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Ashdown RM115T-EVO - What is it really for?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Martycee, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Martycee


    Jul 19, 2016
    So there I was needing a new budget cab to go with an Ashdown MAG 220 head I use in a modest size live music residency. I'd been hooking up the head to one of my EBS Proline cabs, the 1x15 from an on-stage rig but because of forthcoming touring commitments, didn't fancy carting it in and out of the residency and simply wanted a small lightweight cab I could leave in situ. A trawl of the Internet revealed a mountain of options and large variation in price, power and weight.

    Although I hadn't tried one out, I was attracted to the Ashdown EVO cabs as a natural partner for the MAG 220 along with their astonishing lack of weight. I went looking for reviews but only found a couple of YouTube videos that concentrated mostly on reviewing the new amp heads with little said about the cabs other than their lightness. In the end I decided to give the 1x15 RM115T-EVO rated at 300 Watts a try at a very competitive sale price of just under £240, supplied by an on-line retailer with a 30 day money back guarantee. Coming from the old school 'bigger is better' camp I was somewhat concerned at how such a tiny unit would perform. I took some confidence however from my EBS experience where a dramatic reduction in the size from double 4x10 Ampeg stacks I used to own, still gave great bang for buck and also saved my rapidly ageing back.

    When I unpacked the Ashdown, I sat staring in disbelief at this pipsqueak of a cab. My gut instinct that it would struggle became all too evident after minute one plugging in my 5-string. Soon as my playing dropped below fret 5 on the B string the trouble started. The speaker excursion became too great and it complained at me immediately. It was obvious that a second cab to spread the load was essential and the 1x15 was not a practical standalone option except for home practice and really small rooms.

    As I unplugged the speaker a glance at the label revealed that it was actually marked as 250 Watts. I'm no expert at how these things are measured but why would it be marketed as 300? I also noticed that the switchable tweeter control had virtually no effect on the higher frequencies and a rather dull old fashioned rock sound was all I could get out of it. To partner up the cab with say its identical size 2x10 brother would have cost around another £280. That would have made the total speaker combo cost over £500, a bit pricey for its intended use and way too retro sounding for me. Sadly, it went straight back in the box for return and refund.

    Maybe I'm missing something here but it seems to me that Ashdown may have fallen into the trap of style over substance with this range of cabinets. Great looking they most certainly are but in performance that 1x15 was really very disappointing. It might have been back to the drawing board till I stumbled across the awesome Fender Rumble 115 in a Cardiff music store. Five minutes spent playing through that ported Eminence driver with its compression tweeter and it was in the car and heading for its new home at less than £90 more and only 4kg gain in weight.

    Lesson learned. It's definitely a no exceptions return to 'try before you buy' from now on, something though that is sadly becoming more and more difficult as large well stocked music stores slowly disappear from our streets.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  2. DaveDeBass


    Jan 2, 2018
    Having acquired the exact same Ashdown model, and having negotiated a replacement tweeter from Ashdown (they said one batch of speakers may have had 'leaky tweeters' causing some distortion) the nasty resonance disappeared but the exact same problem of excessive speaker cone excursion occurred on the lower notes of the E string and my GK 300w/ Ashdown RM115T combination would not cope with volume of any significance - certainly not for a medium sized gig.
    OK for the bedroom I guess but that's about it.
  3. Mowbro


    Jul 6, 2015
    I recently bought this same cab to go with my rm500 112 combo. It really boosts the overall volume by adding that 115 ext cab. I’m mostly playing four strings these days, but have tried my five strings through it and didn’t have the issues you were describing. I tried the 115 cab by itself using my markbass Big Bang head and found that I had to turn up the head more than I would if I was using the ny121 cab. It’s definitely not as efficient as other 115s in the price range. It’s not ported and also a much smaller footprint. But I also found it does much better with a flat-ish eq setting as it doesn’t do well with the bass control past 2 o’clock.

    As for the Leaky tweeter issue the 115 cab I bought didn’t have that issue, but the rm500 112 combo I bought did. After an exchange the new unit didn’t have that issue. That was a very annoying sound it made so I’m glad I got one with a updated tweeter. I’ve only had that issue with one other cab before.

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