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MichaelDean

Ashdown ABM EVO IV reliability

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I'm in the market for a new amp. I've been using my Ampeg PF-500 almost since the model came out and it has been incredibly reliable, but I feel like I want a change. My first decent amp was a Trace Elliot Commando 12, which didn't have a proper DI out and wasn't quite loud enough for me at that time. I then moved to a Markbass CMD 102P - very nice too, but too modern for me. Then I got my Ampeg with the matching 210 cab and I was set until I started playing 5 string. I'm now rocking the Ampeg with a Zilla neo 212, which is an excellent combination, but I haven't been amp shopping for about 8/9 years and wanted to see if I was missing anything.

 

I was in the Bristol PMT the other week trying some stuff out (really wanted to like Orange stuff but it wasn't me!) and what really grabbed me by the ears was an ABM 300 EVO IV. Sounded really smooth through the Orange 112 I was plugged into and very reminiscent of my old TE. But, both that and an ABM 600 that was on display both had reliability issues. The 600 didn't even turn on so the salesman got the 300 fresh out of the box in front of me. The 300 had a fault with the switches where it would cut out after pressing the switches.

 

I know Ashdown are known for being reliable and have a good presence here, but two faulty units in the same shop makes me nervous! Has anyone else had any good/bad issues with the ABM EVO IV range?

 

Also, anything else that I should be looking at amp wise? I know I'm not after anything too modern sounding, I prefer a more vintage tone and I like my mids. My main player at the moment is a Dingwall Combustion 5. I know I don't like the current Orange stuff (tried the Terror Bass and OB1), I don't like what I've heard from the Ashdown Rootmaster from using them at practice studios. I am interested in a Trace Elliot AH 600-12. Price range is up to £700 and second hand is encouraged. I'm a sprightly 32 as well, so weight isn't a huge concern. 

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I’ve had my ABM600 EVO IV for nearly three years now, and not a single problem. 3hr rehearsals, day-long recording sessions, plus virtually weekly gigs, connected to all kinds of provided cabs as well as my own EVO IV 410 & 210.  

For me it’s been a great amp, on bigger stages it retains a depth to the sound that smaller amps seem to lose, but similarly on smaller stages doesn’t overpower them. It also doesn’t lose anything when playing at lower volumes, not an amp that needs to be pushed to sound good.

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ABM's are great amps. Did you try any new Fenders at PMT? The Fender Rumble v3 range head + cab or combo's are excellent and well within you budget. 👍

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The one I have now is great, thought I prefer to use my RM 800, simply because it's lighter and smaller. I did have a couple of ABM 600s that failed before I got this one, and they were replaced immediately by Ashdown.

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1 hour ago, Lozz196 said:

I’ve had my ABM600 EVO IV for nearly three years now, and not a single problem. 3hr rehearsals, day-long recording sessions, plus virtually weekly gigs, connected to all kinds of provided cabs as well as my own EVO IV 410 & 210.  

For me it’s been a great amp, on bigger stages it retains a depth to the sound that smaller amps seem to lose, but similarly on smaller stages doesn’t overpower them. It also doesn’t lose anything when playing at lower volumes, not an amp that needs to be pushed to sound good.

This is what I wanted to hear! Thanks! 

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1 hour ago, hooky_lowdown said:

ABM's are great amps. Did you try any new Fenders at PMT? The Fender Rumble v3 range head + cab or combo's are excellent and well within you budget. 👍

They only had the older v2 stuff in store otherwise I would have been tempted to try it out. Only interested in a head at the moment though. My Zilla cab is looooverly. Maybe I nip in on my lunch break and try the old range to get a feel. 

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18 minutes ago, MichaelDean said:

They only had the older v2 stuff in store otherwise I would have been tempted to try it out. Only interested in a head at the moment though. My Zilla cab is looooverly. Maybe I nip in on my lunch break and try the old range to get a feel. 

The older range is nowhere near as good the V3 range.

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I had an ABM Evo III for ten years and it never let me down at all. I sent it back to Ashdown once just to get it checked/serviced and they replaced the VU meter free of charge (apparently it wasnt working perfectly, but i had never noticed)

From my experience there customer service is wonderful so even *if* you do have an issue it will be very quickly resolved.

Great amps and to be honest if i was in the market for another Ashdown i would probably buy a secondhand Evo III again as they go for peanuts

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I have a Evo IV 600 and it's a beautiful sounding amp. They have been know to occasionally suffer from failing 16v capacitors, which is an easy fix by an amp tech, who would replace them with upgraded ones. My tech did this on advice from Ashdown and it's been bullet proof since. 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again - Ashdown have some of the best customer service around.  If anything does go wrong, you are sure to have it sorted in super quick time.  I also don't think they fail any more than any other brand generally.

There's a certain amount of 'emperor's new clothes' about the whole Class D era in my opinion, hard to beat a proper old school bass brand.

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45 minutes ago, acidbass said:

There's a certain amount of 'emperor's new clothes' about the whole Class D era in my opinion, hard to beat a proper old school bass brand.

My current main amp is an Ashdown class D  - the Rootmaster 800. Sounds good to my ears. The ABM (I have a 600) probably just has the edge in terms of sound, but the RM is smaller and lighter, and that counts for a lot to me as well.

As nearly all of the gigs I play the bass is DI'd into the PA, the amp & cab I use are just one stage monitoring anyway

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3 hours ago, FinnDave said:

My current main amp is an Ashdown class D  - the Rootmaster 800. Sounds good to my ears. The ABM (I have a 600) probably just has the edge in terms of sound, but the RM is smaller and lighter, and that counts for a lot to me as well.

As nearly all of the gigs I play the bass is DI'd into the PA, the amp & cab I use are just one stage monitoring anyway

+1 - The Ashdown RMs are the nearest I’ve heard to proper big amp sound in a small Class D amp. On proper big stages the ABMs strength becomes apparent but in pubs/regular clubs etc the RMs are plenty good.

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