BBE Sonic 462 Maximizer
Every now and then, DJs and studio engineers seek out some new “toy” that will give their sound a unique edge. They shop from super store to super store looking for that magical “black box” that will mesmerize their audience. And really good sales associates often take these audiophiles to the sonic enhancer section of their outboard gear rack. What is a sonic enhancer, you may ask? Manufactures of such a device usually define it as phase correcting device with a bit of an EQ boost. This is an appropriate but vague description. Each brand of sonic enhancers have their own unique features. And usually most people seeking the magical sound usually want it quick and easy. Ahhhhhhh!!!! Here it is: the BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer.
The BBE 462’s manual describes their process as a “boosting of the harmonic content of program music, as determined by the signal input, and imparting a linear phase shift across the audio spectrum.” In lay terms, this means that the unit analyzes what you put into it and delays lower frequencies (bass) that might normally squash higher frequencies (mid-range and treble) and adds some EQ. boost to sweeten it. What is amazing is the fact that the unit does most of the work for you. All the user needs to do is adjust the amount of bass (the contour knob) and the amount of treble (the process knob) needed to liven things up a bit. How does one do this? Turn the knobs. The contour knob has a center frequency of 50Hz and can be cut or boosted by 10dB [unprocessed (unity-gain) is at eleven o’clock], while the process knob’s center frequency is at 5kHz. It can only be boosted by 10dB. The mids are controlled internally. It’s very basic and very sweet.
How does it sound, you ask? Ouch! When listening to your favorite tunes through it, the highs sizzle and the bass is really pumpin’. There is a defeat knob that allows you to compare the unprocessed sound with the processed one . The BBE 462 sweetened all of the tested program material (Seal’s second album, Van Halen II, Steve Vai’s Passion and Warfare), and made it sound as if it were magically cleaned up. This was observed in both recording monitors and P.A. speakers. The BBE delivered everything it said and did so in a very easy manner. The manual is very easy to follow, with diagrams of all possible applications. The unit offers unbalanced 1/4″ and RCA inputs and outputs.
A truly amazing piece, the BBE Sonic Maximizer is priced just right at a retail price of $349.00, but can be seen for as low as $199.99. Go to your nearest super store with your favorite CD in hand and get blown away. Once you go BBE, you never go back. BBE Sound, Inc., 5381 Production Drive, Huntington Beach, CA 92649; http://www.bbesound.com/