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Microphone Month 5

BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer Reviews

4.0 stars based on 22 customer reviews
Questions about the BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer?

Questions about the BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

Sweetwater Advice

  • Jeffrey Green

    Plain and simple: this product is magic in a box! It is so simple to use; plug it into your signal path and turn four knobs. The outstanding difference in the sound is immediately noticeable and undeniable. Anyone and everyone will hear an enormous difference in the sound.

  • Steve Bachesta
    from St. Louis Missouri February 24, 2016Music Background:

    BBE Sonic Maximizer thank you Chris Lewis!

    Bought this about a month ago after reading reviews on the BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer for over a year. It does what it claims to do. Adds clarity and separation to the channels and frequencies in my opinion. Gets the "mud out". Nice addition to my PA. LOVE IT!

    I had an issue with the first unit I received. My rep Chris Lewis got it taken care of. He put me in touch with the tech support team and they had the replacement unit to me before I had the time to send back the first one. I always knew there was a reason I liked Sweetwater, this just drives the point home. Thank you Chris Lewis and your team. Total Pros. Your service is AWESOME!!!

  • Customer
    from January 8, 2016Music Background:
    Bass player, recording/mix engineer.

    Magical piece of equipment

    I was extremely skeptical about purchasing a sonic maximizer for my project studio. Everyone always talks about getting quality pre amps, compressors, equalizers, etc. I asked around and everyone gave me the same look. People would ask "What the hell's a sonic maximizer?". This is my secret weapon in the studio. No matter how good of a mix you come up with, the bbe 882i just makes it sound crisper, cleaner, and above all more alive. The only downside is that this unit can be overused. I would not track everything through it. This unit is best when it used sparingly as a sonic enhancer. It won't fix a crap mix, and it won't master a song, but when used correctly, it can have a significant impact on your finished product.

  • Derrick Harriott
    from New York, NY August 4, 2015

    BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer

    Great sounding processor. Clean sound, XLR inputs, outputs. Add to your system now! Don't Wait!

  • Emerson
    from New York April 10, 2015Music Background:
    38 years as a musician

    BBE Sonic Maximizer

    If you’re like me, you get to a gig with chaos going on all around you while you’re trying to set up; sometimes with blaring bar music, dim lights and no real sound check.. Many times It’s difficult to fine-tune your PA in those conditions. The great thing about the 882i Sonic Maximizer is that if you get your PA sound at least close, the simplicity of this unit allows you to quickly and drastically improve your sound with very little effort. It’s great, and I don’t know what we used to do without

  • Sean
    from California, USA December 15, 2014Music Background:
    Mobile DJ

    Sound of excellence

    I had older BBE and already knew the benefits of having one in my system. The new unit is built solid and looks sharp with the red. I also likethat the knobs are "roughed" so they grip well and turn eeasier to makeaadjustments. The XLR connection makes patching in very easy too. Glad I invested in this upgrade. The signal reaching the amp is super clean so all you hear is sweet music.

  • David
    from Detroit March 6, 2013Music Background:
    Guitarist, Live Sound Production, Songwriter, Technician

    BBE Sonic Maximizer

    This unit can make an average sound system come to life like a sound system worth much more... The 882i is a MUST for any serious performance and sound reinforcement.

  • Scott Lewis
    from Toms River,NJ May 25, 2012Music Background:
    Children's Music Composer,Performer,Keyboard player, drummer,Hobbyist Engineer


    Read all the reviews and most were very positive so you can imagine I was eagerly anticipating plugging this unit into my system. Having said that, I was also a bit skeptical as to how substantial or how evident any improvements would be. Okay, so let's just say that my formerly average Yamaha non-powered mains now sound like a much higher end cabinet. I did a Dj gig at the beach and this other radio station announcer guy set up a P.A. not more than 200 feet from me. He was sporting some pretty high end powered mains, however my sound, with the maximizer, blew his doors right off. The 882i gave me more gain and it was all squeaky clean. So how do I feel? LOVE THIS UNIT!!

  • Jeff Adams
    from Easley SC USA September 2, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Sonic Maximizer delivers.

    The BBE 882i Sonic Maximzer deilvers that finishing touch to your mix on stage and in the studio. No matter how good you think your music mix sounds the Maximizer makes it sound it's absolute best. A must have for every stage or studio rack. It truly delivers music to the max!

  • Customer
    from July 28, 2011

    Great secret tool in the mix

    A great tool to improve the sound of your mixes.

  • Harold Scadden
    from Virginia Beach, VA June 23, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer - Live and Post Production Sound

    Works great on BOSE L1's

    I do sound for mainly Folk, Celtic, Blues and Bluegrass using a couple of BOSE L1 units for Front-of-House / everything as much as possible. I normally will hooked the units up to a mixing console when used. Well even as good as the L1's sound they still have a "dry" feel to them. I was looking for something to add that last little bit to the cake and I found it! I just used Buddy Mondlock as my test subject, and he has played many shows with venues using the L1's, and he stated it was the best he has ever heard. What the BBE did more than anything was to give some life to the units. As stated in some other reviews, you can get stupid with it so use it with moderation! It was kinda like using MSG when cooking ... it helped bring the flavor out in a very good way.

  • Greg
    from Montana September 22, 2007Music Background:
    pro musician and hobbyist recording geek

    Ramp up your solo acoustic rig

    I purchased 882 Sonic maximizer to help sculpt my sound for finger style acoustic guitar shows that I do. I put the BBE between my tube preamps and the PA system. In my own words this unit provides variable phase correction that results in pushing the highs and lows foreward or backward in the mix. Here's the key: unlike a notch filter or eq, the frequency isn't boosted or cut. BBE says that we hear the tonal spectrum in the right order, eg. the lows aren't heard before the highs. I was skeptical, but I gave it a try. I must say I'm quite impressed with what it does with an acoustic guitar. (Like all processors the key is to use it in moderation.) I experience the sound as richer without, for example, the ear fatigue that comes from strident highs. My James Goodall acoustic guitars sound fantastic: open, airy, and warm. This is a pretty small investment that gives wonderful results.

  • Brendan Butler
    from Southwest CT July 27, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Enthusiast, Semi-Pro Guitarist, Student

    One of my best purchases ever

    I got this on a whim and it has absolutely blown me away. It creates the full feeling like scooping the mids on a distorted guitar or hitting the sweet spot on a condenser mic, but without loosing the "umph" that the mids provide. Whatever instrument I'm using (guitar, bass, piano, voice, harmonica...), the 882 is in the loop.

  • jordan
    from illinois July 13, 2010Music Background:
    studio cat

    2 knobs

    bought this for the band rack. had the 326 but needed balanced outs as i was getting buzzed and hummed (in the bad way). hated to pay 250 bucks for something that only has 2 knobs, but it's sweet sounding and i actually enjoy only having "lo" and "hi" to deal with.
    btw the guys at bbe in CA are awesome with the customer support - very much UNlike Nomad, who now distribute bbe.
    totally fixed my buzz (in the good way)

  • Scott
    from Colorado July 26, 2006Music Background:
    Live Sound Hobbyist

    Easy to use, can help a lot

    I got one of these and added it to my PA before my driverack. If you enable these and use them sparingly they can make a difference. I eq. the system for fairly flat response with the BBE in bypass. Then turn it on, feed the signal and gently adjust the knobs. I find female vocals can benefit form a little high emphasis, and bass guitars can usually benefit from a little low. It provides a more 'interesting' effect than just straight tone controls. Like anything use in moderation and occasionally you're better off taking it out.

  • Ed
    from Earth November 25, 2015Music Background:
    Always learning

    Sounds great but not a lot of features

    I was going to use it for mix-down purposes but there's no stereo link like you would see on a 2-channel compressor. It's a little strange having a rack space with 4 knobs on it. I don't see why they can't make it 4 channels. They could at least add a high-pass filter, phantom power for condenser mics or volume control. But nope. Just a low and high for 1 channel and the same for the other.

    Other than that. it sounds great adds clarity to your tracks.

  • Sweetwater Customer
    from MO January 18, 2017

    Contrary to the hype, It's not magic

    The sonic maximizer is not magic. It's basically just a two channel dual band parametric EQ.

    I'm not sure if everyone has taken the product literature and promotional mumbo-jumbo too literal or they simply forgot how audio works. Going by the reviews of this unit online, you'd think this thing performed miracles. If you have ever worked with an equalizer before, it's pretty obvious what this thing is doing. One knob increases a certain group of frequencies in the bass range and the other knob increases frequencies in the treble range. Increasing both seems to scoop the mids out of the signal. It's an often used trick, used most frequently in modern guitar distortion tones.

    As it turns out, I employ this trick myself because I don't like an overly harsh mid sound. So to me the effect is acceptable. This unit lends a certain flavor to your sound at the expense of other frequencies. And beware, turning the knobs past 12 o'clock produces fatigue after a while. I tested mine on my guitar amp and paid close attention to the differences in tone. On a clean signal, it kills a bit of the natural harmonics and I didn't like it on clean. On distortion, it does add some extra sizzle.

    The better equipment you have already, the less impressive this unit will be. If you're running this on an otherwise lower end collection of gear, you will probably be really impressed. If you already have high end gear and good clean signals, you will wonder what the fuss is about. You can get the same effect by judiciously employing an EQ on the signal. In the end, it's a decent quick EQ solution if you need to tweak your signal with the minimal effort of only two knobs to worry about. I think I'll keep it, but it didn't blow my mind.

  • Matt
    from Georgia October 1, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer / Mastering Engineer

    Good, but dangerous

    yeah, it sounds great, but it eats up a ton of headroom if you get carried away. As a mastering engineer i've had the painful pleasure of listening to a few CD where some idiot must have used this on several tracks in the mix, and then on the master buss. talk about listening fatigue! It is very very cool and can be just what the doctor ordered, but don't get carried away - it can be dangerous. Still, a good "magic weapon" to have in your rack. i love it, but still prefer the APHEX equivilent.

  • Craig Hatley
    from Albemarle, NC November 22, 2011Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Musician, Technical Director

    Didn't make a huge impact for me

    I purchased this product as a part of a high-end JBL based live-sound speaker upgrade. It was for our church auditorium and a rock-style worship band. Once in place, I was very disappointed in the overall impact of the product. Don't get me wrong, the product seemed to work fine, but it added what I would describe as overly aggressive superficial highs (meaning the JBL cabinets were already producing plenty of what I needed) and it didn't really add any wow factor to our dual 18 subs on the low end either. I can only assume that the JBL electronics in the speakers already make some adjustments similar to the Sonic Maximizer as we only required a minimal amount of processing on the unit. I have heard these processors make an incredible difference in the sound of a system, but at least in this instance, a high-end speaker configuration seems to negate the need for this type of processor.

  • Customer
    from Chicago, IL April 21, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    BBE Sonic Maximizer

    I've used this thing on various instruments in a mixing enviroment just to kind of test out the effect. I've found that it can be useful when used as an Aux send to improve tracks that were not well recorded.

    Personally, I would not use this processor while mixing my own music. I feel that it takes away from the natural sound of instruments, and gives you this hologram replacement, a pretty picture.
    I think alot of the reason why Sonic Maximizers get soo much attention is because people use them to make up for the fact that used poor mic technique and
    dull sounding preamps. There would be no need to use an enhancer if you record properly.

  • Epgump
    from Montgomery, Alabama October 25, 2016Music Background:
    Engineer, vocalist, musician

    For those who lack knowledge!

    I own the 882i, and i am both, a studio engineer and a live sound engineer with over 25 years professional experience. BBE over did it with this one. Maybe my systems are already high end enough that the BBE couldn't find a real purpose, but in a live sound application, both the high's and lows produces feedback on any of the jbl speakers that i use, with qsc amps. The sound is LESS natural with it than without it. In the studio, the high's are ok at best, but the bandwidth of the low end is too wide and makes the mix too heavy. Back in 1993 i bought my first BBE. It was a 362 model. It worked perfectly...it sounded better, more natural, and it helped make me popular as a studio engineer.

  • Customer
    January 1, 2005


    A good friend of mine (he owns a Protools studio) and I ran sound for a small venue...he brought his BBE 882. As a system check we ran a hard-rock CD through the mains. Without the 882, it sounded like crap, and we both knew it. He put in his 882 inserted on the mains, and it sounded freakin' awesome.
    I call it the Magic EQ. It made our $2,000 system sound like a $15,000 system. A must-have...it's next on *my* list as , and I don't even personally own a PA system yet...

  • Robert
    from Franklin Louisiana usa December 1, 2004

    one bad ***

    this is one bad *** processor, can't live without it, it is a must have.

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