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OK, what is the deal with BBE sonic maximizers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Monkabutt, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Monkabutt

    Monkabutt Guest

    Apr 15, 2002
    My house
    I did a search and read a couple of threads and still don't know exactly what is up with them. Anyone use one? How does it affect your tone? Mucho grassy ass!
  2. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Try one out at a music store.
    A BBE processor can really help a PA mix, making drums and bass punchier while giving extra clarity to vocals.

    If you have an expensive rig with a high end preamp, you may not get much out of a BBE processor.
    But if you have a less expensive setup, it may be able to give you more punch and clarity.
    I know a local guy that uses a BBE processor with old Peavey Gear (Mark IV head & 2x15 cab) - he has a great punchy modern sound using only 30 year old amp equipment with a BBE (and a passive Bass).

    You might also try an Aphex Aural Exciter or one of the new Aphex Bass Xciter pedals. The Aphex products can make a small cabinet sound larger.
  3. Monkabutt

    Monkabutt Guest

    Apr 15, 2002
    My house
    If this is the case I might not get much benefit from a BBE. I did some further reading and it sounds like the BBE helps align time differences between the hi and low frequencies? I heard one that was hooked to a cheap stereo in a music store and there was a noticable difference. Not sure exactly how to describe it but sounded a bit like the loudness button that they used to have on stereo gear that boosted the hi and lows a bit.
  4. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Don't just go by what it sounds like playing a CD, you really have to try it with your rig in a live mix situation to see what it does.

    I've been using BBE for a lot of years. What I've found (with my crappy equipment) is it sounds best if you don't use too much process, and that little bit of added BBE process sounds much better than turning up treble on the bass or the amp. If you don't have a high-end tube preamp, it's great for adding high-frequency harmonic content to a solid-state rig.

    There's a thread on here where the BBE Product Mgr describes how the older models had a more mid-scooped sound, so that may be what you were hearing as similar to a loudness contour. I'm looking forward to trying the new 482i.
  5. It isn't as good as a Behringer Ultrafex. I've A/B'ed them and the Behringer, being 2-channel, brings your low out more. It works just as well in a live P.A. situation or a mixdown, is true bypass(although I never turn it off) and is stereo. You can sor of 'couple' it by using the stereo processor in the middle, but that's really designed for stereo mixes. I'll end up running it dual mono when I get my new rig, seeing as I don't like to only have one side flashing :D
  6. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Unless you're in a studio setting, the rackmount BBE is a mistake. This is my "review" of the BBE BMAX-SS I posted at the Dudepit:
    Well, I ordered a BBE BMAX-SS, it came yesterday.

    Here is my review:
    Out of the box, the casing waffled in and out like the side of a panel van with a very audible gung-GOONG sound. I decided to mount it in my rack to see if it vibrated while playing.
    Once in the rack and plugged in it did indeed make noise. Not the casing vibrating, but it was hissing like an army of rattlesnakes. It also picked up all kinds of radio frequencies. Within 2 minutes of playing at living room volume, before I could even begin to dial out the crackling garbage on the high end (beacuse the gain knob came off in my hand the first time I touched it) it blew the horn in my cab.

    What a complete and utter piece of crappola.


    Consider yourselves warned! About 2 hours after I stuffed the piece of sh!t back in the box I bought a sansamp RBI. Best Pre-amp I've ever owned in near 20 years of gigging. BBE should be completely embarassed.

  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You got a lemon IMO, I have an old BBE and NEVER experienced any problems like you have.
  8. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Banned

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    I don't have the cash to waste with any company that doesn't even bother to check if the knobs are glued on.
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hm, the knobs on mine have screws.
  10. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Wow that's nuts! I haven't had any of those problems with my 462 either.

    I do agree it would be cool if they made a pedal version, but I'll tell you what - I still have one of the original Stinger pedals (their first product, discontinued) and the construction wasn't very good compared to stuff like DOD, MXR, etc. They had a hinged on/off pedal instead of a button, and the hinge broke.
  11. BassPlayerGush


    Sep 23, 2001
    i dont know if anybody actually gave you an actual function of the sonic maximizer. well, from what i undestand, it basically allows you to phase the hi's and low's either together or apart. it usually can enhance the sound on crappier equipment for the simple reason that the amps and the speakers werent phased together to well at the manufactor, this just lets you tweek that phasing. it seems like its kind of a trend in that nu-metal garbage. save your pennies and just buy a better rig so you dont have to get a "sonic maximizer" to try to emulate a better rig.
  12. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    My BBE 383 has a "sonic maximizer" circuit in it.

    It's an okay effect. Sometimes I use it, when I want a bright, midrangey sound, but other times not.
  13. I actually use mine with my Eden rig (Navigator Pre with 210XLT -- Carvin Power Amp) and it works pretty well. My secret is that I run it throught the side chain and can thus dial in how much I want blended with my sound. I use it to add a little low end when I am playing songs that require a little more bass. BEWARE though, it will kill your harmonics. Also, the IN/OUT button is not a true bypass. The out actually cuts the signal so it intentionally sounds crappy until you put it back in.
  14. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I use the BBE 383 as well. It makes a big difference in my sound. I use it with an Eden 410XLT.

  15. spaz


    May 24, 2001
    Hampton, VA - USA
    Well, I just bought the BBE BMAX-SS a week ago and I do like the sonic maximizer. I think adding a small amount of the BBE process is the key. I'm a little surprised to hear bigfatbass' review, because I'm very impressed for the price. I bought it for part of a 'big' rig to use when my Eden CXC 212 won't cut it. So far nothin' but smiles, so maybe bigfatbass just got a lemon.

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