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Ashdown vs GK

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bluemonk, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    What would you say the difference in overall tone is between Ashdown and GK? I've searced, but only found a little bit on Ashdown.
  2. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I own an Ashdown EVO500 and a GK400RB (for sale)GK1001RBII. The Ash is what I call a modern old school sound. Warm and deep. It has a tube in the preamp and an adjustable tube gain or blend knob, which I usually run about 1 o'clock to give it some midrange presence and slight growl. I boost the bass knob anywhere from 1:00 to 3:00, depending on what bass I'm using with what cab. It's frequency boost is at 45hz.

    The GK is a more punchy sound, with the bass knob boost at 60hz. I like it for its clean sound, with some added snarl when you really dig in. It funks/slaps better than the Ash. While it doesn't have the depth the Ashdown has (its the tube), it has a good aggressive modern sound. More of a cut through the mix tone.

    Why do I have both? Moods. Sometimes I want the punchy in your face GK sound. Sometimes I want the smooth deep Ashdown sound. They are both fine fine amps and are not super expensive.
  3. In my experiance with them, they are on two opposite sides of the spectrum. The Ashdown will get that "creamy bass" kind of sound. I'm not saying it's not capable of getting a clean sound, but it's leaning more towards the pillowy, warm side of things.

    The GK, is rather transparent. It has some edge to it, but for the most part, you hear the bass. It would be more suited for modern stuff, slap fiends, and defined tone.

    With all that said, I own a GK 1001RB but would like to have, in a perfect world, an Ashdown pre and a GK pre with a power amp set up. Both top notch amps, just very different.

    Try them out and see what suits you best, good luck.

    EDIT: Looks like Larzito beat me to it. I need to type faster. =)
  4. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    Actually Sheep, I wish GK made a power amp only. On a lark once, I hooked up my Eden pre to the GK...very nice...warm yet punchy...sounds like a commercial don't it?

    In fact, I've contemplated a single space tube preamp like an Ag or Kern going into the GK. I'd have the best of both worlds in a 3 space rack.
  5. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    Thanks for your responses!

    I'm having trouble finding an Ashdown locally and am trying to figure out if it's worth driving a long way to get a listen.

    Also, people describe Ampeg as warm, but I find Ampegs mosty muddy. Does the Ash still provide clarity?
  6. Ashdowns sound better and the above responses are dead on. I would add that even the cheaper ashdowns sound better than GK if you like your bass to sound like thick and meaty. If you like clickity typewriter Fieldy bass, then it really doesn't matter. If you like the woods to come out in your bass more than band-aid electroincs, processing and trendy battery-operated preamps, then go for the Ashdown.

    Alan at Crecesnt City music is authorized dealer for Ashdown, GK, Ampeg and Eden and will sell at a littlle over dealer cost plus shipping. (Mark up is usually 100%.) He is at www.crecesntcitymusic.biz but it is better to call him at 386.698.2874.

    If you want to pay more, then I would suggest Bass Northwest. Those people are also super nice.
  7. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    angel is being too hard on the GK, they can get warm...the knobs turn to the left too...in other words, a GK's eq warms up the sound a lot by cutting treble and high mids and turning up the bass. I'm still learning about its simple but powerful eq. In a loud band setting, some of the finesses of the Ashdown gets lost anyway. Just my observation.
  8. If it sounds crappy with no eq or eq flat then it is a dog. Easier to make a good amp sound rough and edgy than a crappy amp sound warm and organic.
  9. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    When I was shopping for a small powerful combo I tried the GK MB150 and it was really light and nice tone at low to medium volumes but as soon as you started to push it it sounded horrible, I was very unimpressed.

    I finally bought a ABM c110 300 after Steve Lawson had recommended one to me back in the days before he went with accugroove. It the best amp I've tried nothing comes close in tone and quality. I'm sure GK are good but they don't suit my need slike the ashdown does, great all round amp.

    Hope this helps
  10. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    I was in Nashville last week and found a GK to try out (400 RB). I really liked the tone, once I played with the contour button. It could sound unpleasantly hi-fi, but had plenty of warmth plus clarity if you dialed that in. I also found an Ampeg rig (SVT). I played Ampeg in the early 70's and was never all that thrilled with it. The sound, to me, was very deep and boomy, but not at all what I am looking for, which is warmth plus clarity. How does the Ashdown compare to Ampeg?
  11. I have both the Ampeg SVTCL and the Ashdown ABM300 EVO 11 and they are different and yet similar in certain ways.

    For the money the Ashdown is better value and can make some great sounds with good eq range.

    The svtcl well its the classic and thats all you get, basic eq and that growl.

    For the money i would go Ashdown for the badge i would go Ampeg !!
  12. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Between Ashdown and G-K tonewise;
    Ashdowns are hybrids, and having a tube pre-amp will produce a warmer sound overall, but G-K besides having a great punch and very effective eq voicings, uses Bob Gallien's G.I.V.E. circuit design, which I think emulates a tube's warmth and growl about as good as SS circuitry can.

    As with any amp selection, it depends on your instrument and most of all YOU- How you play, what you play, and what YOU think is your voice.

    Either product, as well as Ampeg. would do the job very well.
  13. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK

    GK is nice, but IMO Ashdown is far nicer.
  14. I can also recommend Ashdown.

    I have just purchased a C110 300 Evo II and I love it.

    Great company too. About a month ago , when I had finally decided on what bass combo to buy (I had a 15 year old Trace Elliot that died and I wanted a different sound) I choose the C110 Evo II. Unfortunately when I went to order it , I found out Ashdown had discontinued that model six months ago. I rang Ashdown , and they offered to make me one.It took only three weeks , and I couldn't be happier with it.
  15. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    One more voice for Ashdown.
  16. Having owned and used Trace Elliot for about 10 years, I moved onto Ashdown and am very happy. Have never had the chance to try GK, so couldn't comment on any A/B comparisons.

    Lots of nice tones from the Ashdowns - enough to keep me happy!
  17. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    Sounds like it will be well worth my time to travel the 4 hours I will need to travel to try the Ashdown. Your descriptions and opinions have been very helpful. Thanks!!
  18. sounds like a couple of people have replaced old trace stuff (legendary stuff) with ashdown... good to hear!