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BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier

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The BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier is a high-quality bass preamp/processor with advantages in the recording studio and in demanding live applications. It features a class A/B front end ... Click To Read More About This Product

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The BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier is a high-quality bass preamp/processor with advantages in the recording studio and in demanding live applications. It features a class A/B front end that emulates the loading effect of a classic tube preamp. It also has a pure and clean electronically-balanced DI output.

The BBE Process--"What it Is"

Loudspeakers have difficulty working with the electronic signals supplied by an amplifier. These difficulties cause such major phase and amplitude distortion that the sound reproduced by the speaker differs significantly from the sound produced by the original source.

In the past, these problems proved unsolvable and were thus relegated to a position of secondary importance in audio system design. However, phase and amplitude integrity is essential to accurate sound reproduction. Research shows that the information which the listener translates into the recognizable characteristics of a live performance are intimately tied into complex time and amplitude relationships between the fundamental and harmonic components of a given musical note or sound. These relationships define a sound's "sound".

When these complex relationships pass through a speaker, the proper order is lost. The higher frequencies are delayed. A lower frequency may reach the listener's ear first or perhaps simultaneously with that of a higher frequency. In some cases, the fundamental components may be so time-shifted that they reach the listener's ear ahead of some or all of the harmonic components.

This change in the phase and amplitude relationship on the harmonic and fundamental frequencies is technically called "envelope distortion." The listener perceives this loss of sound integrity in the reproduced sound as "muddy" and "smeared." In the extreme, it can become difficult to tell the difference between musical instruments, for example, an oboe and a clarinet.

BBE Sound, Inc. conducted extensive studies of numerous speaker systems over a ten year period. With this knowledge, it became possible to identify the characteristics of an ideal speaker and to distill the corrections necessary to return the fundamental and harmonic frequency structures to their correct order. While there are differences among various speaker designs in the magnitude of their correction, the overall pattern of correction needed is remarkably consistent.

The BBE Process is so unique that 42 patents have been awarded by the U.S. Patent Office.


  • High-quality bass preamp/processor
  • Useful in the studio and in demanding live applications
  • Class A/B front end emulates classic tube preamp
  • Electronically-balanced DI output
  • Quasi-parametric mid-range EQ with 12db of boost or cut between 250 to 1000hz
  • Single-knob soft-knee optical compressor
  • Inputs for both passive pickup and active pickup instruments
  • 1meg ohm input impedance
  • Ground lift switch
  • Balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS Outputs
  • Military-spec circuit boards
  • Extra thick, extra wide circuit board traces for unequaled electron flow
  • 1% metal film resistors throughout
  • Solid 1/4" thick aluminum extrusion front panel for extreme ruggedness
  • Made with pride in the USA
  • 5-year warranty
Pro Coverage

BBE Sound, Inc. products are warranted against defects in material and workmanship for a period of five (5) years from date of purchase from BBE Sound, Inc. or an authorized dealer.

During this period, BBE Sound, Inc. will repair units free of charge providing that they are shipped prepaid to:

BBE Sound, Inc.
5382 Production Drive
Huntington Beach, California 92649

BBE Sound, Inc. will pay return UPS shipping charges within USA. All charges related to non-US shipping, including customs clearance, will be billed. The warranty will be honored for the longer of either 90 days from the date of any service or the remainder of the original 5 year factory warranty.

If a BBE Sound, Inc. product is purchased through an authorized BBE distributor outside the US, contact the distributor to arrange warranty repair.

This warranty will be considered null and void by BBE Sound, Inc. if any of the following is found:

1. The equipment has been physically damaged.
2. The equipment shows signs of abuse
3. The equipment has been electrically damaged by improper connection or attempted repair by the end user or third party.
4. The equipment has been modified without authorization.
5. The bill of sale indicates that the purchase date of the equipment is not within the warranty period.

A copy of the original sales receipt must be provided for service under this warranty.

All non-warranty repairs are warranted for a period of 90 days from the date of service.

BBE Sound, Inc. is NOT LIABLE FOR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. Should the unit fail to operate for any reason, our sole obligation is to repair the unit as described above.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BBEBMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(21 of 21 customers found this review helpful)



By Eddie Stephens

from Paramount, CA

Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

I was in a crunch when my last "Top Box" went out. I decided to go Pre-amp/Power-amp this time and the only that looked interesting AND affordable was this BBE preamp. I was PLEASNTLY surprised! The EQ section is very detailed, and the Maximizer is just a rediculous improvment to ANYBODY's rig. The compressor is only good if you set the Pre-gain up high but I never have to go more than 9 o'clock on it with the master at halfway (Noon). I HIGHLY recommend this product to any bass player, wether you work a lot or not!

(14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


Solid & Versatle Great Deal For The Money

By Rainman

from Highland California

Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

I have been using this preamp since June of '06 and have been very pleased with it's performance. It has a wide pallet of tones available. The BMax and can go from funky slap clean to a nice warm growly rock tone that is almost tube like. I have found this preamp has worked for everything I play. I really wanted a tube preamp but everyone was back ordered on the BMax-T so I tried the SS model expecting to return it for the tube version. Two and a half years later I'm still using it and have no desire for a tube preamp. The BMax has solid build quality and has been trouble free. The D.I. is excellent and very quiet. I have recorded with it twice and the results were excellent. BBE also has excellent product support. The only downside to this preamp is learning how to use the EQ. It's an old school passive system based on an old Fender design that has the treble & bass as boost and the mids as cut only. The treble will also effect the mids a bit. That doesn't mean it's bad, just that it takes a little while to figure it out. Be patient, because once you get used to it, combined with the parametric mid feature the tones available are excellent. I highly recommend this preamp to anyone.

(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)



By khaos

from Dayton, Ohio

Comments about BBE BMAX Solid State Bass Guitar Preamplifier:

My bass instructor calls the BBE BMAX "god in a box" and now I know why. Even someone who is as new to playing the bass as I am can get something from it. Noteable attributes: tone shaping, compression, the Lo contour and BBE process. It makes me want to play all the time. It's worth every penny

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