We've had a lot of people on the board the past few weeks bringing up the good old rocktron gear, and i thought it'd be a good idea to get a real thread going about the different preamps and what their strengths are. Just a disclaimer, this is all my opinion from my experiences, how these amps work for you is for you to decide. The most important period for Rocktron was the mid-late 90s IMO. The preamps they had at the time were: The Rocktron Gainiac: a low cost introduction to rack preamps. Not the best sound in the world, but if you'd been using DOD pedals before this, chances are this was a step up. Definitely NOT pro gear, but nice for beginners. There's also no MIDI compatibility. The Rocktron Chameleon (original blackface): This preamp was undersold by Rocktron. I say that because if you just plugged into one in a guitar shop, you'd probably think it sucked. Most people did. The fact is the initial presets Rocktron programmed into this unit were total ass and did not showcase the unit's true potential. It's a shame too, because this unit is a particular favorite of mine. I still use it to this day and I own two of them. They can do just about anything tonally with one exception. If you're looking for a tube-style tone with a clean sound that just breaks up a little, this is NOT the amp for you. The cleans are crystal clear, think live Metallica cleans or early Joe Satriani, while the heavy sound can be literally ANYTHING you want it to be. The heavy sounds can be as punchy as AC/DC or as hot as any death metal. I personally think the sweet spot on the amp is pretty much in the range I play, which is in that Dream Theater to Fear Factory kind of sound. The effects on it are solid too, but if you have a discerning ear you'll probably want to pick up a rack effects unit to go with it. The Wah on it is pretty fantastic, though. The Rocktron Chameleon Online (teal face):Exactly the same preamp as the Chameleon, they were just selling the fact that you could download patches from their website. The Rocktron Voodoo Valve: Another absolutely awesome preamp. It's the Chameleon with a 12AX7 tube in it. There's been debate as to how the tube is actually used, but from my experience, every time I play one, I think it sounds pretty much exactly like the Chameleon. This unit is still made by Rocktron, and if both my Chameleons died and I couldn't find a replacement (they're becoming more rare), I'd snatch up one of these in a heartbeat. The Rocktron Piranha: It is an absolute travesty that this unit didn't pick up steam. Arguably one of the best high-gain single space rack units available. I would compare this to a rackmountable dual rectifier. This pre comes with 2 12AX7s and definitely sounds like a tube amp. It has loads of crunch, searing gain, and a nice fat clean channel. Along with it's 99 presets, it had a sweepable mid frequency that allowed you to really dial in your sound a bit more, while still keeping the general usage simple. Rocktron should still be making this unit. It absolutely KILLS the Prophecy IMO (and I think the Prophecy is still pretty cool). I've owned all of the above sans the Ganiac. For my tastes the Chameleon/Voodoo valve sound was the closest to what I was going for. That's just what I've used for the past 11 years, and with every new amp or piece of gear I purchase, I usually eventually find myself trying to dial it in to sound like the Chameleon, so I guess that amp is definitely my sound I didn't mention the Chameleon 2000 here, mainly because I have very little experience with it, and all my experience with it told me it was sub-par compared to the other preamps listed. But hey, if you own one and love it post up here about it, I'd love to hear some great clips from the 2000.