Roland DB500 or Ashdown EB15-180?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by erik_hammarlund, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. edited note: sam ash has db500 for $319. costs $30 to ship. I convinced the salesman to give me free shipping. he's friendly, and he says that he'll repeat it for y'all, if you call him directly at Sam Ash extension 2236. His name is Doug. about 20 units are left.

    Lookin' to get a new combo for home and jam use (maybe very small gigs eventually). I had settled on the Ashdown 15" electric blue as a good price/performance combo. then i saw the Db500 refurbished on sale for $350 including shipping (instead of the usual $500) and now I'm torn.

    $350 is the absolute most I can spend (actually it's a little more than I can spend :) ) so don't bother recommending alternate amps over that amount.

    but which of those combos will give me better all-round service? the Roland is US made, which tempts me...

  2. I only have exerience of the Asdown's pre-decessor.....I have the original 130 watt version of the EB with 15" speaker. Very good sounds, nice tonal variations, very loud and very portable - and the one you are talking about has a speaker out for an extension cab and also the onboard sub-harmoniser effect which is nice (I have that on my ABM 500EVO)

    Well, I'm guessing both would serve your needs.....the Ashdown I'm guessing would be brand new, with a warranty - but I'm not sure how good warranty claims on Ashdown stuff is handled in the US.

    The Roland is a refurb - so it has potentially been knackered before and carries some form of limited warranty!

    Hmm - tough call! I personally would go for the brand spanky new one in this case - but that's just me!
  3. It's a refurb, all right.... but it's been fixed by Roland and carries the full Roland warranty (3 years; 1 yr on speakers). That warranty and service availability seems better to me than Ashdown, which isn't sold anywhere in my area.

    Still, the Ashdown is $50 cheaper including shipping. that's not free. And--most confusing of all--by the time I spend $350 I'm damn close to a head/cab rig ($200 for a behringer bx3000 and $200 shipped for an avatar 1x15 cab).

    sigh. I wish i could play at least one of them locally, but no go. So I'll have to depend on your talkbass expertise... anyone else want to weigh in?
  4. Jig


    Dec 5, 2003
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I've been using the Roland DB500 for about 3 - 4 years now. Had a problem after about a year but Roland replaced the speaker and re-validated the 3 year warranty from the date of the repair (amp and speaker). Service was good in the UK and I would imagine the same would go for USA. It is a nice amp and plenty loud. Portable enough to get to gigs and rehearsals with the amp in one hand and bass in the other. Some nice sounds, bit hi fi rather than the warmth that the Ashdown might give you but for funky fingerstyle and slap its a good 'un with nice clean sounds.
    Can't power an extension speaker with the Roland but for larger gigs I take a line out into another amp and speaker and get told to turn down. For practice, jams and small gigs the Roland is a good choice. Compared to 300w + rigs though I guess it's a bit of a toy but for $350 I reckon thats not a bad buy. One thing - it's designed in the USA - think its made/assembled in Taiwan.
  5. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    People either love or hate the DB-500. I owned one when they first came out and wasn't really into it. It was very hissy, but I put that down as much to the bass as the amp. I've just bought another DB-500 and think it's fabulous. No noise with my new bass, lots of sound options, loud and not too heavy.

    I once owned an Ashdown Electric Blue, and to be honest, I was not impressed by the build quality. Many parts were held by pop rivets and there was a lot of loose solder.
  6. Joseph12


    Jul 5, 2002
    Hey Jonathan, what basses are you/(were you) using with that DB-500?, I've been also thinking about this amp, saw one for $400 shipped, factory resealed.

    I don't want a hiss-y amp, both my basses have passive pickups, (a standard American Series Fender Jazz (not super quiet, as standard pickup Jazz basses can sometimes be, especially near computers/florescent lights) and my other bass is a Rickenbacker 4003); did you notice more hiss/(hum) with a passive pickup bass on the old DB-500, was it worse than the new amp?, any correlation to pickup type, just wondering what your experience has been since you've had two of these amps.

    Also, how's that chorus effect, nice?

    Thanks. Joe B
  7. FYI, $319 plus shipping ($30) for refurb unit/full warranty at sam ash. 25 of them left.
  8. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    I was using a Fender custom shop Precision the first time. It was a noisy, passive bass to begin with; the DB-500 amplified the hiss.

    Right now I'm using a Yamaha RBX-774, which is dead quiet to begin with.

    The DB-500 is pretty quiet with nothing plugged in. I maxed out the volume knobs to see how much hiss there would be. It only gets hissy when the compression or chorus knobs are turned up.

    The chorus sounds nice on this amp. It doesn't affect the low frequencies. Used sparingly (I'd say 10:00 or below) and it adds a nice chorus. The more you add, the more metallic it sounds.

    I bought mine for $400. It was a factory reseal, as opposed to a refurbished unit. Unless these are the same thing!
  9. Ok, I'm sold... I have an RBX774 as well. And your post takes care of my 'what if MY bass sounds bad with this amp?' worry.

    great bass, ya? Especially for only $250 new :D

    thanks for the info
  10. edited note: sam ash has db500 for $319. costs $30 to ship, but I convinced the salesman to give me free shipping. he's friendly, and he says that he'll repeat it for y'all, if you call him directly at Sam Ash extension 2236. His name is Doug. about 20 units are left. i think you can dial the extensions directly from the sam ash switchboard.
  11. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    I put the amp through its paces last night. Very little hiss unless I turned the compression or chorus way up. Also, because the RBX774 has a nice top end to begin with, I found I didn't have to use the treble knob on the DB-500.

    Have fun with it.
  12. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    I'm curious to find out how it's packed once you get it. Is it sealed in a Roland box, is it in new condition, does it have have inspection and info. tags on the handle like a new one?

    Just curious because I recently bought one that was advertised as "factory resealed," while the Sam Ash ones are labeled "factory reconditioned B-stock."

  13. BigRed


    Apr 1, 2004
    Palestine, TX
    I love my DB500...

    I've never played an Ashdown, but I can say is that my Roland has been rocking for about 5 years now with no problems.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Roland DB500 is a great amplifier. They are light, loud, and have really great tone.
  15. jeflepard


    Nov 11, 2003
    USA Atlanta, Ga
    I bought one of the Roland DB 500's from Sam Ash and I love it. I like it much more than the Ashdown 130. I am using it on small gigs and it does the job.
  16. Joseph12


    Jul 5, 2002
    hello there,

    this question is for anybody who recently received one of these refurb roland amps from

    ...any evidence of wear?, did it seem used?, did it seem as good as new?, or almost as good as new?

    thanks for any responses.

    Joe B
  17. Tell you in a few days when it shows up.
  18. YAHOOOOOOO!!!!
    Arrived today JUST as I was leaving so no time to set it up and play with it.

    It was double boxed (amp inside Roland box; Roland box inside much larger peanut-filled box). Refurb it may be but I can't find a scratch on it. Looks new to me. incidentally, I ordered some other stuff too (a guitar stand) so taht may have been why they double boxed it. that's a good thing to know for the future.

    it sounds *so* *much* *better* than the amp I had (a Fender Rumble 60) it's not even funny. I've yet to play with the settings much, just using the factory ones... I imagine I'll set my own soon but it's nice to see what a range of tone the amp can produce and the factory settings work well for that.

    As noted by other users, setting the compression relatively high does make some hiss. but it's not noticeable when playing of course. it makes me sound so much better i'd swear i'm playing better :D but of course I'm not.

    Can't believe I got it for $319.

  19. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    Good to hear you like the amp. Did it come with an inspection tag on the handle?
  20. Congrats on the new amp.
    I got one from Sam Ash for the same price about a year ago and am still loving it. Once you figure out how to make your own presets they're excellent :bassist: :bassist: