BBE 2002R road show processor

Reviews for Equipment other than Carver / Sunfire
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RichP714
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BBE 2002R road show processor

Post by RichP714 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:14 pm

A placeholder for people to post their experiences with this unt.

RichP714
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Posts: 1789
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Re: BBE 2002R road show processor

Post by RichP714 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:17 pm

elgrau's impressions:

Ok; but due to time constraints I'll just post an edited version of my PM's to Rich about my "real time" results with the BBE unit. Please excuse length (even after edits...); but in defense of length I've tried to present a total picture as to all of the aspects that such a unit entails:

Hi Rich,
Got it today...hooked it up and "A/B"'d about 4 songs. You're right, 10:00 is best setting; however, the effect on my system is nil. I put my head right between the speakers at the unit (speaks still about 8' away), closed my eyes and toogled the BBE effect on/off while playing several songs. The effect was at best like maybe boosting the treble 1 db. Very minimal.

Just speculating but maybe the effect that this unit corrects for perhaps cancels out with the symmetric EPI towers (equal speakers on all four faces). Or perhaps the EPI inverted dome tweeter (which I've heard that they - inverted domes - put out a nearly perfect wave-form) is allready as clear as it's going to get.

Other "issue" is that I just got my QED IC's and I had them between the Entech DAC and the preamp (with GlowPower Zyxt Interconnects between the pre and power amp). The QED's replaced some mediocure "Pro-line" IC's. The effect of the QED IC's is noticeable (1st obvious was when I played "Yesterday's Wine" by Willie and the steel guitar intro was like "hello, what's this? Have not heard that before" (a very subtle refinement of the notes that made it sound even more lifelike then before)). This is a song that I've played for many years so any change really jumps out since I know each note pretty much by heart. So even though I did the A/B of the BBE with same set-up, I have to have the mediocure Pro-lines's between the BBE and the Entech (or buy another set of QED's, which would take a while to get). So I'm reluctant to give that up (the full QED IC effect) to do much more listening trials of the BBE. But in any case the effect of the BBE is next to none (so far). That either means my system is "too good" or "too bad" for this effect, or just not "synergistic" with my set-up. Since the EPI's (AND TFM-45) are both known for extreme clarity and now that I have QED Silver Spirals wires for speakers and "premium" IC's AND the Entech DAC, I'm hoping it's the former! But could be the other things I mentioned as well.

So I'll give it a another try tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure that since it's another piece of equipment and I do believe in the KISS principle, I'll most likely just be sending the unit off to the next user tomorrow.

Trial#2:
Yes, when I crank it to max effect it DOES get very "crisp", etc. But at 10:00 position (setting at which everything "sounds best"), the effect is minimal (similiar to a 1 db boost in treble).
Tried again with 4 different songs from a "favorites" group (as I listen to my collection on random play I note any songs that really sound great to me). Tried 10:30 to 11:00 dial setting for more "effect", but still not much there (for me on my system). I did hear a difference; just not enough to justify another "box" in the link - I think....

Also tried A/B between BBE with no equalization vs no BBE with treble boosted +2 db (my Adcom pre will not do +1 db treble boost...go figure). This comparison revealed even less difference. Virtually none; but still a very slight difference.

But I'm not doubting that the thing works and is/could be a significant improvement; just not thru my ears/system. As to ears, I BELIEVE my hearing is still pretty good: I did a "hearing test" with my 21 year old daughter to see where we both stopped hearing a test signal and I was as good or better then she. I take this "Nerve Complex" stuff from http://www.healthline.cc that claims to be able to re-generate damaged nerve tissue and it MAY have as much to do with my recent (since about early 2006 late 2005) intense re-interest in hi-fi music. But "Carver/EPI effect" could also be responsible as well (since I also re-did my EPI-400's around this time and replaced all of the "junk" replacement drivers that I had swapped in over the brutal (financially) child rearing years). What a difference it made to get these speakers back up to spec and all woofers properly phased! Day/night difference. Then that led to bigger and better things thru the Forum...

Also (in answer to another of Rich's questions), I'm virtually certain that it does not make the sound worse (no change in bass, e.g.). No audible "noise" increase. No distortion of the notes. That says a lot about it's quality. However, if I had to "check a box" out of "worse", "no significant effect", "significantly better", I'd check "no significant effect" as being closest (for my system thru my ears). The extremely slight change did seem to be one of "more detail" (without the "brightness" effect of over boosted treble). Just not the "blanket over speaker" effect when off. I can also say that it is very hard to say when it is off or on if I were to just randomily come into the room and not know.

I'm anxious to see what others think.

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SteveFord
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Re: BBE 2002R road show processor

Post by SteveFord » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:51 pm

I finally got off my duff and hooked this up on the upstairs system and like it so much that I'm going to buy two.
I first listened to it on AKG 701 headphones with a CD (Rega Planet 2000, Carver MV5), an album (Well Tempered Labs Classic, Ortofon 2M cartridge) and then gave FM a shot. The amp was Rich's M500t Mk. II with a C4000 preamp.
Initially, I wasn't too impressed and then a little dim lightbulb went on over my head - hey, maybe I should press in the External Processor button! Much more better.
After a spell with the headphones, I blasted it through a bunch of Magnepans.
It adds quite a bit to the music. This unit does give a boost to the bass, midrange and treble but it's more than just a glorified tone control, it also deepens and extends the soundstage.
Perhaps the best way to describe it would be to compare a poorly recorded album to a remastered CD of the same music. Kicking in this Barcus Berry would be the remastered version.
One of my favorite albums is Muswell Hillbillies by The Kinks but the recording just sucks on both the album and CD. Everything is really muddy sounding and distant; with the Barcus Berry unit hooked up, you can bring everything into focus, so to speak, and it spreads the music out and give it more of a 3D effect.
Picture you're in a recording studio working the mixing board - it's like you can bring UP the tracks that you want instead of just making the whole thing loud and shrill.
If you like the Digital Time Lens or Sonic Holography, you'll like this a lot. The effect is similar but goes a bit further and it works quite well with both the DTL and Sonic Holography kicked in.
Tomorrow I'll bring it downstairs and see how it works with the main system. I suspect pretty well.
I asked for a second opinon and Lynda agrees, she likes it better with the BBE unit kicked in.
Upstairs:
VTL MB-250 Signature monoblocks, Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 preamp, HHb BurnIt Plus, Well Tempered Labs Classic, Ortofon 2M Black, Jolida JD-9 Phono Preamp, Sherwood S3000-IV tuner, VPI-17, Jolida JD-100, AKG 701, Beyerdynamics 881, NHT SW1-P subwoofer and amp, Magnepan 1.6, APC H15
Downstairs:
VTL DeLuxe 300 Monoblocks, Harman Kardon F500x tuner, Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 preamp, Jolida JD-100, Oppo 981, Otari MX5050 BII, SVS SB-12 subwoofer, Magnepan 3.6
In Storage:
Stax Sigma headphones, signed DTL unit, Magnepan MMGs, Carver TX-11, TX-11a's

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SteveFord
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Re: BBE 2002R road show processor

Post by SteveFord » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:36 am

Since the previous post, I purchased a BBE362 for the upstairs system and now have Rich's 2002R on the downstairs sytem.
The 362 is a similar unit but a bit fancier with adjustments for the low countour and processor. If you go that route, you will need male 1/4" to female RCA adaptors which means going to (ugh!) Rat Shack.
This is hooked up to a Sunfire Tube Preamp with the addition of a C9 Sonic Holography unit.
Bit of headscratching on the hook up - preamp output to BBE input, BBE output to C9 input, C9 output to preamp input, tape monitor switch on preamp and BBE in the on position.
This is a really LIVE, bright sounding room with hardwood floors and just a couch, chair and plants to tone things down a bit.
How does it sound? It sounds GREAT.
Where the BBE shines is on really poorly mastered recordings so I went back to the Kinks Muswell Hillbillies. Without the BBE in the circuit, Ray Davies voice sounds dark, muffled and in the background. The acoustic guitars sound dull and the whole production is best described as muddy. Kind of a disaster which is a shame as it's a great album.
The BBE brings Ray Davies voice to the forefront, the drums sound right, the acoustic guitar strings sound like a real guitar, it just does the trick.
Results were equally good with a Jolida tube player and a Carver SD-A/360 with a DTL unit, speakers used were Magnepan IIIAs, the amp was an M1.0t Mk. II version 002.
The C9, BBE and DTL may defeat the whole straight wire with gain concept that the Sunfire Tube Preamp was all about but it sounds better with these additions and that's what it's all about.
In short, recommended.
Upstairs:
VTL MB-250 Signature monoblocks, Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 preamp, HHb BurnIt Plus, Well Tempered Labs Classic, Ortofon 2M Black, Jolida JD-9 Phono Preamp, Sherwood S3000-IV tuner, VPI-17, Jolida JD-100, AKG 701, Beyerdynamics 881, NHT SW1-P subwoofer and amp, Magnepan 1.6, APC H15
Downstairs:
VTL DeLuxe 300 Monoblocks, Harman Kardon F500x tuner, Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 preamp, Jolida JD-100, Oppo 981, Otari MX5050 BII, SVS SB-12 subwoofer, Magnepan 3.6
In Storage:
Stax Sigma headphones, signed DTL unit, Magnepan MMGs, Carver TX-11, TX-11a's

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