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BBE Sonic Stomp Sonic Maximizer

 
Rugged metal casing and switch - True Bypass - Lo Contour and Process controls - Included power supply


Price: $38 to $239 at 16 stores
Searched BBE Sonic Stomp Sonic Maximizer in Reviews
 

 

You'll Either Wonder If It Actually Does Anything or Wonder How You Lived Without It featured

Ease Of Use It's got two knobs and a push button switch - D'oi!

Actually, you do need to read the manual to know what the heck "LO Contour" and "Process" even means, but that's it.

Hmm, on second thought you're probably going to need to read about what in God's name the unit even does in the first place...

...but that's it *wink* *wink*

Ease Of Use: 9/10


Sound To put it simply the BBE Sonic Maximizer 'technology' is a phase/time alignment device, with low contour control. When you first slap the Sonic Maximizer (SM) into your chain you probably won't understand what it's doing if you didn't read about it extensively before hand, but properly setup up (most preferably in the FX-Loop) it can help bring life to your amp tone and how it presents the sound.

BBE describes the technology as something that, "...adjusts a signal's phase relationships between it's low, mid and high frequencies while progressively adding longer delay times to lower frequencies, this creates a kind of 'mirror curve" created by the speaker neutralizing its phase distortion." In other words it's meant to clean up the mismatching wave form relationships between highs and lows coming from the same source, as well as boosting (more or less depending on how much you turn the knobs) the overall bass and treble (EQ style).

I personally find that adding an SM (more particularly the rack units) to an audio playback setup can be a great way to compensate for issues with your speakers. You, of course, would never want to add such a device to a monitor setup, though, due to how it will be detrimental to the flatness of the playback. Anyway back to guitar amp use (with the stomp box) you can quite simply, with the turn of only a couple of knobs, add a little "something something" to your sound.

A lot of people criticize the SM as a "noob EQ" essentially acting more like a 'loudness' setting, as seen with car stereos, but I think as with all gear the outcome depends on how you choose to use the unit(s), and that great sound is great sound regardless of how you obtained it.

Sound: 7/10


Reliability I own more than one BBE device (not all SMs) and I can say that there aren't too many companies that consistently make products at such a high level of rugged quality. BBE's stomp boxes are all metal houses that you can throw around with little worry. They really couldn't be made any stronger. In fact, the only part of the unit that isn't metal is battery compartment.

Reliability: 9.5/10


Customer Support I've never had to deal with BBE customer support but their level of professionalism in their web site, product quality, and product inclusion (great manual, "case candy" if you will, general packaging, etc) should reflect that this isn't a company that takes any aspect of their business for granted.

Support: N/A


Liked about it Top three things that I like about the BBE Sonic Stomp (or Maximizer in general)

1)Super easy unit that helps with potential tonality problems.
2)Built like a tank.
3)Package include 9v AC adapter.


Didn't like Top three things I don't like about the BBE Sonic Stomp:

1)Ultimately unnecessary if you can get a great tone out of your setup to begin with. It can enhance a setup that may be missing a little something but it's only going to polish a turd if you started with a turd.
2)Since this thing is more suited in an FX-Loop having the unit in stomp form is not entirely necessary. You really have no reason to turn it "off" if you like what it does to begin with.
3)Oddly expensive. You can buy a used Sonic Maximizer unit for the price of a new Sonic Stomp. And, since the rack units have two channels there's really not many reasons to buy the Sonic Stomp over the rack unit (especially since the units are built so well you really don't need to worry about potential wear and tear of a used item).


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Johnny Two Tone
Jan 16, 2010
 
Last updated: January 17, 2010
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Brings out articulate playing featured

Ease Of Use Very very easy to use this thing. The two knobs control bass and treble. There is good even, smooth sweep to the pots and it takes no time at all to dial in tones.


Sound I started out using this thing all the time with my rig. I never shut it off, so much so that I left it sitting in the amp at gigs to save room on my pedal board for other things. It brightens or booms depending on where you set the two controls and I definitely agree with the reviews that say it's like a blanket being taken off your amp. It really makes things a lot more articulate. Over time, I found that I didn't want to be crisp and articulate all the time and I began to use it more sparingly. It was not that the effect or sound quality was poor, it isn't, but my tastes required a different tone. Now, I tend to use this as a boost for solos. It allows me to effectively cut through the mix without boosting my volume and drowning out the rest of the band. The true bypass is just that, true bypass. If you don't have a power supply to the pedal and the effect is off, you'll still pass a signal. That, to me, says that when the effect is off, it's out of the signal path. Kudos for that. I also use this for my bass recordings and it really helps to keep things nice and tight in the low end.


Reliability I've never had any problems with it. The knobs are very sturdy as is the stomp switch. I have gigged without a backup and never had a problem.


Customer Support I haven't dealt with them, it's a good product that does what it says it should.


Liked about it 1. Very articulate, brightens up the tone without being shrill.
2. True by-pass, I'm not a snob about this, but I like that it does nothing to my signal path unless I want it on.
3. Included power supply, I HATE other pedal companies that don't give you a power supply after you've bought their $100 pedal and then charge you $15-20 for a power adapter. Way to go BBE for including this.


Didn't like It's really hard for me to find something I don't like about this pedal that is a fault of the pedal. It's simple and does what it claims to do. Anything I say for it's tone is subjective to my own sonic perseptions and goals but I will say that I tend to almost never use this for rhythm playing or darker/mellow tones. If your tone is not muddy to begin with, you probably won't see a whole lot of benefit from this product.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By smooth55
Aug 19, 2009
 
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Love it..

Ease Of Use Super easy.. Two knobs, low and high just set it and forget it til you get another guitar or amp out then take the ten seconds and readjust, couldn't be easier.


Sound Great tone shaping box that amazingly easy to use and dial in, it adds a
focused sound.. Used it with my Ibanez RG 520 (dimarzio Breeds) and a Rivera KHR100
It doesn't have the same tone as my old rack unit, it's a little more transparent when it's on and IT TURNS OFF when I want it to. Great effect but who wants to run one all the time..


Reliability No backup needed made very well. I've opened up a few BBE pedals and they are
definately rugged.


Customer Support I haven't dealt with them but they have sent me a couple of free pedals to use and have recieved them quickly.. Free stuff is GOOD..


Liked about it Tone stay intact (as much as you want it to)
easy to use. I liked the old rack sonic maximizer I had but sold
it because it needed to be footswitchable for when I didn't want it
there, this does that.


Didn't like I don't like it on in every situation and the older version is kinda ugly (the one I have of course) the new one looks good. It could be a little smaller to save a little pedalboard real estate


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By ChrisPcritter
Nov 25, 2010
 
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An amazing pedal

Ease Of Use This pedal is easy to work with. Just plug it in the last chain of your pedal board you will instantly hear the differences of having the maxi on and off .It has two knobs, Lo contour and process, where if you want to hear a clarity of your bass turn the Lo Contour to your likings and if you want a bit of treble the process knob does the job. this pedal is also a true bypass.


Sound The sound just lke i said is amazing, i plug it in when i got it and wow!! a total difference , it makes your sound clearer it just widens the sound without compromising your guitar tone it enhances it instead.


Reliability Its built tough i think it wont be broken any time soon but if it is.. i would buy it again.


Customer Support -NiL-


Liked about it it added a missing space on my board
its affordable
it makes alot of difference on my sounds


Didn't like nothing that i dont like but i would like to see it in aother colors.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By mar01
Jan 27, 2010
 
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Simple, subtle & effective

Ease Of Use Very easy to use, but also very easy to over use. If either of the dials are set too high, your tone can go south fast.


Sound I used to use it with my JSX, but it was making the amps mid and treble freq's sound alien. I now use in the loop of my Blackstar HT-r with great results. Adds clarity and helps the amp sound thicker and give it more presence (which the amp needed)


Reliability No issues. Solid metal casing with quality dials and jacks.


Customer Support N/A


Liked about it 1.Construction
2.Ease of use
3.resulting sound when paired with proper amp


Didn't like Mainly I didn't like what the pedal did to the mids and highs on my JSX. It isn't a good match with an amp that is considered bright with alot of natural presence and mids.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Van Noord
Nov 24, 2009
 
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The single best investment you can make in your so

Ease Of Use As basic and "monkey simple" as it gets.....two controls,low end/high end....that's it.


Sound The most commonly used and incidently, most apt description of the Sonic Maximizer/Stomp's affect on your sound is it's as if a blanket was taken off your speaker cabinet. What the maximizer does is assign a very small, and slightly different amount of delay to each section of the EQ curve......low/mid/high. My understanding is that they're all well under 10 milliseconds. The result is a ridiculous amount of added clarity and headroom, as well as a very noticable volume boost.


Reliability The Sonic Stomp, as well as the rackmount units are built like a tank. I would indeed gig without a backup. I've had 3 BBE's over the years and never had a moment's trouble out of any of them. I sold my Sonic Stomp when I found a mint BBE 482 for sale at a great price. The only difference between the Stomp and it's rackmount brethren...at least the 400 series, is the rackmount units are stereo units....basically two Stomps in a single spaced rack.


Customer Support Never had to deal with BBE, nor do I think I ever will


Liked about it I'm gonna bypass the request to mention the top 3 things I like about this unit, and just say that it does EXACTLY as advertised. These things bring that "chrome" sheen to your sound, and provide just an incredible amount of headroom and clarity.


Didn't like Not a thing I don't like about it......it brings the chrome bigtime!!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By uberthrall
Oct 01, 2009
 
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Great Piece

Ease Of Use Pretty straight forward. So easy one of those Geico dudes can do it.


Sound Hard to describe but easy to understand once tried. Incredible definition. Brings out many of the nuances of your sound throughout the spectrum.


Reliability It isn't a toy.


Customer Support Not familiar with the support.


Liked about it Amazing sound
* Doesn't degrade signal (in-line or loop)


Didn't like Nothing to not like about it really


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By THE UNIVERSAL ON
Oct 13, 2009
 
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Not bad

Ease Of Use Can't get much easier than twisting knobs. LOL


Sound If used correctly it can color your tone just right. The only downfall is relying to heavily on this to make you sound good.


Reliability Never had an issue


Liked about it Simple and easy to use.


Didn't like I think it gives you a false sense of tonal bliss. I think your tone would be better without one of these.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By finstah
Oct 07, 2009
 
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