Unhappy with my band new BBE Bmax. What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ge9375, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. ge9375


    Sep 5, 2004
    I just got a brand new bbe bmax and I'm not happy at all with the noise it generates. I already have the gain down in the "2" range. I'm using a passive Fender J-Bass with all knobs all the way up. Sonic maximizer is off. Compressor is off. I've tried with XLR out to my mixer as well as the main (1/4") out. I'm playing through the headphones at the moment. I've worked with several combinations of gain/level on the mixer. The noise (fuzz, mild static) is definitely coming from the bmax. Direct-out of my Hartke produces no noise to the mixer. Direct-in from my bass to the mixer produces no noise. I even got crazy and ran the main out of the bmax to my Hartke Kickback 12 and it faithfully reproduced the same noise coming out of the BBE. I've tried the ground lift switch in both positions. I'm running "flat" (bass, treble at 2, mid at 10).

    I am also getting little pops and clicks on the decay of a note. This issue was listed on a review, but there were so many other positive reviews out there, I thought that one guy was crazy. I'm listening through headphones, which is critical listnening, but like I said, I hear it coming through the Hartke.

    Is my unit defective? What else can I try?


  2. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    turn your volume on the bass down.

    these units have been known to be very "hot"....so I would try that first.

    what about the other settings? where are they set at?

    have you tried another instrument cable? tried a different bass?

    tried NOT running it through headphones and through a power amp into a cabinet instead?
  3. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Exchange it, if possible. You could have a defecto unit.

    I love mine (SS version) and it drives my PLX very well. No probs to date. (KOW)
  4. I never associated the Bmax I had as being noisy. In fact I thought it was dead quiet. I never used it for critical listening however, just PA and bass rig duty. I think your unit is defective.
  5. ster


    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    I have had three of these units. Two SS and one tube. All three units did exactly what you are describing as far as the noise from the gain. If you want, send your unit to BBE and they will modify the gain all for the price of one way shipping and a 24 hr. turnaround. I had it done and there was no more noise and the gain was set to a very reasonable level. They'll do it for you very quickly too. The only problem was that the bright switch didn't work any more but I didn't care because I would never use it anyway. As far as these pops at the decay of notes, I'll be honest, I read that review and have no idea what that means. :eyebrow:
  6. ge9375


    Sep 5, 2004
    Well, I hooked the bmax from the main (1/4") out right into the unbalanced input on my QSC RMX 1850HD (then out to Goliath III). With some tweaking of the gain (still real low), master (maybe at 4-5 now), and level on the RMX 1850, I've got a good tone. It's clear that I'll be in great shape for a live show.

    However, there's no way I could record with this unit. Way way too much noise for a unit which is advertised as "extremely high-quality, pristine preamplifier". Am I expecting too much out of this pre-amp? I'm currently recording with the DI out of my Hartke Kickback 12 and it's very clean. The Bmax is unusable for recording. Maybe having the gain modified is the way to go.

    Does anyone out there record with the BBE? Sansamp RBI?
  7. csholtmeier


    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    I have recorded DI into ProTools with the RBI and not had any noise problems.
  8. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Me too, last week, first time "non-home" studio experience with my new RBI. Dead quiet!