and it was sweet! Currently I'm using a Peavey MAX as my main squeeze and I'm very high on it. It's versatile, capable of getting very good renditions of both Hi-Fi & Tube tone and it's relatively inexpensive. I have no plans to get rid of it but I would love to have another preamp around that I feel is a significant improvement over the MAX with the tone that I'm looking for. The RPM1 has most of the same features that the MAX has plus a few additional ones. It's definitely got the MAX on the cool factor with it's distinctive look and it appears to be solidly built. I didn't get to look on the inside. This was my first visit to this particular store and they probably would not have felt to comfortable with me taking a screwdriver to it. After a brief glance into one of the vents located on the side of the unit, I kind of feel that it's internal beauty probably matches it exterior. Now for the dirt. Please forgive my inexperience in describing such things but I'm going to the best that I can. I took my rig which included my MAX, my E&W PS-1000 power amp and two Genz Benz GB-12T cabs. My basses that I used were a Fender American Deluxe Jazz with a natural ash body/rosewood board and a Peavey Cirrus 5 with the bubinga/walnut combination & pau ferro board. I also brought a friend along to help. We played through the MAX for a while just to get a point of reference then we plugged up the RPM1. The settings on both preamps were set flat. What I immediately noticed was an increased amount of depth. With the MAX the sound was right in your face. The RPM1 seemed to have more of a long throw type of effect. I actually had to back off of the rig a little to get the full effect. There was also an increased amount of clarity/detail with the RPM1. I noticed things about the tone of both of my basses that I had not previously. They sounded great through it and I was able to hear more of the nuances that they had to offer. The Ashdown preamp also has a way of making the overall tone sound crisp across the spectrum. It had a killer slap tone and regardless of what type of technique was used, it sounded like a bass amp is supposed to sound to me. (Sorry, I had to steal that one from Adam Clayton but it's true!) About thirty minutes into playing, we kicked in the sub harmoniser and things really got a little goofy. Things in the store started to rattle and the low end became monstrous. The MAX was on the ropes by this time. We wrapped up the date dialing in different tones with the very flexible control section of the preamp. This is a unit that I think would do very well with any style of music. Funk, Rock, Jazz, Blues, all of that is in there and more. The RPM1 is basically everything I described the MAX as but better. Although the MAX lasted the 12 rounds, it was clearly outclassed by the Ashdown. I left there feeling warm and fuzzy about both units. The underdog MAX fought an impressive battle but the RPM1 was just a little too good for it to overcome. Now I have to see if I can figure out a way to make a deal happen at what I feel is an acceptable price.