Did I Receive a Broken Amp? Ashdown Mag 300 Evo II Questions...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheAndinator, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Hello all,

    I just received a used Ashdown Mag 300 Evo II Head in the mail from Guitar Center and upon plugging the amp head via XLR out into my computer audio interface, found that the input gain along with the VU meter showed little to no gain until the pre-EQ gain was turned all the way up. Even then, I could only reach 20% gain. Upon unplugging my cable from my bass, I could reach a slightly higher gain from the "buzz" of touching the end of the cable with my finger to make sure the bass itself wasn't the issue. Doubling down on the making sure It wasn't user error, I plugged my guitar into the amp with little to no gain higher than 20% when boosting the EQ as well. The effect return sounds normal if nothing else, but I do prefer to use the amp as properly intended. I am currently unable to test the speaker output, but the problem seems to be the gain before EQ. The EQ, Bright, Deep, and Compressor switches still work, I am unsure about the Subharmonic knob. Does that only work on the Cab output or do I maybe not have enough signal going through to even let it work? If not, that might be a problem too. I briefly opened the head to only see a blue capacitor on the other side of the amp face circuit board that seemed to have the plastic blue covering coming off. It was still attached, but seemed to be losing the outer plastic nonetheless. The input gain knob was a little scratchy at first, but lost the noise upon turning it up and down a few times to loosen up whatever was in there. Otherwise, everything seemed in place. The amp still functions, but the preamp gain is abysmal for both active and passive inputs. Is this something that would require an expensive repair from a local shop? Is there any sort of way I could get guitar center to repair it for free due to it being slightly broken upon receiving it? I really don't want to have to return it because I got it for a good price and it was stated to be properly working based on their "good" description, but oh well.

    I appreciate any help that can be given. Have a great day!
  2. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    MAGEBEVOIIMANUAL (shopify.com)

    The manual says "DIRECT INJECT ( D.I. ) - A balanced D.I. is provided on the front panel XLR socket. This provides a Post E.Q. Post effects signal. The output signal from this XLR socket is set to a level and impedance suitable for connecting directly into a Balanced Microphone input of a mixing desk for either Direct Injection into the PA system or for recording."

    If I read the schematics correctly, the gain on the DI output is fixed even though it is post pre and EQ. I believe the subharmonics should be part of the EQ, hence should be audible via DI.
    I wouldn't try to repair it, as you've found questionable issues already. Return it for refund to GC.
    TheAndinator likes this.
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    The post eq DI output will change level with the input gain, this is normal.

    Wait until you can check it with a speaker, the meter really does not provide any meaningful information and has caused false conclusions in the past. Also, the sub-harmonic control may be very difficult to hear with headphones.

    I doubt the cap has anything to do with your perceived problem (that may not actually be a problem).
    TheAndinator likes this.
  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    The VU function varies significantly from model to model on Ashdowns. I have a Small Block 427 and a CTM300 and the VU hardly moves even when the amps are cranked. On other models the VU moves quite a bit. I can't say for sure how it responds on this particular model, but I though it moved quite a bit if you crank the gain up...but it's entirely window dressing.

    Maybe this video will help you out.
    TheAndinator likes this.
  5. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    Don't believe anything the meter says. I have an earlier Mag 300. I have never been able to get the meter to move any higher than the first third of the meter.
    Wasnex and agedhorse like this.
  6. Thank you so much for all the replies. Thankfully, I was able to borrow an 8 ohm speaker to test the output and even though the minimum ohms are 4, the output was abysmal. My 20 watt practice amp is louder. I think it’s best as recommended to return the amp to guitar center. Unfortunately I can’t get a full refund for shipping as well. I was really excited to use this amp too... Here’s to hoping for a better result with the refund money!
    Wasnex and agedhorse like this.
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