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BBE Sonic Stomp Opinions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by dcbassist5, May 5, 2015.

  1. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland, Hardwire
    I am curious to hear what people think of the BBE Sonic Stomp and more directly if you are using it, what amp are you using it, where is it in your pedal chain and what are you specifically using it for?

    I have read all of the articles concerning what it may or may not be, I just fail to believe that it's some "magic" or "special sauce" especially at $99.

  2. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    "Magic" or "special sauce" is basically what it is. While there supposedly are technical explanations for what BBE's Sonic Maximizer products do, and they at least slightly "scoop" your tone from an EQ perspective, the effect is not something that can be easily described (or, at least, people don't generally agree on a description). Basically, you either think your tone is better with it as an always-on pedal, or you don't. I don't recall ever hearing of anyone using one for anything other than always-on tone coloration.

    I have the Sonic Maximizer function on my BBE BMax preamp (same effect as the Sonic Stomp), and I use it about 50% of the time. Depending on whatever else is going on with my rig, band, and tonal goals, I sometimes feel that the sound is better with the effect on and sometimes with the effect off. Every now and again when I'm playing around with something in my setup I'll try turning the Maximizer on and off to see which seems to sound better at the time, and I'll then generally leave it either on and off until the next time (probably for months on average).
  3. I had the 482 (?) rack -mount maximizer in my old rig. Liked what it did for my low end but did not like the mid suck. To each their own.

  4. kurotenshi


    Jun 27, 2009
    Amadora, Portugal
    SourceAudio Endorser
    I've benn curious about the BBE technology for a long time but never had the opportunity to test it.
    One thing I can tell you, the BBE music player for iOS makes some amazing effects on music so, if the Maximizer does the same it's worth the 99USD
  5. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    I have it as the last pedal before my amp and it is always on. This is a love/hate pedal here at TB and I had to weed through a ton of threads to figure out what it ultimately did or did not do. Of all the things I read, I'll say that the description of removing a blanket from over your amp is a pretty good description. It adds presence without much coloration; essentially brightens up your tone a bit. If you ignore BBE's marketing speak about what is actually going on in the pedal (or their rack mount maximizers) along with the effusive praise or vitriol here on TB and just consider it a simple EQ/presence effect, it will likely meet your expectations if that's all you expect it to do.

    Oh, and you can usually find them all over used in the classified here or on ebay for around $50.
    dcbassist5 likes this.
  6. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    I had one once. It wasn't really needed so I gave it to a guitarist.
  7. lil nelson

    lil nelson

    Oct 19, 2010
    I have a sonic stomp. I used it with a comp and a chorus as all pedals all ways on. I had very little of the comp and the ch on, just a taste of each. The sonic stomp is supposed to send the bass fq to the speaker first to get it moving just before it slips in the mid and treble. Supposedly it helps with distortion of a full range speaker or better clarity, and it happens faster than your ear can tell the difference that the bass hits first. It worked for my Genz Benz shuttle combo amp and I liked it, but now I run a Greenboy F210 and I find the sonic stomp useless, actually hurts the sound. If your a player who's running something like a Peavey combo with a 15 full range, it will probably sound like the "blanket" analogy. :)
  8. bcoomes


    Feb 6, 2014
    Louisville, KY
    I used one for a while, but I found that it slightly scooped mids - either that or made the highs too "sparkly." Maybe I just like blankets.
    Leiria, Moosehead1966 and Jamvan like this.
  9. MCBass89


    Jul 29, 2009
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Geek & Pedal Junky
    Just checked out your website, excellent work on the sound clips. :thumbsup:
  10. MCBass89


    Jul 29, 2009
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Geek & Pedal Junky
    Picked one up last night from the classifieds, will post an update in the next week or so once it arrives.
  11. If you get a chance, please compare it to an Aphex Xciter.

    I don't have the Sonic Stomp, but I do have the Xciter. I've always wanted to get a SS to test against the Aphex.

    I recall a bass player on another board raving about his Maximizer, better than sliced bread when he first got it. He used it for six months, maybe more even a year or whatever, but eventually he took it out of his signal chain. I don't recall why he took it out, but he was no longer happy with how it sounded, he said he realised it was just "masking" his true sound – however, I don't think he took into consideration other changes he'd made in his signal chain that may have contributed to his discontent.

    I like how MCS4 is using the SS, on an as needed/wanted basis; that it can be always-on (or not) depending on what else is going on in your signal chain.
  12. I have one and use it with a sans amp RBI. It's the last pedal in my chain before the sans amp. I actually keep mine tucked inside the back of my rack to save board space and so when people talk crap about sonic maximizers but say they like my tone I can laugh my butt off. It's nothing magical and My setting isn't very extreme but it really seems to help my signal. Don't know if it's doing what the makers claim or if it's simply just a situation where I needed a buffer there or something. And it does give the bass a more "produced" sound when recording which I like
    dcbassist5 likes this.
  13. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland, Hardwire
    Forgot to ask....for those using it...what is your primary amp?
  14. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Here's my board:


    From the BBE SS, it goes into my TC BH500 head w/BC212x2 cabs. Amp is mostly flat with bass and lo-mids at 1:00, hi-mids at 11:00 and highs at 1:00.
    jason73 and MCBass89 like this.
  15. MCBass89


    Jul 29, 2009
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Geek & Pedal Junky
    Once mine arrives it'll be running into a GK MB500 with the EQ set flat and a Hartke AK410 cab.
  16. How convenient the pedal colours matched their corner colours, :woot: I could hear the announcer and the bell in my head before I even got to...

    Round 1

    The SS definitely seems to be a more pronounced effect, the AX subtle. However, by the time I listened to 75%, I thought the AX was over-emphasizing the lows while the SS was more balanced.

    Will have to come back and listen to rounds 2 and 3.

    Loved the Dry sound's graphic. :D

    Suggestion: Add a snippet of text that says to click on the links, I scrolled down expecting to find Round 1 and arrived unexpectedly at your summary preference.

    Good stuff BPG. Looking forward to checking out Round 2 and Round 3 a wee spell later. :thumbsup:

    I may snag a SS if I catch a good sale in future.

  17. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Here's an interesting take on the rackmount versions of the Sonic Maximizer. This may or may not apply to the stompbox version, specifically the bypass problem with the rackmount version, but it's worth a watch all the same:

    Having said that, I used to own a 482 rackmount version, and really liked it. That said, once I got better about knowing what gear was actually doing as opposed to just having a rack with lots of blinky lights that looked cool, I removed it from the signal chain. To my ears it's definitely a mid scoop machine. It might be doing the phase shift that BBE describes (I have a DBX channel strip in my studio that does the same thing), but I never found it to be terribly necessary for bass guitar applications, especially live ones. I always liked what it did to my tone at home by myself, but in a band setting it would work sometimes, not so much others. If I wanted to stand out in the mix, I would leave it off. If I want to be unnoticed or sit very deep in the mix, which isn't always a bad thing as some folks would have you believe, I would turn it on.
  18. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    For everyone who's mentioning the mild mid-scooping side effect of the Maximizer process, let's not forget that most folks use this as an always-on, set-it-and-forget-it effect. That means you may be able to change the EQ on your amp, bass, EQ, pedal, etc. to offset the mid-scoop if you find it to be a negative. This won't be possible with all rigs, because the EQ profile of the scoop might not jive with the EQ ranges that your gear can adjust -- which is probably why I find myself using the Maximizer with some rig configurations but not others -- but I believe most setups could work around that issue even if it was a concern.
    Nephilymbass likes this.
  19. I like lots of blinky-blinking lights and knobs. I should get all those Funk Logic rackable faux gear! :woot:

    Algorhythmic Prosecutor
    Digilog Dynamicator

    I love the Funk Logic faux-stuff, full stop!

    More than blinkety-blink I like to go unnoticed and sit way deep in the mix, lest anybody actually hear how bad I am! :bag:

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