1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Ampeg vs. Ashdown

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DanGouge, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    In searching for something that would give me a bit more power over my trusty ol' Nemesis 210, I had sort of settled on Ashdown as the manufacturer which I was most interested in. The ABM series stuff looked particularly appealing to me. Lately though I've been checking out some Ampegs, in particular the SVT-3PRO head. I recon that I could get the SVT-3PRO and decent cab for about the same price as an Ashdown ABM-500 2x10 combo. Any thoughts or advice to help me choose between the two? Whatever I buy now, I want to be a keeper, something that will last me a good number of years that has the power and tone that requires no apologies.

    Also I'm not so narrowminded as rule out other selections that I may have overlooked. Tonally I'm looking for something that has a sort vintage tone (as opposed to really modern sounding stuff like SWR). Also, either of the choices I'm looking at above, I can get for roughly $1500CDN (That's roughly $1000 US). I really want/need to keep it inside this price range.

    Any advice, comments, thoughts would be appreciated. I want to get this purchase right.
  2. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Anyone? Anyone at all?
  3. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    IMHO the Ashdown sound is smooth and tight. The Ampeg is a bit looser and wooly (like a wool sweater looks). The Ampeg has a unique old school character. I'd say the Ashdown "sound" is half way between "old school" (Ampeg) and "modern" (SWR). The Ashdown is tight and focused, yet still warm.

    My personal preference between the two would be for the Ashdown. Warm yet with punch and sparkle.

    Just my $.02.
  4. Get the Ampeg, the Ashdowns are very underpowered. I have the Mag 200 4x10 and it can't be heard over a 50 watt valve gtr rig.
  5. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    well, dangouge is considering the Ashdown ABM-500.
    Mag200 is not even in the same league.

    i've played swr and gk in the past, i currently play ashdown. i vote for ashdown.
  6. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    its really one of them things you'v gotta decide for yourself, simply because there both excellent quality and it only really comes down to the sound u like!
    i'v trird both extensivly, and i play through ampeg now, howver the backline at a recent gig was an ashdown, and its sounded quite nice, i still prefer my ampeg though, for me it has a little more clarity in the low end!

  7. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    Ive owned many Ampegs over the years,includung a 69 SVT I still have.I also became a big Trace Elliot fan and have owned many combos of this brand.So naturally,I wanted to try some Ashdown gear.In paticular the ABM 500-2x10.
    My Sam Ash store ordered one for me,and it was the biggest dissappointment I ever had with gear.
    It just didnt sound tight or right or even wrong in a good way.I was heartbroken.
    Sam Ash has had this combo for about 9months now.No one else "bit" on it either.
    BTW it has the blue Jensens.
  8. With all due respect superphat u don't play in a rock band and its apparent that u have not read many threads about the Ashdowns. One guy wrote that he had an ABM 500 and had to have it flat out to cope with his bands output (consisting of a 50 watt gtr rig and a keyboard, plus vocals).
    And of course they are in the same league, they are made by the same manufacturer. I have tried both and the only differance is output, niether of them (output wise), stand up to any other rigs in the same price range. They are very nice tone wise, but underpowered.
  9. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    spectorman, I speak from experience.

    I have a '72 SVT and '76 8x10.
    My other rig is an ABM500 and two Eden 410XLT's.

    I do play in a Rock band, and a very loud one at that. Rabid drummer and two cranked 100W halfstacks loud enough for ya?

    While your MAG200 may be underpowered, I can assure you the 500 is a brute. IMO Whoever says an Ashdown 500 does not have enough volume is either using not enough speakers, or very inefficient speakers. My 500 is as loud or louder through my Eden cabs than my old SVT. It's also considerably louder than my old Mesa 400+, which I sold shortly after getting the Ashdown.

    As for tone, Rod B. hit the nail on the head in his above post.
  10. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    well, i don't play in a rock band now, but i have played in many different types of bands for many years (including rock) and i don't see how that is relevant since not all rock bands are the same anyways.

    so the guy who says that the abm500 is underpowered is validated because he plays in a rock band? :rolleyes:

    just because 2 products are made by the same manufacturer does not automatically put them in the same league!!! Is the only difference between Ford Escort and Ford Mustang Horsepower output??? NO~ and just as BMW has a 7 series AND a 3 series, Ashdown makes different lines for a reason. Then going by your logic, there'd be no reason to buy expensive models unless you needed more watts???

    I've also tried both models and the only difference is NOT output, as you say. If you want, i can post the specs here...

    P.S. i don't know why it's "apparent" to you that i haven't read many threads about ashdown, or why you'd assume that, but i HAVE read many threads about ashdowns, including that one you refer to. But that's just one man's opinion and experience. Which is fine. For me, it's a different story.
  11. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    I would suggest the Ashdown ABM500 and two Agiular 1x12. Plenty of power and a killer sound.
    Should be close to your price.
  12. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    As I stated in my previous post,I really wanted to like Ashdown gear.Maybe I just used the wrong bass?Maybe the Jensens were the problem?
    In order to keep everything on an even comparison basis,Id like to ask everyone to please state what brand and model of bass they uuse with these ams,and number of strings.Also,If you played an Ashdown combo-did it have the Blue Jensens?Or the earlier Celestions?
    Apples to Apples Oranges to Oranges
  13. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Mr Gump, although I love my Ashdown, we all have heard the reports of quality problems with them. Maybe you got a lemon? Or it had a bad tube in it? Just a thought...
  14. bdeaux

    bdeaux Bass, the final frontier! Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    Salt Lake City based
    Branden Campbell
    I love the Ashdown sound. I used to think my MAG 200 was under powered, but then I started to tweak the EQ and it came alive... louder than ever. It was like Frankenstein man! I then put it on top of an Eden 410 xlt (4 ohm) and finally felt the bass. The Ashdown head with Ashdown speakers sounds a little tighter in the low end compared to a double ported Eden or Aguilar cab. However it's all about what you want DanGouge. I like the Ashdown sound, but for other gigs or even specific songs I amy want a different sound. So I run my Bass POD into the Return of the FX loop on my Ashdown and bypass the whole preamp and get what ever sound I want using only the power amp of the Ashdown. But when it calls for it I LOVE having the Ashdown tone in my arsenal. By the way the MAG 200 is part of my MAG MON-12. A great monitor for big shows and lightweight for rehearsals. If I want more power I run the DI (post EQ) from the MAG into a QSC power amp then into the Eden 410xlt. That way I can use the monitor and the Ashdown preamp with a big rig.
  15. Fbregy


    Apr 10, 2002
    Little Rock, AR
    Any word on the MAG 400. I would love to get a 200 but not being able to listen to one am scared it wouldn't be much louder then my SWR WM 12. How loud is the 200 compared to the larger amp? When you run the 200 with an 8ohm how many watts would you actually be using. Anyone want to sell me a mint 500 for $250?
  16. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Good point. I suppose I should add that the basses I primarily intend to use with this rig are a 62 RI Jazz Bass and a Ken Smith Burner 4 string. I'd probably run them with my Alesis 3630 comp and occasionally I'd throw my 105Q bass wah into the mix. This a rig I would probably use predominately for modern-style worship in church, as well as basement reggae/funk jams from time to time. In both cases I'm up against loud all-tube guitar amps...

    The ABM I was considering was the combo (2x10s). As I understand it the combo only outputs its full wattage with an extension cab. Otherwise it's around 250-275 watts. The sales guy cranked one in the store and it didn't seem like a full on 500 watt sensory assault. Unfortunately the store I was perusing keeps their Ashdowns in less than ideal condition. An ABM 500 head and an ABM 300 1x15 combo were both missing power cord fuses, sheesh:rolleyes:

    Also, while all of the Ashdown comments have been helpful in give me a more full and balanced perspective, a few more Ampeg comments would also be helpful. Just so I can flesh out my view on that amp as well. Also since the SVT-3PRO is a head, any cab pairings for it would also be helpful.

    Rickenbackerman what's this with quality problems with Ashdown? Are these serious sorts of problems or are they minor and easily correctable types of things? I've not heard of this situation, please elaborate as all the power and tone in the world is no good to me sitting on a shop bench.
  17. I'm just a(nother) Fender (P-Bass 4-string) & Ampeg (B-100R combo) guru so go with the Ampeg.;)
  18. FTK


    Apr 24, 2002
    Wa. State
    DanGouge - I would vote for the Ampeg however, I think you would be hard pressed to find the SVT3-PRO and a decent cab for $1000 US. I believe the cheapest you can get the head for is around $800 US. That doesn't leave much room for a deserving cab.
  19. I am a big fan of Ashdown gear. But I have heard of some QC problems with the newer stuff. For instance, one bassist purchased an ABM300 EVO that arrived defective. It functioned correctly, but if I recall, the light on the VU meter was intermittent. He sent it back to the store, who had HHB (the US distributor) drop ship a new unit to him. This one also had some problems and the buyer eventually went with Euphonic Audio.

    That said, I own two Ashdown ABM amps--the 900 and the 300. I also have three of their cabs. Neither of my amps are the newer EVO series. I've had the 300 for less than 24 hours, but the 900 has provided me with over one year of trouble-free operation.

    As for the ABM500 volume level--my ABM900 is basically a pair of 500s put together. When I run one side of the 900 into my 8 ohm Ashdown 410, it is plenty loud with my rock band--(guitar player with a Bassman head into a 2x12, other guitar player with Pod, drum set). When I run a four ohm load consisting of my ABM-Mini110T and ABM-Boxter 2x8, into one side, I've never had to turn the output level to 50%.

    For what it's worth, all of my speaker cabs have the blue speakers.

    Wish I could tell you more about Ampeg.
  20. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    On my old MAG-C115-200 the internal speaker was 8 ohms. (Blue) and there was a speaker out besides so the internal was only pumping 120w-150w, not full power.

Share This Page