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Ashdown questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lawndart, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. lawndart


    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    Im thinking (just thinking) that my Mesa Walkabout might not be the sound im looking for. I was entertaining the idea of switching it with an Ashdown ABM 500 II.
    What will the Asdown give me compared to the Walkabout? Also how is the qaulity of the Ashdowns....I played a MAg300 4x10 combo the other day and alot of the buttons where all jacked up. is that common with other Ashdowns....and hows its their reliability?

    Thank you
  2. I have an orig UK MAG 200w 4x10t. It's performed flawlessly (not a single issue in 5 yrs) and sounds much better, IMHO, than the new Chinese-made ones. I tried a Walkabout awhile back and there's no comparison between the two. In fact after a/b-ing my combo v. 5 other amps the only one I preferred was an Aguilar setup that would have set me back waaaay too much $.

    I don't think the knob situation is typical, but I've only played one new MAG. I am considering selling my combo to downsize my rig (moved to a POD-rack setup - I play Chapman Stick which works great w/ the POD. If I were playing bass still I'd keep the combo). If you're interested we can discuss $ and or trade. I'll need to replace the MAG w/ a power amp and 2x10 or 1x12 cabinet. My UK MAG amp listed for $1,600 new in '00. I got a good deal buying it NOS but I'd be looking for around $600.

    Email me if you have questions (I've done a ton of research on Ashdown) or if you're int in my amp.

  3. A subtle hint re: the MAG

    I run an EH Black Finger tube/optical compressor from my Stick into the MAG input. Though I haven't played an ABM, I've had a Trace SMX, Ampeg SVT and Mesa 400+ so I'm kinda used to tube amps. The EH compressor (w/ 2 12ax7s @ 300 volts) adds all the warmth lacking in a solid state head IMHO. It's an inexpensive alternative to forking the extra $ for an amp w/ a tube pre.
  4. lawndart


    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    thank you for your input and offer. Although id be looking at just a head. Its a shame that they are made in China now. Kinda takes away from the 'Brit" vibe.
  5. mahrous


    Aug 13, 2005
    no question that Mesa is top quality stuff! i would love to own Mesa at some point in time but the MAG is all i can afford for the time being and its a great head for its price.
    as for the sound, its pretty different than the Mesa. the mids are definitely audible with lots and lots of clarity ... unlike the Mesa which might sound a bit scooped with its very own distinctive tone that people have some difficulties changing at times. the Ashdown changes well as you desire it to be. i am not saying teh Ashdown is better ... its different.

    i have bought mine 3 months ago from California and its a UK model and only paid $230 for it. everything works fine as it is. i know a bunch of people who own other MAGs and never had problems with them for years now.
  6. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    I find that the Ashdown is big, bassy and brash. I also find that the sound deteriotes (to my ears) when the grind is added in. The opposite of what I expected in fact.

    Having said that I haven't used it at gig volume yet. I have a few pre-amps - Ampeg SVPCL, Alembic F1X, Trace Elliott GP12SMX and to me at least, they all sound better than my Ashdown. I've heard that they sound like Ampegs but clearer - I'm not sure If I would agree with that, I think they do have their own sound and for me, it is quite solid-state.

    I think I would prefer the Mesa - I've only ever tried a M Pulse 360 and found that to be very smooth sounding. I think I could tweak that to my liking esp. with the parametric eq that is has.
  7. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I own both a Walkabout and an Ashdown ABM500EVO Rackmount. Original Series, not the EVOII.

    First, I believe the ABM series are made in UK, not China. The MAG series is the one that is built in China.

    They are two different sounding amps. The Ashdown has LOADS more power and headroom. In fact, I use my ABM500 EVO with Bergantino HT322 cabinet that is known to be power hungry and it is stunning.

    I found the opposite compared with another post. The Walkabout has incredible mids. I don't find it to be scooped sounding at all. The Ashdown can be a bit bassy, but with both passive tone knobs (bass/mid/treble) paired with 76 band active EQ, I can dial in or out whatever sounds I want.

    My guitarist tells me that my Ashdown ABM500 EVO sounds like a refined SVT. I have to agree, but I can also get some very clean, clear sounds louder than I can get from the Walkabout. Hope this helps. Gary