rackmount bassdriver, a SWR Workingmans 400 watt head, and two ampeg 4x10's. Soon, I'll be ditching the SWR head and just get a power amp. The SansAmp sounds great, but what would an added BBE do for my sound. Does it make that much of a difference?
  2. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    It's gonna add a little depth/bass....but not really a big deal IMHO.
    I picked one up VERY cheap, used. It's in my chain but if it went out I wouldn't replace it. Nothing a quality EQ can't handle.
  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I have used it on bass, but now it's relegated to the band's PA rack. It seems to work better there. From my experience, it doesn't so a whole lot to your stage sound. If you really want to hear the difference in sound, you have to be out in the audience. From the stage, the low contour can add some depth and the process can give you a little more clarity. But it realy seems more like EQ from the standpoint of the stage. From the audience however, the sound is enhanced to a higher degree.
  4. pudgefactor


    Mar 28, 2002
    I had a BBE sonic maximizer for a week or so but returned it. It didn't add much at all to my
    SVT 4 Pro and Sansamp BDDI. I think if you have a good sounding system and pre-amp, it probably
    won't add much. Can always try it out and return it if it doens't work out.
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I suggest that you also consider either the rack or pedal version of the Aphex Exciter, and A/B it with the BBE if you can. I have never compared them directly, so I can't recommend one over the other. However I like what the Aphex does, and can also say that an EQ cannot replicate the Aphex magic.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Oh: to explain what the Aphex does, it basically adds girth and sustain to your lows, and shimmer/transparency to your highs. When used properly the effect is subtle, but when I turn it off I almost always wish it was back on. It doesn't change my tone, it simply improves it. I do notice the difference live, especially when my strings lose their freshness.

    Also note that, unlike an EQ, the Aphex does what it does with little or no increase in signal level... in other words you get more apparent loudness without turning up.

    I'm not trying to sell you one... I'm only saying that if you're looking into an enhancer device you definitely should check out Aphex along with BBE.
  7. I love what it's done. I use it very sparingly though..Both knobs are set to about 9 o'clock..It's EXTREMELY important that you adjust the sound with the process on. If you shape your tone before you've turned it on, you're going to be unhappy. But once you find that sweet spot, you realize, wow..I couldn't have done that "just with an EQ"it delays the high Hz from the lows so the soundwaves hit your ear drum at the same time. It's really something that is easily done in a PA rack, but really takes some time to get good results on just a stand alone bass rig. But once you're there, it's like someone removed a thick quilt from over your ears. Seriously..
  8. I prefer the Behringer Ultrafex EX3200. Does the same job for less money, and you ca run it stereo. also has separate bass and treble sections, and can be used as an Enhancer or an Exciter.
  9. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    hi guys,

    i thought i'd add my two cents (how could i not?)...

    everyone has valid stuff here, i think the underlying tone is "let your ears be the judge".

    yarnboy's take on it is pretty right on. Remember that the Sonic Maximizer is not an EQ per se, it corrects for phase distortion, not the nasty spikey kind of distortion, but the more like the distortion you'd see in a mediocre paint job on a nice car...the BBE removes those distortions.

    as pudgefactor suggests, pick up a 482i or one of the BMAX preamps and give it a whirl.

    regarding the ex3200, i think that is strictly an EQ-type of device...but since it doesn't use our proprietary chip, i don't think it actually does the same thing as a BBE Sonic Maximizer

    and finally, to fuzzbass' point, the Sonic Maximizer also will increase the apparent loudness without adding any appreciable level. the phase correction alone will tighten-up your low-end, add some depth and not increase the level.

    some guys swear by it...we've got users like tom barney (steely dan) and dave ellefson (megadeath) who won't play without it.

    have fun and good luck.
  10. I used a 362 with good results, brightened up the top and added beef to the bottom.

    I "upgraded" to the two channel 482. I took me awhile to figure it out but the 482 was actually a downgrade. It sounded no where near as good as the 362.

    I ended up replacing the 482 with the Aphex 204C which I'm very happy with.
  11. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003

    that's interesting...the chip is different in the 482i/882i, higher headroom, less noise, greater sensitivity.

    the "use your ears theory" is always the best, IMHO...the range of styles represented on this board is as diverse as i can imagine (slipknot to stubenhaus).

    The Sonic Maximizer will have a different affect on your tone based on your style and sound.

    best as always
  12. atoni


    Jan 23, 2004
    Helsinki, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: Salo Guitars
    Does anyone have experience using sonic maximizer (362) with Ampeg SVT-2pro or other all tube amplifiers? Is it any good....?
  13. Jason Newsted uses BBE Sonic Maximizers..and his tone is incredible.
  14. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Then I'm in good company! I never turn mine off, ever. It's subtle but great. I set both knobs at 50% or less.
  15. FWIW, I have a BMAX-T and I never turn the maximizer off. I get plenty of comments about how my P-bass cuts through the mix. I feel a big part of that is the BBE maximizer. My buddy was impressed as well and added a 362 to his Aguilar DB 750 rig (and it sounded amazing from the git). But as everyone else said, you should only notice when it's missing. Good luck.
  16. nerdcore


    May 12, 2002
    Just got one! Where does it go, before or after my compressor in the FX loop? If it truly is an EQ and Phase corrector, it seems as though it'd go last..
  17. judd levison

    judd levison

    Jun 2, 2003
    Howdy Nerdcore,

    Definitely last.

  18. atoni


    Jan 23, 2004
    Helsinki, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: Salo Guitars
    Just got one from local music store, and they were on sale. It really gives little bit bigger sound without modifying the basic Ampeg sound. Our guitarist tried it with his 5150, and he was running to the store to get one for himself too :)
  19. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    OK, stupid question. Do you run this through your effects loop?

    The reason I ask is, I know a guitarist who puts it in between his preamp and power amp.

    Thanks for any info!
  20. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    FX Loop.
    Last thing before the power amp.