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Ashdown Amp Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Alexander, Feb 22, 2005.


  1. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I am looking for a new head and have been doing a lot of reading old threads for suggestions. I keep coming back to the Ashdown ABM 500RC Evo II, but have yet to try it - I will likely head down to BassNW in a week or so to give one a spin. So, a few questions for you Ashdown owners...

    How would you define the Ashdown sound? When I listen to the new U2 CD, to me they sound like a brighter version of an Ampeg. Almost like Ampeg and SWR had a baby. When I listen to Matchbox 20, I can say that is IT as far as tone is concerned (to me anyway) - I believe their bassist uses Ashdown equipment with Sadowsky basses, so not sure how much of his tone is the bass vs the amp vs something else.

    Second, I play through the smaller Berg cabs (112s), which I absolutely love. They do not have the depth maybe of a 4x10, but they are awesome. I have been using a Bass Xciter to add depth (which it does quite well), but would prefer not to use it if I didn't have to as it adds to the amp's overall color. I know the Ashdowns have the octave divider feature, which I'm thinking I might be able to use to bring the depth I like without changing the amp's own natural characteristics. Am I correct overall in my assumptions, here?

    Any other "good to know" things about the Ashdown? Things that would get my GAS really going? ;) They have to be the coolest looking amps I've seen, too...
     
  2. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    They do look cool except for one thing. I would have bought one a long time ago except for the way they have the EQ section set up. A knob,then sliders, then another knob, then more sliders and more knobs. What the heck were they thinking. Use either knobs or sliders, and if you are going to use both then put the knobs on one end and the sliders on the other. I used to ride British motorcycles back in the sixties, Triumphs and Nortons. I loved them at the time, but they were full of goofy engineering and wacky ideas. The front of those Ashdown EVO heads must have been designed by the same guy, or his grandson. :D ;) :meh: :eek: i
     
  3. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the reply, SMASH - I appreciate your help (you gave me good advice on the Antiquities before as well :) ). I know trying them out is key and plan to do so. The Matchbox 20 tone I really liked was a DVD of one of their concerts in a big venue, so I recognize there could be a lot of variables in their tone. I'll check out the other thread, too.
     
  4. Alot of the Ashdown design is based around vintage cars like the Austin Healey.

    The idea of rotary and sliders is simple, rotarys give wide tonal adjustments and then the sliders give smaller eq tweeks.

    The sound of the Ashdown is far better in a band than the Ampeg stuff, even better than the SVTCL (i had one )

    They offer far more choice of sounds from vintage growl to modern tones.

    The sub harmoniser is in fact very usable live if you set it up correctly and use a footswitch to kick it in.Firstly dont use it on your low E string but use it on your A,D, G strings to fatten the sound it sounds very meaty and full live.

    For some great bands using ASHDOWN listen to U2 of course and also System of the Down ( a good track is Aerials, that also works well with sub harmoniser running )

    Ive had my best tone ever since switching from Ampeg and you will be very happy with the ABM500 head.
     
  5. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    In what ways do you find it better than Ampeg? One of the things about trying amps in stores is they always sound different in a band setting. Why is it better in the mix than Ampeg?
     
  6. Ampeg sound more wooly and dont cut through as much. They have loads of bass but mids and treble get lost in the mix.

    I had the SVT3 PRO and SVTCL heads and both sounded great on their own but were lost in a heavy distorted band sound and just sounded boomy.
     
  7. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I still use an aphex bass exciter with mine it really is an amazing eq/effect personally the sub harm is rubbish but each to ther own, I think the ashdown's might go very nicely with the bergs and it might add that depth that you using the exciter for now, you have to remember my ashdown while being an abm combo is still only a 1x10 so it does need a little kick in the low end.

    Hope this helps
     
  8. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    In one word... CRAP! (Sorry, couldn't let this pass)

    ANDRUCA

    P/S: And don't jump on me, everyone here knows I hate Ashdowns!
     
  9. Thats hardly going to help the guy, if you say crap then why, please explain why you think so otherwise your statement is totally meaningless.

    We can all come along and say this amps crap but we also explain our experiences to how we came to that conclusion.

    Ashdown do not sound crap, but its possible to make anything sound bad if you dont understand its setup or if course if it was a faulty amp.

    I dumped Ampeg in favour of Ashdown, something i didnt do lightly as i was determined to make my SVTCL sound good. The truth is the sound wasnt right for my style of music and was not defined enough playing live. With the Ashdown ABM500 i now sound better as i have a great tone, people can hear me on stage and out front and yet i still wouldnt say Ampeg are crap as they arnt, but they didnt suit my personal needs in tone yet they are a fine amp in their own right as is Ashdown.
     
  10. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the help bassampegman - I listened to some clips on basstasters, too (Ashdown and others). I liked what I heard, though obviously hard to tell what they sound like live, with me playing my bass, but it was another reference point. I also checked out the artists that play Ashdown and listened to some of their live stuff just to get general ideas on tone. I'm looking forward to trying one myself.
     
  11. bass-shy

    bass-shy

    Jan 11, 2005
    Florida
    Don't you know that Ashdown, Warwick and Spector all suck? No one can pin point why, but apparently it's true............
     
  12. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I must like gear that sucks ;)
     
  13. bass-shy

    bass-shy

    Jan 11, 2005
    Florida
    I like it too, but apparently that's not enough........ :rollno:
     
  14. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Maybe that's what I need, an amp that sucks. It could be the sound I've been looking for all these years. ;)
     
  15. bass-shy

    bass-shy

    Jan 11, 2005
    Florida
    Yeah, you should buy a combo so you could suck AND be a weener at the same time. :spit:
     
  16. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Ain't that the truth. Relax you combo guys, I'm only kidding. :D
     
  17. Alexander, while looking at Ashdown, check out the MK500 if they have one there -- you may be pleasantly surprised.
     
  18. andruca

    andruca

    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Ok, I'll explain why "CRAP". First of all, what did I test:

    MAG300H head (2 of them)
    ABM300 EVO II head
    MAG410T "deep" cab (2 of them)
    MAG115 "deep" cab
    ABM410T cab

    The MAG300 I tested was in a music shop. I had to ask for another head to try because I thought the first one was broken as it put out very little power. Not damaged at all, all of them were the same (and I know that connecting the EQ considerably lowers the output so I tried both EQ on and off). It could only produce "high" volumes with everything almost maxed, but the problem here was the MAG410T "deep" cab started farting and I wasn't 1/4 as loud as I usually drive my Hartke 4.5XL. Asked for another cab and it farted exactly like the first one. The "deep" cab is just a name, nothing can come as thin sounding as this cab and when you try to make it "deep" you achieve nothing but farts!!!! Switched to an EBS 4x10 cab and the farting stopped, but it didn't produce enough volume (307 Watts my a$$!!!). RMS is maybe a typing error in Ashdown's specs. They probably meant Peak, Music, Program, PMPO, POHPEP (Peak of the Highest Peaks Ever Produced). Adding a second cab (MAG115 "deep" cab) didn't help either. It also farted a lot (I think this is endemic in Ashdown cabs) and "deep" was so utopic here too...!

    After that I had a gig in a medium sized bar. They had an ABM300 EVO II head with a ABM410Tcab and I thought "OK, maybe this is the real thing at last". Well, thank God I had my 80's Peavey TKO-80 combo in my trunk. Not only it had exactly the same problems (poor power + farting) than the MAGs at the store had, but I could A/B it with my crappy Peavey combo and guess what? THE TKO-80 KICKED ITS A$$ BIG TIME IN VOLUME, TONE AND FULLNESS!!!! Don't tell me it was because of the 15" speaker in the combo vs. the 4x10" in the ABM cab (4x10" is a lot more cone surface than a single 15"). The combo only puts out 75Watts!!!! It cannot in any case be louder than 325Watts thru any cabinet!!!! But it certainly was (and my TKO-80, slightly modified with an added Motorola piezo tweeter, has yet to fart on me -bought it used 12 years ago-).

    At that time, I owned a Hartke 3500 head plus 4.5XL and 215XL cabs (still have the cabs but changed to a pre/power setup). This setup costs WAY less than a similar Ashdown rig and it blows it in every departament.

    Is this enough of a reason why I say CRAP when I hear A$$-down?

    ANDRUCA
     
  19. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Fair dues to you, shame about all your bad experiences.

    It's good that you can back up the "It's Crap" statement.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences

    Moving on has any one tried the Ashdown Labs stuff
     
  20. I have had my ABM 500 head for about four years now (gigging nearly every weekend for that length of time into a Sovtek 4x10 cab) playing 300 seat rooms to 6000 seat arenas and this amp has never let me down. The bass slider at 180HZ rarely raises above 2.5 because it so so full,so round, so PERFECT! - there is no need to ever go above that level for a great tone (and I am a tone-a-holic). I have never heard my amp or cab fart and I play with a fairly heavy hand at high volume regularly with a MMSR5 bass.

    My advice is go for the Ashdown ABM 500 head if you want a reliable amp with great tone - great bass amps, they get good reviews here. AND THEY CRAP OVER ANY HARTKE AMP OR CAB I HAVE EVER HEARD!

    This is just my opinion - Im sure Andruca was just sharing his/hers as well. But check out what others players here are saying about Ashdown and this head in particular. Trust me, when you buy it, you wont regret it.