Ashdown ABM500RC Evo-II Problem...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Keeaumoku, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    My ABM500RC Evo-II started acting-up on me last week Sunday. I purchased this amp back in February. So, here's what is going on:

    * This amp has been gigged only 12 times since Feb, but I always use it for Sunday practice sessions, and while practicing on my own. I'll use my Marshall VBA400 for most other gigs. Me and my bandmates are what you would consider hobbyists. We all have day jobs, so we don't gig all that much... about 4 - 5 times a month.

    * When playing this amp at volume, I would generally set the Output Level at the 1 o'clock position, and have the Input Level at the 7 or 8 o'clock position. At these levels, the VuMeter needle would hardly go into the red when hitting a "hard" note, and while playing "normally", the needle remains in the black, but the power of the amp is definitely present when set this way. For Sunday practices, I use my Bergantino NV215, which is 4 Ohms, and that is the maximum impedence rating for this amp. The amp is rackmounted in a 4-space rack. I have a Korg tuner mounted just above the amp, so there's plenty space beneath it, and it is vented from the bottom. My axe is a Fender Stu Hamm Urge-II, which has active electronics.

    * Last week Sunday, we were about an hour into our session when I noticed that "ozone" smell. It was coming from my amp. I immediately switched it off, and started "nosing" around. I touched the amp all over, but it didn't feel hot. However, the smell was quite evident. I switched it back on to see if the two cooling fans were working, and, indeed, they were. I got a desk-top fan and blasted the back of the amp with that, switched it back on, and we continued on with our practice. It seemed to work fine for the remaing three hours of our session.

    * I purchased this amp online, as there is no Ashdown dealer here in the islands. I did register my amp with them online immediately after receiving it. I decided to contact Ashdown over in the UK via email. I explained what was happening, and I got an immediate response from Martin B. He suggested I reverse my settings; i.e.: set the Output level at around 9 o'clock, and set the Input level at 1 or 2 o'clock. He pointed out that the VuMeter needle would bounce into the red, but it "...shouldn't stay there..." He also implied that, if the ozone smell persists, then I could have a "weak" transformer. Martin said he would send me a replacement transformer if the problem isn't solved with the level change. He asked that I let him know how it goes. I responded back to Martin that I would try his suggestions, but it would have to wait until our next practice session, which was yesterday.

    * Well... we practiced as usual yesterday. I set my levels as per Martin's suggestion. Unfortunately, it didn't take much time at all for that damn ozone smell to show up! Again, I felt the amp, but couldn't detect any heat. I got that desk-top fan out, and blasted the back like before. We continued on with our session, just like last week. However, by using Martin's suggested levels, it seemed to me that I wasn't getting the power out of the amp that I was when applying my original levels. So, seeing as how the smell came back anyway, I changed the levels back. While I realized more power, it did seem weakened this way, too.

    * I have sent a message onto Martin B. explaining what happened as of yesterday. Since he's some 12 hours ahead of me, I don't expect to hear back from him until sometime tomorrow. Trouble is, I have to fly over to Maui for a couple of days... business, folks, not pleasure (but I will take my golf clubs with me... heh-heh-heh... ;) ), so I won't read his response until I get back to my office on Thursday.

    As I have already mentioned, there is no Ashdown dealer out here. Martin seems to understand this, since he has offered to send me a replacement transformer at no charge. He said it should be a simple swap-out requiring soldering a couple of wires. Well... I'm no tech-head, so I'm going to have to pay someone to do this for me.

    I'd appreciate any comments and/or suggestions from y'all, if you don't mind. I'll also update this thread as to the resolution of my problem. A positive one is hoped for... :eyebrow: