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Ashdown Engineering RPM-1 Bass Pre-Magnifier
by Jack Conrad
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Ashdown Pre-Magnifier The Ashdown Engineering RPM-1 Bass Pre-Magnifier, John Entwistle Signature model is a great sounding piece of gear, well worth its paragraph of names. This two-space rack mount unit has a brushed aluminum face replete with input VU meter, power switch as well as rotary, slider and push button controls to assist you in shaping a wonderfully custom bass sound. The rotary controls include input level, output level, and tone controls for bass (40Hz), middle (660Hz) and treble (10kHz) all with +/- 25 dB cut/boost. The equalizer stage includes four, notched mini-sliders delivering 15 dB of cut/boost at: 180Hz, 340Hz, 1.3kHz, and 2.6kHz. There are also two additional rotary controls for Grind and Sub-Harmonic, features that make this an outstanding piece of equipment.

Grind mixes distortion with the original signal for an overdriven sound at any volume canceling the need of a stack of Marshalls in the studio. This effect worked especially well for my old Hagstrom 8-string bass giving it the sound and a "sense of urgency" it hadn't felt in years. Sub-Harmonic adds an octave below the original signal for an incredibly fat and warm tone. Sub is best-used on legato just isn't as effective when asked to process too many notes at once. Save it for ballads.

Controls include pre-shaped EQ, EQ In/Out, Sub In/Out, Pre/Post EQ, DI Output and Mute. There are separate inputs for active and passive pickups, stereo line input and effects in. Outputs include: Tuner, Sub, Effects Send, DI and output signal jacks for Low pass, High pass and Full range. The back panel's two rotary knobs control the low pass level and crossover point for bi-amplification when separate amps and loudspeakers are used for highs and lows. Output level is switchable between 0 and +4 dB. The tuner and effects outs can also be used for additional lines out with the Mute button not affecting them.

An extremely flexible and great sounding piece of gear, the RPM 1 Bass Pre-Magnifier, John Entwistle Signature Model sells for $799 MSRP and for more information contact HHB Communications USA. Phone: 310-319-1111 or Fax: 310-319-1311 Web to:

Jack Conrad, former recording and touring bassist, songwriter, publisher and unemployed international playboy.
Edited by: Barry Rudolph
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