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Ashdown frustration

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dirk, May 11, 2006.

  1. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN

    In late December I purchased an Ashdown ABM500RC EVO II amp from Bass Central, and I've only played one gig and did one studio session with the amp. I'm actually on the second amp. The first one, after receiving it from Bass Central, failed the first time I plugged it into my Ampeg SVT810. Ashdown was great, they set me up with a repair guy who is located here in Memphis, but he was unable to fix it so they sent me a brand new amp. This one worked fine for a little while. I even ordered a custom cabinet from Low Down Sound to use with the new Ashdown. I even decided not to use the Ashdown in rehearsals or live gigs until I ordered a shockmount roadcase to protect my $900 investment. I used it once in the studio, but the second studio session, I began to experience a similar problem to the one my first ABM500RC had. After warming up for about 30 minutes it would then make a static-like noise (similar to a bad cable), and then not make any sound at all.

    This particular amp is still in the shop, and I have been assured by Ashdown that I will get yet another brand new amp, if this one fails again, but at this point I'm beginning to question if it's even worth it.

    And on an even stranger sidenote, the repairman who's worked on both amps, tells me that he's never able to make the amp fail in his shop. Am I just cursed or something? Well now I've got a shockmount roadcase for an amp I'm not sure is going to work.

    I'm thinking about other alternatives and I'm intrigued by the Thunderfunk TFB550, but at this point I'm still undecided about Ashdown, and very frustrated that it's this difficult for a regular working joe to get an amp that works, with no customer service/repairman drama.

    Thanks for letting me vent,

  2. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Have all these failures occurred while using the same speaker cord or power outlet?
  3. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    I've had my ABM500-RC for 15 months now. I did experience a problem with mine after five months... it began giving off that 'ozone' smell... like something electrical was burning. However, you couldn't feel any unusual heat if you touched the amp, and there was no smoke present, either. This happened two more times after turning on the amp, so I contacted Ashdown directly via email. They assumed I had a "weakened" transformer, so they sent me a new one all the way to Hawaii from England. When it finally arrived, I had a tech-head swap out the transformers... no more 'ozone' smell, and no problems since! However, the tech-head did tell me that, after running several tests, and leaving the amp on overnight, he couldn' find anything wrong with it, and advised that I not swap-out the transformers... he said he would waive his fee of twenty-five bucks if I gave him the replacement transformer Ashdown had sent... I told him to make the swap, and I paid him his $25...

    Sorry to hear about your problem... I really am.
  4. +1

    If it works for the reapirman, you probably have some funky (in a bad way) power cord or something.
  5. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ashdown's are amazing amps when they work properly. I've had two with no problems. However, due to reading too many bad reports on them, I sold mine. Good luck with yours. I really hope that the company can get their act together.
  6. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM

    SOrry to hear about the problems you've had. I must say, perhaps it IS just bad mojo with the amp. I've never as much as seen an Ashdown in person...

    Year ago I had a Carvin amp, and I had heavy problems with it. I had to take it to a shop in my area (couldn't fix it) and I sent it back to them, and had it returned to me. The amp finally crapped out again, same problem, and I've never bought another Carvin amp again. I did buy a bass from them in '89, which I play to this day and it's been no problem for me, though I've been a problem to it. Hell, that bass turns 17 this month!
  7. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    I have not had any problems with mine yet ... I drive the SWR Henry the 8x8 with my ABM 500 EVO II and that's a power hungry 4 ohm cab. I always keep a backup head with me though. Keep me posted on any updates ... BTW who IS the repair person in Memphis?
  8. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses

    Contact Mike Van Tine at Ashdown. Awesome guy and will fix you up inna jiffy. (973) 335-7888
  9. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I've used an array of power cables, speaker cables, basses, guitar cables, etc. and there is still inconsistency. The repairman who has been working on is Rob Hall, who works out Memphis Guitar and Amp works on Madison in midtown. And that is the customer service rep at I've been speaking with, who in all honesty has done nothing but help me out in the situation.

    I have purchased a backup, a Sunn Concert Lead head, that I'm running my bass through. It sounds good for rehearsal, and I'm going to gig with it coming up, unless my Ashdown is sufficiently operational. Thanks for all the replies. I suppose I'm just trying to guage from the board here, how much crap is too much crap to deal with when it comes to gear.

  10. ukbassboy


    Mar 19, 2006
    I dont think you are going crazy... I have just received a Mag 600R with a ABM410t and I had a similar thing in the first hour or so of use. It sounded like a crackly lead or connection and the amp just died away for about 20 secs before returning to normal. I use my cables with other amps without any problems so can pretty much isolate the problem to head or cab. Fortunately for me, it only happened a few times on its first day of use and has been perfect since. Fingers crossed this is the last I will see of it!!!
    Best of luck sorting out your problem.
  11. Espidog


    May 19, 2006
    Hi Dirk,

    I'm based in the UK. I've got a pair of Ashdown ABM 300 combos that I use together in a sort of stereo rig. Bought each of them second hand, and have had both for over a year. Never had a single problem in all that time.

    I'm not just being smug! Something intrigues me about your thread: most of the people who've replied to say that they've had similar problems to you, are based in the USA. I wonder if this problem is more prevalent on Ashdown amps built for your market - i.e. with a power supply made to run off110VAC ??

    Anderbass has his finger on it, I think. If your repairman can't make it happen, have you checked that all your power cables and distributor boards are fully sound and properly earthed?

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