BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier  

Product #488800

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Item Note:

This product has been discontinued but may be available as a Open Box item.

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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.

  • 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.

review resources


by PowerReviews
BBEBMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great Preamp


from Wheatland Wy

Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

I've been using the BMAX for over three months and I have had no problems. It is used with a ART SLA-2 power amp to run two Eminence CB15 bass speakers. The sound I get from this rig is amazing. With my Fender P bass or Micheal Kelly MK Solid4 acoustic I get clean bottom end that shakes the house to almost unbelievable clean and clear mid range and highs. I love this preamp, I should have had it years ago.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Superb Product For The Money


from Redlands, CA

Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

I have owned one of these BMax Preamps for a year and a half and I have been very happy with it's performance. I originaly wated to get an Ampeg SVP-CL pre or even an Sansamp RBI but they were out of stock. Even the BMax-T was B/O so I tried the Solid State BMax expecting to exchange it for a tube pre. I was pleasently suprised after getting it hooked up. It has a nice warm tone that "almost" has a tube like flavor to it. It won't do a "gritty" tone like a tube amp so I use it along with a Sansamp BDDI and the combination gives me any type of tone I would want. It's been good enough that I have not desired to move on to a an actual tube preamp. I use it to drive a QSC RMX 2450 power amp and I use a combination of 2 X 10 and 2 X 12 8 ohm cabinets. Tone is subjective to the listener but I know I'm always happy. Construction is excellent, and it's easy to use after you get used to the EQ. The EQ is a Hi/boost/Mid/Cut-Low/boost with a Semi-Para mid sub section. It took a little time to get used to it but ince i did it's excellnt. The compressor is soft knee type so it has it's limits but works well for my use. If you need a lot of compression for slap it's not that useul. The Sonic Makimizer is nice. I always use it but it's not for everyone and it can be turned off. I would like to have a level control for the D.I. and a pre / option for the effects loop but thats the only negatives of note. For $300.00 it compares well with the Sansamp RBI. If you want Grit/Drive the Sansamp RBI is a better choice but if you want some flexibility and warm fat tone and a tight low end the BMax is the way to go. Use it with a Sansamp BDDI and you get the best of both worlds.

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