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Okay, so who else is having serious problems with their Ashdown ABM?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pablomigraine, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    okay, so I've avoided this for a long time, as I usually try to give manufacturers as much chance to make things right as possible before I go talking smack, but I'm fed up with Ashdown. Long story short, I bought an Ashdown ABM Evo 500 in dec. Loved it, worked great but the subharmonizer was acting funny, and the lettering was rubbing off the faceplate. Looked closer and found the amp was mufactured in early 2003, and had been sitting onna shelf since then. After arguing with Mike Van Tine at Ashdown for awhile they agreed to send me a new one. New amp arrived, sub problem fixed, faceplate fine, but the amp clipped all to hell and back anywhere on the B string if the volume was anywhere past 10 or 11 o'clock. Even with the EQ totally flat, and the input gain set fairly low, the thing would clip violently anywhere on the B string. brought it back to the dealer, A/B ed the old and new in front of the owner, he agreed it was a serious problem, and asked Ashdown to send yet another one. The second replacement showed up yesterday, same problem, with any 5 string, any cabinet, any settings. Clipping like hell. Dealer is giving my $800 back and cancelling the Ashdown line. The first replacement I got, I actually cracked it open to have a peek inside, and are you ready for this.... there was FOOD on the circuit board. Yes that's right, dried up Taco Bell sauce on the preamp board. ( yes I'm sure, an adventurous friend of mine gave the stuff a rub with his finger, had a taste and exclaimed "SPICY GORDITA!!") If this thing didn't sound so phenominal, I would never have let this get so far. My heart is really broken. I have no idea what to get for a replacement. Only thing I can think of that might be satisfactory would be going back to a pre/power setup (unnggh) with an Ampeg SVP pro.

    Has anyone Else had these problems? I know of at least 3 TB'ers who have.... who else?
  2. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    We dont have Taco Bell here in the UK. ;)

    Aside from that, that really sucks. Ive only ever heard good things about Ashdown. I own a MAG stack and am buying an ABM 500 this summer, so consider my interest piqued.
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Wow. I've been thinking about pickup up an ABM, but the more I hear about them the less interested I am :( Then theres the comments I've seen about the ashdown-made iAmps :(

    From the basstasters clip it sounds like they have great tone.
  4. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Oh dont get me wrong, tone-wise these things beat everything else out there hands down, no questions. Thats what breaks my heart about all this......
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    But there are lots of great sounding heads around with bulletproof reliability, and no taco sauce. :scowl:
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Do a search for either my name or Markbass and read about my episode with Markbass.
  7. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!

    I'm hungry, think I'll open up my RPM-1 & see whats in mine!
  8. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    WOW, that's too bad. I had an issue with an Electric Blue 12-180 that was very similar. EQ out or flat, input gain low, horrible clipping on anything below the fifth fret on a FOUR string. Went in twice to the shop, second time they installed a cap mod that was released on tech bulletin. Still did it. Ashdown told the shop I bought it at they would send a new one. Week and a half, nothing. Then they said they had no combos, would send a new head and could swap the head. Another week, then they said they didn't have any heads. I was really bummed also, because the tone was great on that amp also, and the power/size/weight ratio was pretty cool. I had heard of issues with some of the newer ones, but this was a made in UK one that was NOS. If it worked, it would have been great, now I am very wary of buying another Ashdown.
  9. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    sounds very similar to what I'm going thru..........anyone have any contact for someone of authority at Ashdown?

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I know the Owner,PM me
  11. CanadianBass48


    May 8, 2005
    Ont, Can
    Man, that is too bad about these amps. Where are they made? I really wanted to get one myself but tacos and amps just don't mix.
  12. rashbeep


    Jul 15, 2005
    Toronto, ON
    i think they're made in britain.. i am really interested in this amp, and hearing all this stuff is scaring the hell outaa me
  13. ollybarclay


    Dec 14, 2005
    had and abm 300 evo II head, never had any problem with clipping ever, playing in drop c.

    this couldn't (apart from the food!) be a power issue UK made amps to USA power ratings, could it?

    having said that my american made ampeg has no problem with uk power...but it's purpose built for the uk. anyone know if the ashdowns shipped to the USA are purpose built for the US power ratings etc? surely they are..
  14. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    pablomigraine, we got our ABM around the same time. i remeber you as you wrote a really good review of it and we spoke a couple of times here. really sorry to hear about your problems but heres the spooky thing, i just got rid of mine on sunday as well.
    Although it seems for totaly opposite reasons. i just didnt like the tone. at the time i got mine i was playing through my MAG300 combos speaker and said i didnt really like the tone comparded to my MAG but i then got a Schoerder 1210 and still im not liking the tone. it just seems to get lost on stage and sounds wooly to my ears.
    So i now have a Mark Bass SA450 and its a much better tone (for me). to be honest i dont think i would ever have used all the extras on the ABM like the sub, pre, valve and the footswitches.
    and i still have my MAG to get fixed as after two years (to within one week) it started to distort on higher volumes with the low end even just slightly boosted.
    Dont think ill ever have another Ashdown again.
    Really looking forward to gigging with the MB now.
  15. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Thats not quite true. they are put together in Britain but a lot of the circuits and internals come from China (not that thats a problem for me)
  16. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Well I always recommend you try for yourself..... These are my problems, not everyone's...... the real danger here is not that you'll get an amp with problems and hafta return it........ the real danger is that you'll feel like you've finally found the amp you've been looking for and then have to return it..... ahahah
  17. Sorry to hear about your Ashdown woes. I've only experienced good support from Martin (UK) and Mike Van Tine in regards to my MK500 (which only needed service because of a static electricity shock that I sent to the input, easy repair and was under warranty.)

    Maybe the spicy sauce on the circuit board is the secret to the great tone? :bag:
  18. flash99


    Jun 8, 2005
    New York City
    That's interesting - the rehearsdal studio my band uses has Ashdowns in every room. Three of the four amps I've used clip like crazy (especially on lower notes) even with the gain really low. The other one works fine. I was wondering if there might be a construction issue there.
  19. It is interesting that people who have no problem with Ashdown are in the UK while others with issue are in the US.
    I, myself, went through a power amp mechanical issue and quickly rev'd back to another power amp.

    Beyond the obvious chauvinism I am wondering if the power requirement could cause some trouble. The power supplies are different and I know for example that with Apple computers, more problems have shown up in 220/240V countries than 110V...

    Could explain some of the clipping mentioned when the power supply is not providing enough juice for the circuits...
  20. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Well im in the Uk and get clipping in my MAG. even though the VU is reading fine. its not the input stage because i can run it fine with the master under 12 o'clock. its not the spaker because i still use that part of the combo.
    But it did take 2 years to break down so it did earn a rest i guess.

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