Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

BBE, what do they do?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Art VanDelay, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    The stomp boxes are simple state variable filters. I have one in the form of the Madbean Bloviator II that was small enough to stuff in the same box as a compressor that I built. It really does a trick with acoustic guitars.

    The rack units have a proprietary VLSI chip in them with considerably more going on inside. That's the description in post #39. I've got one that I use with my stereo tube gear, and it's just for fun. "Enhancement" is a general term, but it works. The amount of enhancement needed may elude some. It doesn't sound good with everything, but with most things it does.
  2. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    i can only find 9 patents by bbe, and only one in regards to the maximizer which is long expired. I should think if it was as dandy as they say, it would be widely copied since the patent has expired..

    the heart and soul of the BBE Maximizer..

    Reference load amplifier correction system


    A system which corrects for adverse characteristics such as reactance, inertia and resonances of a power amplifier driven load such as a speaker or multiple speaker system. Program voltage is applied to a reference load which has electrical characteristics that simulate characteristics of the driven load, and the response of the reference load to the program is used to develop a correction voltage signal for the driven load. The program and the correction voltage signal are simultaneously applied to the power amplifier to simultaneously reproduce the program and correct for the adverse characteristics of the load.

    and some discussion of the device:
  3. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Holic

    Jun 22, 2017
    HA! I've been thinking the same thing for years.
  4. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    Blue Bill and RLee77 like this.
  5. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I figure it's good enough for Dr Who!

  6. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    This is the way that I first understood it. The problem is that the loudspeaker distorts the phase of timing of harmonics. BBE says they have an algorithm that makes it seem as if the harmonics are lined up, in phase. Not sure if that is done with delay or some kind on different frequencies or harmonics.

    I have used the pedal and the rack mounted versions (they are the same, electronically). The pedal worked great on my Champ and DRRI, but was less noticeable on my Trainwreck and Dumble clones. For the maximizers, I first used them in my electronic studios with Alesis monitor speakers, and they made a big difference. When I replaced them with Genelecs, little or no difference.

    I should say that in making these comparisons, I didn't do anything in a systematic way. Most importantly, the time period between listening to A then listening to B could have been weeks or months.
    24 track likes this.
  7. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2009
    The most important aspect is this, whatever they do, they provided enough money for BBE to buy and run G&L guitars.
    magicfingers99 likes this.
  8. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    They are very subtle.
    Mine is my only "always on" pedal.
    Could I live without it forever?
    But I choose not to.
  9. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    May 20, 2018
    If it actually did anything 1 to 2 sentences would suffice. Even just "it compresses sound with a touch of chorus".
  10. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2015
    regarding the claimed 42 patents, there is just one patent, that makes 42 claims regarding possible areas of use.

    see my post later linking to the 1982 patent.
  11. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 11, 2006
    Greater Boston
    When you take any signal and feed it to a normal signal chain--a preamp, EQ, Amp, etc.--and out through a speaker, it's going to lose quality. It's one of the great negatives of amplified music : any signal fed to a speaker will lose quality due to problems that all speakers have with phase and accurate amplitude reproduction.

    This causes fundamentals and harmonics to be out of order or even reversed, making the sound muddy. Certain frequencies may be overemphasized because of phase problems making the sound inaccurate and just plain bad.

    This BBE unit's circuitry puts the clarity back in your signal by correcting those problems. The circuitry gives the speaker a signal that it likes, one that it can re-produce more efficiently and with clarity and loudness. It makes the waveform that the speaker reproduces closer to the natural, unamplified musical signal.
  12. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Holic

    Feb 12, 2011
    Central IL
    If you want to hear one listen to the first Dire Straits LP. MKs guitar tone
  13. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

    Had one, thought I liked it, decided I didn't, or didn't need it... doesn't do a lot... usable sweep is narrow, right around the middle… past that you really start to notice a tone difference, but not for the good, IMO.
  14. JimInMO

    JimInMO Tele-Meister

    Jun 26, 2008
    Group W Bench
    I was recently going through a drawer of long unused pedals to filter out some for sale. The Sonic Stomp is one that I never found a use for. Had my old Gibson GA-9 set up at the time. It's used for harmonica generally as to me it sounds boxy with guitar. Tried the stomp with a Tele just to make sure it still worked and the boxy sound was gone. Turned it off and the box was back. Will not be selling it. It lives in the bottom of the GA-9 cab now.
  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    Only 9 patents? Those lyin' snakes!

    ftr, I have not had the guitar pedal, but we used an aphex and then a bbe on our pa for years... as stated, folks heard the difference... that is all that mattered to me. They were blind to the 'in' or 'out' I just said, 'this or this' and they always selected in.
  16. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Holic

    Mar 16, 2014
    I picked up the mini version used, thinking it would help the boxiness of the 8" cabs that I use with a Vox Lil Night Train and Wangs VT-1H (which I love BTW). Didn't really do much that I could tell. I still need to try it with my 1x12's and larger iron though.

    Hmm, maybe I should give it a go on my ZT Lunchbox Jr., but that little amp sounds great as is.

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    The Aphex Aural Exciter started out as a color enhancement device until someone ran an audio signal through it. We had one at a studio I worked at in the 70's. The setting selections were the primary colors plus green.

    The BBE and Aphex units are based on "psycho-acoustics". Time aligning frequencies to "fool" or make it easier for the human ear to process sound.

    They're both a little different in technology, but work primarily the same.

    A good sound source and a good engineer and either unit probably isn't needed.
  18. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    Yea, most guitarist who use one are usually in one of two camps, metal heads looking for the brutalz and ones with super bright clear cleans, think Tele with a Twin with JBL run clean. If your running greenbacks with it, freq range is so narrow you have a hard time making out what it does.

    Now synths etc into a full range system I love my old bbe rack, when you’ve got a lot of freq content in below 100hz range and above 4khz you’ll definitely hear what it does. But even there, just a little mayo on the sandwich is all you need.
  19. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    I tried one once. Simply put, it was nice... everything seemed 'livelier.'

    I didn't buy it though.
  20. Daytona.57

    Daytona.57 TDPRI Member

    Feb 13, 2014
    Calabogie, On, Canada
    I had one and did not notice an improvement in sound. I found it setting in the old pedal box after ten years and moved it on without trying. It was picked up by a jazz dude.
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