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My First Ashdown Experience

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by heath_the_great, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Hey Hey y'all...

    Started to check out new amps today..always had my eyes on the ashdown...so today i decided to plug in at my local and i was covered in drool in less than a minute :smug: ...

    I tried out the ABM 300 EVO II and the MAG 115 and MAG 410T all together....it sounded so sweet...plenty of volume too ;) .....I borrowed one of the catalogs to drool over and decide what to invest in and i was either thinking of going the above combo or getting a MAG 210t Combo and a MAG 410t Cab to use with it........i was thinking of going the combo direction because then i could just take the combo to rehersal and take both the combo and the cab to a gig....

    So all you ashdown users..what do you use and which way would you reccomend.....

    Cheers Heath
  2. I have an Electric Blue 130 (15" speaker) for practise and small gigs/gigs I din't want my expensive amp at....

    For bigger gigs, I have an ABM 500 EVO, Mini 4 x 8 cab and Mini 1 x 15 cab.

    All is incredibly portable - heaviest component is the 4 x 8 cab, at about 25 kgs! Everything else is lighter!

    I went the modular way so that I can mix and match to suit myself!
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I had an ABM-500 and it was GREAT. Unfortunately I needed something smaller, so I sold it.
    Now, ahem... I need something bigger again, and I just ordered an Ashdown MAG 300R.
    Pics soon, as soon as it comes...
  4. GeddyisGod

    GeddyisGod Four on the floor and nothing more!

    Feb 4, 2004
    Moberly, MO
    Post a good review of that MAG 300 Jean. I've got one of those on my radar, but nobody around here has one.
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I promise I will !
  6. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Ive got an ABM300 c110 combo. It's a small 1x10 combo that I use for everything. It keeps up with my drummer (Big fat beefcake) and my guitarist 100w combo.Wen I gig I do have an extra 1x15 (Hartke) that i put under it.

    Now this combo is quite portable and all,but is quite heavy in my opinion,but the sound is fantastic and those ashdown mini cabs fit under it perfectly.

    So I highly recommend it for band practices, and small venues but you'll need an extra cab to put under it for anything over a pub or bar sized venue.
  7. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I use Ashdown RPM-1 preamp and QSC PLX 1602 poweramp. Only about 33 pounds together and 1600W into my aggie cabs. I really like the tone and it is very versatile.
  8. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    ashdown abm 900 evo. great amp great amp. its just super huge with plenty of headroom. but im still working on getting a little more highmid and high end out of it. i run in through aguilar cabs.
  9. I have not tried the MAG series stuff. It is my understanding that you get a better power amp with the ABM EVO II series, plus you have the option of the tube overdrive as well.

    As far as portability goes, I find a head and 112 cabinet setup to be the best. I can fit my two Berg 112s, Ashdown 500 EVO II head, bass in a hardshell case, and my accessory bag in the front seat of my Nissan Pickup with me in it. Using two small 8ohm cabinets, you can get the full power out of your amp and still be managable weightwise. Plus if you get tired of the sound, you can always switch out one of the components without changing your entire rig. This option is usually more expensive as well. So if cost is a concern, I would go with a something like a 112 or 210 combo and add a 112 or 115 extension cabinet. Years ago when I was gigging with a country band I used a Peavey Combo 210TX with a 115 Black Widdow extension cabinet and it sounded fine, but it was VERY HEAVY and I had to haul it in the back of my truck.
  10. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Hey friends, IT'S HERE !

    Please allow me a couple of days to test it the most I can, and I'll be back with a review !

  11. Ooh, so pretty. I've never seen a MAG that looked like that before. Can't wait for a review. Congratulations.
  12. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Thanks :smug:

    The fact is, I wanted something easy to carry, but still versatile and able to give deep tone.

    From what I heard out of the first notes I played through it, I can already tell I probably won't get the extra 1x15 cab. What I heard this afternoon gave me more depth and bottom end than I'll ever need.

    review coming soon.
  13. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    This is the latest version of that series by Mark Gooday. Before you read the review itself, I have to specify that the test was done with what is currently my one and only bass : a Rickenbacker 4003 (built 2003). You also have to know that the cab is NOT the very latest one from Ashdown, but from the previous series (MAG-210T, before they get called “deep cabinet”). But I believe there is no huge difference between both these series.

    This amp is rated at 307 watts RMS at 4 ohms, and approx. 200 W at 8 ohms (this is my case, since I have one 8 ohm cab). Even at 8 ohms, this amp sounds DAMN LOUD.

    Features : All you can expect from Ashdown : 2 inputs (active/passive), gain control with old-fashioned input meter, 5 EQ’s, 1 subharmonizer (with volume control), bright and deep switches, I/O switches for EQ and subharmonizer, general volume control, effects loop I/O, XLR D.I. output, 2 speaker outputs (jack). All this in a 19 lbs 2U rackmount head (also available as non-rackable model).
    This amp is a solid-state amp, instead of ABM series that have a tube preamp. Given that the drive control on the ABM comes from that tube, here you have no drive control.

    Sound : No drive control as I just said, but in fact there’s no drive at all here. Drive is definitely not the purpose of this amp. With all settings flat, the sound is very precise and already deep. Well, this amp could have been call “DEEP SERIES”, because that is what you will get the most. The tone, even with the RIC, is deep, thick and, yes, warm. Sounds like a good solid-state Ampeg, but much deeper (my previous amp was a B-100R).
    I’d compare this amp to the old Sunn Concert Bass I had in the mid 70’s, but there’s even more depth here and, of course, many more features and tone capabilities. In fact, not that far from the old 70’s Fender Bassman too…
    The subharmonizer may be very impressive when you play a very low note, but I am stuck on low E on my 4-string. Sounds OK, though.
    The tone controls are very efficient, while the deep and bright switches are more subtle and discrete.
    The 2x10 cab is very light (approx. 42 lbs), and very easy to carry, due to its two solid handles. Carrying your rig is becoming much easier every time, guys.
    There again, depth, depth, depth. So much depth that I though I’d add an extra MAG-115 cab, but I finally won’t. Maybe I’ll consider it again when I get a 5-string again, which might happen.

    Overall : A bit too early to say on all aspects, but this amp seems to belong to the family of the Greats. Quite inexpensive (369 EUR for the head, and 289 EUR for the cab), it cost me less that what the B-100R had cost me, and the money I got from the sale of the Ampeg almost covered the cost of the Ashdown. Despite of its low price, this is not a low end amp on the quality department. I’m already in love with it.
  14. Thats a sweet looking little rig! I'm glad you like it. I would not trade my Ashdown for anything! :bassist:
  15. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    It is a very cool looking amp. I had a MAG400h and should have kept it. Lately though, I've been a bit shy'd away from the MAG series seeing that they are now outsourcing to China. No offense to our friends in China but I always liked Ashdown for the English craftsmanship.

    I suppose the outsourcing however will really make things more affordable for everyone which is great.

    Still a killer looking head !!!! I'm sure it does sound quite nice.
  16. Aristotle


    May 12, 2002
    Easton, MD
    For the Bright and Deep switches, does it come with a footswitch? Is there even a jack for a footswitch? I'm probably going to get the combo MAG300 2x10 and I was just curious.
  17. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    No, there's no footswitch and no jack for it.

  18. I recently acquired an Ashdown EVOI ABM115-500 combo, and an older 2x10 extension cabinet for it.

    It's a very different sound from the rig I've been using for a long time (a GK800RB I bought new in 1988 and an Eden 2x10 I bought new in 1992). Honestly I'm still getting used to it, but I think that has more to do with the single 15. I also really need to set it up and tweak away at it to figure out what's going to work for me - hard to do that in my kitchen. :)

    I tried out some basses through the 4x10 and I think that sounded killer. If I had it to do again, I'd swap it for the 2x10 or 4x10 model.

    It's a big, big, big sounding rig. My jury's still out - but I think that's because I've used the same amp for 15 years, and it's a different sound. I've been using the Ashdown for the past two months, but I haven't had that many gigs - it sounded GREAT on the rock gigs I've done, REALLY great on the Beatles cover thing I do from time to time, and good on the weddings I've done. I've got more starting next month or so, so I'll really have an opportunity to shake it out.

    Bottom line - I like it, I think. It's more powerful and lighter than my GK/Eden rig. I need to work with it some more though.

    I hope that I'll get the chance to run them in parallel, like an outdoor gig or something. :)
  19. dmielke


    Mar 25, 2004
    Jean Lançon,

    Is that the new Chinese made model or an English made one? I've had my eye on these, and the only thing they appear to be missing is a tuner mute so you can mute and tune without twiddling knobs.

  20. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    That's the latest model in the MAG series, so yes, it is certainly made in China.

    In fact there is a tuner output I forgot to list in my review, but there is no mute. No matter for me, I have a tuner pedal that stops the signal when I want.


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