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To all Ashdown users

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Croox, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Croox


    Sep 16, 2007
    South Side Chicago
    I've been playing on Laney stuff since i started playing bass and in the late 90s early 00s laney was easy to find. now that I want to upgrade there are no laney dealers in the midwest (illinois and surrounding states) I was looking into ashdown since there is a dealer near me and MF is a dealer which makes things
    my laney rig is a rbg400 and i plug into a laney 4x10 for shows and such. so i'm lookin to go the same route a 15 and 4 10s

    So sell me on Ashdown
  2. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    I have been pretty happily using Eden products for a couple years. About two months ago I got a bug up my butt for something different ... Ashdown ABM500 EVOII. Loved the tube over drive and the hope for some vintage tone.

    So I ordered one from Musician's Friend. Got it a week later it was defective out of the box. When the EQ circuit was engaged it had a horrible buzz. I really pondered what to do next. Honestly I went running back to Eden. I just cannot afford to have two amps and one with a reliability problem. I love the way the Ashdown controls are arranged and I bet they can sound really good but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Also Musicians Friend acted like it might take 10+ days including shipping to exchange the unit so just got a refund.

    I think what my long term plan is ... get an Eden Navigator Preamp and separate power amp. The Navigator has all of the great Eden attributes plus a tube over drive and one heck of a compressor.

    Probably not the sell you were looking for.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I have a bunch of Ashdown gear and you're more than welcome to come to my rehearsal spot and check some of it out.
  4. Croox


    Sep 16, 2007
    South Side Chicago
    scowboy-- its cool just looking for opinions and such. I may have to check out Eden too there is quite a few dealers in my area

    any other opinions out there?
  5. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I stopped by the Ashdown booth at NAMM in January & their representatives were very snotty & rude to me. I sent them an email that day & got a snotty rude response 5 weeks later (wish I had saved it). I can't imagine what it would be like to deal with them with a warranty problem & they seem to have a lot of them.
  6. I have played almost every amp out there and the ABM500 is my all time favorite. Not sure if it would be a great jazz amp, but for rock this thing is totaly wicked!
  7. If you're into the tone Ashdown is top notch gear. I have an ABM C115 Combo & ABM 210 that I can get an array of tones out of. For me it's definitely a blues/rock amp BUT with tweaking it's also fine for cleaner tones as well. The valve drive & sub-harmonic generator are nifty features. Some are not into the sub synth but I dial mine in at around 8 o'clock to add a little oomph to my tone.

    As far as reliability it seems there is a very vocal minority who have had bad luck with theirs (I even had a mishap that was my fault, not Ashdowns). I think since Ashdown has settled in at their China manufacturing plant though reliability has been much better. As for customer service, I have emailed Ashdown several times with some generic questions and usually get a response by the next day (there is an 8 hour time difference where I am).

    Best thing to do is judge for yourself.
  8. I use a UK-built Ashdown MAG400 (nearer 500W depending which site you look at) and it's been blasting away for years without missing a beat. I love it - it sounds big, hairy and fat - if that's your bag - it's mine! Mainly Blues & R&B.

    Personally, I don't think Ashdown MAGs work or sound good set flat - IMHO you have to push a bit of tone into it. Maybe the other ranges sound different.

    There's no doubt that at one time the Ashdowns built in the Far East (white faced) had a quality problem. the UK built models (red faced) were much, much better. Ashdown recognised this and now says they have the quality control sorted out.
  9. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I really, really dig my ABM500...it has a sound and feel that floats my sonic boat ;) I've used it in many different settings...pop, blues-rock, church, jazz, funk, small rooms, big stages - and it has served me well in each instance. I've honestly not felt a great need to tweak, despite the great EQ section, and tend to leave the EQ punched out in most cases. I used to use the EQ to make up for what was lacking in my first bass, but I've found that the amp has really allowed the character of my nice basses to shine through, while throwing in some ear-pleasing colouration.

    My ABM is a slightly older, English made model. I'm told that there's minimal difference between these and the Chinese models sound-wise, but feel free to correct me, anyone.

    Is that the kind of sell you're looking for? ;)
  10. torkelboy


    Feb 24, 2008
    I've only played one ashdown rig in my life.

    It was a cheap ashdown amp set up with two ashdown cab's, a 4x10 and a 1x15

    It sounded awful for my style of music, buttshakin' hardcore. But as i said, it was a low end amp.
  11. jayp883


    Nov 6, 2006
    Leander Texas
    My Mag300 2x10 has been a reliable ride for the past 3 years. I play a lot of pop and jazzy stuff and love the rich bottomy tone I can emasculate from this amp.
  12. I had a Laney RB4.

    Bought an Ashdown Mag 300H with Ashdown mag series 4x10 and 1x15 cab.

    Great bang for your buck and it sounds good to boot.

    Paid about R6000 (South African Rand) for all of it new. Thats about $750 US.Music equipment is generally very expensive over here so price influenced my choice a lot. I have to admit the the ABM cabs sound a lot better than the MAG cabs.

    The MAG series is not everyone's cup of tea mind you...

    Like another poster said above, Its big, hairy and fat. Well suited for hard rock etc.
  13. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I've been using a ABM RPM1 as the pre in my SS rig since '02. Excellent tone versatility, and never a glitch, totally reliable.
  14. 1kinal


    Jan 18, 2006
    Montreal, Qc. Canada
    Endorsing Artist: SIT strings
    I've been playing my ABM500 EVOII RC head for more than two years now without a problem. It's loud, offers a versatile yet simple EQ. The lows are huge, the mids can be anything from clean to crisp and the highs are clear but not overly bright. Along the lines of Ampeg, but better in every way.

    I also love the tube preamp and mix control and the sub feature is cool to add some beef to small cabs. A little touch of sub also works magic on a recorded studio track.

    I think it offers a nice compromise of sound/volume vs weight and it's priced honestly.

    I've also played the MAG heads a lot and I think they are one of the best value on the market. I'd gig with one anytime. They are more mid-present than the ABM line and have a very "in your face" sound. A student of mine has a MAG300 with an Aguilar GS112 cab and it sounds awsome!

    As for reliability, yes there were problems in the past (I count myself in this) but I feel they are getting better.

    One thing I'm sorry about is that a lot of people gets their impression of tone affected by a reliability problem. How many times I hear "It sounded like sh*t and was defective". Normal...it was defective. Two seperate things.

    Regarding customer service, I've always been treated like a star from Martin at ashdown UK. martin@ashdownmusic.co.uk
  15. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Well, I bought an Ashdown MAG300 210T blemished from Musician's Friend. The blemish was that the expanded metal grille was mashed in somewhat. A year or so later, I was in a local shop that is an Ashdown dealer, and I asked about ordering a new grille. They made a phone call, and Ashdown sent a new grille at no charge, even though I was perfectly willing to pay for it.
  16. Croox


    Sep 16, 2007
    South Side Chicago
    well it sounds like this may be what i'm looking for. over the past few years I've been playing alot of hard rock/death metal/ hardcore.

    I've been looking at the stuff online and I'll end up going with the higher wattage stuff. (very loud drummer :scowl: )

    I've gotten a few other suggestions as well
    you guys are great. :bassist:
  17. chimpbass


    Jan 16, 2008
    Denver, CO
    I recently bought an ABM 500 EVO II. It sounds great, and I haven't had any reliability problems. The sub octave combined with the valve drive...whoa. Didn't much care for Ashdown's cabs when I tried them, though.
  18. Stan_da_man


    Aug 29, 2006
    I bought a Superfly recently and it was broke before I even turned it on.
  19. Inflin


    Apr 30, 2007
    Newcastle, UK/Currently London
    Affiliated with Genelec, Avalon Design.
    I love the ABM (expensive, UK built range) stuff. Punchy, agressive, but you can dial in a nice transparent hifi funk too. Someone once said Ampeg and Markbass's love child, and I'm inclined to agree.

    I have the cheaper (chinese?) MAG cabs too, and they're not bad for the price. I sealed up the ports and reinforced the thing from the inside and they're nice and tight now.
  20. SuperSnake2012

    SuperSnake2012 floppy b strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    Bronx, NY
    If you're going to be playing that style you may want to look at a brand like Gallien-Krueger. My Ashdown gives a very warm, fat sound that may be better for classic rock than metal.

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