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Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by sandman69 on 2012-06-17 16:39:25

I just picked up a new Egnater Tweaker head and love the tones I can get out of it.  I plan on using this setup with my band and will use the pod hd500 -> PA when I play at church.

I am working on the 4CM with the band setup.

I am not going to use any amp sims and just use the effects.

I have the loop return set max to level the sound with the effects loop on or off.

I have a BBE sonic maximizer and wonder where I should plug it in.   I have a rack tuner and the BBE.  So this is what I am thinking.

1) Guitar to Tuner via wireless

2) Tuner out to Pod Guitar In

3) Amp FX Send to Pod FX Return

4) Pod Out Send to BBE In

5) BBE Out into Amp Loop return.

6) Amp to cabinet.  duh...

Is this the ideal location?  Or should the BBE go between the Egnater FX send and the Pod FX return?

Also, all time based effects (chorus, delay) and pitch effects should go after the loop in the chain and all compressors,OD, distortion in front correct?

I noticed that my delays are there and the settings are right, they just don't seem as prominant as before.  Do I need to adjust the levels of the delay or is there something I am missing.  I may be wrong, but just seems more fainter.

As soon as I move the delay in front of the FX Loop it sounds just like it should.   I am thinking I might just go straight into the amp with the POD and just use the 2 CM    Much more straight forward.



Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by mcolquitt on 2012-06-17 20:02:46

I don't have the best answer for you but I will prepare you for the slew of anti-BBE SM comments you will most probably receive from the gang here. (or you could get very few responses at all).

I also use a BBE but it is used as a channel insert from the small mixer I have setup to run my amp guitar and all effects through as my live rig. I would use my ears if I were you and see what setup best clears up the signal for you. The BBE is a very subtle, but useful in my opinion, piece of equipment.  Good luck.


Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by spaceatl on 2012-06-17 21:08:52

I am with Karl when I say leave it out in the truck or sell it on ebay for an EQ...

The following is what will happen if you add a BBE to your rig...

"Just a word of warning. Maximizers are the guitar gear equivalent of crack. The experience one goes through is identical:

1. The first hit: You hook it up and initially think "Oh MY GOD this the greatest thing EVER DOOOOOD!!!!!111!!!!1! I've found THE tone!"

2. You start using on a regular basis: Buy some model BBE, hook to rig, engage it 100% of the time. Rewrite all your patches.

3. You try to get your friends hooked: Dude, check out my rig, this thing takes it over the top!!!.

4. You go into addiction/denial: Friends think your tone has gone to sh*t but you think it is totally awesome. You start talking msinformed BS about different sound frequencies traveling at different velocities (hint: violation of Newtonian physics).

5. There is an intervention: Friend let's you A/B his non-maximizer rig versus yours in live setting, Yours sounds like over-processed dung, his rocks. He tells you, as a Bro, the BBE must go. You realize the BBE is a band aid for guitar tone and not even a good one at that.

6. You go into rehab: Another "like new" BBE xx2 unit hits eBay.

7. Regret: I wasted a sh*tload of time futzing with my rig, patches, etc, and my tone isn't any better and I'm back to square one. I Wonder what GE-7 pedals are going for these days.

Maybe you should avoid the whole thing. If you must post-process your modelling tone I would strongly suggest an EQ. It's much more versatile and will be long usable after the BBE is gone."

- kdog circa 2005-6 I favorite post ever about BBEs...

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by jimsreynolds on 2012-06-18 09:40:53

... yet if you insist ...

I understand that the BBE is supposed to be very late in the signal chain,.  The best place for it then is within cable '4' of the 4CM.

Therefore it would go

    Pod 1/4" Out ---> BBE In --> BBE Out -->  Amp FX Return.

If you wanted the BBE to be applied before the 'post' effects in your loop (e.g. delays etc) then put it in the hookup for cable '3' instead.

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by VinnySem on 2012-06-18 11:04:06

I use mine as the last item in the chain before the signal hits the power amp. If you have a second FX loop, even better.

And pay no attention to the BBE haters. I love mine for my metal rhythm sound, adds thickness and depth to it that I could never get with an EQ.

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by sandman69 on 2012-06-18 13:48:27

LoL! That is hilarious.   I like my BBE and have used it for quite some time...  Though I keep both contour and process down.  It doesn't affect the sound too much, but I think it adds a little bit of depth... maybe I am on the pipe... though... apparently!     When I used just a Carvin DCM poweramp it was the last before the poweramp, so I am guessing I will put in front of the amps FX return... if I even go with the 4CM.  Anyone want to buy a Carvin DCM 200?  Only a couple months old.  Only used for 2 gigs.  Perfect condition...


And actually, my biggest issue with the 4CM method is the delays/choruses are VERY faint and if I move everything in front of the FX Loop in the chain it sounds like it should.  I know it is something I am doing wrong, probably with the effects in the loop level individually as I have the return maxed dB wise.   I used it back in the day with an older Boss GT8 I think it was and had no issues...

Is there something that typically needs to be adjusted in each effect in the chain?

I have taken my old set list created a new one, and gone through the ones I use and disabled the amp/cab, put in a FX Loop and moved the delays, choruses and pitches after the loop and needed to max the FX Loops return level to get the amp level to be the same with the FX loop bypassed in the amp or on.

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by jimsreynolds on 2012-06-18 13:50:40

If you haven't already seen it: try this --->">">  May help with your levels.

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by sandman69 on 2012-06-22 04:43:29

Thanks Jim!!  I think it may have been the FX settings.  It was on Line and not Stomp...  Thanks for the document!  Helpful as always.

I really like the drawing you did with more detail.  I know how things work and understand what I am doing, but that is a great image!  I shot to a friend of mine to help him understand the 4CM.

Appreciate it!

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by wetredbox on 2012-06-22 13:25:59

I used my BBE sonic maximizer with a guy we were recording.  he had a nice Marshall half stack something, vintage reissue blah blah.  He couldnblt find a good sound for whatever reason.  I went in and moved the mcs around a bit, inserted the BBE and set it up and what we got on hard drive was thick and huge, sits great in the mix as well.  keep smoking the crack if it makes you feel good.  tell all the kids

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by stevemp on 2013-01-10 07:57:33

I agree with ignoring the haters.  There is an assumption that if it sounds like crap the way they used it it is crap.

I don't currently use one with my Line6 X3 Live but I did buy a Sonic Stomp I would like to use with it.  That's what brought me to this thread.

I do use a BBE 382i in my metal setup.  I play power metal.  I run a Boss GX-700 into the BBE into a Marshall EL34 100/100 power amp into a pair of Marshall 1960B 4x12 cabs.  It totally kicks butt.  The BBE makes a huge difference.

I also use a BBE on my acoustic pedal board.  I use the BBE Acoustimax preamp which has a Sonic Maximizer built in.  It also makes a huge difference in my sound.  I just added a BBE Opto Comp to that setup.  It's the perfect compressor for my acoustic setup.  It evens things out just enough while remaining effectively transparent.

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by kdog on 2013-01-11 08:59:58

I've always found that for a guitar rig, the best place to put a Sonic Maximizer is: eBay. PS: Thanks for recognizing on the quote spaceatl!

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by scottyo78 on 2013-01-11 15:39:21

Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised to see more 'nice' things said than 'teasing' and that some of have "seen the light".

I love my BBE Stomp (also run a 422 in my studio).

I run Stomp in the HD500 effects loop. Funny though, on some patches it sounds best when placed very last in the whole chain but on a few, it's best right before the Amp model.

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by spaceatl on 2013-01-11 19:23:24

most welcome sir...always loved that one...

Re: Where to put a BBE Sonic Maximizer with 4CM
by jimsreynolds on 2013-01-18 16:09:02

Just for info .... there is a very competent tech over on the JVM Forum who has been doing some detailed circuit analysis on the BBE.,  He is still chewing on whether there is substance to the claims that are being made for it but the analysis is interesting for those with an interest.  Details here -->


The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.