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Ashdown: Problematic?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RSchuster, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    In a few days, I may very well be the proud owner of an Ashdown MAG300 head (or ABM500 EVO II if Dad is feeling particularly generous this Christmas season), and he was told by the people at the guitar/amp store that Ashdowns are amazing amps but that they're incredibly unreliable and prone to fizzing out without warning and after a very short period of time. Now, this store is a small business that has been around for decades and they know what they're talking about, at least when it comes to basses and guitars. I've also heard a lot about Ashdown's amp problems in the past couple years, with things blowing up and such.

    Now, I emailed them when I was researching amps and asked about this problem, and they told me they'd figured out what it was and fixed the problem, and now all their amps are fine and it doesn't happen anymore. Is this true? Or are Ashdown amps still prone to failing spontaneously? Have they fixed the problems that the amps were having in the past?
  2. classx


    Dec 19, 2006
    Defiance Ohio
    I also bought an Ashdown recently and giged out with it on December 8th. Half way through the show the speakers quit working. However the pre amp section was still sending a signal to the board. So I just had the sound guy turn me up in the monitor. When it happened it sounded like all my speakers blew, with a buzzing horrible sound. The next day I checked the speakers and they were fine. I called the company I got it from and they accepted a return on it. www.music123.com 45 day satisfaction gurantee.. However this was a manufacturer problem so the 45 days really dosn't apply.

    My advice ? Well it sounded great through 1-15" and 2-10's and it weighs a lot less than my vintage Ampeg V4B. Would I buy another one? NO... I would go with Ampeg.

    Good Luck
  3. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    What model did you use?
  4. classx


    Dec 19, 2006
    Defiance Ohio

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Almost 10 years of using Ashdown amps and cabs and I have yet to have a problem.
  6. +1. :smug: :smug: :smug: :smug:
  7. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I've an ABM Evo 300 head and ABM 1x15 cab, they've been 100% reliable for the last 5 years. A mate of mine had a Fallen Angel combo which crapped out twice before they replaced it completely for him.
  8. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    This thing about Ashdown being unreliable is becoming more and more present on the board. Some suggests that this happens only to USA products.
  9. catsx3tom


    Dec 22, 2006
    Ashdown combo (400 watt head) and 250 watt cab (single speaker not sure what size.. sorry im not too techy) sorry im not sure the model name. cost me £600.

    A friend of mine blew the speaker at a gig (i think he just had it too loud) ashdown were kind enough to sort it out, took about a week.

    then about 3 years later (after lots of practicing and giggin) there was a problem with the 'earthing' or something in the head but i think this might have been my fault as I used a kettle lead from my PC (as i thought kettle leads were all the same... they arnt are they? :p) to power it. Coast £80 from the music shop to repair it.

    So no im not dissatisfied with my ashdown, it sounds great :)
  10. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    If you check back a while I posted a huge thread about my problems with Ashdown.

    Long story short, there WERE IN FACT a large number of USA amps that arrived with mild to moderate problems.... all of these problems have been corrected so unless you're buying an amp thats been sitting on the shelf since 2002 .... theres a 1 in 1000 chance you'll have a problem... in which case there's a 100% chance the amp will be replaced immediatly.

    I went thru hell and back with these amps and I still use them for live and recording EVERYTHING.

    After a month or so of gigging with them you'll understand why...

    :bassist: :bassist:
  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I just bought the ABM500 EVO II yesterday. This amp has such great tone! Obviously since I've had it for almost 24 hours I can't comment on reliability, but I'm loving the smooth buttery tone this amp generates! :D
  12. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    I've had my ABM 500 EVO II for a few months now and push :bassist: it every weekend. No problems at all. Nothing but compliments from band mates and sound engineers.
  13. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I had an Ashdown Electric Blue 150 combo amp that was pretty neat at the time. It served me well for about 3 years with no problems whatsoever.

    However, I sold it off when I started using Trace Elliot and about 2 weeks after the guy who bought it from me got it, it conked out (had a dry solder or something, he said). I remember when Sound Control Newcastle stopped selling Ashdowns. According to one member of staff, it was becuase they wanted to diversify their range of bass amps. According to one member of staff, with less of a sense of duty, it was because they kept having them returned when they broke down. I know a local bassist who traded in his ABM rig because of technical problems with it and started using Ampeg instead. Crashdown indeed.
  14. cmhgreg


    Oct 26, 2004
    Columbus, OH
    I've never had a problem with my MAG300 in the 2+ years I've had it. (Knock, knock). Also, I have emailed their tech support department in the UK twice regarding questions about their cabs and pedals and both times I received a very helpful response inside of 24 hours. These guys truly do stand behind their products, even when there is a problem. Apparently, some of their gear has gone to market before it was ready, which isn't a good thing. It happened recently with some of their pedals that were released within the year. But at least they aren't afraid to admit it and try to make things right. When gear craps out, especially at the wrong time, they aren't going to be able to make that right. And some people will never forgive them for it and will tell you about it any chance they get, which they are entitled to do. Such is life.

    Like anything else you buy, do your homework and know what you're getting. And take what you read on the internet with a healthy dose of salt. People with an axe to grind are more likely to post about their problems than the multitudes of happy customers who have no reason to go out of their way to say they got what they paid for and are satisfied (at least IMHO).
  15. PWV

    PWV Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 28, 2006
    Gotta say, I've been reading them too and I feel like I'm in an alternate universe. I've run MAGs and ABMs, heads and speakers with no problems whatsoever for over three years now.
  16. Well... here I am again on the 'reliability issue':D

    I have no comment on the Ashdown thing, other than to once again point out that posts from those who 'have had no problems' are irrelevant to the unreliablity issue. As I've posted many times (this involves my day gig as a statistician/consultant), even the worst (i.e., most unreliable) products will have many, many users with no problems whatsoever.

    The concept of 'unreliability' has to do with the failure rate of a given product compared to the industry in general, and more specifically to similar products in the same category (in this case, mid price range bass amplification). Even a horrible failure rate of 20% will still result in 80% of the owners having no problems. However, the PROBABILITY of having a problem on a gig goes WAY up with these problematic pieces of gear, even though many can use them without any issue.

    Again, not pounding on Ashdown (they seem to have made some improvements recently that will hopefully eliminate these seemingly increased failure rates versus other products).

    Finally, while TB is not a representative sample of bassists, it is probably a representative sample of early adopter gearheads:D ... which makes the number of failure posts a pretty good indicator IMO of more widespread problems.
  17. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I bought my MAG300 head a couple of years ago in 'New - Sold As Used' condition off of ebay from a company that was parting out shipping disasters, (e.g. my head came from a combo that was broken in shipment... The company parted out the speaker and head and threw away the box.)

    I've had two problems...

    First, a circuit board was cracked right at one of the mounting points, (probably due the the 'shipping disaster'). This manifested itself right away as an annoying buzz when playing. I focussed my considerable 'super-gluing' skills on the problem, and viola! Fixed!

    Second, the ubiquitous 'cold solder connection'... Let me say that by the time this problem arose, I had played many, many gigs with the amp with zero issues, and if I had been fortunate enough to have a warranty, I would have probably been outside the window. This fix was merely a matter of tracking down and re-soldering the connection...

    This amp has taken numerous bumps, kifs, and falls and still holds up... With the way that Ashdown stands behind their product, I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them!

  18. They can stand behind their product all they want. That does me no good on a paying gig (or worse, audition for a paying gig) when their gear craps out mid-set. I always have a back-up plan - direct box (just in case), but I'm still not taking chances and I read about these sorts of problems, I don't care how strong they stand behind their product, I'm not buying their product until those ratings improve significantly.
  19. I have a MAG 300 115c and I love it. I have never had a problem "YET". I hope to upgrade to an ABM EVOII 500 soon.

    I have worked as an engineer for many years in Motion Picture, Television, Radio, and semiconductor manufacturing. I don't care how good a reputation some piece of gear has or how much you paid for it etc. Everything Fails! Have a back up plan or suffer the consequences. It’s that simple.

    Ashdown had a bad run with a problem part, I believe a power transformer. That happens; they corrected the situation in production and warrantee the effected product that is really all anyone can expect from them.

    I have read more good reviews from people who have suffered through these problems and continue to stand by their choice than not, and more bad reviews from people who seem to just like bashing gear they don't own.

    My $0.02

  20. Ashdown developed an enviable reputation, but, like most companys they constantly search for wider profit margins; and the easiest way to increase profits is to procure (Buy) parts overseas; in fact very far overseas like South East Asia, even my G&L L2500 Tribute Bass had a problem with far eastern parts.
    I've been using Ashdown gear since just after they started production, an ABM 500, Entwistle preamp & Electric Blue Combo, the only problems have been 1 VU metre replaced and an LED in the on off switch
    Quiz, does anyone know which country has a hand in building 'Orange amps' as well as the UK?

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