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Ashdown abm500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by davidaaron, Feb 2, 2001.

  1. davidaaron


    Jan 22, 2001
    After sending email all over the net and asking for help in this forum about which amp to buy that will play in the states and the UK, I settled on the Ashdown abm500 (simple wire change).

    Having ordered it locally, the first chance I got to play it was yesterday in the music store. I was *under*welmed and a little disappointed about the amp, but I bought it anyway. Turned out I was not using it correctly (under-driving the front end preamp) and once I read the directions and used it correctly, I thought it sounded pretty good.

    I just finished my first gig with it and I can honestly say that it far exceeds my expectations. I have never heard a better amp. It was rich and full, low noise yet full of articulation. It seems that I had no compromises to consider.

    I the past, I have had to strike a ballance between subtle articulation and a rich, full sound with low hiss. The ashdown was a joy to listen to and even made my very average playing sound a little better.

  2. Congratulations on your new purchase.
    I’ve had an ABM 500 for six months now, and it's the best amp I have ever used or owned.

    The only thing I could think to improve it, would be to have the pre set and flat EQ function’s switchable by a foot pedal, but now I’m nit picking.

  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Do you find the VU meter useful or is it a fancy version of a clip LED?
  4. Fairy handy for matching up the levels of different basses silently, with the speaker cut out switch on before the set.
  5. davidaaron


    Jan 22, 2001
    The VU meter was very helpful in finding the "sweet spot" of the preamp. That made all the difference in going from not liking the sound to thinking it was pretty good to just loving the the sound.

    Also, the only change I would make to the amp is to have a parallel effects route inaddition to the serial one. The serial one is nice for being able to add effects and control overall volume, but I also like times where I can add subtle effects in parallel.

    Having used not the greatest sounding equipment, from portable pa stuff to a workingman 10 (which is very good for what it is), I have picked up a pandora box, POD and J-Station for effects and building a reasonable sound.

    It would be nice to use one of the effects boxes in series and one in parallel. I like adding just a little compression in front on some songs, maybe some songs could use a little chorus along the side chain and sometimes a little wah control or even foot volume control right before the power amp is needed.

    Well, 2 out of 3 ain't so bad, especially when the amp sounds so good.

    BTW, I have matched the ABM500 with an SWR Goliath III and am very satisfied with the combination. It sounds much better than I play.

  6. davidaaron


    Jan 22, 2001
    BTW, I did want to correct one thing. My Ashdown is an ABM EVO 500, not the ABM 500. I recently (a few minutes ago) found out the is a difference (see the user ratings at harmony central's WNAMM coverage).

  7. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    Whats different about the EVO.Anbody hear anything about Ashdown using some new "blueline speakers"?Do you find the sub-octave useful?Would you say its like a subwoofer?or more like "an effect"
  8. davidaaron


    Jan 22, 2001
    According to the advertising, the evo has some quieter electronics, which I have not heard the non-evo version so I can't say if it is quieter. I can say that I can have a very high treble in the eq and it has no more hiss than with the treble turned off. Not very technical I know.

    The EVO also has a mute out led. Very useful tool.

    It also has what is called quiet switching which I really like. You can switch effects (sub-octave, eq etc) in and out without hard switching noises. To me, all high end amps should have this feature, don't know what the non-EVO sounded like.

    The sub-octave, if I understand what you are asking, is just electronics that generate a signal an octave lower than what is being played. I use just a tad to add a little depth to the sound. Makes the bass sound thick. I imagine if I did alot of soloing on the "g" string, I would turn it off, but I don't get alot of those opportunities.

    I am looking lustfully at the Ashdown Subwoofer to round out the system. It is an amplified sub and there is a sub out of the abm500 that contains a built in crossover. I would like to know if anyone has any knowledge of the Ashdown amplified subwoofer.

  9. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    The amplified sub was big and heavy,and is discontinued.Probably because if you want to fatten your sound -just use the suboctave!Duplication of purpose.Also,the sub cost as much if not more than the amp.
  10. davidaaron


    Jan 22, 2001
    Actuall, my reason for the sub is not to fatten the sound. I have an SWR goliath III (4x10) cab that sounds great. However, I like the idea of having a larger speaker for low frequency air movement. With the low freq crossover already built in to the ashdown, it seems like a nice application. Of course, the other reason is I might have more money than good sense.

  11. I am seriously contemplating if I would buy an Ashdown.After reading your posts,I am definitely going to purchase the ABM 500.All I need is the money.Duh. The closest dealer in my area lives 2 hours away.I think it will be worth the road trip.
    BTW,if you have any suggestions or requests,Mark Gooday does personally answer your e-mails.I asked his company if they would be making a 6x10 cab with tube ports in the near future.Mr.Gooday wrote back and said his company would build one to my specs and charge me the price of their 8x10 cab.I thought that was fair and was impressed that he personally wrote back. I can't wait to try the ABM;of course this is going to fuel my GAS to a new level.
  12. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Got my Ashdown ABM 500 today - little hickup in the order due to (as Mr Gump said) Ashdown not making the sub anymore. Ashdown were really helpful and tried to find enough parts to make me a sub, but it was not to be..

    No matter I got a matching 15" cab instead. Can't wait for saturday when I take it to the studio and try it out at a reasonable volume !
  13. Hey Raid5,let us know how your studio session turns out.I haven't had the pleasure of playing an Ashdown so I'd really like to know.
  14. On the subject, has anyone noticed that they are selling those John Entwistle ASS-212 and ASS 115 cabinets? The things are massive, not to mention very expensive. But I bet they sound great. Anyone had a chance to try them?

    I think I'm going to break down and go for the ABM500 soon myself. Too bad I can't have it for my show this Sunday.
  15. :rolleyes: Haha... Massive Ass....:D
  16. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Setup is I've got the ABM EVO 410 500 with a 15" extension cab.

    It looks lovely - instead of the carpet front this has come with a grill, which means that you can see the blue cones of the speakers. The controls have a very smooth feel to them - generally a feeling of quality.

    OK lets plug her in and see what shakes loose. Nothing at all rattles - the sub harmoniser provides a nice bottom end 'rumble' and fills out the sound very nicely, tracks down to low g quite happily. The sound is quite toppy, but a quick downward tweak of the 1.3k slider sorted that.

    Volume wise its LOUD, very LOUD - as a comparison we turned on a Hughes+Ketnner 150 and ran it into the red without approaching the sound level coming from the ABM even on 4...

    The grind appears to do very little - it does introduce an element of fuzz, but if you want your sound to distort you really have to get the needle on the VU well into the red. That said I noticed how clean the 'clean' was when I turned the control back to the left.

    The engineer left to make a cuppa after about 20 mins and commented on it being the first amp to vibrate things in the kitchen.

    I started to push the output up, and stood next to the amp there was not much increase in volume, but this was not the case about 10 foot away, where a guitar started to dance on its stand...

    Generally I'd sat the sound was on the clean side of warm - my H+K 250 bassbase has a warmer sound, but then I've had that for 8 years so I know how to get the sound I like. It took about 40 mins to get the sound 'just right' as it appeared to boost the treble slightly as the gain increased which meant having to compensate with the eq sliders. I think though this is down to the 15" speaker working 'better' at lower volumes and taking more of the load and the 10's and horn coming into their own as the volume increased.

    The ABM is very heavy - one person can lift it, I carried it about 100 yards and wouldn't have wanted to carry it much further. The 15" cab is much lighter and a little wider than the amp, so the amp is nice and secure on top of the cab.

    I think the best thing to say is that I'm happy with it - if the house gets burnt down I'll buy another with the insurance money rather than look elsewhere

    I've removed the picture as I didn't know there was a thread for amp pictures - you can get it here


    [Edited by RaiD 5 on 02-11-2001 at 06:16 AM]
  17. Thanks for filling us in,it sounds like you had a great experience the first time around;wish I could say that about every rig I've owned.Nice pic,no wonder it got heavy carrying that combo.
  18. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Are ashdowns speakers good? I´m looking for a cab to my beloved ABM300. Probably ABM410h.
    Has anyone compared the older celestioncabs vs. the new bluelinecabs?
    Has anyone compared ashdowncabs with others like Ampeg, bag end, trace elliot...
  19. I have a question and maybe you guys can help me.I tune a whole step below standard-D G C F sometimes with a drop C. Will the sub harmonizer be able to track the drop C?
  20. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    Jock,Ive wondered the same thing,and asked that same question in several other threads about Ashdown gear.No one responds.Hopefully we'll get an answer now that the bluelines have been out for awhile.
    And be able to decide wether to buy a brand new one,or hunt down an old one!

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