Anyone use BBE Sonic Maximizer Plug In?

Thanks for adding me to the group.

I have been using the Voxengo Marvel GEQ with Audirvana. Once I figured out that I need to turn the level down to stop it from clipping, the results have been excellent.

I was thinking of trying the BBE Sonic Maximizer, which phase (time) aligns the treble, mids, and bass. Is anyone using this? I downloaded the free demo, which disables some of the functions. It either makes Audirvana crash or creates a stuttering sound. I’m not sure if the problems are specific to the demo version or would be found in the full version. I thought I should ask before spending the money on it.

Are you using real-time upsampling? How many plug-ins are you applying? I’ve run into stuttering using two virtualization plug-ins and up-sampling to DSD128, however everything plays as expected when applying only a single plug-in prior to up-sampling to DSD128… I never listen to PCM 44.1kHz and 352.8kHz without up-sampling to DSD128…

I started a thread here:

Haven’t sorted-out the cause of the stuttering, however, I have tried all of the obvious potentials, but have not yet lowered the look-ahead memory to very minimal buffer… Solving this is not a priority at the moment, I will post my experience on the thread when I get around to trying lowering the amount of look-ahead memory…

Thanks for responding. I was using just the one plug in (turned the GEQ off). I was playing a CD quality track that was being upsampled to 32/44.1. I should also say I am using a Windows 10 laptop.

My player is a Marantz SACD 30n. It internally converts the digital stream to DSD256 using a process known as “Marantz Musical Mastering.” Whatever they want to call it, it sounds great. :smile:

Have you tried using the BBE plug-in without up-conversion in Audirvana? Does the 16/44.1kHz file play as expected with the BBE plug-in applied? Have you tried using the plug-in and up-sampling to 24/88.2kHz and then processing this to DSD256 in your player? I have no problem with one plug-in playing 16/44.1kHz files or 24/ 88.2, 176.4 and 352.8kHz up-sampled to DSD128 by the SoX converter in Audirvana… However, to playback higher sample-rate content through your plug-in, it must be capable of working at higher sample-rates i.e.176.4 and 352.8kHz as well as 192 and 384kHz. BBE will supply this information. (My bet is it does not support sample-rates above 96kHz)… I like the idea of applying the BBE as a simple EQ, however limited in application by the bit-depth and sample-rates it can handle, also the DSP math bit-depth of the processing…

The Marantz driver is at the recommended setting of 32 bits, so Audirvana automatically upconverts. The sampling rate stays “native” at 44.1. I tried it again today, but Audirvana kept crashing.

At the beginning, there is a screen with a “try” button (along with “buy” or “enter code”) to put the Sonic Maximizer into demo mode. I noticed that the screen came back after I had already clicked in “try,” suggesting that demo mode is unstable. I may just have to fork over the money and try the program for real. :frowning:

Update: I paid for the non-demo version and gave it try. Same problems. Besides the stuttering effect, it frequently crashes Audirvana and Windows offers to show me a “Minidump file” whatever that is.

I also tried the Harmonic Maximizer. It made some crazy sound before crashing.

Fortunately, my sales rep offered to give me a credit even though software is not supposed to be returnable.

Bottom line: BBE plugins do not work with Audirvana. I’ll stick to the Voxengo GEQ.

I have used the BBE Sonic Maximizer hardware unit for both guitar and in mastering recorded rock music. I liked the effect. If you want to give it a go find a used hardware unit and stick it in your chain. You may need to fashion some new cables.

Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I can always place a BBE hardware unit between my SACD/CD/DAC and my amp.