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Ampeg or Ashdown? Help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stemmers, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. I’m looking at either an Ampeg portaflex 350 or an Ashdown Rootmaster 420. Put aide the sub harmonic and drive on the Ashdown as those will be used sparingly.

    Thoughts?? I’ve found pricing that’s pretty close for both.

  2. Not even a contest. Ampeg. That's like comparing a Ferrari and a Pinto
    outoftune, DrayMiles, slugger and 2 others like this.
  3. I wouldn’t liken any Chinese made ampeg to a Ferrari
    bobalu, waynobass, Aqualung60 and 3 others like this.
  4. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    Both amps are ok, nothing spectacular. Now if you spend a little more, the Ashdown Rootmaster 500 EVO is much better amp.

    It has been redesigned and re-engineered and is a beast of an amp. IMHO and IME.
    BOOG, moonbass-de, bassestkkm and 5 others like this.
  5. Actually looking for just a head, not a combo but I’ll look into the Rootmaster 500 head
  6. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I never mentioned a combo? I was talking about the Rootmaster 500 EVO head. :thumbsup:
  7. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    What about US made amps with overseas parts?
    jonlimo and floridagatorfan like this.
  8. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I have an SVT, SVP pre, and have owned a number of SS and tube Ampegs over the years (V4B, V6, B-15, B15T)
    I just bought an Ashdown ABM500.
    All are pro amps that sound a bit different.

    Pretty sure that the Heriatge Ampegs are the only ones made in the states anymore and most of any amp's components come from off shore.
    I prefer US made (jobs, economy, etc.) but we can't compete with an incredibly low labor rate and no EPA pollution requirements.
    Not so sure that 60's-70's amps were any more reliable to begin with.
    BOOG and basscapes like this.
  9. Rickter

    Rickter Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Personally not a fan of either one. I wanted to like the Ampeg PF line, I really wanted to, but I could only ever get a 'meh' tone from any of them. Ended up avoiding them entirely and getting a used GK 1001RBII for nearly the same money.
    quickfix likes this.
  10. I’m currently playing a GK Backline 600 Head that I’m pretty happy with. But just got a new 15/10 Fusco bass cab and saw some really low prices for used PF 350 and Rootmaster 420. Hence my post.
    Rickter likes this.
  11. Rickter

    Rickter Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    The thing I have heard about Ashdown (not in my own experience) is that they are not particularly road worthy, especially the old MAG line. When I was shopping around, I heard several sales people say that the Ampeg PF stuff was unreliable and there had been a lot of warranty service returns. They may be better now. There may be a reason why you're seeing them for those really low prices.
  12. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Mag lines were intro level. Any top tier ashdown is as road worthy as any top tier ampeg.
    BOOG, outoftune, bobalu and 6 others like this.
  13. mmbass21

    mmbass21 Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    Are you strictly staying in that $300 budget range? For $399 you can grab a Carvin BX700 mono block since they're going out of business. That's a very versatile head. They also have the BX250 for $279 and the BX500 for $319.
    cheechi and Stemmers like this.
  14. Ideally staying around $299-$350 if I decide to replace my current head. We play out once a month so it’s not going on tour reliability that I need.
  15. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    The biggest problem with the Carvin is that they are already out of business and if you receive a head that is not working or breaks down shortly thereafter, too bad so sad. There is no one working there to cover warranty work.
    BOOG likes this.
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Bought my ABM 500 for $300.
    As to the differences:
    To me"
    Ampeg is warm with a pleasant mid bump and smooth bottom; treble is smooth and not strident (based on older gear, no experience with the PF series)
    Great amps that sit in the mix well with a trademark sound

    ABM 500 can get close to this but also can offer more authority like a stronger and controllable bottom and thick clear mids; it can also sound like something other than Ampeg; love the blendable tube pre for just a bit of harmonic richness which can be shut off for a more pure, studio like SS tone.
    Bottom also can go lower but the EQ prevents mud; the notes just have more weight

    Ashdown has the punch of a pre/power amp rig even though it is 500 watts at 4 ohms.
    My SVP / power amp rig is 1500 watts at 4 ohm and has plenty of punch as well; right now the Ashdown is the favorite but have not had it long

    Both are different flavors of great
    Also have 2 GK's, Fender 800 Pro, and SWR; None of these sound like Ampeg or Ashdown although the 800 Pro has the same authority but with less warmth
    BOOG, Dasgre0g and waynobass like this.
  17. I play Ashdown amps. I like em.

    Another amp that comes to mind in this price range is the

    Peavey MiniMax
    Dasgre0g and foal30 like this.
  18. mmbass21

    mmbass21 Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    Very true, just trying to help find a good deal for a product I think is better quality. The likelihood of it failing is slim but possible. For me I look at it as a way to get something brand new at a used price.

    Ultimately I recommend the Quilter Bass Block 800 but that's higher priced than his range.
    Stemmers likes this.
  19. The Ampeg has a thick faux tube tone, I'm not sure about the Ashdown. I think Ampegs have a pretty rich tubeiness. Clear in the right way though. Try them
    I'd splurge on the PF500, it has features the 350 doesn't.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    Skeptismo and Stemmers like this.
  20. bonin in the boneyard

    bonin in the boneyard Supporting Member

    Buy both and return/sell one. Shameless gear flipping is the shortest path to tone nirvana.
    Daniel Piper, slugger and Stemmers like this.

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