Ashdown ABM 500 EVO VS Sunn 1200

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jeff Haley, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. Jeff Haley

    Jeff Haley

    May 17, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I thinking about selling my Ashdown and buying the Sunn 1200. What do you think? The Ashdown is a good amp but I'm interested in the 1200 watts.
  2. how bout a compromise?
    just buy the ashdown 900 :)

  3. flamer


    Oct 18, 2002
    swindon, england
    doesn't the ashdown have a peak of 1000 anyways?
    Do you have speakers that can handle 1200 watts?
    I love my new abm500, my only worry is for my speakers as the damn thing has no compression or limiter.
    If you're happy with the ashdown it would be a shame to trade it for the sake of...

    enough of me,
  4. just watch the VU closly, as long as u don't clip it, u don't need a limiter

  5. flamer


    Oct 18, 2002
    swindon, england
    but doesn't that only affect the input level?
    couldn't you still damage the speakers with the output?
  6. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Ashdown is probably considered overpriced as is most British equipment here in the states. I'm not going to say whether the model you have is "better" or "louder" than the 1200S Sunn (now fender branded). I have a 1200S. It's loud, pretty clean or as dirty as you want it to be. It has hi and low compression, balance, and a volume compensator. It has a graphic, tube preamp, 4 speaker outs in the back. Pre and post eq direct out.

    The 1200 watts is at 2 ohms though. We're only guessing at the 8 ohm and 4 ohm wattage though. My guess is 600-700 at 8 and 850-1000 at 4. Whatever it is, it works for me!! It's certainly not overpriced for what you get in volume and extras. I've had absolutely no problems with mine and have had it for almost 3 years now.

    I don't think it's being represented as "audiophile" in nature, but it sure has plenty of volume and headroom. It's tone, I think, is excellent, but I'm also using Epifani and formerly used EA and Aguilar speaker cabs with it and are using F bass and Lakland 5 strings. My guess is that most "name brand" heads will sound good with those speaker/axe combination?.

    What speakers are you using? Can you live without the low octive feature? Can you handle having a blinking green, orange, or red light telling you your preamp is ok or peaking rather than that cool analog dial? Can you do with a 10 band graphic and a bass and treble boost cut dial, rather than the more parametric (I think?) setup on the Ashdown?

    The thing about the Ashdown 900 is there's no bridging. It's what ...480 watts a side at 4 ohms or something like that. If you run one 8 ohm cab off each side you'll be at maybe 600 watts? With the sunn you'll be somewhere between 750 and 1000. Does the extra wattage really matter? Well if you're willing to pay $500 more for 200-400 less for the Ashdown, like the subharmonizer feature, and like the tone/parametric setup, don't get the sunn... you won't like it. If you'd like a lot more power (at least on paper) with a graphic and compression features, you won't like the Ashdown.

    Good luck. I very highly recommend the sunn 1200S.

    L Kaye
  7. Jeff Haley

    Jeff Haley

    May 17, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga.
    That was an excellent post.Thank you. I'm using a Bergantino 3-10. The Ashdown has enough power for most of the things that I do but I played thru the Sunn and I liked it very much. I'm thinking also of just buying a seperate power amp and trying the new Raven Labs Pre-amp.
  8. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I found a mint Sunn 1200S in a pawn shop and bought it for $300 including an SKB ATA rack case. I intended to sell it and make a few $$. Can't sell it. It is too good to let go!

    I put some NOS Sylvania 12AX7's in it and it sounds wonderful and has more headroom than my Demeter/Stewart World 1.6 rig. I use the Sunn with an Eden 410XLT and it is a wonderful amp.

    I believe Musician's Friend still has some of the Sunn 1200s's marked down to $909. That is a lot of amp for $909. I've owned an Eden WT-800 and the Sunn sounds much better and has much more power.

    It is fairly heavy at 26 pounds. That is the only negative thing I can find about the amp.