Ashdown ABM vs GK1001RB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Anarchyok, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    Wonder if anyone here has owned both these amps - I've currently got the Ashdown ABM rig (see sig) and its been great but i've found despite the fact its really warm and loud, it doesn't have the really crisp low end that I'm after. I can get the huge lows with the shape function on, but it then lacks mid clarity for use with a loud band.

    I played a GK Neo 212 combo (with a 1001Rb head in it) and it was huge sounding, and seemed to have a heap more low low end than my Ashdown. Is this something others can attest to as well?

    So, Ashdown or GK? Which did you prefer, and why?
  2. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    I own the GK1001RB-II. (I play it through a Hartke 410XL cab.)

    I am in the market for a second rig and was eyeballing an Ashdown ABM stack (ABM 500 + ABM 4x10 cab).
    I tested out the ABM for about an hour in my local music store yesterday.

    The reason I want a second rig is to use it for other occasions than my main band. When filling in for other bands and occasional gigs. A rig that has that nice tube breakup... something in the range of an SVT.

    The GK1001RB-II is my favourite amp for in my metal band.

    Well, I tried very hard to like the ABM. But some things put me off.
    IME: the ABM was noisy, tube-drive wasn't all that, EQ control I have a hard time getting familiar with, subharmonic generator sounded muddy, compressor sounded either lifeless or it sucked out the dynamics, lowend was not as deep and/or punchy as my GK1001RB-II.

    The GK1001RB-II can go very deep and yet still remain articulate.
    For a solidstate amp the GK1001RB-II is very versitale and I'm considering just getting another lighter cab and going the Sansamp route for SVT emulation.
    I have no desire for a real SVT, like I said it would be a more portable rig for "not-so-serious" work. More for coverbands and small parties.

    I like the Ashdown ABM, I have nothing against that (your) amp. But compared to my Gallien Krueger, the Ashdown loses.

    The Ashdown ABM is still on my list... but I searching for alternatives. In the long run I'd probably get rid of an ABM if I got one.

    I'm thinking of getting a Sansamp BDDI and combine it with my GK1001RB-II and go from there for more versatility.

    my experiences and thoughts FWIW :)
  3. Thanks mate for that - thats just the kinda info I needed :)

    I think I'll try and make the swap.

    I'm sold on the need to work out if I want a Neo 2x12 (or two) or 410RBX
  4. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Well, how do you stand on solidstate amps?

    I know from experience that I love solidstates.
    I have not much experience with tube and hybrid amps, so maybe that influences my opinion on the Ashdown ABM.
    I tried it out yesterday a very longtime, and I couldn't quite found a sound that I liked. Maybe I was looking for something that can not be done on the ABM.

    What kind of music do you play?
    What sound are you after?

    The way I set my GK1001RB-II up is so that I have a very clean, fast, bright and cold sound. Very hi-fi and I'm not afraid of the treble.
    And it isn't a noisy amp at all.

    I recommend this amp... to someone who has similar tone goals as me. :)

    I don't know anything about the GK cabs.

    I'm thinking of getting Bergantino AE cabs. (Their lightweights)
    Either two AE 1x12 cabs or a AE 4x10 cab.

    My biggest issue right now is my 42kg Hartke cab. I love it, I will keep it (or trade it in for the 4.5XL Hartke).
    But for uses other than my #1 band it is a burden to transport.
  5. I've had all solid states before the ABM - previous to that was a Nemesis NA650 and I think I actually prefer the SS tone - i don't use the tube in the ABM much anyway!

    I play progressive heavy rock and use a Thumb NT5 - basically want a low deep growly tone!

    Thanks for all the comments.
  6. Tone of the Ashdown with the reliability of the GK.
  7. theFALLEN


    Jul 29, 2009
    Hi mate,

    I use the ABM EVO II with a 210 and 410 cab.

    I play in an Avenged/Killswitch Engage/Def Lepperd :)p) type band and the Ashdown serves me really well.

    You can get a huge sound out of it live and it really has a great punch on it when EQ'd properly.

    I would reccomend it for any rock bassist but wouldn't for more metal orientated stuff as it does have more of a warmer, rather than punchier sound when compared to perhaps a Warwick or GK.

    Hope that helps.
  8. Thanks guys - theFallen, I've currently got an Ashdown rig and have struggled with finding a really punchy tone that also has some solid low end. I ran a GK next to it and it had much more girth to the tone, but wasn't as warm.

    Maybe i'll run both rigs :)
  9. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Actually, the best bass sound that I've heard in metal live came from an Ashdown ABM EVO II stack (2 4x10 cabs).

    It was the best distorted bass I ever heard. I assume he used a booster pedal to distort that ABM. And I assume the ABM went to 11. :)
    I never heard something that heavy and that punchy and that articulate at the same time. (bassist was using a pick)
    It blew me away.

    That's why I really tried to like the ABM I tested out.
    But, it just isn't my cup of tea.
    What works well for someone else doesn't necessary work for me. :meh:

    I might just keep using the GK 1001RB-II in combination with an overdrive pedal (mild overdrive) to use for the rock and cover bands I fill in.

    I'm definately going to keep trying out the ABM each time I visit my local store.
    It's great, but not great enough for me to bring it home I fear. :meh:
  10. semajniwdoog


    May 3, 2009
    I've played through a GK and Hartke cabs for 20 years and it (the GK) has never been in for service, and, I beat the crap out of it! Anyway, Recently I've been thinking I've been missing outon new technology and whatnot by playing through my old rig. I've played played through so many rigs in the past months to see what I've been missing - Mark Bass, Ashdown, David Eden, etc. . . And you no what? My GK still sounds the best. If ain't baroque - don't fix it. I'm a GK lifer
  11. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    LOL. :) Coincidence.

    Those are also the brands I tried out last month.

    I was impressed by the Eden amps. I could see myself playing an Eden rig. But I would not take it over Gallien Krueger.

    Like I said before, Ashdown was too noisy for me.

    And Markbass... saturday was the first time I had the chance to test them out. The 2x10 combo and the 800 Tube+ 4x10 cab.
    I had high hopes but was very disappointed with Markbass: the lowend sounded too percussive and thin... and too wooly.
    Bottom line I wasn't going to sacrifice sound for weight. :meh:
    YMMV... all IME. Not wanting to bash Markbass, just ain't for me.
  12. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    When looking at Ashdowns there are a few things to remember:

    1st. You REALLY want the UK MADE ones. Ive had 2 and they have been workhorses beyond belief and DEAD QUIET with none of the complaints ive heard from people who got the non UK models. Gave me some of the best live AND studio tones i ever got.

    2nd. Unlike some amps, they are very responsive to the sound of the bass you use.. Meaning that it wont be like an ampeg where every bass you put through it sounds like its pumping thru the SVT which gives EVERY bass its flavor. My Ashdowns really pull out the flavor of each bass, and if youve been using a homogenizing kinda amp it will sound odd perhaps. This said, i do have some basses that i never use with it. I hated my Fender hot rodded P-bass thru it. It sounded too wooly. But my Stingray just sound KATHUNKING thru the thing!!! very deep focused low end with a buzzing midrange of grit that makes my dingle dangles smile!

    3rd. sometimes, and this may be counter intuitive and go against everyones "MORE BASS" aesthetic, but sometimes the Ashdown sound better when you CUT the bass eq slightly. They have a natural predominance to the low end that can make it too wooly and unfocused with some bass that just by cutting that bass knob a hair cleans it up and open its grit!... ive used these in punk/doom/noise/postrock and could not be happier.
  13. Thanks for all the responses.

    I've actually had no noise issues or anything with the Ashdown - only problem has been that since hearing a GK, i've not been happy with the bass output of the Ashdown. The GK just sounded lower, and fatter. Stupid gas!

    The guys in the band will think I'm mad going from 8 10s to just a 2x12 but I was so impressed with the GK Neo 212 I felt like it put out a similar volume to the 810s and had a bit more growl and presence.

    Thanks all, you've been very convincing :D
  14. Meandmy74


    Jul 26, 2008
    Spend some time with the GK Fusion 550.