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Buying used Ashdown amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassBot5000, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. BassBot5000


    Nov 17, 2008
    Anaheim, CA
    So I've been GASing for an Ashdown ABM 500 for a while, and I'm heading out to investigate a used one on Craigslist. I've looked through a bunch of posts and it there seems to be some reliability issues with Ashdown amps (i.e. amps blowing up, low power output, unexpected hums) Is this related to the newer overseas made gear only, or was there a "bad year" in Ashdown production? The amp I'm looking at was made in 2001, UK made, so it's fairly early in Ashdown history. Along similar lines, are there any thoughts about Ashdowns holding up in the long run?

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Ive been using and endorsing Ashdown amps for a little over 14 years. And in all honesty I have yet to have a problem with reliability issues. On occassio I use the UK built ABM EVO II 500's as well as the new ABM EVO III 500's (china made) and the two versions sound very much alike. And I have no concerns with worrying about any issues with these amps. And they are stock models with the same tubes in them that came with the amps.
  3. oldsalt


    Mar 14, 2011
    Lowell, MA
    My amps have held up with no problems. Play it with confidence. Download the manual & have fun! Ashdown has great customer service if you ever have a question. Let us know how it goes!
  4. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    Never had an issue with anything from Ashdown. AFAIK, the problems Ashdown had with the ABM line was just when they moved ABM production to China. Prior to that, and after things were up and running smoothly, Ashdowns have been as reliable as any other line of amps.
  5. Here we go again....

    There are about 8-10 TB'ers who had legitimate issues with Ashdown gear several years ago. Ashdown has probably sold several thousand fully functional amps since then.

    I would not worry.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

  7. BassBot5000


    Nov 17, 2008
    Anaheim, CA
    Thanks for the help everybody. I've been a big fan of Ashdown for a while and I'm glad to hear their quality hasn't suffered! I'll let you know how this amp turns out!
  8. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    I have a Mag300 No issues in the year Ive had it and I bought it used.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    As with any used gear, regardless of brand, take your stuff with you so you know how it sounds on your stuff, turn it up....loud....make sure there are no funny noises that don't present themselves ar low volume. Work every knob, switch and control on the thing, even ones you may never use to insure they all do what they're supposed to do. When home country manufactures have moved to Asia, automatically put a lower value on the asian models, higher value on the home country models. These people left home for one reason and one reason only, to maximize profits. They went there to cheap out and don't think labor is the only thing they cheaped out on. When wages go from $20 to 20 cents and prices don't come down, you'd be naive to think they wouldn't gouge you elsewhere, like component quality, soldering skills, etc. The asian model may indeed be up to snuff but you don't know that, if it is, your valuing scheme is in your favor. Know the equipment and equipment in general. Know the difference between dirty pots and problem amps. Know the difference between rattling grills and bad speakers....and use it to your advantage.

    More importantly, size up the seller. Is this a person who knows what they're talking about/takes good care of their gear? Or is this a person who has a $150 dollar haircut and treats their gear like yesterdays vomit? That will often tell you more about the gear than the actual gear will. If you can't meet the seller in person....don't buy it, plain and simple. I've offered less than 1/2 of what was asked and also walked away from seemingly "good deals" just because of who the seller was, not what the gear was. I've also bought stuff without even trying it, and paid asking price, again, because of who the seller was. I have a wacky little knack for this and haven't got taken yet, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else, check out the gear as much as you can.
  10. BassBot5000


    Nov 17, 2008
    Anaheim, CA

    The amp has been fully inspected and purchased, and is sitting cozily by my side as I type this. I agree whole heartedly about sizing up the seller, as I had my concerns about this sale because the seller lived in a somewhat shady area. However, he was very nice, had a great little studio/rehearsal space that was clean, and the amp was exactly as described. Cannot wait to try it out at the next band rehearsal. If any TBer's are interested, he also had a couple oiled birch Bag End cabs for sale that were very nice.

    As far as country of origin is concerned, that actually wasn't really my biggest concern (and I topic I am EXTREMELY hesitant to bring up here...), as I have only owned and used foreign made basses my entire life. I should have been more specific in my concerns, as I really wanted to know if there was a certain era of Ashdown production, UK or PRC, that experienced more problems than others. Much gratitude to you all for your input!

    Good lord, this amp is pretty. I'm gonna stop typing and start annoying my neighbors. ;)
  11. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    I've said it before but I just can't trust that a individual will pack a esp, large amp head well enough to satisfy me that it will arrive undamaged. I have sent a GBE600 and recieved a GBE750 with good results a few years ago.

    Last couple of cabs I bought used here arrived with the boxes beat to hell and the cabs suffered some minor issues. I've even had a couple get abit angered when I've asked if they are capable of packing an larger item well and how they will go about packing it. Actually, made some deals fall thru.

    But as the buyer I think I have the right to ask that. If the item arrives badly damaged, my trouble is only starting, the seller has his money in hand. A TBer that sent one of those cabs was very helpful on his part and I appreciated that. So it may not be a total nightmare with some.

    I've shipped and received amps, cabs, basses etc with success, so I know it can be done. Just that those last couple cabs turned me off to having large items shipped to me. Anyway, I look for local deals at least for large items. But if a seller can convince me they will pack well I just might buy something used again. I'm so scared that any used Evo II/III just won't get to me in good condition. None local yet.

    And with my experience with my first/last Evo RCII, bought new locally but failed on me badly. Who's to say a seller may not be shipping a already damaged amp then blame that on the shipping. One would hope not but I'm just jaded now I guess. That being said, I'm now looking at a used, 20lb or so bass head I might buy on TB, so I'm hopeful used amps can be packed/shipped safely. :)
  12. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    +1 on getting the 2001 ABM!

    I had all 3 version s (EVO I, II, III) and all were sounding great (wondering why I sold them in the first place). The only issue I had was with the chinese made EVO III: the fan noise was audible through the speakers.

    Having said this, a few months ago I got myself a used EVOII again and it has become my favourite amp (of the 6 I am owning right now)
  13. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    Hi Jaquo. Can you tell me what the Push/Flat button has to do with the input? I can't make sense out of it. It seems to not be related to the input/mix knob.See Pic. Thanks.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Once I get the basic tone I'm going for, I just leave it and forget it. It's almost like having an active/passive option on the amp.

    This is from the Ashdown EVO manual.

    PUSH FLAT / SHAPE - With this button in its
    OUT position a fixed E.Q. is superimposed on
    the preamp to give a bright but punchy
    character to the sound. Pushing this button
    IN returns the preamp to a Flat frequency
    response. This function may also be
    controlled from a footswitch. For the
    footswitch to operate, this button must be in
    its OUT position.
  15. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    I read that but this is the old ABM500 UK original. Is it the same? Thanks

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I just looked at one of my UK built EVO II RC heads and there is the push flat/shape button and right under it is the passive/active button.

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