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BBE B-Max vs Sans Amp RBI


Danno

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Hey fellow fat stringers! Has anyone compared these two pre's? I'm in the market for a pre for around $300 and I've heard a little about each of these units. I like the SABDDI and the BBE sonic maximizer and would like your input. Thanks

1974 Fender Jazz

2003 Musicman StingRay

2006 Gibson LP Studio VM

Carvin DCM1000 amp

GK 410 SBX Cab

SansampPBDDI

Ampeg B100R

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I have the RBI, but I've never compared it directly to the B-Max.

I do like it a great deal though.

A friend of mine has the B-Max, and he likes it a great deal (he replaced a SWR SM500 with it).

So there you have it; two people who like what they own!

I hope this wasn't a completely reply useless for you.

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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Thanks...not useless. I should add that I like the idea of the BBE having a compressor and a sonic maximizer. Anyone else have the BBE?

1974 Fender Jazz

2003 Musicman StingRay

2006 Gibson LP Studio VM

Carvin DCM1000 amp

GK 410 SBX Cab

SansampPBDDI

Ampeg B100R

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I send my SansAmp to the house. Soundmen seem to dig on it.

My Sonic Maximizer is used ONLY for my rig and my in-ears. It helps with the detail, which enables me to turn down my volume...which makes the soundman and the leadsinger VERY happy.

"I don't play Bass..I play SONGS."
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Apples and oranges... The B-Max is very much oriented towards the clean fat clear Bassman/Alembic/Kern sound, whilst the RBI is more about growl, grind and distortion.

 

You can't lose with either for that kind of money, but I'd be more inclined to go for the B-Max, as it does a great clean sound, has a solid compressor and a BBE enhancer thingummajig, and you can always stick a Sansamp or other overdrive/distortion pedal in front of it when you want to get down and dirty.

 

Alex

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Alex - Thanks for the descriptive analysis. I really am aiming for that clean, fat tone. And thanks to Nutt,Tucker, 73P, Bobby LT for good input and ideas.

1974 Fender Jazz

2003 Musicman StingRay

2006 Gibson LP Studio VM

Carvin DCM1000 amp

GK 410 SBX Cab

SansampPBDDI

Ampeg B100R

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It's funny you should mention these two....

I recently went thru both of these preamps in search of my "perfect" preamp (which I found by the way...)

I had grown a bit tired of the sound of my Raven Labs preamp, and had been using a SABDDI in front of that with good, altho not great, results (I still have issues with the tone of SansAmps). So, I bought a RBI thinking that it might give me all I wanted (or at least most of what I wanted...)

I thought wrong as I simply hated the tone of the RBI. Yes it does the grind-y thing quite well, but aside from that (and in all fairness, it does not sound that much like the amps it tries to emulate..) it lacked quite a bit to my ears. The high end was harsh and brittle, the midrange rough (and the mid control does not compensate for the SansAmp built in mid-scoop) and overall it had a somewhat "forced" sound, which was further choked by the compresison of the device (and yes, I did play extensively with the blend control. Yes, it can minimize the effect but does not avoid the problem...or am I just too damn picky?)

 

Sold it, and got a BMax. Very nice tone and loved the passive/interactive tone control. The BBE process is a nice addition, and quite addictive as well. The compressor, tho not terrible, is not all that useful (a bit heavy handed). My only gripe was the instrument level serial fx loop which made the unit a hard sell for me. I did A/B it to an Alembic F1x (from which BBE borrowed the design) and tho the Alembic is about as tube as tube can be, the BBE is quite similar tone-wise. Full rich and thick...very musical and useful...but like the Alembic has that pesky inst level serial loop.

 

Nonetheless I give it a vote over the RBI or the RPM (of which I also bought and sold...)

 

Oh, I did sell the Bmax, and tried the tube version...which is also verey very nice...(and tried out the Alembic, Agulilar and Kern preamps)but settled on a Demeter HBP1, which staifies my need s nicely (but cost a whole lot more...)

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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