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fretmeister

Modern big iron amps.

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I’ve got a DG M900.

i like it a lot. A huge amount in fact.

 

But I also like variety.

 

I’ve been emailing Ashdown about fan noise on the ABM 600 Evo iv and they’ve informed me it can be modified so the fans only come on at a certain temperature. That means I can use it without any fan noise when I play with 1 or 2 woodwind instruments at low volume. 

 

I am very tempted by this.

 

However before I take the plunge, what other modern proper hefty power section amps should I be looking at?

Nothing stupid heavy like Aguilars / SVT etc, but stuff of equivalent size and weight to the Ashdown.

 

all ideas welcome!

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Gallien Krueger 1001RB11 ? 700 (loud) watts + 50w horn bi amp. Affordable and only 22lbs in weight.

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...Handbox looks great, but sadly only 200W at 8ohms, otherwise I would have been very tempted myself!

Mesa M6: definitely a bit of fan noise with this one (not noticeable at all as soon as you start playing).

But does it just deliver the best tone of any amp I've come across to date? Yup :)

image.thumb.png.b3288c1311fb096f6a3f83a988a465a5.png

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49 minutes ago, warwickhunt said:

Thunderfunk all the way.  ;)  

Have they got Uk dealers? Their site is a bit thin on details like that.

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9 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Have they got Uk dealers? Their site is a bit thin on details like that.

In short no!  However, they are small scale and Dave (Funk) used to organise sales and shipping himself.  As for trying one before you buy, it'd be a case of seeing if any BCer were local (I'm NE).  There are a couple for sale used on BC (550 and 750 but the 550 is way loud enough for pretty much anyone).

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

...Handbox looks great, but sadly only 200W at 8ohms, otherwise I would have been very tempted myself!

Mesa M6: definitely a bit of fan noise with this one (not noticeable at all as soon as you start playing).

But does it just deliver the best tone of any amp I've come across to date? Yup :)

image.thumb.png.b3288c1311fb096f6a3f83a988a465a5.png

I would concur with this amp. I only sold mine because I found it difficult to dial in my chosen sound at lower volume levels!

For some big old MOSFET/Hybrid heft I would also heartily recommend:

- EBS Fafner/TD 650 - highly flexible EQ sections, great for all styles of music. I own a Fafner. Very little fan noise or hum compared to Ashdowns I have used (and I have used Ashdown amps a lot over the years and do rate them as well). The only con for me with the EBS, is that I think that they are voiced a bit high and they don't really deliver a lot of big subs compared to a Mesa. In terms of stage sound though this is actually a benefit as your bass sound cuts through. 

- Mesa Big Block 750. Less sophisticated EQ section compared to the EBS amps or the Mesa M6. It does big rock heft and not really much else. Overdrive channel on it is glorious (way ahead of Darkglass in my opinion and I own the Duality, B3K and Alpha Omega pedals). If you want clean headroom and a 'flat' hi-fi tone look elsewhere though. Tough to find used for sensible prices.

- Gallien Krueger RB heads: The RB 700 is a real classic. I really like them. 

- Fender 800 Pro - big heavy MOSFET sleds but very nice EQ systems. Nobody really bought them so you could probably get one fairly cheap.

- old Eden World Tour amps: get one second hand. Pretty uncool these days (about as associated with 1990s as watching old episodes of Friends). Cracking amps though. 

Will any of the above amps be any better than the Darkglass head? That is subjective. Will the above amps be much heavier and thus automatically give the illusion of additional heft? Absolutely!



 

Edited by thodrik
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3 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

Handbox R400, as mentioned. A beautiful thing.

I am seriously going to have to try one at some point!

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Worth thinking about a pre and power setup? A decent bass pre with a PA power amp will be as big iron as anyone needs. I used to use a BBE pre with a QSC power amp that, bridged, gave 1450w. Including a rack mount tuner, it all fitted in a 4u rack case and wasn't that heavy.

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3 hours ago, warwickhunt said:

In short no!  However, they are small scale and Dave (Funk) used to organise sales and shipping himself.  As for trying one before you buy, it'd be a case of seeing if any BCer were local (I'm NE).  There are a couple for sale used on BC (550 and 750 but the 550 is way loud enough for pretty much anyone).

 

Is that an offer? Where, exactly, in the north east? Thunderfunk is my dream amp... 😇

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Posted (edited)
On 25/06/2019 at 18:56, fretmeister said:

I’ve been emailing Ashdown about fan noise on the ABM 600 Evo iv and they’ve informed me it can be modified so the fans only come on at a certain temperature. That means I can use it without any fan noise when I play with 1 or 2 woodwind instruments at low volume.

That might not be as true as you think.

When the fan starts up will depend how long it takes for the amp to warm up. Playing quietly might take longer than playing loudly, but at some point the fan will come on. My Aguilar and Thunderfunk amps take from 5 to 10 mins playing at very low front room volume before the fans kicks in.

 

Edit

PS

Since posting this I've been checking my amps at home and the fans come on a very low volume after 2 or 3 mins. If silent running is as important as has been posted then this is something the OP needs check, even try out. 

Edited by chris_b

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7 hours ago, Jack said:

Is that an offer? Where, exactly, in the north east? Thunderfunk is my dream amp... 😇

I'm in Blyth but gig all over the NE

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Try an Orange 4Stroke or an ABM600IV, both are very good and the technical teams are very approachable.  

 

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15 hours ago, warwickhunt said:

I'm in Blyth but gig all over the NE

Swap you for a Helix for a gig or two? Actually, for the benefit of the OP I'll PM you.

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Well, you may try a Glockenklang. My Soul is something that just makes everything happen: fretted, fretless, double bass... I bought it in 2005. Opened it once to clean it two years ago but there was not too much dust, there. Have played quite a few gigs with it and nearly every rehearsal.

I might have a Mesa 400+, because it sounds magnificent, too. But it weighs close to that 400+ lbs. so no thank you.

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1 minute ago, Ashdown Engineering said:

The ‘heft’ of the ABM 600 never fails to make us smile. 😉

Me too

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Is it just me or does a 600w old school sled seem like a mismatch for a quiet woodwind gig??

An old school amp with that power rating is probably always going to have some means of getting rid of a lot of heat.  A lower powered amp may be less likely to have a big noisy fan.

Given the OP likes variety, maybe get a quiet combo for those gigs and save the iron beast for situations where fan noise is not an issue. My humble opinion etc ... 

Good luck and happy amp hunting anyway:)

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My Walkabout's as quiet as a mouse, fan-wise. With a good efficient cab(s), it can be thunderous. The overall impression, though, is of valvey warmth....

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Having owned an abm iv I can vouch for its class. Excellent amp and very versatile.

2 things with it:

1. It's a work of art. Its SO well built and well finished that you'll want a case (hard case or big plastic box) to protect it, which puts the weight up. But they're still manageable but then become a 2 hand carry.

2. Theres absolutely no issue with the fans. You'll never hear them even over just talking.

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19 hours ago, funkydoug said:

Is it just me or does a 600w old school sled seem like a mismatch for a quiet woodwind gig??

An old school amp with that power rating is probably always going to have some means of getting rid of a lot of heat.  A lower powered amp may be less likely to have a big noisy fan.

Given the OP likes variety, maybe get a quiet combo for those gigs and save the iron beast for situations where fan noise is not an issue. My humble opinion etc ... 

Good luck and happy amp hunting anyway:)

On the same rehearsal / gigs I will also be playing in other ensembles including the big band.

 

I’m not taking two amps so whatever I get it needs to do it all.

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