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ASHDOWN ABM500 EVOII NOW MADE IN CHINA?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by macmrkt, Oct 9, 2006.


  1. macmrkt

    macmrkt Inactive

    Dec 4, 2002
    I'm not totally sure, but since there's been posts about Ashdown's reliability, I wanted to put up my guess on a change at Ashdown. Note, these are my observations and I might be totally wrong!

    I ordered an ABM500 EVOII 6 weeks ago. They had just sold out the last of the inventory at the major US warehouses so I was put on backorder. There was about a month of no inventory on this model, which I think is one of their most popular. Then the new shipment hits the warehouses about 10 days ago. Ashdown drops the price on the ABM500 EVOII to $799 from $999. I just got mine 3 days ago. It is obviously of this new shipment of ABM500's to the States. I'm not positive, but it seems to be made in China (or wherever Ashdown has their Far East plant). The box itself is sourced from a Chinese supplier and there's no more "Made in England" on the box or the unit like on the Ashdown Mini 15 and Mini 48 I just got . It now says "Designed and Engineered in England. Made by Ashdown Engineering". This leads me to believe that this is not a UK unit and manufacturing is now in Asia.

    I want to add that the unit is REALLY nicely made from what I can tell. I had a UK Mark King head and this unit feels as good or better built. The fit and finish are perfect. I'll have it on gigs this week to see how it does.

    What's interesting, seeing all the talk about Ampegs move to Vietnam, is that Ashdown did lower their price on this very popular unit - and they didn't have to. I also wonder if (and I cringe to say it) if the problems of failing amps were or are due do the growing pains of such a young and successful company. Maybe this move (if it really happened) will ultimately help. I hope it works for everyone.
     
  2. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Just ran into the same deal - my new ABM 500 arrived today. No country of origin statement on the box (though a square portion of the outer cardboard had been scored and peeled off). Back panel says "Manufactured by Ashdown Engineering.

    I have emailed Ashdown about this (and another concern, below), and look forward to their response. Technically, not labeling country of origin on products sold in the US is illegal:

    Title 19 U.S.C. Section 1304 ("Marking of imported articles and containers") states that, unless an exception applies, "every article of foreign origin (or its container ... imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article."

    My other concern is that, though the head is advertised as delivering 575W RMS power, my back panel states 500W RMS. Interested to find out which is correct.

    On a much more trivial note, my head came with black corner protectors, where as all ABMs I've seen otherwise have had chrome.
     
  3. macmrkt

    macmrkt Inactive

    Dec 4, 2002
    Thanks for keeping this thread alive Brent. I really like Ashdown and all they are doing and plan to do. I struggle with country of origin issues - it's very complex. On one hand, the unit seems great in every regard. On the other hand, I wonder if the quality will stand the test of time as Far East assembly is only "recently" achieving the quality that a company like Ashdown would trust. Associates of mine that moved their high-end audio manufacturing to the Far East are happy, once they got the bugs worked out.

    Lastly or course, is the social side - a whole other can of worms. It is being dealt with in-depth in the Ampeg-Vietnam thread so no need to rehash it here.
     
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    One shouldn't be surprised at the quality of goods made in Asia. The prevailing notion, and an oft quoted phrase until December 6, 1941, was that 'The Japs can't even make a decent alarm clock'. That phrase fell out of use after December 7. Now Toyota is #2 in US auto sales, and may go to #1 if GM doesn't get its act together. Pride in one's own workmanship is not an exclusively Western trait.
     
  5. macmrkt

    macmrkt Inactive

    Dec 4, 2002
    Very well put. What that leaves me with is this - and I didn't want to bring this up, but here goes (note - this is my guilty conscience speaking) From what little I know from working in the industry, while the electronics factories in the Far East may not reward their employees at the rates we in the West expect, they usually set higher standards in their local market. Can you comment on that?
     
  6. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    I certainly have no reservations about the quality of products coming from Asia. It's like anywhere else anymore: Some manufacturers are producing great products there, and some are producing garbage. When I ran my custom upright bass business, some of my main suppliers were Chinese -- and I chose them because of consistently high quality.

    However, this isn't a debate over the quality of Asian products. Rather, I feel that any consumer has the right to know exactly where their product came from, and US law agrees. I have yet to even plug in my new ABM, but I'm sure I will enjoy it. However, Ashdown appears to need to get some of its own facts straight.
     
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Fifty years ago the Japanese bought their way into the US electonics, and every other, industry because they had relatively cheap labor. Now their standard of living approaches ours. I know I can't afford Kobe beef.
    'Made in USA' labels on clothing more often than not mean Asian cloth sewn into garments on Guam.
     
  8. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Great sounding 500w head for $799 list? Whats the street on that? If its reliable thats a great deal.
     
  9. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    $799 *is* the street.
     
  10. Since now ABM was made in England, from next month a whole new series of heads and cabinets will be available with the name Klystron (instead of ABM) and its gonna be made in China. Maybe thats why the EVO II went cheaper.
    And also the AL line its gonna be available NEXT year (full digital amps, Neo speakers, etc. etc.)!!! :meh:
     
  11. The Craw

    The Craw

    Jul 31, 2006
    I saw Ashdown practice amps labeled Made In China almost 4 years ago. The Electric Blue line has been made in China for a couple of years, maybe longer. The country of origin should be on the back panel, so there's no legal issue.
     
  12. Frankie Fender

    Frankie Fender The less notes you play, the more money you make.

    Jul 13, 2004
    Massachusetts
    That sounds like the older ABM500 not the EVOII
     
  13. Frankie Fender

    Frankie Fender The less notes you play, the more money you make.

    Jul 13, 2004
    Massachusetts
  14. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Well, it says EVOII right on the face plate, so I hope that's what it is! Purchased it brand new last week (after the month-or-so long drought on these heads), serial # 38500606. Thanks for the thread link, BTW - interesting read.

    The Craw, the is NO country of origin labeled anywhere on my head, let alone the back panel, nor on the box, which unfortunately *is* a legal issue. Unless it's a car being sold in the US, manufacturers aren't required to state part origin content percentages, but they are required to at least label where the product was assembled or was subject to "a major transformation." That said, if all the components were Chinese and it was assembled in UK, you could likely still label it as being made in the UK. There is, after all, a big difference between a pile of components and a finished product.
     
  15. Frankie Fender

    Frankie Fender The less notes you play, the more money you make.

    Jul 13, 2004
    Massachusetts
    Correction. I just checked mine. I've got an older EVOII with speakon outputs, black corners, the output states 500 watts/1000 watts peak. And it states "Manufactured in England' on the rear panel. Maybe you have a NOS EVOII made during the transition to the Chrome corners. Who knows.
     
  16. The Craw

    The Craw

    Jul 31, 2006
    In that case, you're right, it could be a big legal issue.

    Want to see something interesting? Go here and read the IEC 60065 Test Reports for the ABM, MAG and Electric Blue. Note the dates. And note on the first page of each .pdf that the manufacturer is listed as "Dongguan Jingheng Electron Co., Ltd." Looks like this has been going on for a while.

    I don't know UK law, but that's not so in the US. Under FTC regs you would have to label it "Assembled in USA of imported parts."
     
  17. duejfy

    duejfy Inactive

    May 13, 2010
    My ABM500 was indeed made in China. It saved my lot of money.:hyper:
     
  18. Can someone put in a picture with the front and the back panel with his Chinese made Ashdown ABM 500 RC EVO II Head? maybe also a picture with an England made one? Can't figure out where mine is made. I'll post a photo soon.
     
  19. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    I thought they said something like 'Made in PRC' on the back...
     
  20. I saw that in a manual on the site. I'll check mine in two days. Thanks ;)
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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