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Ashdown ABM 900 newbie EQ and Tone questions...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by raul, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    Hi there. I now own an Ashdown ABM 900 EVO II head and am not quite sure about some of the tone shaping functions on it.
    I've never played this kind of amp before. My previous amp was an old Traynor YBA 1. So...

    I need some help in understanding the concept of the Input and Output knobs.

    The Push Flat/Shape button...i'm not quite clear on what it does. EQ of some sort, but what exactly does it do?

    How effective is the Valve Drive?

    And...wow, the EQ section is nice. Anybody have some suggested tone settings? What are your faves?

    I'm going for an old school kind of tone. I know it's a bit vague, but i would love to get somewhere in the ballpark of the classic Ampeg or Acoustic 360 kinda tone...big and thick and thumping for classic rock, blues, soul etc...
    I know it's not the same kind of amp as the ones mentioned, very different, but i know i can get a tone that's just as cool with this amp.

    I play a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass and should be getting an Ashdown 410 cab this Friday. It's being shipped to me as I write this...

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated...
  2. 1kinal


    Jan 18, 2006
    Montreal, Qc. Canada
    Endorsing Artist: SIT strings
    I think you got a great amp if you're looking for a vintage sound.

    -push flat/shape button. When pushed, the sound is flat. If in the out position, there's a "shape" to the sound, similar to the shape button that was on trace elliott amps. Basically, it gives a smily face EQ (lows and highs boosted, mids cut).

    -The valve drive: You need to push the valve button to have it work. After this, you mix the valve (tube) and how much of it you want using the valve knob. At maximum it gives distortion while at minimum it will be very similar to using a transistor amp. The great thing (IMO) are the "in between" settings. Please note that the valve drive works in pair with the gain setting. If the gain is set too low, you won't hear a big difference when you turn the knob.

    My personnal setting varies a bit from room to room but it's generally:

    -push flat
    -valve around 10:00 o'clock.
    -bass flat with the two low mids sliders boosted a little, everything else pretty much flat.
  3. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    cool! thanks for the reply. in regards to the EQ settings...when you say flat, you mean flat as in say the 7 o'clock position? not in the middle or 12 o'clock, correct?
    i'm just looking for a cool setting close to a nice mix of Ashdown and that classic Ampeg SVT kinda sound.
    thanks...any more suggestions would be cool...
  4. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    On the "circular EQ pots" flat means 12 o'clock, on the sliders it means middle position.
    On thing to consider is, that the ABM pushes a lot of lows anyway, so go easy on the low EQ

    With my ABM500 I am boosting some of the mids and cutting a bit on the lowest frequency.
    Valvedrive and input are at 12 o'clock.

    +1 on using the flat position (button) as opposed to the mid scooped
  5. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    ok, so on the EQ rotary dials, flat is in the 12 position. got it. i'm going to try it out that way, with the Push Flat engaged and try the Input and Valve Drive in the 12 position and see what that gets me.
  6. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    If you really want to dirty things up, pump the gain well into the red on the VU meter, & go heavy w/ the valve knob.
  7. chimpbass


    Jan 16, 2008
    Denver, CO
    I have my ABM 500 (EVO II) set up footswitchy style. That is, I can footswitch the "shape" in for a more modern (imo) sound, and out for more vintage. I like to do most of my EQ'ing on the bass itself, so I just use the EQ section on the amp to give a boost that puts me over the edge when using the valve drive. Basically, a bit of low boost, more mid boost, and roll off the treble a bit. I set the valve about 3/4 of the way to full, but the input fairly low. With the footswitching, This gives me a pretty modern sound (shape in but nothing else), a "in your face" clean sound (eq in, nothing else) a warm vintage sound (valve in, nothing else) a somewhat overdriven sound (valve in, eq in, nothing else) and a rip-roarin' sound (valve in, eq in, shape in). I use the octave mostly for occasional effect.
  8. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    well, has anyone tried a Fulltone Bass Drive with the ABM 900? i'm looking for a tone somewhere between John Paul Jones and Jack Bruce. Big fat and juicy.
    what are some suggested tone settings on the EQ and Valve Drive? or any others tones tips...

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