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sonic maximizer help

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by andrewrepasky, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. andrewrepasky


    Oct 30, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Looking at these to potentially even out tone....I've noticed a few bass players using a sonic maximizer...just needing some input to help me better understand them....any thoughts?
  2. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    My limited experience is with the Aphex Bass Xciter, and while it sounded good in the bedroom it turned out to be pretty much useless on the gig IME/IMO. I used it for one gig, then sold it.

    My Ashdown MK500 has the "harmonic emphasis" which in a way is similar. I use it all the time, and frankly wouldn't be happy with that amp at all without it. So that one works wonders, the Xciter didn't. YMMV.

    I would start looking other places (hands, bass, head, cab...) if you are dissatisfied with your tone. If you are just looking for something to spice things up a bit, or add some subtle flavour maximizers may be worth a closer look.
  3. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Waste of money. It will "change" the sound, but IMO it doesn't "improve" the sound.
  4. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I will agree with lowfreq33. I have the circuit in a 383 and in a Bmax. I've never found a use for the Process control, but that's probably because I don't play slap bass. The Lo Contour knob sounds like a combination "bloom knob" and SVT knob. That knob makes things sound loose, tubey, and tubby, like a bass control kneed too high -- say, 150 Hz. Interesting at first when practicing alone, because it's A New Thing, but becomes irritating after a while. Used on bass in a live setting, I've found it muds up a mix by infringing (upward) on slots other instruments are occupying. I've played in bands where the PAs ran 482s just for vocals, and I think it has value in that application, but for bass... Eh, not so much.
  5. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I used to use one in a previous band that used backing tracks for drums, keys, brass etc, with live bass, guitars and vocals. In that situation the maximiser (in this case, a Behringer Ultramizer) gave my bass a polished 'studio' tone that sat very well with the 'produced' sound of the backing tracks.

    However, I found when playing with a live band, I was getting lost in the mix, you could hear the bass, but not a lot of definition. So it's now relegated to the cupboard of unused gear.
  6. I have a BBE Sonic Stomp that gets occasional use, but more as a plug in for mixing not for live use. It's a great way to pop something out in the mix when tuned properly but that is very tricky. For live use I found it was either nothing or too much.
  7. bassfox


    Jun 22, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    I use one to take the quack out of a piezo pickup on an upright bass. What this effect is doing is delaying the highs, delaying the mids(a little less than the highs) so the highs mid and lows all reach the speaker at the same.
  8. I'll have to try that, great idea.
  9. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    For me, it made the low notes louder and punchier but it sucked all the gas out my high notes. It wasnt what I was looking for and sold it pretty quickly but YMMV.
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    The Sonic Maximizer does a HUGE amount of dynamic treble boost - up to 24 dB I think as well as a lot of bass boost, so you have to be careful of not clipping something. It can also sound harsh.
  11. pengyou40


    Dec 2, 2010
    I tried the BBE Sonic Stomp pedal with my bass rig and was like..."meh, it sounds a little better".

    Then we tried it with my friend's Marshall guitar combo amp. He bought the pedal off of me that same day he tried it. Makes his amp sound 5X better than before. I think the effect is more noticeable with higher frequencies.
  12. pengyou40


    Dec 2, 2010
    Just for the record, the sonic maximizer I used (BBE Sonic Stomp pedal) does NOT boost or cut any frequencies from the signal.

    Instead, it changes the times that the different frequency ranges are sent. So, the ear perceives the overall sound as clearer, less muddy, more defined, etc.
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Actually it does both. From the BBE site:
    "Augments" is a fancy way of saying "boosts".
  14. This. Its a smiley-face in a rack. Not worth bothering with IMO/ IME.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I have two and stuck a third cast-off in my buddy's karaoke rig. If used judiciously, the SM can improve a marginal rig...and I'm speaking in regards to our PA rig which is nothing stellar. The SM does incorporate two crossover points and adds a few milliseconds of delay to the mids and lows. As mentioned, the SM can add an ungodly amount of boost which, at higher levels, sounds harsh and unnatural. I use the A/B switch to best approximate the affected and unaffected treble / bass levels. A little goes a long way: the bass contour is no higher than 3.5 and the treble ("process") caps out at 4. I use one in our mixer's main insert and one betweenst the Aux outputs and monitor amplifier. OTOH, I have no use for one in my bass rig.


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