Guitar Gear Review: BBE Sound, Inc. Sonic Maximizer

The BBE Sound, Inc. Sonic Maximizer has been a must-have in my rig for decades. I remember reading about guys with the ADA MP-1 swearing that they should package that pre-amp together with the BBE as an ideal setup. That meant that I had to try it.

I grabbed the 422A and off I went. Back in 1993, it wasn’t as if they were in every store and the entire lineup was on tap…but I consider myself happy to have gotten the 422A, with the controls for each channel. It’s a little hard to explain what an aural exciter does in basic terms, except that it makes it all come alive. With just 2 simple knobs per channel, it’s easy to dial things in. Lows become more defined and the highs have more air to them.

At one point, I got my hands on a DigiTech GSP21. It was the Legend or the Pro, whichever one had all the artist presets. Now come on, those had some neat tricks but still sounded digital and a little sterile. I ran it into the BBE and… wow!… it came to life. I’m not kidding when I say that it made a digital signal processor sound like a real amp. It was a very impressive display.

Since then, I’ve set up a duplicate rig for recording on the PC and that one uses a 322 model. It’s even more straightforward… because guitar players need things laid out simple. lol! And as part of the PC recording rig, I went with Cakewalk Sonar X2. Wouldn’t you know that BBE makes a DAW plugin called Sonic Sweet. An excellent example of what the Sonic Sweet plugin can do for your DAW can be found here:

All the BBE products I’ve checked out are really straightforward, easy to use, simple to figure out and yield astonishing results without having to be a rocket scientist. If you have a rack for your preamp and/or effects, this is a no-brainer. And if not, but you still use a DAW for your recording, you can still benefit.

Take a look around the BBE site for the rest of their offerings, which include EQs and preamps and clean boosts and a wide selection of stomp boxes.

Darth Phineas is a long time music industry insider who provides his readers with unbiased reviews on musical instrument and guitar gear. You can read more of his reviews and check out industry news on his Facebook community Darth Phineas