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BBE ARS1 Others

5/5 (4 Reviews) MSRP : $170.00


Product Description

Sonic Maximizer


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ski2xblack a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Quick note: this is a review for the BBE 362 Sonic Maximizer, a unit functionally equivalent to the ARS, currently available in the good ol' US at your local guitar/musician/PA merchant for a paltry $60 (if you find a sale). The controls and functions are the same as the ARS, except that the bass contour cotrol in the 362 goes from flat to +10db@50Hz, where the ARS has a broader range +/-10. And you will need 1/4" to RCA patch cords to incorporate with your hi-fi components.

This machine causes a wonderful transformation of live recordings (dust off the bootlegs, this will make them sound FAT and RICH unlike you have ever heard them). Ditto for pretty much anything that is not a pristine, transparent high-definition recording. For all I know, it would likely improve such recordings as well. I find that the better the source, the less I turn up the process. All recordings I listen to sound better through the BBE than without.

This is an amazing addition to any system, and certainly worth the low cost. The musical transformation is particularly noticable on older recordings. For example, when listening to the Meters Look-A-Py-Py, the BBE processor endowed the piano with a lifelike realism, added punch and depth to the bass, definition to percussion and transients, and more life-like vocals. On DMB Live in Central Park the realism just blew me away. Old Dead bootlegs sounded like soundboard recordings. Newer or cleaner recordings also sounded better when played through this unit, provided the process control is reduced.

The ability to cotrol the level of processing allows you to use this similarly to a continuously variable loudness control, although the effects are much more dramatic than a simple low and high freq boost. It does not mutilate the sound as some receiver DSP's do. It didn't add any residual noise to the signal that I could detect. And once you become accustomed to it, music sounds lifeless and two dimensional without it.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   Guitar World



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fastexas a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I've used a BBE unit for more than 10 years, and really love what it does to the sound..instruments, voices, percussion etc., everything is more dynamic, involving with this unit in place. It really is not a tone control. It sounds like a veil has been lifted off the music. Works well with even "bright" speakers like Klipsch.

In the last few years with the advent of HT, it has become difficult to hook-uo these units to a modern HT receiver, as there is no tape loop to use, and that is the most efective way to use a BBE. You really need a level signal going through the unit to get the best effect. I've tried "jacking" it between the pre-outs of my Sony 5-ch. rec'vr and an out-board amp I use, but the effect now is volume dependent. My fix is that I've bought another 3 units on e-bay, and run the RCA outputs from each of my 2-channel sources through it's own BBE unit, then into the receiver. That gives me the full BBE effect for all my source components. For DD, 5.1 audio & HT that is passed to the receiver through a coaxial digital connection, I just to have to do without BBE.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   on-line



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gman a

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Sharp, clear, detailed sound. You'll hear things that you hadn't heard before in familiar music. It will also present an expanded soundstage. I don't think it matters how much you have paid for your system, it will improve it. I read the review at the bottom and checked out the site. The very positive reviews there from renowned publications convinced me. It will sound quite metallic at first, but after about seven days to completely break in, WOW. For what it did for my system, I give it 5 big stars.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this product after replacing an old reciever that had this technology biult in. The BBE ARS1 is the home version of what many recording studios and broadcast networks use. It's labeled a "Sonic Maximizer" but just what it does is hard to describe. It has gotten many good review in publications such as Stereo Review and Stereophile. While it's hard to describe what it IS, here are a few things it is NOT: A DSP(Digital Signal Processor), or an Equalizer. The unit has two adjustable controls: "Lo Contour" and "Definition" that you can fine tune to your preference. The Lo Countour makes bass notes and lower frequencies clearer while the Definition control brings out the mids and highs. I know what you're thinking, sounds like bass and treble controls, but I promise you it isn't. It doesn't "boost" the signals in decibles it shapes the sound and compensates for speaker, signal, room deficiencies. This is truly an amazing product and those of us that are readers of Stereophile and Stereo Review know, Tone Controls and Signal Processors are frowned upon. But this product falls into neither category, it is in a class by itself. It will make your recordings sound like the engineers and producers intended them to sound like without coloring the music. For more information, magazine reviews, and a more technical explanation you can visit www.bbesound.com. I HIGHLY recommend this component to fellow audio-enthuisiasts that are in the search for GREAT sound.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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