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Ashdown MAG 300 vs. Trace AH250?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brian Middleton, Apr 6, 2005.


  1. Brian Middleton

    Brian Middleton

    Feb 4, 2005
    Boston
    I'm in the last stages of a cab upgrade hunt, and one of the finalists is an SB112/B210 Neo stack from Avatar.

    If I do go that route, I've thought about grabbing one of those Ashdown MAG 300 amps, and I want some advice. The amp i'm using right now is a Trace Elliot AH250, about 15 years old. I've never liked the sound of this amp--through any cabinet I've tried, it sounds sterile in a low-fi way, if that's not a contradiction. The low end is flabby and the mids are kind of nasal and grainy, and the sound overall lacks focus. I want an amp with either more drive and punch or more clarity, preferably both.

    My question is, would I notice an improvement with the MAG 300, or would that be a sideways move? I know Ashdown is run by the guys who used to engineer the Trace stuff back in the 80's when my current amp was designed.

    Any advice? Should I just upgrade the cabs now and shop for an amp separately?
     
  2. My advice would be to go find a store close to youthat carries the Ashdown and listen to it. Maybe even bring in your Trace to do an AB comparison.

    I have a MAG300 and find it to be "solid state" sounding - clean and somewhat brittle to me, but I think that about all SS amps. I've never compared it to a Trace before, so I can't really tell you if it's much different, although I expect it would be just based on it's age. OTOH, the build quality of the Trace is going to be much better than the chinese built MAG heads. Maybe you could find a MAG250, which is UK built.
     
  3. Brian Middleton

    Brian Middleton

    Feb 4, 2005
    Boston
    I agree that's a good idea, except that I've never seen an Ashdown--any Ashdown--in a store. There's a local "mom & pop" guitar store that claims to be an Ashdown dealer, but I've never actually seen any in there. Guitar Center never stocks anything but Ampeg, SWR, Behringer and the occasional GK or Eden.

    No question about the build quality of the Trace--it's been through the wars, been dropped and had things dropped on it, spills, etc., and it keeps coming back for more after 15 years. I just wish I liked the sound.

    "Somewhat brittle" doesn't sound encouraging on the MAG, though. I have a feeling I'm going to have to spend more money....oh well.

    Thanks for the advice....
     
  4. Don't get me wrong, I just think all SS amps are bright, or sterile (as in hifi), or too clean. I'm just a tube guy I guess. Don't rule it out because of my opinion.

    I think you would find it tight in the low-mids. I just mine and haven't really played it much, but I don't think 'nasally' would be what I would call it.

    There have been a few threads lately about the MAG300, if you haven't already done a search that would be a good place to start.
     
  5. nspbass

    nspbass

    Nov 26, 2004
    I have the MAG 300 going into an Avatar B212, and I think it sounds great. I can get all kinds of different sounds from it, from a great slap sound (which is incredibly hard to get from my bass) to a big, fat, warm, round, punchy sound. Just my thoughts.

    nspbass
     
  6. Brian Middleton

    Brian Middleton

    Feb 4, 2005
    Boston
    Well, the question of getting the MAG300 with an Avatar cab is moot, since in the end I went with a Schroeder 1212. I still have to decide on an amp, but it'll be a separate purchase.

    Thanks for all the feedback, folks.