Anyone else use a sonic maximizer?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JeffTimmerman, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. JeffTimmerman

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    I was wondering if anyone else uses a sonic maximizer in their home theater. I am a musician and I stumbled across a BBE sonic maximizer and fell in love with it instantly. I cannot really describe what it does, most of you are probably way ahead of me and already know, but as far as getting a much better sound from satellite or cable that uses rca connections. The sound is amazing. I listened to it for a week with it on and then turned it off and the sound was horrible! I don't know if these are used in theater, but I have seen the technology in newer tv's. I have a 400 series rackmount unit and its amazing. The only downfall is that this cannot be used for digital toslkink type connections however I have a feeling that this unit basically takes analog signals and makes them more prominent and increases the fidelity somewhat. Almost like you have a digital connection for analog sound. Any opinoins?
     
  2. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    Never heard of it before, but here's what (little) they have to say for themselves about their technology.

    From what I can gather reading the site, it's a signal processor that is supposed to add phase delays and distortion to the audio signal that are supposed to negate the phase delays created by the speaker crossover. Sort of like a Linkwitz transform in phase space. So if your speakers have a huge low frequency phase delay, this would alter the frequency response of the signal to delay the mid and upper frequencies such that after the crossover adds the LF delay, the response at the voice coil is in phase. So you have to dial in the amount of correction for each of the low, mid, and high frequencies until it sounds better, correct? Since it can't know your crossover slopes it can't know what you phase response is, so you'd have to dial it in by trial and error I would think. It also has a boost at the extreme high and low frequencies. Sounds like a reasonable approach to correct for the collective downstream phase errors, but I have no idea if it works as claimed, having never heard one in action. But their client list is impressive. And of course if it makes a positive difference for you, it was worth it, no?

    Andy
     
  3. JeffTimmerman

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    I really don't know the theory behind what it does but all I can tell you is that it is amazing. Musicians use these to get a great sound live and supposedly these are used on radio shows to get that great sounding live mic sound (the deep clear vocals). Like I said before this could be used anywhere you can connect rca jacks and the sound is improved in my opinion greatly. You do have to dial in the low frequencies and high's but afterwards..well if you get a chance to hear one do it. This unit I am using is actually a rackmount guitar unit, but it works very well. I know bbe actually made a theater version of this piece but it was only being sold overseas and not here in the U.S. I also have a smaller bbe unit that is connected to my subs. What a great sound. If anyone ever gets the chance to try one let me know what you think.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    I used to have a BBE brand bass guitar pre-amp, and I wasn't overly impressed with what it did there (the processing that is). Seemed to make things a little brighter - nothing I couldn't accomplish with an EQ or treble knob.

    As far as for audio use, I haven't used one, but most enhancement devices can offer sonic benefits if used judiciously. Personally I'm all for anything that can enhance the audio quality of TV programming, which is often quite abysmal. I'm currently using a dbx dynamic range enhancer for that purpose. However, most processors are designed to be connected through tape monitor loops - which unfortunately have become a thing of the past.

    Naturally the BBE has its defenders and detractors. You might check this link to see what profession users think BBE processing.
    http://srforum.prosoundweb.com/viewt...bd357b973a3d0c

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I have found that taking a 31-band EQ, dumping the mids, boosting 10khz and 150hz roughly appoximates the "phase shifting" that a BBE box does.

    It's like a loundess button on an old stereo.

    -vince
     
  6. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    So I take it Vince that you don't buy into their claims of performing any phase processing, and that the main sonic improvement is merely the high and low end boosts? I personally don't know enough to pass judgement on whether it's possible circuitry-wise, but I do know that it would require a lot of user tuning and would be only a rough reshuffling of the phase response, given that it only has three knobs and a system's phase changes can be all over the map. Still, it's not too far-fetched an idea. Maybe just too far-fetched a product.

    Andy
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    To be fair, I'm sure their product does what they says it does... however the net gain basically a high/low boost. By delaying the mids, the perception of high freq specifically is enhanced...

    But in the end, it sounds about the same as a mid-dipped EQ curve.
     

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