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Micro heads Ashdown - Aguilar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by carldogs, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. I have no experience with micro heads but am looking to get one, two that are available here are the Ashdown MIbass 550 and Aguilar Tone Hammer 500.
    I would value any opinions on either, the Ashdown seems to have more features in the EQ section, but I'm more interested in a good natural tone and reliability. I play finger style with five and sometimes four string basses.
    I'm in a standard rock cover band, two guitars drums and bass, also from time to time I do theater work, the cabs I would be playing through could be 1x12 for monitoring or 2x12, I also have two 15in cabs. I don't own a 4x10 but I would appreciate any cab suggestions that work well with either of the two heads.

    Many thanks
  2. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    I have a friend who works for an ex-Ashdown distributor. He informed me that Ashdown had a ~50% return rate due to failure. Not sure if and how they addressed this - just relaying the info.

    I can personally speak for Aguilar's performance and quality. I own a Tonehammer 500 head, two DB112NT's, and a GS410 and love them all. Really great sounding and tough products. Not to mention that their headquarters is in NYC and support is easy to reach and get if needed.

    I can't say enough good things about Aguilar. You won't be disappointed.
  3. Thanks so much for the reply I really like the Aguilar.
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I've been very happy with my Aguilar TH500. Lots of power, nice fat 'rock' voice, very reliable, lightweight. The tone controls are quite interactive, so it takes a little bit of time to get used to the relationship between the gain, drive and midrange controls.

    Very nice amp, good DI. The only thing it won't do is super modern, super clean, super sizzle.

    Ashdown doesn't have a large presence in the US (where I'm from), so can't comment much on that brand.
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

  6. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I'm the guy that thinks the TH500 is a great amp but not for me as I couldn't get a clean enough tonality. That little sucker has tons of power though and I've yet to read here about any reliabilty issues.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Also, if you decide on the Aguilar TH500 or 350, the Aguilar carry bag is VERY nice. GREAT quality, lots of padding, plenty room for cables, etc. Highly recommended for those heads. Many bags provided by amp companies seem cheap and quickly wear out. Not these.. super quality zippers, straps, handles. Very impressive.
  8. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    I have compared the MiBass 220 and the TH350.

    There's no contest. I don't know why the MiBass is supposed to have 220W, with the volume halfway up I still wasn't disturbing anyone.

    Bummer, because I really like the flexible EQ section of the Ashdown.

    The TH350 is fine. Went with the EBS Reidmar instead - liked the tone more, and it's cheaper. Don't be fooled by the numbers, 250 watts is an understatement.
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The Reidmar seems like an amazing value, and would be much different tonally than the Aguilar (from my experience with owning the HD350, much more modern, brighter, sizzlier versus the more chewy, fat Aguilar vibe).

    All good stuff! All sounds different!
  10. Thanks again for the replies.

    When I was looking for info and comments on the Mibass I also found some complaints about volume and the input clipping on quite low settings.
  11. creis2


    Nov 11, 2011
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm a huge Ashdown fan, specifically their ABM line. I tried a MiBass at a local store, and it wasn't a good sounding amp. It cut out after some playing.

    I was chatting with one of the employees, he was considering a MiBass and he told me even the Ashdown representative said not to buy it.

    The Aguilar Tone Hammer seems to be popular on here.

    If you're looking for a microhead, I highly recommend Genz Benz or Aguilar. They're the best bang for your buck IMO.
  12. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    I don't have any experience with the HD350, but the Reidmar isn't bright or sizzly at all (unless you crank treble and bright). You don't get the tube vibe like you get from the TH350, that's true. I'm using pedals for that, but I'm fine with just going straight into the Reidmar. And it sounds quite fat with the EQ flat. This is the first amp I've owned where I don't have to dial bass in.

    OK, I'm done hijacking ;)

    Yeah, this was a complaint with the Little Giant too. One gets the impression that they didn't learn anything.

    Same with the new Ibanez Promethean - this one is even more disappointing, since it's supposed to have 300 watts. Slightly exaggerated - I would've guessed 50 watts, 100 at most.
  13. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Between the two you mentioned I'd go with the Aggie but I also suggest that you consider Genz Benz.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I have been using a Ashdown 550 months before they were released to the public and I have yet to have a problem with it. The volume issues come from people not being familiar with how to set the eq and the input and output knobs.

    The mibass 550 overall has a nice thump to it but it's definitely not a huge modern sound more in the lines of the Ashdowm ABM series but not as thick sounding(if you've ever played through an ABM model).

    The Eq setting on the Mibass550 is really interesting,when you turn the knobs clock wise it reacts opposite and I think that is what has turned some players away from the Mibass 550.

    But Ashdown now offers the Mibass 2.0 head. It has a more a simplified EQ version of the Mibass series and it's 650 watts.


    Here's a brief clip of me with my Mibass 550 live.

    Ashdown endorser.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    If EBS is in distribution in S.A., this is good info for the OP.

    One of the things I'm most impressed with on the Reidmar is that they carried forward that wonderful midrange control from the higher cost series. Quite unique. Wide Q boost, narrow Q cut, going to notch in full cut for feedback control with a DB. VERY impressive. And, if it is the same on-board compressor as the HD and TD heads, that is one of the best in the business.

    Amazing low cost for this head, and most feel it overperforms its wattage rating. Impressive!
  17. Thanks for that I'll check that out, I have seen a few EBS cabs around so I'll check for an agent.
  18. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    Yeah, the semi-parametric mid is amazingly versatile. I would've liked a second mid control to affect the voicing while keeping the parametric free for correcting problems, but I realise that's unreasonable. The compressor works very well for a one-knob deal and automatically makes up gain.

    They advertise it as 470W "dynamic" power and 250W RMS. A lot like TC actually, except they're being way more honest with it.

    Jauqo, I believe what you're saying, and I've only tried the 220. But with the gain on the vege of clipping, and the master at noon, it should already be pretty loud. Was not the case at all.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I fully understand.
  20. Thanks so much for all the replies and advice, I am going to see if I can try an EBS to compare, I do like the Aguilar to.

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