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BBE 264 Sonic Maximizer

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  • BBE 264 Sonic Maximizer

    Musicians Friend has one of these for $60. I've read all the rave reviews about the BBE 482, wondering if this is the baby brother. It is not a rack mount (better for me), and it has RCA outs (worse for me).

    Does anyone have experience with this unit?

  • #2
    I'd like to re-issue a request for info on the 264. Has anyone used this?

    The update is that musiciansfriend.com now has them for only $50! According to their catalog, it has 1/4" ins/outs (one set or 2?). It looks to be a single-channel BBE processor with just 2 knobs: a Process and a Lo Contour control, no fancy LEDs and no rack mount. Looks like it would suit my setup to a "T", running a mono 1/4" out to my G2. Having a pair of ins/outs would be a bonus if I ever switch to stereo (even with single controls), although buying a 2nd unit would also be a pretty cheap option.

    So, has anyone tried the 264? I couldn't find much info on the web...

    [This message has been edited by drmoze (edited November 10, 2001).]


    • #3
      Why dont you contact BBE via their web site, I have heard only good things about their after sales service

      TD10 exp, BBE and the rest of the toys


      • #4
        I ordered one and have been using it for about one month now. I can't compare it to BBE's other units because I have no experience with them, but I can tell you about the BBE 264.

        I sent an email to BBE asking about the unit. They replied saying it was made exclusively for Musicians Friend, and has about the same specs as the BBE 362. You can download the 362 manual from BBE's web site.

        Musicians Friend said it has RCA ins and outs, but mine came with 1/4" (with a sticker on the box saying "Now with 1/4" connectors!"). So that was a bonus. I'm sure they all have that now. It measures about 3" x 5" x 1" in a metal case. It has a wall wart power supply, an on/off switch in the back, and a "function" switch on the front (this turns on and off the maximizer circuit so you can compare the dry to processed sound.) There is a Lo contour and Process knob that I would equate to how much bass boost (Lo contour) and treble (Process) you want. They control both channels, so you cannot control the 2 channels separatly.

        I am also running it through a JBL G2. I wasn't sure at first how well it would improve a mono signal, but it does work. I bought it hoping it would improve the cymbal sounds of my TD-8, but frankly it does not do much for that. In fact, at first I was not that impressed with it - it just seemed like an adjustable loudness switch (boost bass and treble freqs). It seems to work the best for sounds with multiple frequencies. For instance, the click and the punch of a bass drum are much more distinct and powerful. What made me decide to keep it for sure was what it does to tympani (I use my V-drums for music theatre). It makes them sound absolutley huge, like you are standing over the top of a real timp.

        I think if there was a multiband EQ for each instrument in the module, and you had the patience to dial in each one, you might not see that much improvement with a sonic maximizer. But it seems to get the best sound out of everything, automatically. So if you can get one for $50 I would do it for sure. There is a little indent on the G2 that it fits perfectly - I have mine velcroed in with a short cable always conncected between it and the G2. So the only extra setup time is plugging in the power supply.

        [This message has been edited by mfrzrdrum (edited November 10, 2001).]


        • #5
          mfrzr, Thanks for the info! Contactng BBE was my next move, but you saved me that step. $^) So, it does have stereo ins/outs? Excellent! I'll be all set if I add a 2nd G2. I also wondered how it might sit on the G2, and you answered that question presciently!

          So, for $50 it's a no-brainer for me. And heck, the new mf catalog has a $10 coupon in it. Gonna go order me one now....


          • #6
            Hey Dr. I owe you an apology. I don't believe I ever got back to you on the BBE a couple months ago.

            I'd have to agree with mfrzrdrum. At first the difference was very subtle and there was a negative effect on the cymbals which has been discussed. I guess by the many "it knocks your socks off" posts I read, my expectations were too high. I suspect running direct outs and outboard effects would really allow you to maximize it's capabilities (I'd use it just on drums), but that's not in my plans for now.

            Bottom line, is that when I disconnected it, even though the difference was subtle, I missed it. It cleans up the sound and bring more focus to it. It also brightens it up, but I'm not able to duplicate that with on board EQ. I could see where in a live situation with the volume cranked up a bit, you could really improve projection.

            I did get a "knock your socks off" effect when I used it on my wife's Martin electro-acoustic guitar and Fender Acoustisonic amp. This pair sounds nice without it so I was amazed with how much it improved it. It took a couple weeks before I could get it back from her. While I didn't get that kind of impact with the drums, I'm still pleased with it.

            It sounds like a fantastic deal for $50.00. You don't get independant stereo controls, both RCA and 1/4" in's/out's and the some of the spec's are slightly less than 482, but the 362 appears to be a great value.
            Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


            • #7
              No prob! And, mf's latest catalog has a $10 coupon in it, so the price is ony about $46 shipped. Mine's on the way... $^)

              I might separate the cymbals and bypass the BBE. The G2 has 2 inputs, so that'll work. Gotta give it a good listen....


              • #8
                So is the 262 in Stereo? or just mono? If it comes in an RCA format doesn't that denote that it is in Stereo?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AkristaK:
                  So is the 262 in Stereo? or just mono? If it comes in an RCA format doesn't that denote that it is in Stereo?
                  My understanding is it is in stereo but, you get one set of controls for both channels. The 482 gives you separate controls for each channel. The RCA's still require one right and one left.

                  See the 362 data for further info.

                  Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


                  • #10
                    Just to clarify. The 262 comes with 1/4" jacks only. Left and right channels - One set of controls.

                    I run my cymbals through and it brightens them up some - but if you crank up the "process" control too much they become brittle sounding.

                    [This message has been edited by mfrzrdrum (edited November 12, 2001).]


                    • #11
                      Sorry, but I have to refute/clarify the previous 2 posts...

                      I own a BBE 262 and am currently using it in my live rig. It is 2 independent channels, and has both independent PROCESS and LO CONTOUR controls for EACH channel. There are single BYPASS and POWER buttons on the unit. The channels are absolutlely not "connected" and do not share common controls.

                      There are only 1/4" unbalanced input/output jacks on the 262, no RCA's or balanced TRS jacks. I use one channel for my kick signal, with a touch of LO CONTOUR and a good deal of PROCESS, which really punches it up. I used roughly equal amounts of both on my snare channel, which really makes it have a nice "crack" and presence.

                      One thing about the 262 is the size; about 6 inches wide, 2 inches tall & 4 inches deep. A rack-mounted version is probably more convenient, but this one works well for me so far.

                      Hope this clarifies it for you, AristaK...


                      Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


                      • #12
                        Yo, are we getting the 262(?)/264/362 confused here? I dunno. But m'sfriend.com has the 264 model for $50. And according to all pics, there is only a single knob for each control (process, lo contour). I'll be happy to report on exactly what I receive when my order arrives. $^)


                        • #13
                          For what it's worth, I checked the BBE website again (that's where I got my manual for mine), and they don't list a model number 264 either under current or discontinued models. There is the 462, of course, and the 262, but not a 264. Strange...


                          Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


                          • #14
                            Sorry. In one of my posts I said 262. I have the 264. Actually the model number on the unit is 264R.

                            The reason it is not on BBE's web site is as I mentioned before - they make it special for Musicians Friend only.


                            • #15
                              Not so strange. If you read above, it was noted that the 264 is a model made especially for Musician'sFriend, and isn't part of their 'regular' lineup. It has essentially the same specs (but not the same shape!) as the 362. It is *NOT* the 262 that we're referring to here, but the $50 264...

                              I'll report on mine when it arrives... $^)