I am a John Entwhistle fan and was curious as to his current rig. I had also played with some Ashdown combos in Music Stores, so I thought I would try this unit out. I generally do not rave about gear, however, with the Ashdown RPM-1, I have found tone heaven!
Price: $999.00 Canadian (new)
Where Obtained: Long and McQuade, Vancouver, Canada
This is the preamplifier of the Ashdown Bass Magnifiers as a stand alone rack unit. Features include 3 rotary eq knobs and 4 sliders for subtle tweeks.(post or pre eq buttons) It has imputs for active and passive basses, with the Ashdown VU Meter. You can blend the tube with the solid state, a very quiet DI and effects loop. (which is footswitchable) Hi and low outputs with crossover, or full range out. Has a line out/tuner out. Most of all this unit has TONE!
At the shop this preamp made a Squire Precision sound expensive. I use Rickenbackers Epiphone Thunderbird, Ibanez 8 string, and a Tune King Bass, and they all sound wonderful. The Tune had the least tone difference, however it is active. I run a two amp system, using a Trace Elliot AH350 driving 2 1 x15 cabs for my bass setup, and a Gallien Kruger RB800 driving a 4x 10 and a 2 x10 in bi amp mode for my treble set. My effects go into the treble amp. I plugged the Ashdown RPM11 into the effects return of the RB 800 and I could not believe the tone transformation. I have become an almost instant Ashdown convert. I have, over the years played through many types of equipment, but have never felt the urge to rave about equipment unitl now.
I do not believe I have ever used an amplifer that took so little fiddling to get my tone. This is almost plug in and play.
One scary day the unit fell about one metre to the floor. The Rack ears bent, but were easy to bend back. Every thing else worked like new, which indicates the 'insides' are well made. My only comment is that the front facing is a bit thin, however, I believe it's aluminium on the John Entwhistle edition. I can't comment on the regular unit. However, it's in a rack now, so it's protected!