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Ashdown MAG 300 VS GK Backline 600

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by topper, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Any opinions on these two heads? I'm considering buying one or the other. It will be going through a Hartke 2-10 with aluminum drivers (200 watts at 8 ohms) I play mostly progressive indie sort of rock. Any thoughts?
  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    MAG-300. I think it's a bit better quality than the GK and even has more prestige among gearheads. Nice warm tone, the EQ's on it are set at just the right frequencies for rock.
  3. Anybody know what the RMS output of the Ashdown is at 8ohms? I can't find it anywhere. My Hartke cab will take 200 watts.

    Also what's the deal with the sub-harmonic generator on the MAG 300. Is this useable or is it more of a gimmick?
  4. at 8ohms around 180watts, i only used the sub harmoic generator on very low on realy bassy songs
  5. The power on the Ashdown sounds like a good match. I'm not sure I'd use the sub-harmonic generator. I have a digitech bass synth pedal with an octaver that I almost never use (unless I'm playing Tainted Love).

    I've read some user reviews of the Ashdown that say it's kind of noisy. Anyone here experience that?
  6. I have Mag 300 combo. I really love it. I will say that the Sub HArmonizer is sort of a gimmik, it does change the sound but only slightly. I never use it. IMO it has that 70's sort of Ampeg vibe to it. I want to buy a 210 extension but for now it is great and I get alot of compliments on the tone.
  7. Mine isn't noisy at all; the only times I've had problems with noise are when it's plugged into a crummy circuit like my basement.:D
    The Subharmonic Generator is cool for certain things, but it's only really useful on the mids. Once you get down to E and below, it's a mud machine. A little touch of it is nice for reggae, I just wish it was on a footswitch.
    Overall I really like it. I've played lots of different styles and I've always been able to dial in a sound that I like.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Click on my sig to read my glowing review of the Backline 600 head. There is a picture of the Mag 300 innards at the Ashdown site. Granted it is probably an engineering unit, so it is not cosmetically perfect, but you can judge the design and build quality. Plus I have seen the inside of my BL600. There is no reason to believe that Ashdown is any better designed or built than GK.

    A subtle "problem" with the GK is that the default voicing may not be to everybody's liking, but my review shows how to dial it flat. Then it is really a blank slate, and the EQ contours are quite effectively designed.

    It really boils down to tone, and which of the effects, if any, you care more about.
  9. The reviews on Harmony Central are generally more positive about the GK. People seem passionate about it, whereas there's a lot of "well it's a good amp for $300" about the Ashdown. I'm turned off by the sub-harmonic thing. The idea just seems to cheapen an otherwise good amp.

    None of my local stores carry either of these amps so I can't try them out without a road trip to a bigger town. So I really appreciate the help deciding on this!
  10. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    On the sub-harmonizer, at least on the Evo-2 that I used for a bit, it doesn't act like a effect so much as an element of the tone. Its cool to add some sometimes to get just the right tone, especially when the EQ doesn't quite cut it.
  11. piero132


    Sep 4, 2008
    Hi my name is piero im a bassit from south florida, I was reading your review about the gk bl600. I have the same amp and a ampeg svt410 hlf cab,I play a musicman stingray. My problem is that i dont know how to eq my amp?? I dont know whats the difference between midlow and highlows?? or boost??level A or voicing?? its always been a problem for me. I would really appreciate if you could help me, I play alot of funk Im looking for a nice round sound with a nice slap action. If you could send a picture of your setting so i can have an idea, I would really appreciate your help. Thank you
  12. GoGoBassist


    Jul 6, 2009
    I just bought the EVOII combo. really nice sounding amp. it is quite noisy, altho i've got alot of the high settings cranked way up. i'm going for a sort of old school punk sound with a lot of brightness, so i guess it's expected to have buzz. i'm also playing a Fender J MM thru it on the active setting.

    one thing that is worrying is a distinct cracking sound whenever I power down. don't know what that's about. this is the first biggish amped that i've owned. can anyone help me out?
  13. Personally I hate the MAG series from Ashdown, haven't heard an amp or cab that I've like from them. Plus the amps seem to be very dishonestly rated, against my Laney head which was around a similar price point and also rated at 300W I get ALOT more out of my Laney. The Sub Harmonic thing is a joke on the MAG series too considering it doesn't really have enough power to project itself very well without it on in the first place. Might be being a little harsh coming from a rock perspective and all, but even the tone of the things seems very muddy to me.

    If your considering Ashdown pay the difference for an EVO series, last time I checked they weren't much more expensive given how much of an improvement they are on them, real nice amps.
  14. OlSkewl56


    May 26, 2007
    South Texas
    I've got a pre Evo II mag 300 and upgraded to an ABM. Simpler eq on the mag, but similar voicing. Never use the sub on either,nor the compressor. (I run an EBS multicomp) To me the Ashdown has a more classic sound, but "cleaned up".
    I've never ran a GK so I cannot coment on them other than their poularity.
  15. GoGoBassist


    Jul 6, 2009
    ah, i see, power down pops are normal.
  16. orlando123


    May 26, 2009
    Hello, I own a Mag 300R and it should match up pretty good with your Hartke. I use mine with an old Ashdown 2x10 cab thats rated at 200 watts and it sounds great. I also use the sub harmonic effect but only with a larger speaker configuration. And only a small amount to fill up the room. You wont notice it with the 2x10 cab though. I use mine with a 15 and a SWR Big Ben 18". You will feel the lows with that.
  17. John Herzog

    John Herzog Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    I've owned both and I'm going to have to go with the GK. In fact I went through 2 of the mag 300s, but both of them quit working. The GK has been far more reliable and has even been dropped a couple of times by a silly singer and it still works.
  18. techbassist22


    Oct 4, 2011
    I have owned both amps and both are great its just a matter of the tone you are looking for, personally I would say the ashdown, as far as the power anyone that says it doesn't have any doesn't have their settings set, the cab I use is over 80lbs and this amp is powerful ebough if you turn up three quarters you have to watch you stack because it will start to walk, the gk has never made my stack walk. Both are great amps though and I would agree the ashdown has a more classic sound, the octaver is a gimic it will muddy your sound on the lower registers. The gk comes with a built in bass overdrive which is alright but can be difficult to level with your clean channel at lower volumes I ended up needing to get a volume pedal to get the 2 channels leveled without losing any tone

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