Never use it? hmmm. Please don't take this in an insulting matter, I assure you I am using these workds kindly. It seems to me that you don't understand the full spectrum of sound that the Sonic Maximizer can provide. Ever wonder things sound so much better live, than on speakers. Well, the fact is in a live show sounds are coming from different angles, traveling at more particular wave patterns. When playing on a speaker all that is heard is a sudden 'blurb' of sound at once. A SM basically seperates the mids, highs, lows... depending on what model you buy you can get more specific. It adds minor undetectable delays in each wave pattern seperating the sound and giving it the effect as if you were right there... listening live. I have never come across something so simple yet so noticably powerful. Use a sonic maximizer to master your song, and then bypass it to see how flat the song will get. I have never... you being the first of course... come across someone who has productively used the maximizer and put it aside with the other toys. If you ever want to play songs outside of your studio, room, closet-- wherever you play -- then get it! I'm sure they have a demo or something to play with, but I assure you if you have high standards for professional sound quality you'll want it. There's no substitute. The hardware and sofware both use the same algorithm. Of course the hardware is a much more powerful tool in my opinion because first of all it's transferable to your mobile rack for your other gigs, secondly even though they have the same algorithm the hardware doesn't have patches in place of transformers, integrated circuits, etc, which provide the optimal sound BBE initially designed. Software is awesome of course... I've used and USE both. You can find a used early 300 model for less than a $100 on e-bay, but I say put your money down for a 800 model and really get the sound you want for about $300-400... or maybe less depending on how good you look around. This, coupled with WAVES Maximizer... wheew... you'll be getting some clean sounds. Try it for yourself, I'm no salesman. I just know what makes the best sound. Good luck.