Anyone played both an Ashdown CTM100 and an Ampeg V4b?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by boristhespider7, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Looking at getting either an Ashdown CTM100 or an Ampeg V4b, but unlikely to find both in a store locally. Can anyone give me an idea on similarities or differences between the 2 in terms of tone and volume?

    They are both priced the same in the UK
    BTW, i currently own an Ashdown Little bastard 30 and am happy with the tone, but the EQ isn't the easiest to work and it could do with a tad more juice
  2. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
  3. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Last night I put a HPF pedal before my CTM30 and it easily doubled the apparent power :wideyed: - full band with drummer. The secret to the EQ is to start at flat which is 0-10-0, Bass and Treble are boost only and Mids are cut only :wacky:.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Subbed. I love my LB30. And I recently posted a thread about the higher-wattage Ashdown tube line that got little or no response.
  5. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    If you'll accept my opinion based on an SLM V4BH-

    I had one, currently have the CTM-100. There's a difference for sure.
    For the Ampeg, think "SVT" w/ less headroom, not as massive power, but similar tone (same pre-amp) and plenty loud for most gigs, unless you really need to blast away. Great tone for R&B, Blues, and Rock as well. I paired mine with an SVT-15E and totally loved what it produced- I had it on the road for some gigs, including a fairly large & un-supported FOH show outdoors, and it delivered for me.

    The Ashdown, with a pair of KT-88's has a much different tone center IMO, more built-in "growl" than the 'Peg, and different voicings available from the EQ, very versatile as a matter of fact. Louder I think than the Ampeg. I pair it with a 15" as well, a UK-made Ashdown Klystron Neo w/ horn that I found NOS. It's my version of a B-15, only in that it's an all-tube rig, and does get a very rich vintage tone. And yes, I KNOW it's not a B-15...I've had 2 of 'em so there:roflmao:

    Again, bear in mind that I had the V4BH, quite different I understand than either the vintage or present day V4B. There is a lot of info on those here, so have at it.

    I can say that I really like the Ashdown, so much that I'm willing (sometimes) to load it in/out at 40-lbs even tho my go-to rig these days is the Quilter BB800 at a whopping 3 lbs!!

    Pretty sure you'd be happy with either the Ampeg or the Ashdown; they're both stand-out heads that will give you the bloom and resonance you're only going to get w/ an all-tube rig.
  6. I'd like to try a 100w or so outta some 6550s or KT88s. I've got a V4B 2014 model - so 4x6L6GCs .... but I'd love to see how the KT88 etc loaded amp would sound. .bearing in mind that I've got a 300w all tube Super Bassman with 6x6550s & love that too.
  7. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    I have a CTM300 and and SVT 2pro so I can at least speak to the nature of the preamps a bit.

    The ampeg is going to be more flexible for sure, the modified bax tonestack offers a lot more options than the FMV stack in the ashdown. Is expect the ampeg to have that classic low-mid forward "sound in your head" tone.

    The CTM is noticeably less present in the mids, but goes lower than the SVT. I don't know that I'd call it linear, but it sounds like it has a flatter response than the SVT. The preamp offers slightly different variations of the same flavor, which is glorious, don't get me wrong, just not as flexible as the ampeg pre. Also, I think the ampeg is going to be able to stay cleaner a bit longer than the ashdown. After a certain point the CTM gets killer dirty rock tones and there's not a whole lot you can do to clean it up. Again, sounds glorious but it's baked in.

    Also, if you use pedals, I find that the SVT is a little more pedal friendly than the CTM. Certain pedals just don't sound quite right with the CTM, where everything sounds good into the SVT.

    I'm keeping both and I absolutely love the CTM, but I'm playing loud heavy rock and the tone suits what I'm doing. If the slightly overdriven rock tone is what you're going for then you'll dig the CTM, if not or if you want more flexibility go with the ampeg.
    son_of_mogh and AstroSonic like this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Should point out that the current and 70's V4B is a flat response amp with knobs at noon, which is different than the V4BH and SVT. And from what I hear, the Ashdowns have the Fender tone stack, which only boosts bass and treble and only cuts mid. Works well for some people, though my preference is the V4B. But Ashdown is high quality stuff for sure.
  9. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks that's really helpful! Although i like "overdriven rock" and use pedals :confused:
    The comments on the EQ kind of confirm what i'm thinking...that the Ampeg is more versatile or at least easier to use. I get a great flat tone from my LB30 but its not in the classic Fender position (0-10-0), i've read other people saying that's there experience too. My flat is v similar to what Bass Gear Magazine found (mid: 9 oclock bass: 10 oclock Tre: 9.30 oclock with all switches down) which illustrates how confusing the EQ can be...but having said that it sounds great
    I do like the idea of the biasing on the CTM100 though...if only all valve amps could be biased like that!
  10. Second on the EQ for the Ashdown. It is glorious, but the EQ section is mostly adjusted by punching in or out the various buttons associated with the bass, middle and treble controls. That's where you get the most bang for your buck on changing tones.
    Calexia13 likes this.
  11. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    Yeah, the mid knob on my CTM300 stays at 10, it's not scooped at that setting but it took a bit of getting used to after using an SVT for so long. Luckily I play in a power trio so I don't need a ton of mids to be heard. Also helps that my two go to dirt pedals have a big mid hump.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  12. As with the VINTAGE channel on my Super Bassman (it has the ol Fender tone controls - the other channel has yr typical active eq) I don't worry too much about where the controls ARE, I just make it sound good.
    Sounds good = is good!
    That's similar to what is described above. .. the mid stays up around full - 10, bass between 2 & 5, treble around the same - between 2 - 5.
    There's plenty of mids there. ..but if I'm after more there's the other channel.
    And, as JimmyM says...the V4B is more neutral sounding than the SVT-CL (with the controls set at 12 o'clock ), but again. . I rarely leave em there. . . I just play (at different venues/rooms etc) until I like best what I'm hearing.
    Knobs are to fiddle with :roflmao:;)...... but. ..that's said. .. I'm pretty much a "plug in n play" type. . I don't muck with it much one it's good.
    I've never had my V4B sound anything but. . (Or an SVT, nor my Super Bassman )
    If I find an amp that I'm constantly HAVING to 'fiddle with' ... it'll probly be moved on:bassist:
  13. Mostyn


    Jul 14, 2017
    I own both amp heads, Ampeg v-4b (New from shop 2017, made in china) Ashdown CTM-100 (second hand, made in china). I bought the Ashdown as i decided i needed my 1st all tube bass amp. I have loved playing gigs with a backline which included the Ampeg SVT, 8x10" rigs, so had that sound and look in my head.
    I found an Ashdown CTM-100 advertised second hand, it was very cheap and so i bought it, 100w all tube, 1/4 the cost of a new Ampeg V-4b head.

    The EQ is different on the Ashdown. If the bass, Mid and Treble dials are set to 0% = No volume. Even with gain and master on 100%.
    I didn't like any of the button options, and found the best sound was Master volume 100%, Bass 100%, Mid 0%, treble 15%. I hated the middle and treble, and cut them as much as possible before loosing all clarity of tone. Strangely though, there is a lot of mid range in the bass eq, so 0% mid EQ worked. Turning up the Mid at all just resulted in the ugliest of bass guitar sounds.

    I played the Ampeg v-4b in the shop after gigging a bit with my Ashdown CTM-100 and the difference was VERY obvious. I bought the Ampeg immediately.

    The Ampeg V-4b sounds louder than the Ashdown CTM-100.
    The Ampeg has way more low end bass.
    The main difference is the nasty, abrasive mid and treble of the Ashdown ctm-100 v's the super silky smooth Mid and Treble of the Ampeg v-4b. An all tube Ampeg SVT/ V-4b is a wonderful thing. I regret buying the ashdown, i will never regret buying the Ampeg V-4b.

    I'm thinking the only amp that might bet an Ampeg SVT all tube head is an Acoustic 360 rig. Too much money though.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    BluesOnBass likes this.
  14. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Not that it would alter your opinion or feeling about the Ashdown, but the CTM-100 is part of their UK Custom Shop line, and to my knowledge they do not make this model in China.
    Maybe they did; maybe they do, not according to their current website anyway. Just a thought.

    Regardless of whether the amp is built in the UK or Timbuktu:

    All- tube heads are a great tool to perform with IME/IMO. To me they are well worth the "pleasure" of hauling around and maintaining. Nothing like the punch and bloom.

    The Ashdown was the most recent all-tube added to my gear. I currently own a Buster 200 Wedge and a Jaguar 200, (4) x KT-88. I've had 2 B-15's, an "N" and an "R" and the aforementioned V4BH, so all-tube heads are my jam!:roflmao:

    Playing styles, goals, approach, technique are all different. The last thing I want is overdrive, I play clean R&B/Funk.
    The first time I set my CTM-100 up I was grinning ear-to-ear. It had what I needed & gave me what I want.
    It's LOUD, and its clean. I can't imagine the Master being at 100; scary! Most of the time, my eq is flat, I only set the Mid switch IN to smooth out the mids, maybe my BASS is boosted to 1 O'clock- 2 at most. The "Vintage" button by the Gain control adds a great smoothed-out resonance which nails the vibe for Motown and anything with a deep-pocket.
    So personally, I love this head, its a keeper.

    Of course: YMMV, my .02. A player who performs Death-Metal, or Hard Rock, Alt-Rock, whatever, doesn't have my approach or my tone goals, that's a given.

    Its hard to try an Ashdown out, I don't think too many Dealers would have one on the shelf, GC probably has Ampegs, IDK.
    I bought my CTM on reputation, as well as the fact that I could send it back to Sweetwater if I wanted to.

    I don't;,and I won't!:cool:
    AstroSonic and son_of_mogh like this.
  15. Ashdown has made CTM's and Little Bastards, in the UK and China. My CTM300 is British made, but my LB30 is Chinese.
  16. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    It's interesting in that:
    I know that the CT- series through the 30 were built offshore. The 100 + 300 were UK built, my CTM-100 is def made in Jolly England.
    Most of their cabs are offshore, only a few are UK-made.
    Now then, on the website NOW- (I just looked this AM) they state that the CTM-300 is UK-built, but now do not mention it anymore about the 100-watt version.
    They used to do so.

    I checked some vendors inc Sweetwater, who still describe the CTM-100 as UK-built, but they are currently OOS (more coming soon).

    To me, this may well mean tht the current CTM-100 production is going or has gone offshore, along with most of the Ashdown line.

    Like Ampeg, Markbass, etc- Fact of life for builders these days to keep costs down.
  17. Mostyn


    Jul 14, 2017
    My CTM-100 is made in China (see pics)

    I recently A/B'd the Ampeg V4-b/ Ashdown CTM-100, with the same speaker combos (2 x 8ohm cabs: 15" & 2 x 10").
    I think i was too hard on the Ashdown. The bottom end on the Ashdown is not as potentially big, but i think has a wonderful 'pillowy' valve softness to it.
    It's also far easier to dial in preamp overdrive with the Ashdown compared to the Ampeg.
    I prefer to use effects pedals for all EQ and overdrive tone though.

    My vote is still Ampeg for all tube goodness, if one has to choose. If i was 'stuck' with the Ashdown though, life would still be pretty darn sweet.

    Attached Files:

  18. B-line

    B-line Inactive


    The backside of my CTM-100, I got it before their mfg. move to China on this model.

    I'm sure there is no difference other than where the amp is physically built; specs and components remain the same, as does the great tone.

    Very few Ashdown models, both speaker cabs and amps are made in England now, mfg. costs dictate this.
    mattwear likes this.
  19. malpasso


    Apr 24, 2005
    Wanted to bring back this topic to hear some fresher opinions!:)
    two fingers likes this.
  20. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm all for it!
    malpasso likes this.