BBE 462 Exposed...

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
I was getting ready to rack up my old BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer. I think this is actually the first or second piece of rack gear I purchased about 20 years ago. Anyway, as I am prone to do since being a very young child, I decided to open it up to see what's inside.

I was pleasantly surprised. Some good, some not so good, but I thought I'd share what I saw.

Overview:

IMG_3036_1_1.JPG


Pretty small main transformer but there's also not much drawing on it...actually maybe that's a pretty good sized transformer for what's in there...+/-15V DC rails, no surprise there...cheeeeeeezy PCB mount jacks and the RCA set is not fixed to the case so suspect those solder joints if there are connectivity problems (and I didn't look to see if the RCA and TS jack traces are in series such that you'd have trouble with the TS jacks if the RCA jack solders joints had problems)...the 1/4" TS jacks nut to the case...better, but those are still cheap jacks.

Anyway, some closeups of those critical elements and then some good stuff...

Closeup of the power transformer:

IMG_3037_2_1.JPG



Cheezy jacks:

IMG_3044_9_1.JPG



Run-of-the-mill pots, nothing "bad" just not exciting:

IMG_3042_7_1.JPG



Haphazardly mounted regulator IC's...look, there's a bunged-up heatsink on the 7815 but nothing on the 7915...they've lasted this long but I'd do it differently:

IMG_3041_6_1.JPG



BUT....

They went overkill on the power filter caps...2,200uF/35V which is more than adequate for what is going on inside this device:

IMG_3040_5_1.JPG



And most of the electrolytic caps in the audio path are non-polar (marked with an "NP")...

IMG_3043_8_1.JPG



And everybody loves a cool proprietary processing chip, and socketed no less...

IMG_3038_3_1.JPG



And this was the the most pleasant surprise of all, 5532 opamps for all stages of audio amplification. I fully expected to see 072's which is fine, but I'm a bigger fan of the 5532 simply because I've really liked the sound of them in the various pieces of gear I've owned that use them:

IMG_3039_4_1.JPG



Anyway, there ya go. I've used the 462 in a number of ways over the years...it certainly hasn't been the most frequently utilized "bit of kit", but I never seem to be able to bring myself to sell it. It definitely does something to the audio that goes through it and it has been a nice tool to have at-hand in moderation...don't think I've EVER had the processing level knobs past 12:00, and typically more like 9:00 or 10:00, but it was fun to open it up and see some things done "right" according to me FWIW, YMMV, DTAIPFAH (don't trust an internet post from a hobbyist).
 
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jaygee

New member
Thanks for the report.

A couple of years ago I opened up a new bbe max x2 crossover and it had multiple pc boards connected via wires and no socketed ics.
I think the majority of the opamps were of the jrc 55 series.
 
Oh THAT is COOL!

Never seen one of those...so is it similar to the sonic maximizer series?
The Sonic Maximizer series that came afterward added the functionality of a bass contour control where mine just had a preset +3db 50hz on/off switch, which could be seen as a definite improvement if finer control of that was needed. The simple on/off switch on mine seemed just right to leave it on full time with the main control dial at around the 9 to 10 O'Clock position for most source material.

After that though, everything else on the following consumer models was a definite downgrade in construction quality and to a small degree in sound quality too as the 2002 is very smooth and clean sounding where the 1002 sounded a bit gritty. They went immediately off-shore to make the following models, reduced them down to a 1 rack space height where mine is a 2.5 rack space high unit which also had the heavier duty, rear apron panel
mounted jacks.

I'll have some interior pics shortly!

Cheers! :)
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Jeff...THAT...is very cool...WHERE ARE THE ELECTROLYTIC CAPS??? They designed an audio path without them. I suspect there may be some capacitance functions within the proprietary chips, but the only lytics I see are the filter caps. Good quality level pot...relatively thick jack mounting plate with nice chassis mount RCA's...when was the last time you saw something like that? The chassis is nicely made as well. Yep...that strikes me as a quality unit. The whole PCB smacks of minimalist engineering, no more than needed to get the job well done. Its boutiquey looking. Definitely not overseas made you know? You can tell. Somebody took the time to solder the TO-220 packaged regulator IC's in there straight. It just looks nice and I bet it sounds nice too.

Very cool, Jeff...thanks so much for opening up and putting up Ghost-ized pics of the guts. This is fun!
 
Jeff...THAT...is very cool...WHERE ARE THE ELECTROLYTIC CAPS??? They designed an audio path without them. I suspect there may be some capacitance functions within the proprietary chips, but the only lytics I see are the filter caps. Good quality level pot...relatively thick jack mounting plate with nice chassis mount RCA's...when was the last time you saw something like that? The chassis is nicely made as well. Yep...that strikes me as a quality unit. The whole PCB smacks of minimalist engineering, no more than needed to get the job well done. Its boutiquey looking. Definitely not overseas made you know? You can tell. Somebody took the time to solder the TO-220 packaged regulator IC's in there straight. It just looks nice and I bet it sounds nice too.

Very cool, Jeff...thanks so much for opening up and putting up Ghost-ized pics of the guts. This is fun!

Thanks and my pleasure to share a pretty rare piece of BBE made in USA technology.

The 2002R was aimed squarely at the higher end audio market back in the mid 80's when it was first introduced. It had an original retail of $549 and at that price level, was about 40% more expensive then the subsequent off shore models that retailed for $329. I remember the prices because I was working for one of the only authorized dealers of these products at that time in Toronto. So I know that there's not very many of these in existence.

Cheers! :)
 
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