Can I get A/B Comparison-Sansamp RBI vs. BBE BMAX.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tryxx, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Tryxx

    Tryxx Sputnik Forums: Bass Mod

    Jun 1, 2005
    Hurst, Texas.
    It seems most people wanting to jump into the pre/power set-up or rackmount world start out with one of these two pre-amps coupled with a QSC power amp. Both seem to be tried and well backed.

    Since they're about the same price, can anyone give a comparison as to how these rate pound for pound?
  2. Mr. Pickle

    Mr. Pickle

    Aug 20, 2005
  3. Tryxx

    Tryxx Sputnik Forums: Bass Mod

    Jun 1, 2005
    Hurst, Texas.
  4. In my opinion...after trying both of them...the RBI is more of what you'd call an old school tone. It has the ability to be hi-fi sounding, but what you have is just a nice, warm, thick, creamy, tube-y tone.

    What you get with the BBE is a crisp, clean, and articulated tone. Even without the Sonic Maximizer engaged, there's a very modern sound to it. The EQ is voiced entirely different than the RBI.

    The RBI is very versatile as a recording tool, effects processor, D.I. and preamp, whereas the BBE is primarily suited as a preamp. Little things on the RBI (like the XLR output volume knob on the front panel and the dry/wet blending) are what add to its versatility.

    That said...I loved the BBE with my Active Carvin 6 string and my Warwick, but felt it changed the character of my passive Rick, Yamaha and Fender basses.

    The RBI felt sort of 'blah' with my active 'modern sounding' basses, but seemed to mirror what I felt was coming naturally out of my passives.

    Since I play my passives more than the others now, I went with the RBI. No regrets.
  5. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses

    I really like the sound of my passive basses through my RBI, but I don't really like the sound of the active ones. Since I almost exclusively gig with my passives it works out just fine for me.
  6. Mr. Pickle

    Mr. Pickle

    Aug 20, 2005
    how did u think the bbe changed the passive tone? or, what did it do to it?

    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    <bump> I am considering one or the other for my new rig.
  8. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I have the BMax for about a year now and am really wanting to move on. Its a very clean fast sounding pre but the eq is a little annoying. The pre seems to be designed to nataurally have a mid scoop sound to it. I find that the mids have to be dimed out and the para mids section also has to be boosted considerably to get what I consider a relatively flat sound.

    The BBE process scoops the mids even more as it enhances the low end and the crisp top. This sounds really good sitting around at home at low volumes but does not make for a very good cutting thru sound in a band situation.

    For the price, the Bmax has some neat features, is very well made and sounds good but after a/b'ing it with the front end of my GK RB800, I am going back to just running the head by itself. I love the punch and slightly mid pronounced tone of my GK and find it cuts thru the mix so much better than when the Bmax is in the chain as my pre amp.

    Sometimes simple is truly better.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic and card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I agree 100%!!!! :smug:
    The BBE is bright and modern, useful, even fun.
    My Sansamp paraDI, (like the RMP, not the RBI--but they are similar)
    is tubey, flexible, old school, and great with passive and Piezo basses.
    Definately thick and creamy when you want it to be!!! Clears out "mid-
    range bark" when used with upright.

    But man, the BBE, also sounds great with my Jazz, especially for slap. :cool:

    All that said, I even once did some fairly serious recording on upright
    using the BBE SS as a pre. Got some good tones, but it took A LOT of
    tweeking, tons more than I really had time for. :meh:

    If I am using upright now, I prefer the Sansamp by far.
    For electric, I love then both, just different, but both are inexpensive. :D
  10. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    I'm not normally a "+1" kinda poster, but Mo' hit it on the hizzead.

    A side note, while the second BBE was a perfect specimen, the first one had some "issues". I received a total lemon. When I picked it up out of the cardboard the first time the metal casing made a very noticeable 'gun-GOONG!' kinda sound, like leaning against the side of a small panel van.
    I plugged it all in, turned it on, grabbed the volume knob....and it came off in my hand. I plowed on and tried to dial a tone out of it anyway. Found some good tonal ranges and was just starting to turn up the rig when this loud, strident, honking, POP comes out of the horn of my avatar 210. Blown. Frizzled. Cooked. Toast is ready.

    It may just be coincidence, but that cab did a few hundred gigs both before and after that short lived B-Max (most at full blast only-thing-filling-the-club volume) and the horn never had a moments trouble any other time.

    so as I said, the replacement was fine and performed exactly as described above, but i would definitely give the build quality battle to Tech21 for just about anything. He builds everything like a tank, period.
  11. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I use the BBE and rather like it. I think alot of guys have trouble with the BBE maybe because they get it used and dont have the manual, or dont read it. It doesn't operate like most. The treble and bass are mainly boost only, and the mid is cut only, where as the para is cut & boost from 250hz to 1Khz with 0 = -12db 5= 0 and 10 = +12db (12o'clock 0 conterclockwise cut, clockwise boost.. So if you want to start w/ EQ flat you should set treble to 2, mid to 10, and bass on 2 and bright switch off. (as per manual) Hope that helps