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Discussion Starter #1
Does this thing do what they say? reviews seem to be good but is this essentially a compressor to level things out and make notes sharper?
 

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A sonic maximizer is a frequency delay, so its kind of like an active EQ on steroids. Because sound travels at different speeds depending on the frequency, it can be cancelled out at the speaker and become muddy. I believe they call this envelope distortion. These units use will depend on your gear settings more than anything. For my setup, I need to use one all the time. I find it boosts my volume and clearness very well. I use a lot of bass, so without it, it all becomes very muddy. Of course its all down to taste. My sound is now processed, but I prefer it that way. Some people hate a processed tone.............
 

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I have one and use it at the end of my chain to boost and clarify the signal. I'll repeat what I've read and heard about the BBE Sonic Stomp - you can't really tell it is on but you notice something missing when it is off.

I use it at low volumes and equate it to a "LOUDNESS" button on a stereo - it just fills in the blanks and sounds great.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've heard a few demos on youtube and though hard to tell, it seems like it brings out the flatness in the tone and makes it a bit more sharp and crisp. Am I wrong to describe it as such? I am interested in picking up a used one as sometimes I too enjoy things on the darker bassier side, but would like a tad more definition..
 
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I've heard a few demos on youtube and though hard to tell, it seems like it brings out the flatness in the tone and makes it a bit more sharp and crisp. Am I wrong to describe it as such? I am interested in picking up a used one as sometimes I too enjoy things on the darker bassier side, but would like a tad more definition..
I think trying to evaluate some of this stuff via the internet and low-fi audio clips is a bad idea. :)
 

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You really do have to run it with your equipment to see if you like it. Its very dependant on your setting and current tones. You can buy them for almost nothing anyway. The rack units sell on Ebay all the time for $50-$100.........
 

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im thinking of trying out an older sonic maximizer,with my rig
is the pedal just as good as a older rack unit,i would rather have a pedal
with all my other pedals ,easier to carry
 

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im thinking of trying out an older sonic maximizer,with my rig
is the pedal just as good as a older rack unit,i would rather have a pedal
with all my other pedals ,easier to carry
I beleive there is no difference in processing with the pedal vs. the rack. The advantages of the rack are XLR, stereo outs and RCA jacks. I havent seen the pedals, but they might not have the VU LEDs as well to see how much noise you are pushing...........
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm going to grab one of the pedals used for 65$ shipping in. A good price I think.. comes with the box and lightly used.. we'll see what it is all about.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, 125$ is kind of an expensive price for this pedal but 65$ used and pretty much brand new is right up my alley. :smile: I got it today and yes, to me its kind of like a light chorus effect, it seems to fill out the upper sonic range whch you notice isn't there when it is off.... as such it kind of fattens the tone , or rather, broadens it through the sonic range. It isn't noisy and you do notice a difference. Could I go without it, yeah probably, but I do definitely think it makes everything sound if not bigger, fuller. Pretty cool. just thought I would close the circle on thisone in case other people were wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, through my plexi clone - el34's.. i definitely noticed a subtle difference which A. would be great clean, but b. really brings some tone into the upper sonic range. just fills it out and doesn't sound as wet as a chorus. I think i dig it.. pretty much both knobs set to 12 and 1 p.m. Email Scott at axeandyoushallrecieve, he had two of them, both pretty new. I got one, 65$ shipped which is pretty good for a 125$ before tax pedal!
 

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apparently the sonic maximizer can become a crutch to some people.

my jsx has all the clarity i can handle, no comp or anything needed :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's what they say about compressors.. can't say I see that with this thing. The difference is very subtle.. in some cases you won't even want to use it. All it does is give you a frequency range back.. you've still got to do the work with your playing. Won't change attack at all from what i have experienced.. again though, everyone has a diff ear and to me the first thing i thought was "light chorus" effect.
 

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Thats what they say about electricity and guitars.............
 

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I have a BBE Sonic Stomp and I love it.

I play a lot of heavy music from hard rock to metalcore and deathcore.

This little pedal is definitely amp dependent, meaning that it really helps with some amps, and other amps you won't need it at all. For me, I use it with a Randall RH300 head and a Randall RS125CX cab (2x12" + 15"). Without it, I find my halfstack lacks that little bit of extra definition and clarity that I can get with the pedal. And if you use a lot of scooped distortion tones like me, this box tends to "boost" (sort of) the bass and highs in a way that highly compliments this type of EQ'ing.

It just gives my cleans and high-gain tones that extra OOMPH that you need.

Definitely try one out if you're looking for that extra balls, bite, and clarity you think you're missing from your amp.
 

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Another one of those woefully misunderstood pedals/effects.

In the real world, when you pluck a string, or bash a drum or simply slam a door, the resonating object produces a fundamental or basic pitch, and also produces harmonics or multiples of that pitch. Different sound sources can be identified by the ratio or proportion of those various harmonics to the fundamental, how quickly they arrive and disappear, and other features like the inclusion of noise (e.g., with a flute), or vibrato.

What is central to ALL acoustically-produced sounds is that the harmonics line up in time with the fundamental. Indeed, it is partly the coherence and synchrony of harmonics and fundamental that allow a human being with only two ears to "hear" and separate many different sound sources being produced at once. It is as if your brain were able to sort the different sound waves striking the eardrums and sort them like cards in a deck into different suits. This harmonic goes with that drum, this one goes with that violin, and that one goes with the damn bird that won't stop chirping while I'm trying to listen to music.

When electronically produced or reproduced sound passes through a complex circuit - heck, even when it passes through a cable long enough - there is a certain amount of what is called "group delay" imposed on the signal. generally this is a result of capacitors and their charge-up time, but there are many other factors as well. The group delay reduces the coherence of the harmonic details, and their "assignability" to any sound source. You tend not to notice it quite so much when there is only one instrument playing, but when that instrument's harmonics are mixed in with the harmonics of other sound sources, the very tiny time gaps between fundamental and harmonics can create havoc with our ability to neatly organize the sound field into this sound, that one, and those other ones. The result is a bit like having a drawing of someone where the facial details were all bumped to the left or right by 1/2", relative to the outline of the face. They would sort of look the same and be roughly identifiable, but not quite. Having a drawing of a group of people like that would make it fairly difficult to recognize any single person in the crowd. Group phase delay does the same sort of thing to sound.

On top of this, there is the perennial problem of having speakers where the separate drivers for different bands are slightly different distances from the listener. Guitar speakers, being what they are - a single or multiple speaker delivering the exact same sound - don't have that problem, but when the mic'd guitar goes into a P.A. and is combined with other mic'd sources and comes out through a tri-amped system, the group delay issue arises again.

The desynchronization of fundamentals and harmonics, whether from speaker driver placement, or from capacitor-related phase delay, is what the BBE process strives to fix. It separates the signal into broad ranges and re-aligns them by imposing very very brief time delays. In fairness, no simple analog system can do this flawlessly, in terms of identifying what frequencies need to be delayed by how much, but they certainly come close enough to make a real audible difference. It won't necessarily add more treble to the signal, but it will add more audible punch and presence by more clearly "assigning" THOSE treble frequencies to THAT fundamental. It is properly classified as a psychoacoustic effect, since it does not so much shape the tone to sound different as shape the signal in anticipation of how human hearing works. I think the description that you can't tell if its on, but you notice when it gets turned off, is quite apt. A number of psychoacoustic effects work, or can be described, the same way.

These days, Barcus-Berry has licensed the process and you can buy BBE on a chip for about $3. It takes a bunch of passive components to turn that $3 chip into a fully-fledged unit, but the overall requisite circuitry has been radically miniaturized from what it started out as. You can often find BBE process on car CD decks and such.
 
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