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stewblack

Accidental Ashdown Experience

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Bought a couple of cabs a while back and the seller threw in an Ashdown head. I mean, seriously this was a reasonable deal for the cabs alone so the head was almost a freebie. I never had any intention of owning this amp, I have trace Elliot for that kind of thing but still, now it's mine why not give it a whirl.

Last night we rehearsed at Real World and the sound was a step up from the usual dives I work in. Seriously good. I popped the amp (an ABM500H if you're wondering) atop a Barefaced cab (15" no horn) and after 10 minutes fiddling got a good sound. It had a kind of Trace vibe I thought but a character all of it's own. there's an octaver built in (just like on the Behringer BX4500H I used to use) but that just muddied up my tone so I left it alone.

I was playing a bit of soul and wanted a relatively straightforward, authentic sound, but wouldn't have minded a nice valve grumble like my Ampeg gives me. So I wound up this little nob with 'Input Mix' written above it. It goes from 'clean' to 'grind' and by golly it sounded splendid. Of all the tube like facsimiles I've tried this honestly came closest to giving me that gorgeous thickening, that sumptuous fattening, that satisfying all enveloping hug of a valve amp. I may struggle to sell this 'bonus' amp after all.

Oh, did I mention it was really loud? Because it was. And at 8 ohms too.

Can I join the Ashdown lovers club please?

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Posted (edited)

I've owned nothing but Ashdown amps for the last 12 years at least. I gave up with their cabs (too heavy for me) in favour of a BF Super Twin. No problems, and always sound better to my ears than alternatives I may get in rehearsal studios or at festivals.

Edited by FinnDave
typo!

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I have an Evo 11 180 combo which I use as my practice amp at home. Not as good as my beloved TE but a very close second. Remember that Ashdown are the offspring of TE - Mark Gooday worked at TE when it was based in Essex.

I welcome you to the Ashdown club - a club well worth belonging to...

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5 minutes ago, FinnDave said:

I've owned nothing by Ashdown amps for the last 12 years at least. I gave up with their cabs (too heavy for me) in favour of a BF Super Twin. No problems, and always sound better to my ears than alternatives I may get in rehearsal studios or at festivals.

Are you saying you've owned nothing made by Ashdown? Or did you mean nothing but Ashdown?

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Just now, stewblack said:

Are you saying you've owned nothing made by Ashdown? Or did you mean nothing but Ashdown?

Well spotted, yes, that was a typo, nothing BUT Ashdown! I'l correct it now!

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They are rather good, aren't they? As long as you leave the awful octaver alone, they do old skool wonderfully. Norman uses them, after all so they must be all right.

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1 minute ago, Dan Dare said:

They are rather good, aren't they? As long as you leave the awful octaver alone, they do old skool wonderfully. Norman uses them, after all so they must be all right.

Now you're talking. Norm is the man.

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3 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

They are rather good, aren't they? As long as you leave the awful octaver alone, they do old skool wonderfully. Norman uses them, after all so they must be all right.

I've lost count of the number of Ashdown amps I've owned, but I only tried the octave one once. I have never understood the point of it at all. Same as the built in compressor, another feature I have ignored for years. But the basic amp is fine. 

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I posted this the other day in another thread because I’d forgotten how good it sounded, it’s my old Ashdown mag 300 and a TE 15 cab that’s in my summerhouse, where I can up the volume without annoying the neighbours, and the deep bass button really puts out some lows , I love it 🙂

B95C438C-BDE2-4F2E-9880-980FEB48FBCB.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Love ABM amps so much and, other than a dabble with an Orange TB for a year or so, they’re what I’ve gone for as a first choice for donkeys.

Yeah, the sub-octave and compressors on them are a bit crap, but the grind you can dial in and general EQ and thump is great.

 

 

Edited by mr4stringz
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Love my ABM600, have had a fair few Ashdown amps but the 600 tops them all. And my backup RM500 EVO-II is no slouch either. For real big stages the ABM shines through and has a real presence to it that is very near the all-valvers, but for regular sized venues the RM is plenty good enough, never feels like a compromise.

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Huge fan of Ashdown here, the only amps I couldn't kill back in the day.
I'm not gigging for now, thanks to having young kids, but I'll get back to it, so I have a wee MiBass mini rig of doom that has held it's own at jams, a spot of recording (it has a wonderful DI) and is WAY too loud for home practice.

Recently though, I got my hands on a lovely UK made ABM EVO II RC for free, "spares or repair" from an Ashdown artist, who had another 4 and was moving home, couldn't be bothered to deal with it.
Less then £100 for a full service, repair and clean up, and it's alive and kicking. I had the extremely talented Mike Walsh make up a sleeve for it too before I got my hands on it, and he did an incredible job (I really need to take some photos).

A/B-ing my MiBass 2.0 with the ABM was night and day, the MiBass is great, especially for the size, but you don't know what's missing until you plug in an ABM. Hugely powerful, with effortless low end girth and muscle.

I can't wait to get back to gigging again 😎

Eude

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2 hours ago, stewblack said:

Of all the tube like facsimiles I've tried this honestly came closest to giving me that gorgeous thickening, that sumptuous fattening, that satisfying all enveloping hug of a valve amp. 

I don’t think it’s a facsimile- I think it’s a real tube in the preamp!

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3 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I don’t think it’s a facsimile- I think it’s a real tube in the preamp!

Really? You wouldn't be kidding an old man now would you? It makes no mention anywhere on the outside that it has a tube in it.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Really? You wouldn't be kidding an old man now would you? It makes no mention anywhere on the outside that it has a tube in it.

Random image grabbed of talkbass... eyes bottom left.... 

 

5F60EA9F-5850-4A55-8001-2AAFADF1A267.jpeg

Edited by LukeFRC

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My goodness me. You would imagine they'd plaster the presence of that little blighter all over the place. Maybe even a window so we could watch it glow. 

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Love Ashdown amps, I have three! The ABM is my favourite solid state head ever, the RM800 is my favourite Class D head ever and the CTM100 just my favourite amp ever. I don’t have a CTM100 anymore sadly, but I do have a Little Bastard which is almost as wonderful :)

I also find they work even better with Barefaced cabs but our local rehearsal studio has the EVO IV ABM600 and 410 cab and it is a match made in heaven, a thing of beauty. Based on that experience alone I would say the EVO IV cabs seem to be a step up.

Welcome to the gang!

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I'll tell you what... I reckon you can tell the quality of gear by the quality of the people who choose it. 

You Asdowners are all great. 

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Also a bit of a fan of ashdown (bar the terrible CTM15!)  Always LOVED the tone from the old Spyder series heads, never understand how they weren't a bigger success and continued

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When merton posted a pic of his shiny LB 30 last year I just had to get one, I took it to Dave green at Ashdown who built it to check it over for me , they do sound nice 🙂

BDC161C4-AAF8-4E87-ACA3-3FDD12D91965.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Reggaebass said:

When merton posted a pic of his shiny LB 30 last year I just had to get one, I took it to Dave green at Ashdown who built it to check it over for me , they do sound nice 🙂

BDC161C4-AAF8-4E87-ACA3-3FDD12D91965.jpeg

Love the HH V-S! B|

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7 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

Love the HH V-S! B|

Thanks shaggy, I use it to play my iPad through, it’s so old but still works great 😀

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Reggaebass said:

 

BDC161C4-AAF8-4E87-ACA3-3FDD12D91965.jpeg

Beneath the Ashdown, would that happen to be a HH V-S 100w bass amp?

I've got the PA version at home - MA100 :)

Nice bit of retro kit! smiley

I love the faux-neon glowy bit! :)

_20190605_095250.JPG

$_86.JPG

Edited by Teebs
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33 minutes ago, Teebs said:

Beneath the Ashdown, would that happen to be a HH V-S 100w bass amp?

I've got the PA version at home - MA100 :)

Nice bit of retro kit! smiley

I love the faux-neon glowy bit! :)

_20190605_095250.JPG

$_86.JPG

Yeah that’s it , and it still works, it lights up green, the blue is a reflection off the tuner , your ma100 looks the nutz 🙂

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46 minutes ago, Reggaebass said:

Yeah that’s it , and it still works, it lights up green, the blue is a reflection off the tuner , your ma100 looks the nutz 🙂

The green light is  the best bit! :D (and the spring reverb!) 

The first photo is of mine - the other is a web steal :)

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