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HELP! Euphonic Audio 800 Head or Ashdown 500 EV II Head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by savinggrace, May 14, 2005.

  1. I am torn between the two. I currently own an original Euphonic Audio I-amp and need more power. I think both of these amps are more articulate on the low end of things. They both have more headroom. But the problem is that no place near me carries either of these amps. The original i-Amp's were originally made by Ashdown. I think the 500 EV II will be warmer than my I-Amp but the newer Euphonic Audio amps will not be as warm and I would like the warmth. However, I also want the low end and a "large sound" to really come though. I play a Read custom bass (mahogany wood) with Lane Poor pickups. Will the warmth of the mahogany come through the EA 800 or should I go with the Ashdown? Thank You.

  2. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Do you want the natural sound of your bass, only louder or do you want an amp that will 'warm it up' even more?

    The Ashdown (IME) adds substantial warmth to whatever is fed to it. The one time I played with one, I didn't have any luck trying to un-dial the added warmth in the low end.

    I haven't heard an iAmp live yet, so all I know is what I've read here -- the 800 has a very powerful low end that seems to add a bit of 'solid slam', but is otherwise fairly 'hi-fi' when set flat.
    The thing with the iAmps is the versatility added by the EQ options. I would think if you wanted 'added' warmth you can add it; if you want your bass to come through naturally, I think it will also do that pretty well.
    The iAmp-800 also has a lot of headroom (2500W peak).

    If would want really warm, all the time, you might get the Ashdown.

    I'd pick the iAmp-800.
  3. Lo Freq-
    Thanks for your input! Did you play with the Ashdown 500 EV or 500 EV II? I think the EV II is as supposed to be as warm as the EV but is a bit more clear on the low end. I am just trying to get a better perspective as far as where you are coming from. I do think what you said is pretty dead on. I am coming from the other angle though, where I have never played a Ashdown. The part about not being able to take away the warmth from the Ashdown is a pretty important consideration. As long as I can somehow boost frequencies to the EA to "add warmth", than that would be the best pick. I would like to replicate the natural sound of the bass as much as possible, but I am also afraid the 800 might make the bass too glossy/ ho-fi. What amp do you play through? Oh and I also use a Epifani 2x12 cab (an older version).
  4. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Chain was MM SR5 -> 500 EVO II -> Bergantino HT310.
    [This was at a MI store.]

    I have the SR5 -> Dem 201S -> QSC PLX1602 -> Schroeder 410.

    The Ashdown makes really good sounding music, just my cup of tea.

    The Epi T-212 will warm things up a bit as well. I would think that the iAmp-800 and the T-212 would be a good match-up.
    The low end should be spectacular with those two -- add maybe a little midrange boost from the 800 according to taste.

    You might want to check out tombowlus' comments on the 800 (and three other amps) with an Accugroove Tri 210: just click here.
  5. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    Ashdown 575 watts into 4 ohms (minimum load)

    EA 800 watts into 4 ohms, 1,000 into 2 ohms
  6. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Price wise, are these two amps even? Other wise, if the EA is more, why not compare it with an Evo 900? (it's only a little bit more, and has 575Watts x 2 @ 4ohm).

    I must say, i tried the Evo 500 and really, really, liked it. Lots of usable tones, and I didn't have to fiddle much with the EQ. I ran a spector legend through it and a Deep 210 and it sounded beautiful. It is true though that you couldn't really get rid of the warmth, you could certainly make it hi-fi, it was just a slightly warm hi-fi.

    I'm also considering selling my sterling for that spector...
  7. Well I do need more power, but not a whole lot. I didn't even look into the Evo 900 as an option for some reason. The EA is more money than the Ashdown. I was looking at getting either of them used though.

    Mike- Give me more. What is your take on the 800 besides it having a lot more power than the 500. What if I compared it to the 900. Tell me about the sound.

    Pop-In- I am looking for warmth and it would be nice to have some punchiness to cut though. I think the EA cuts through by shear clarity, as opposed to the Ashdown having more punch as its means of cutting through the mix.

    Any thoughts on this aspect?

  8. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Well, the ultimate test is in a band setting, but I didn't have that opportunity. I also, have not tried an EA amp as i'm in Aus.

    But what I did get from the Ashdown when I put in a bit of mids was a really nice sounding punch with a smooth top. It was articulate, but not harsh etc. I'm sure if you played it in a band setting and had a bit of mids or just dug in it would certainly cut through, whilst maintaning the warmth and smoothness to fit in with the band.

    That's my opinion from playing through the amp for about 3 hours in a store through different sorts of basses and many-a-EQ fiddling. I found by leaving the bass knob flat (It has alot of it, even through a 210) and rising the low mid's on the sliders a little, boosting the mid knob and then rising the high mid sliders a little I had a great sound. It had lots of low end, presence and punch from the low mids and by adding the high mids it helped make a more 'cutting' style sound with a nice top end.

    Hope that helps.. If it's a little messy, sorry, i'm tired :p
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've been told by friends that the Ashdown evo500 that I used to have was the best sound that I ever got. With that said, you won't get a hifi sound from that amp. It's a warm, wooly sound. Fantastic for what it does. I love that amp.

    I once got to play through an iamp350 combo and was quite taken. So much so that I got an iamp800, one of the earlier ones. I really didn't like that amp but looking back I had a bass that sounded thin and I wasn't using the EA cabs. That's gotta make a difference. I'd love to try the EA gear again but there aren't any places to do so in the Northeast. I will say that I just got back from hearing an upright player through an EA350 and a CxL112. It sounded like his acoustic bass only louder. It did exactly what it was supposed to do. Very cool indeed.

    My question, to any who may be able to chime in, is how different does the old iamp350 sound to the iamp800. I'm interested because the power sections are different. Anyone have experience with both? Hopefully this question can help savinggrace as well.
  10. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA

    I am not sure if going from the 500 W of the iAMP 500 to the 800 W of the iAMP 800 will make that much of difference. Keep in mind, that when you double the power you only get 3 db more noise. That is just a little bit louder.

    If you need more volume I would recommend adding a speaker. A good extra speaker will make a more dramatic difference than going from an iAMP500 to an 800.

    However, here is where the 800 wins out:
    The 800 can drive 4x 8 Ohm cabs (2 Ohm minimum).

    My own setup is mostly iAMP800+CXL112.
    If I need it louder I add another CXL112 or a 15" EV, depending on how loud I need it.
    And with 2xCXL112 and a 15" EV you can blow the roof off.
  11. This is also the question I have. I have been told from EA themnselves that the difference between the original i-AMP and the 800 are massive. The older units was mosfet based and the newer ones use a "modified" class d amp for it's power section. I really wish I could have a amp to amp comparison or find out from somebody who has. And also find someone who has both played the EA 800 and the Ashdown 500 EVO II.

    Emjazz- Thanks for your comment on the Ashdown. Why did you sell it? What are you playing now?

    Wneff- Thanks for the info regarding volume. Have you ever heard the Ashdown EV 500 II? If so, how does it compare to the EA 800?
  12. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Based on my personal experience with an Ashdown ABM500 EVO, I disagree that you can't get a modern hi-fi sound from the Ashdown ABM500 EVO. I own an original ABM500 EVO Rackmount Chrome version. I am continually blown away with how well this amp performs. I play an F Bass BN5 through the ABM500 EVO into a Bergantino HT322. I play everything from jazz standards, to Blues, R&B, Funk, Rock, motown and more. This is a stunning rig. STUNNING! The lows are very musical and natural sounding, very articulate mids, sweet clear highs without being brittle. Yes it is warm, but not in a dark or wooly way. It all depends what bass you are using, your touch, the way you equ the amp. I can get a Killer Marcus Miller Slap tone to Jaco mids with growl for days. It is very fast and easy to adjust. Not sure the EA is as user firendly, though perhaps more versatile. The Ashdown ABM500 EVO is EXTREMELY powerful. When I was shopping for an amp, I spoke with the guys at Bass NW and they also said they were REALLY impressed with the combo of Ashdown ABM500 and the Bergantino HT322.

    Never played the EA iAMP 800 so I can't commen on that. I'm sure its a great amp based on everything I read. One day. For now, I am not missing anything that makes me want to replace my Ashdown.


  13. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I'll just chip in and say that the Evo 500 through a single Deep 210 was LOUD. I wouldn't of gone over 3 or so volume in the store as it would of been too loud, and they're not volume nazi's there either.
  14. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I sold the Ashdown because I went to live in Switzerland for a few months and needed the money. Right now I have a Glockenklang Soul Top. It's a very clean amp. I'm moving more and more towards hifi. I'd buy an Ashdown again in a heartbeat though. My only concern with those are the problems they've been having with their amps for the last couple of years. That's not to say that every amp has had problems but enough to be concerned. If the iamps were still mosfet based I'd buy one of those without hesitation. I wish that EA had at least made their newer iamp500 mosfet.

    Oh, and I was also using Bergantino cabs with my ABM500. What a great match.
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have not tried any Ashdown heads, but I've owned and gigged with an iAMP 800 for some time. It is one of my favorite heads. I do think that you would hear and feel the power difference between it and the 500 EV II, as it seems to be a very fairly rated 800 watts (into 4 ohm), and the lows are quite full and tight. In my opinion, the ability to run a 2 ohm load is very nice, as this allows me to run two 4 ohm cabs (like EA Wizzy) or three or four smaller 8 ohm cabs (which I do quite frequently).

    The only downside to the iAMP is that the controls for its EQ section is set up a bit differently than your "standard" amp. The tone-shaping is quite extensive and powerful, and once you spend some time with it, it makes sense, but I did find that it took some getting used to.

    Good luck, Tom.
  16. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    That is an area where the Ashdown Excels. It is VERY fast to change tone settings. I typically leave my settings alone except for the occassional rooms that are boomy. then I dial down the bass, add more mids and in 10 seconds, I'm done. Very plug and play amp.

    I think people tend to jump on the " there are so many problems with my *fill in the blank brand*". I seriously doubt there are more trouble tickets on Ashdown amps today as any other major brand. I for one have had zero trouble with my Ashdown ABM 500 EVO and I have used on a minimum of 2-4 gigs a week for a couple years now. I've pushed it HARD many times as well. Never broke a sweat. My experience is that once you get beyond 'infant mortality', most amps just keep going. If you're going to have problems, it usually happens right away, or early in the life of any piece of gear. That's my .02 worth.

    PS: Tom, I would love to hear your review of the Ashdown compared with an EA iAMP. My guess is that sonically it would make a VERY compelling argument. As for power, this amp is allegedly a VERY POWERFUL sounding 575W @4 ohms. Just like you hear that Thunderfunks are very powerful sounding for 500W's.

    Bergantino's are known to be power hungry and I have to tell you, my Ashdown delivers Power and headroom for days. I have a fairly heavy hand and use the B String on my F Bass plenty. My Ashdown ABM500 EVO/Bergantino HT322 rig just kills everytime I ask it to deliver. Gary
  17. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Well said! Great Post Smash. I agree about headroom and cutting offending frequencies as opposed to boosting. I would love to check out an EA iAMP 800. But for now, I have decided that since I really Love the results I get from my Ashdown, I'll save my money for now until it is convenient to check out an EA. It may very well be my hold grail. But for now, my Ashdown gives me fast, easy GREAT sound with power to spare.

    I also agree that having frequency centers with a cut/boost knob is not that tough to figure out. I just use my ears. Let them be the judge.
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    MOSFET as term in itself doesn't describe the operating class of the amplifier, it is a type of transistor. The differentiation you're trying to make is likely between a class AB amp and a class D one. AFAIK, all commonly available class D audio amps use MOSFETS in the output section, for what that's worth. I'd welcome correction if that's not so. The other commonly stated distinction regards power supplies, between switching supplies and conventional (AKA "linear") ones. The current iAMPs do not use switching supplies, nor did the older ones. Again, MOSFET doesn't have any relevance to describing common audio amp power supply topologies.

    I previously owned an iAMP 350, and traded it toward an iAMP 800. For my purposes, the 350 ran out of headroom quite readily, and the 800 doesn't. I tried a brief A-B test of the two amps at moderate volume, and found the oft-stated "massive" sonic differences to be minimal at best. If anything, the 800 seems a bit warmer to me, but the headroom increase is by far the biggest difference I notice. In my case, this means I'm more free to use my tone controls with impunity. Disclaimer: I mainly play EUB, and don't own or play any fretted basses, so YMMV quite a bit.
  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    True, and I have used enough different EQ's that upon first glance, I instantly understood what each knob/slider was doing, and the layout seemed very clear to me. However, even though I felt that I fully understood the layout from the getgo, I found that in practice, when I was "playing and tweaking" at first I was getting very mixed results. Admittedly, part of that was the fact that I was using Epifani cabs with the iAMP 800 (a combination that I have since found makes for a bit of an EQ-ing challenge). Now, most of time I use my iAMP with EA, ACME or Accugroove cabs, and I leave it set mostly flat.

    I think my intial issues were related to my prior approaches to EQ-ing on amps with shelving bass and treble controls. First, I'd try a little bass boost/cut, or a little treble boost/cut, and then I would deal with the parametrics. On the iAMP, at first, I was trying to set up one band as a bass boost/cut, and one as a upper mid boost/cut, then one as a treble boost/cut. What I found was that I was better off leaving everything generally set flat, and then just focusing on using one band at a time (normally cut only, but sometime a litle boost). This has proven to work out very well, but is a little different from how I would use some other EQ sections.

  20. Tom- Can you give more of a sonic comparison between the EVO II and the 800?

    Charlie- Thanks for all the info. I am pretty ignorant when it comes to the technical aspects of things. If it came out after it very well could of been more along the lines of the 800 and that is why you not hear much of a difference in sound. But I am guessing. And I still do not know how much of a difference soundwise that there is between the 500, the 600, and the 800. The EA crew told me that the difference is quite large (the 800's have alot morte headroom and are "bigger sounding/ fuller", and that the lows were more articulate.) But they are a bit biased so I am not sure what to think...

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