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BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier  

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Product #488800

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  • BBE

    Gives you solid state reliability with great tube emulation.

    The BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier is a high-quality bass preamp/processor with advantages in the recording studio and in demanding live applications. It features a class A/B front end that emulates the loading effect of a classic tube preamp. It also has a pure and clean electronically-balanced DI output.

    The BBE Process--"What it Is"

    Loudspeakers have difficulty working with the electronic signals supplied by an amplifier. These difficulties cause such major phase and amplitude distortion that the sound reproduced by the speaker differs significantly from the sound produced by the original source.

    In the past, these problems proved unsolvable and were thus relegated to a position of secondary importance in audio system design. However, phase and amplitude integrity is essential to accurate sound reproduction. Research shows that the information which the listener translates into the recognizable characteristics of a live performance are intimately tied into complex time and amplitude relationships between the fundamental and harmonic components of a given musical note or sound. These relationships define a sound's "sound".

    When these complex relationships pass through a speaker, the proper order is lost. The higher frequencies are delayed. A lower frequency may reach the listener's ear first or perhaps simultaneously with that of a higher frequency. In some cases, the fundamental components may be so time-shifted that they reach the listener's ear ahead of some or all of the harmonic components.

    This change in the phase and amplitude relationship on the harmonic and fundamental frequencies is technically called "envelope distortion." The listener perceives this loss of sound integrity in the reproduced sound as "muddy" and "smeared." In the extreme, it can become difficult to tell the difference between musical instruments, for example, an oboe and a clarinet.

    BBE Sound, Inc. conducted extensive studies of numerous speaker systems over a ten year period. With this knowledge, it became possible to identify the characteristics of an ideal speaker and to distill the corrections necessary to return the fundamental and harmonic frequency structures to their correct order. While there are differences among various speaker designs in the magnitude of their correction, the overall pattern of correction needed is remarkably consistent.

    The BBE Process is so unique that 42 patents have been awarded by the U.S. Patent Office.

    Features
    • High-quality bass preamp/processor
    • Useful in the studio and in demanding live applications
    • Class A/B front end emulates classic tube preamp
    • Electronically-balanced DI output
    • Quasi-parametric mid-range EQ with 12db of boost or cut between 250 to 1000hz
    • Single-knob soft-knee optical compressor
    • Inputs for both passive pickup and active pickup instruments
    • 1meg ohm input impedance
    • Ground lift switch
    • Balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS Outputs
    • Military-spec circuit boards
    • Extra thick, extra wide circuit board traces for unequaled electron flow
    • 1% metal film resistors throughout
    • Solid 1/4" thick aluminum extrusion front panel for extreme ruggedness
    • Made with pride in the USA
    • 5-year warranty

    Makes even budget amps sound like a vintage tube. Order today and get your sound right.

     
    Customer Reviews
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    Review Snapshot®

    by PowerReviews
    BBEBMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier
     
    4.8

    (based on 18 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (16)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Best Preamp For The Money

    I have been using a SS BMax since 6/06 and it has become my prefered amp for everything I play. I use this amp with a QSC GX5 power amp (previously used an...Read complete review

    I have been using a SS BMax since 6/06 and it has become my prefered amp for everything I play. I use this amp with a QSC GX5 power amp (previously used an RMX 2450 but got tired of the weight and bulk) and the combination gives me a versatile and powerful head.The BMax generates nice warm tone with plenty of tone shaping. The onboard compressor is very nice but it is a "soft knee" type and does not compress your sound like a typical outboard compressor. It works well for me and I do a far amount of slap. The Sonic Maximizer is excellent and really makes my tone full and punchy. I believe in the Sonic Maximizer but some people can do without it. You can turn it off if you are not as impressed with it as I am. I use Sonic Maximizers on my PA systems so I have "drank the whole pitcher of coolaid" when it comes to the technology.The EQ is a little strange at first. It took a while to get used to. It's an old school passive design that boosts highs and lows but cuts mids. Once you get used to it and dial in the mids with the parametric EQ the tones you can get are amazing. Anything from old school dub to hi-fi clean. Truely an exceptional product.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Great sound but to noisy for my taste

    Ok I bought this guy with really expectations because of reviews I have heard of it which could be half the problem. The sound I got out of this was great not the best...Read complete review

    Ok I bought this guy with really expectations because of reviews I have heard of it which could be half the problem. The sound I got out of this was great not the best but certainly worth the money. Now the reason I took this back was the fact that it was just too noisy. I got all kinds of hiss from this thing and i have a nice Furman rack conditioner and a hum canceler. I took it back twice and just finally gave up. Not a bad product at all just too noisy for my own taste.

    Reviewed by 18 customers

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    5.0

    What my tone needed

    By bassfan6

    from Pleasant Hill, CA

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I have been chasing a good tone for a really long time. I play through an SVT3 Pro with both an Ampeg full stack and a half stack. I own a passive Fender Jazz V and an Active Washburn RB2602 6 string. I always felt that the SVT3 was weak sounding and I wanted to solve that without having to spend a lot of money or buying a head that weighs 150 pounds.The BBE BMAX did that and how!! Just by plugging it I could feel my tone just beefing up and sounding a lot better. Not only this is a great preamp but it includes a really good compressor and the Sonic Maximizer, all in the same unit!! It may seem like a bit of money but if you buy everything separate you will spend more in the long run.BBE has amazed me. I can't believe I've been playing without it for years. Highly recommended and just like somebody said here, make sure you pay attention to the manual, cause the EQ is very different. Thanks BBE.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    UH-MAY-ZING!

    By MotusNick

    from Sandy Eggo

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    This thing has exceeded all of my expectations.I had a BBE 482 sonic maximizer for years, and I bought this beast to replace the 48 I wanted to add an EQ to my rig, and I know BBE is good stuff, plus I still wanted to sonic maximizer.I play an Ibanez SR506 B-stock. The reason it's a B-stock is because the adjustable midrange is outside of the norm that Ibanez produces... some engineer was sleeping while my bass was on the line. Awesome. With that said, I've always had issues with my tone and EQ.I kid you not, as soon as I got the BMax hooked up, I was in love. I hardly had to touch the knobs; I just set everything about where I thought it should be, and BBE did the rest.The sonic maximizer is as awesome as the 482 I had. The EQ fills out my tone and beefs it up. The compressor allows me to pull more out of my bass and head... this things is a god-send.I run my Ibanez through the BMax, a GK 1001RB, and a GK 810GLX, with a full pedal board as well. The BMax was the missing piece... I will NEVER get rid of this thing. BUY IT NOW!!!

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Clean and Mean

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I read the reviews and bought one to add to my rack. I have a GK 400 with Schroeder cabs and it sounds awesome. I can drive right through with all the clarity that I ever wanted and then some. I like the fact that I can switch the compression and/or the Sonic Maximizer on or off to suit the mood. It's a great product! I also run the XLR output through my Presonus Firestudio Project and there is NO noise whatsoever. It's great for recording. Thanks BBE

    Comment on this review

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best Preamp For The Money

    By Tayeman

    from Redlands, CA

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I have been using a SS BMax since 6/06 and it has become my prefered amp for everything I play. I use this amp with a QSC GX5 power amp (previously used an RMX 2450 but got tired of the weight and bulk) and the combination gives me a versatile and powerful head.The BMax generates nice warm tone with plenty of tone shaping. The onboard compressor is very nice but it is a "soft knee" type and does not compress your sound like a typical outboard compressor. It works well for me and I do a far amount of slap. The Sonic Maximizer is excellent and really makes my tone full and punchy. I believe in the Sonic Maximizer but some people can do without it. You can turn it off if you are not as impressed with it as I am. I use Sonic Maximizers on my PA systems so I have "drank the whole pitcher of coolaid" when it comes to the technology.The EQ is a little strange at first. It took a while to get used to. It's an old school passive design that boosts highs and lows but cuts mids. Once you get used to it and dial in the mids with the parametric EQ the tones you can get are amazing. Anything from old school dub to hi-fi clean. Truely an exceptional product.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    worth every last penny!!

    By guzzler1786

    from thumb of michigan

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I finally received my bbe bmax after waiting for almost two monthes. and yes it was worth every second of the wait. This is by far the best preamp ive ever owned. Solid construction and multiple outputs are only a few key elements. With an onboard compressor and sonic maximizer, you couldnt ask for more. I run this with an ampeg svt 450 head and 410 hlf cab and it sounds incredible. I play many styles of music and it takes only a few seconds to dial in your tone once you understand how to operate it. I highly recommend this to anyone, whether you are just starting to play or have been playing for years, definately check this product out!!

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Smoken'

    By .-W6Qlk

    from Wyoming

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I traded my Ampeg for this and some cash. This pre really nails down the sound I had going on my ampeg pretty well. And it is solid state! It took me about three hours to get my sound out of this pre, then I could sit back and play play play. I mated this with a QSC CX302 so I have a 1,200 watt capable 28lbs rig. Very nice for someone who moves equipment as much as I do. You really will not be disappointed with your purchace.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Truly Professional

    By RG-OPQ2E

    from Eastern USA

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    After a dozen or so bass amps, this one is the keeper. I've had two of these for two years and they perform flawlessly. The feature set is tremendous with lots of tone variations. The BBE process reduces or eliminates the need for compression. Light weight, solid construction and plenty of signal outputs make patching into the board and live rig convenient. The noise floor is very low yielding super quiet operation. This unit won me over compared to the SansAmp Bass Pre, a similarly well-regarded solid state preamp.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Amazing Tone Control

    By Bassmaster Dub

    from Vermont

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I ordered the BBE Bass pre-amp back in December. It got back-ordered... twice. It finally showed up at my door in mid-February. I had to send it to BBE to be fixed, but they were really friendly and repaired it free of charge. I've been playing through it every day for the last few months and it sounds beautiful. I play several different styles, funk, heavy metal, rock, jazz, and reggae, and this pre-amp has amazing tone control. The mids are punchy, the lows are thumpy, and the highs are crispy. The compressor is awesome and gives me total control of my attack. The sonic maximizer also gives you a huge full sound. Definitely a great buy.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Worth The Wait

    By Craigory

    from Stone Mountain, GA

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I started with the BBE Sonic Maximizer and was blown away! So I decided to go for the gusto, return the Maximizer and get the pre-amp. After waiting for 5 weeks (all sold out) I got it special order and just said WOW!! The controls are sensitive and take some study but my sound is awesome and I'm running a SWR 750x. Highly recommended!

    Comment on this review

     
    3.0

    I got the runt of the litter

    By Will-JmeDZ

    from Nashville, TN

    Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

    I'm sure that in most cases, these preamps work fine and probably sound pretty decent. However I wouldnt know because mine did not work from the get go. I would get about 10 seconds worth of a signal then the volume died and it just made fuzzy noises. Wish I had better things to say about it but it just didnt work period. I feel uneasy about getting it replaced with another one. May just go for a different preamp.

    Comment on this review

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