Folks, I need your help.

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Folks, I need your help.

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:53 pm

Paul and I were talking a while back about doing something with the BBE Acoustimax. This is a preamp/pedal aimed at acoustic guitar players, but it just hasn't gained a lot of traction. It has all sorts of neat toys that bass players can use:

    Three band, recording-console quality eq with a sweepable mid-range band
    Phase reversal
    Ground lift
    Line level out
    Dedicated tuner out
    TRS effects loop
    Pre/post switchable-balanced DI output with pad
    Hardwire bypass
    Sonic Maximizer

It's also got a low frequency notch filter that we don't need, but that can be turned down/off. But everything else is pretty darned cool, especially that Sonic Maximizer.

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Let's say we're going to reconfigure it and re-brand this little beast as a bass toy. What would we change?

I think the notch filter can be safely tossed, but what would replace it? A little grind? Some compression to tame that SB-2? Maybe an octave toy to test your speakers. Definitely needs a headphone out.

And what would we name our new toy? BMAX-Direct?

C'mon! Help us out here. There have got to be a few of you who have used a SansAmp. It's a good device, but we can do better.

Let's hear it!

Ken...
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby deltafred » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:57 am

Replace the notch filter with a decent High Pass Filter, 24db/oct adjustable from say 30Hz to 80Hz. I'm not too sure about the upper frequency, mine is fixed at 35H to suit my cab.

The only other suggestion would be make it phantom powered if possible.

Edit. A piezo input would be handy for DB, especially as it already has the phase reversal switch.
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby GeorgeB » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:10 am

My vote goes for a decent compressor instead of the notch. With two knobs that could be a 2-band comp (like on some Trace-Elliots).
Other ideas :
- Switchable fixed Hi-Pass / Subsonic Filter instead of the polarity switch.
- Combined Headphone and Tuner Out using a trick circuit to detect the shorted ring contact when a mono cable (to tuner) is used, for switching source and level.
That way you could keep the housing as is, with no changes except silk-screen.

Also the pedal should be bullet-proof in terms of overdriving it's input with high gains, no hard-clipping anywhere please, to allow for decent overdrive sounds.
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby RocketMusic » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:34 am

It's probably beyond the scope of the product, but input switching between two basses would be nice (ala Radial BassBone). And a definite +1 for the variable HPF filter. What a great feature for clearing up the boom in problem rooms.
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby TDR1138 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:35 am

IMO, less is more.

Personally, I'd scrap the phase reversal and the Sonic Maximizer. Or at least have a stripped down version without it.

Really, what I'd like to see:
Keep the three band eq. The sweepable frequency on the mids is nice, but not necessary if it was tuned well.
Keep the ground lift, line level out, balanced DI output with pad and bypass
Dedicated tuner out and FX loop - I'm neutral on these.
I would almost like to see an input pad switch, or padded input to make switching between, say, an L-2000 and a Jazz much easier.
A limiter/compressor of sorts.
Phantom power would be a bonus.
Smaller casing.

Look at what the SansAmp BDDI and Eden WTDI do, both in small packages with 6-7 knobs.
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby fatherska » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:26 pm

1. Remove the low freq notch filter completely.
2. Include a headphone jack with output level knob.
3. Include a subharmonics knob (like an Ashdown Engineering preamps).
4. Include bass-appropriate distortion switch with level knob, like a vintage Ibanez Tube Screamer.
5. Call it the Bassmax with Sonix Maximizer.
6. Sell it at an 'unbelievably good deal' price until it becomes so sought-after that retailers have to keep ordering in more. 7. Let the price go up after having watched what reviews say and what people pay for it used.
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby TDR1138 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:41 am

Hmm, what's going on with this little project now, anyway?
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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby Ken Baker » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:44 pm

Nothing at this point, and I strongly doubt that anything will come of it.

Sorry. I think it would be pretty damned cool, but I don't see it happening.

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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby Ken Baker » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:07 pm

This is why.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1754

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Re: Folks, I need your help.

Postby Mr. Mom » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:22 am

That's too bad about this little project. For $200 new, this is a great preamp. I bought a new Fishman Platinum Analog preamp for $250. Piece'o'crap. Built like a cheap toy. Was DOA on arrival to me. Knobs and switches were extremely cheap feeling. The Acoustimax is a MUCH better product, construction-wise. No contest. But, the Acoustimax doesn't have that ever helpful HPF. Especially good for upright.

If you just got rid of the notch filter and added a good HPF it'd be a winner. IMO, YMMV, etc etc.
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