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Wow! Demo'ed a BBE for the first time...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, May 14, 2002.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm impressed! This was in a DJ rig at the local store. The prerecorded sound was great with the BBE (a 362SW) offline, but kicking it in was like taking a wet blanket off the speakers. I was particularly impressed with the way it tightened up the bass.

    I'm tempted to pick up a BBE from MF (there's that damn credit card again), but I wonder if I would get most of the benefit from the little 264 rig. I don't take my rack/Bag End rig with me to the practice space very often, and I think the G-K 400RB/Peavey 1516 rig I practice through would be dramatically tightened up by a BBE.

    Am I deluding myself? Do I need to go to a 362 to see a benefit? My reasoning is that if I like the 264, I would probably add a 362 to the rack at some point.
  2. Ive heard about this, but what does it do exactly. I love subtle stuff that sounds good, so I might want one eventually.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I haven't messed with BBEs in a while, but I did use one in my rack for a few years, and you are correct, it really tightens and brightens.

    IIRC, all BBE products carry the same BBE processor. The difference in the various models is the other features.

    Some are stereo, others mono. Some have XLR while others only have 1/4" ins and outs. One has a sub controller.

    I know they even made a few preamps with the process built in. I had a BBE acoustic guitar preamp that was really nice.

    So, if that is still the case, any BBE will do the same thing for your rig as long as it has all the other bells and whistles that you feel like you need.

  4. Yeah the BBE's will beat the BRPST any time.. but a good RETI with dual XLR and TSR plugs, combined with a DQR capable TTS-plexer and ADSR-filter LQBP would do the trick too..my MNS-capable TSSRA doesn't have those features, but is well capable of doing TTU, IKA, NKA, RKA and QKA.. with an optional HIUE board it can even handle BPRS requests. cool huh ?

    ( get the idea ? *** is a BBE ? )
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've had a BBE unit for years.

    It does improve the sound but the worse the overall system is the more it helps. A really good system will not see any benefit at all, in fact overapplication of BBE can lead to an edgy sound.

    All it does is try to correct for phase misalignments that happen in the signal path. To your ears if the various harmonic components of the signal arrive at slightly different times, the sound seems muffled and unfocused. When they arrive all at the same time, it's crisp and detailed.

    Some common sources of phase misalignment include crossovers, physical separation of multiple speakers, cheap EQ and signal processor designs, etc.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hmmm. Brian, based on your comments, I suspect I'll see more improvement in my G-K/Peavey practice rig than in my RBI/Bag End "performance" (yeah, right!) rig.

    Chas, your comments make me think I should try the small no-frills box first, and take it from there.

    Thanks for all the comments! As I said, the difference was amazing, although I don't think I'll see as much change in a bass-only rig.
  8. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    The only good thing about a BBE is that they come with an off switch. :D
  9. BBE's are a little funny (unlike Lo-z who is not :p ) I have used mine for years with varying results. It's a great tool if you don't biamp and I am not sure many even do anymore. I had to set mine from "auto" mode to "manual" mode (whatever that means) because I'd use my looper to lay down a seriously large bass line, play over top with a HP filtered "guitar" melody and the thing would delay my high parts. This really freaked me out at first because I did not know what the heck was going on. I then realized that the BBE's modus operandi was to _delay_ the high frequencies so the bass and treble meet you at the same time, rather than the high stuff reaching you first. For some reason, switching modes stopped this for me. It was very eerie and unsetteling when it was first happening; everyone in the band thought I was falling out of time!
  10. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Though I knew what a BBE was, I didn't catcha on at first, then you told us. I went back and re-read that and that's hilarious! :p :p
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Well, my 264 showed up today. I'm going to try it with my Bag End rig first, 'cause that's the one at home. The acid test will come later this week with my G-K/Peavey 1516 rig...
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Welcome to the BBE club.
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I don't use a BBE in my rig anymore, the Bergies don't seem to need it.......but I still use them on my stereos and older rigs! I like BBE's a lot! I used them for years!
  14. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I like the previous analogy of taking a wet blanket off the speakers. My comparison was that it's like cleaning your windows: same landscape, same view -- just... cleaner.

    I agree it's a pretty subtle effect but it really shines on solos. Doesn't do THAT much fr a bass buried in the mix, but when I do get a solo it's really nice. So i leave it on all the time.

    I would get the inexpensive mono model. Mine is the discontinued stereo 262, ind I've never had any occasion to use the second channel. But if the first channel ever blows, I'm ready...
  15. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I use the small mono model(4" wide) that I got through MF for less than 60 bucks. I had to do some finagling to rackmount it(had to rack it in the same space as my wireless receiver, but now its quite roadworthy). It functions nice as a "bass boost" for the lows and an enhancer for the highs. You can tailor your sound to the room or compensate for dying strings. I leave it on all night.
  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Well, last night I had a chance to try it in my practice space rig - a G-K 400RB into a Peavey 1516 (2x8 + 1x15). Not worth the effort, IMO.

    Back it goes...but maybe I'll try it in my home stereo first?

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