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sonic maximizer??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by violatedppl, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. I am looking at getting a sonic maximizer and was wondering if it would really help out my sound or just be another thing to move around. I know a guy who is selling is 462 for $60 and Im just trying to make sure it is worth it. thanks
  2. Sorry, but what exactly is a Sonic Maximizer? :bag:
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I never liked them personally. I just felt like there wasn't anything they could do that I couldn't do with the amp EQ.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I don't like them either.
    They sound cool in your bedroom but get you completely lost in the band mix.
    Crystal clear tone is good but it kills your kick and punch.
    I'd leave that to the PA. They're awesome to bring clarity into a busy mix, no so on a single instrument.
  5. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i like mine.
  6. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I bought a 362 dirt-cheap on eBay to get the rack-mount box for housing a home-brew preamp. (Ever priced a rack-mount chassis? Man, you only think some bass gear is expensive for what you get!)

    Before I gutted it, I hooked it up to see what it sounded like. I could definitely live without it, but I liked it well enough that I wound up moving the circuit board to one side to make room for my stuff, and dedicating two knob's worth of precious front-panel space to the BBE.

    Since the 362 is a stereo unit, I decided to cascade the channels so I can get twice the "maximizer" effect. And "effect" is the key word, I use it more as an effect than for any magical "clarity" thing. (For the record, I haven't had the problem with losing "kick and punch" or getting lost in the mix. Not saying Jazz Ad is wrong, just saying that I haven't run into that.)

    BBE talks about magical, mystical phase-coherence stuff. But here's what *I* hear: There are two knobs. The "Low Contour" knob feels/sounds like nothing more than "Bass Boost." If I turn mine all the way up (remember, double the range on mine), I can shake pictures off the wall with a low volume setting and a light thump on the E string. The only time I turn this up off of zero is when I'm abusing my tube emulator into pretending it's a fuzz (think Jonny Lang's "Midnight Train"), which costs me a little bottom end. It's easier to twist that one knob than adjust the parametric.

    The other knob, "Process", affects the top end. It sounds to me like they're just following a highpass filter (might be variable frequency) with an expander having a pretty slow decay rate. If I put a really hissy effect in front of the preamp and slap and then mute a string, there's suddenly hiss that dies away after a second or so. Anyway, the end result is that your bass sounds a little bit brighter, but not quite the same as just turning up the high-end EQ, because as the notes die away or you play more quietly, the high-end boost is reduced. It gives (the illusion of?) more sparkle to the transients. If you're into pop and slap, it makes things a little "crisper"... if you need that. I keep mine maybe a tenth of a turn off the zero stop except when I'm doing "effecty" stuff.

    But like JimmyM said -- at least in a live situation where subtleties get lost -- you can get pretty much the same sound with judicious use of EQ.

    My suggestion? If there's no place near you to try one out, haunt eBay or the pawn shops. If you can find a unit cheap, pick it up and play with it to find out if you like the sound. 362s regularly go for less than $50 on eBay. They're geared for home stereos, etc. (and you could try it there if you don't like it for bass -- they do sound nice) but they work okay for musical instruments. If you don't care for the sound, turn it around and resell it on eBay. You'll probably get all your money back, or close to it.

    No great sonic maximizer expert here, but if you have any other questions I'll try to answer 'em.


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