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Ashdown ABM Evo III 500, Has anyone had experience with this particular Amplifier?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pointblank72, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. pointblank72


    Dec 14, 2009
    Cairns, QLD
    Hi everyone,
    I'm posting here to possibly get some feedback/experiences/solutions to an issue I'm having with the ashdown ABM Evo III 500. I bought this amplifier a couple of weeks back and took it into a jam with the rest of the band on the weekend (one guitarist, one drummer). What I discovered was that it had a total lack in output. I had this thing cranked at about 95% output and the drummer who was about 5 metres from me could barely hear me in the heavier parts of our songs, if at all (worth noting that I could hardly hear myself standing in front of the amp, and the guitarist was also struggling to the left of me). I basically went over the entire amplifier, changing all the settings to all kinds of mixes and variations (compression, input, output, bass, middle, treble, valve gain, passive/active, flat/shape). I played with and without effects pedals, plugged in both via the effects loop at the back and just in series with the amp, I changed the battery in my bass for the preamp and fiddled with the settings on here also. I'm playing it through a brand new 1000W RMS rated Avatar Cabinet with eminence Deltalite speakers in it so the cab is not the issue. Now here's the part that has made me so curious about the amp rather than writing it off as sh*t: My old amplifier is a 200W Randall RB200X and when playing in the exact same location, with the same set up (position wise in terms of drummer + guitarist), them with the same gear and myself with all the same gear minus the amp, I only had to have this amp at about 4.5/10 on the output and was at a sufficient volume for everyone to hear and jam properly. It stumps me as to why when upgrading to an amplifier that is 2.5 times the rated wattage that it can't even be loud enough to be heard in a normal jamming environment.

    Any thoughts, theories, personal experiences and possible suggestions/solutions would be greatly appreciated,
    Cheers everyone, pointblank72
  2. This may sound stupid, but did you disengage the mute-function?
    I used to own a nice ABM 2x10" Combo and when someone else was using it, he did leave it on mute and turned up the master to max. Strangely enough the mute was more of a heavy attenuator, leaving a bit of signal...
  3. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    what cab configuration do you have (2x10, 1x12, etc)? Did it seem plenty loud when practicing alone? I've owned Ashdown amps before and while they have a huge, creamy tone with lots of depth, they really need a middy cab like a Bagend or Bergantino or even their own line to make them work in a loud band setting. Try dis-engaging the shape button, bumping up those low-mid and midrange sliders, and then work the gain and master.

    i've tried this head with Aggies GS112's and Epifani 210s and found myself getting lost. On the other hand, in mellow genres it was beautiful.
  4. brandon67


    Dec 12, 2009
    I have this amp. You were saying your bass has batteries, so it is active. In this case make sure you have the "passive/active" switch pushed inwards (which is the active state).

    if you have "compressor" and/or "valve drive" on, make sure they're not too low, because this will reduce the volume.

    But i'm guessing its probably just that you have the "instrument" knob level too low. the instrument level is basically the same as gain, which is your signal level. without much signal, it cant be much loud, so make sure you have both instrument and output level turned up.

    Oh and just in case, check your basses volume knob.

    Sorry if these are obvious...
  5. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    Disagree 100%.

    I have never played an active bass into any amp that the "active pad" on the input didn't completely choke the bass's signal going into the amp.

    Leave the input set for "passive" and adjust the input signal using the rotary.
  6. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    ^I agree there, one of my active bass has a lower output than some of my passive bass, it would make no sense of putting a pad on it.

    Did you check your bass batteries, a really low output from the bass due to low batteries could be the problem.
  7. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Well, I guess you've got an Avatar 4x10 since you mentioned "1000W RMS rated". If it's an 8 ohm version, it could be 300 "Ashdown watts" just isn't as loud as "200 Randall watts".
  8. NickRich


    Oct 13, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    That's kind of strange, because I use a Mag 300H and I don't lack volume, except with a very loud drummer and with a very small cab ...

    Please keep us posted. I wanna buy a ABM 500, so I'm curious about your problem.
  9. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses

    PM me.
  10. pointblank72


    Dec 14, 2009
    Cairns, QLD
    Hi every one and thanks for you're responses. In a bit of a reply to most questions, the cab is an avatar 4x10 (4ohm cab), the mute was definitely off, I swapped batteries during the jam to check that area of question, bass level (on bass itself) was at 100%, tried both active and passive, fiddled with all kinds of combinations with the graphic equaliser to gain volume (mostly just changed tone and sound rather than gaining any significant volume), messed with both the input and output in all combinations to gain volume, fooled around with compression and valve gain to no avail, and also tried disengaging the shape button to gain volume there. Although in doing all these things there were changes in volume at certain points (when things were changed), it was never a sufficient change and most of the time it just created ****** volume that had no decent sound or tone in it (basically gaining a bit of volume for the sake of a nice warm bassy tone that these amps are apparently renowned for). It is also worth noting that we play heavier music and the drummer is capable and competent so he creates a lot of sound. However I never had this issue previously.
  11. Have you tried with different cables. It may be a dodgy speaker lead. I've got this head and never had the gain and volume past mid-way and not usually even that much (although for heavier music you may need run a bit harder). What is showing in the VU meter? Is the needle showing plenty of gain?
    Good luck
  12. pointblank72


    Dec 14, 2009
    Cairns, QLD
    Yeah, tried swapping leads, however they were all ok as I checked them with my other amp. As far as the VU meter is concerned, yeah it would show full scale deflection as the input was increased, however in the manual it recommends that the input be adjusted to suit the intensity at which you're playing Ie: the harder you strum the less input required and vice versa, so that you don't max out into the red on every strum (input too high), which results in a distorted, crappy sound with no tone. However, this being considered I still tried this option of increasing the input to gain volume and once again, no considerable gain during the jam.
  13. pengyou40


    Dec 2, 2010
    I have this head in the combo (C210T) and it was almost impossible to hear with un-mic'ed drummer and a little dinky 50 watt SS guitar amp. So, I picked up a 1x15 Carvin extension cab. Now I can hear myself okay, but that's with the output running at 90% and I have no headroom at all with a relatively quiet band...unmic'ed drummer, two guitars running 50 watt solid state amps. :( This head is either relatively quiet or you just need a lot more speakers / better speakers. I thought a 2x10 and a 1x15 would do it, but there's just no headroom. And yes, I tried EVERY setting with the EQ, flat/shape, passive/active, etc. I checked them all. It sounds pretty darn good, but absolutely no headroom with my speaker set up...
  14. mixing speaker cab designs usually creates more problems than solutions in terms of volume and tone.
    Ive never had any volume issues with this head, using it with a loud band, through an ampeg 610hlf.

  15. To the OP, what are you using to connect it to your cab? what output, what cables?

  16. margus_


    May 19, 2008
    Mine is an ABM 500 EVo II and it`s loud as hell. I usually play it thru ampeg svt-410 hlf cab. I have also played it thru several 8 ohm cabs at gigs (hartke, warwic) and I have always had master below noon. I guess there is something wrong whith your amp, or new Ashdowns just aren`t as good as older ones :(
  17. atauntaun

    atauntaun Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    Alameda, CA
    Endorser Jule Amps Monique
    I had the same experience with my EVOIII. I tried it with multiple cabs. A 4x8 112 from LDS, an Ampeg 610, and an Ampeg 810. I had to crank it to be barely audible in a band situation, no matter which cab I used. I purchased it to replace an EVOII 410 combo and in my opinion there was no comparison. The EVOII seemed to have volume to spare while the EVOIII couldn't keep up. Overall I was very disappointed with the purchase. My EVOII was such a great amp the EVOIII really paled in comparison.
  18. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    I had all 3 versions (EVO 1, 2 and 3).
    The ouput was the same with all of them.
    The 2 sounded best (gain wise).

    I sent the 3 back as the fan was making noise through the speaker out...
  19. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Sounds like there is a fault with it and needs to be repaired.
  20. nickbear


    Jun 12, 2007
    surrey, uk
    i play the same head through an ampeg svt 410hlf cab.. i play in a loud rock band and i can get real loud. i never push the volume past 1 o clock.

    i think you might have a faulty head.