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Ashdown ABM 500

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Hi Fellow BC'ers,

I just bought a lovely chrome Ashdown ABM 500 from here.  

It was delivered yesterday, so excited unwrapping new (and older) gear. Everyday can be Xmas when you have GAS!

Anyway, all looks great, sounded lovely until I switched on the the valve drive button.  Noticeable loss of power and tone. Really thin sounding. So I swapped the valve with another one I had but no difference. Turning the dial left or right didn't bring about any wanted grit effect. :(

I wondered if any of you had any thoughts?

Btw- the seller has been really good about it all too.  

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As no fan of thermionic valves I could be cheeky and say you will only get a lovely warm drive tone from a solid state amplifier. 

On a serious note, call Ashdown. Their customer service is awesome. 

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1 hour ago, pbasspecial said:

Hi Fellow BC'ers,

I just bought a lovely chrome Ashdown ABM 500 from here.  

It was delivered yesterday, so excited unwrapping new (and older) gear. Everyday can be Xmas when you have GAS!

Anyway, all looks great, sounded lovely until I switched on the the valve drive button.  Noticeable loss of power and tone. Really thin sounding. So I swapped the valve with another one I had but no difference. Turning the dial left or right didn't bring about any wanted grit effect. :(

I wondered if any of you had any thoughts?

Btw- the seller has been really good about it all too.  

Hey dude, Deffo email Ashdown, they're amazing, I bought an ABM600 2nd hand from here too and had the same issue, although mine turned out to be just the valve that had gone, they suggested a dodgy pot and suggested either send it in for repair or they could send over the bits FOC if your handy with a soldering iron.

 

Call Us at 01621 857853
[email protected]

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+1 for contacting Ashdown.  There's no other company anywhere that supports its products as well as they do.

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2 hours ago, Stofferson said:

Hey dude, Deffo email Ashdown, they're amazing, I bought an ABM600 2nd hand from here too and had the same issue, although mine turned out to be just the valve that had gone, they suggested a dodgy pot and suggested either send it in for repair or they could send over the bits FOC if your handy with a soldering iron.

 

Call Us at 01621 857853
[email protected]

Give us a call and ask for Guy he should be able to get you up and running again. Cheers. 

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Amp Update:

I just spoke with amp legend Dave Green. He thinks it's more than likely a damaged pot. Will be taking it direct to them next week to get it looked.  Can't trust those pesky couriers. 

Great customer service Ashdown! A+ for effort

Edited by pbasspecial
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2 hours ago, pbasspecial said:

Amp Update:

I just spoke with amp legend Dave Green. He thinks it's more than likely a damaged pot. Will be taking it direct to them next week to get it looked.  Can't trust those pesky couriers. 

Great customer service Ashdown! A+ for effort

Good news. Everything we make is repairable forever so we should be able to get you sorted fairly quickly.

Cheers.

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I took my ABM600 to my tech, who spoke direct with Ashdown and had some minor problems fixed in a matter of moments.  He's worked for some big name amp companies before and said the Ashdown guys were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.

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Love @Ashdown Engineering - had a wonderful chat with Dave Green today about my CTM100 which he said looked like it had been stored in a swimming pool by its previous owner 🤣

Top notch amps and chaps.

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I shall be heading out there one Wednesday soon - work keeps on getting in the way of that trip hahahaha - hopefully it'll be a simple fix for me

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19 hours ago, pbasspecial said:

Amp Update:

I just spoke with amp legend Dave Green. He thinks it's more than likely a damaged pot. Will be taking it direct to them next week to get it looked.  Can't trust those pesky couriers. 

Great customer service Ashdown! A+ for effort

I had the same thing when I bought an ABM 500, rang ashdown and was told the same thing, sent it back and it turned out it was just a resistor that had packed up, they repaired it and sent it back, no charge

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Met Mark and the guys at the last 2 London bass shows.  Super friendly team. Also think me and my 3 lads were on their Instagram post too as my seven year photo bombed/stole the bass of me whilst I was demoing their amps!

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On 30/10/2019 at 09:08, pbasspecial said:

Hi Fellow BC'ers,

I just bought a lovely chrome Ashdown ABM 500 from here.  

It was delivered yesterday, so excited unwrapping new (and older) gear. Everyday can be Xmas when you have GAS!

Anyway, all looks great, sounded lovely until I switched on the the valve drive button.  Noticeable loss of power and tone. Really thin sounding. So I swapped the valve with another one I had but no difference. Turning the dial left or right didn't bring about any wanted grit effect. :(

I wondered if any of you had any thoughts?

Btw- the seller has been really good about it all too.  

I bought the same amp last year from PMT new and had the same issue. I changed the vale as you did but to no avail.....  I returned it to get another but had the same fault...... Total refund in the end :(

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1 hour ago, Mike Byrne said:

I bought the same amp last year from PMT new and had the same issue. I changed the vale as you did but to no avail.....  I returned it to get another but had the same fault...... Total refund in the end :(

Sorry to hear that.  I thought the were built like tanks. 

Thats why I'm personally taking it there tomorrow. Fed up with broken gear because the couriers are driving around flat out and lobbing packages because:

1. Get paid very little per job

2. Don't give a stinky poo 

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4 hours ago, Mike Byrne said:

I bought the same amp last year from PMT new and had the same issue. I changed the vale as you did but to no avail.....  I returned it to get another but had the same fault...... Total refund in the end :(

Disappointing that.  Must say that I've thought more than once I should be buying a new ABM600 to support Ashdown.  It's a decent amp that's good value for money IMHO - certainly the best in their range for me.  If it went on a diet and shed a few kilos I'd be there!

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2 hours ago, scrumpymike said:

Disappointing that.  Must say that I've thought more than once I should be buying a new ABM600 to support Ashdown.  It's a decent amp that's good value for money IMHO - certainly the best in their range for me.  If it went on a diet and shed a few kilos I'd be there!

Buy the rack-mount one and put it in a lightweight Gator case or a rack bag to save the weight of the plywood sleeve? 

Sorted! 😁

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Ashdown Update:

I took the amp over there this morning.  Quite a pleasant 50 mile drive there surprisingly.

Guy had a look at it, put it on the bench and gave it a full service.  Said the drive was working but it's a subtle thing, not a gnarly, gritty thing. Replaced the valve for a higher output ecc83 JJ one.  Still not a lot of grit so, he modded it with a resistor and a bit of techie magic.  Seemed to improve it a bit.  He also fixed the mute button issue.  Turns out someone had removed the three transistors???

How much did they charge me? Zero, zilch, Nara, nothing.

Ashdown, you now have a friend for life.  Well done Mark and the gang.

And mostly a big thank you to Guy.  You sir are a rootin, tootin, troubleshooting superstar. 

 

Edited by pbasspecial
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19 minutes ago, pbasspecial said:

Ashdown Update:

I took the amp over there this morning.  Quite a pleasant 50 mile drive there surprisingly.

Guy had a look at it, put it on the bench and gave it a full service.  Said the drive was working but it's a subtle thing, not a gnarly, gritty thing. Replaced the valve for a higher output ecc83 JJ one.  Still not a lot of grit so, he modded it with a resistor and a bit of techie magic.  Seemed to improve it a bit.  He also fixed the mute button issue.  Turns out someone had removed the three transistors???

How much did they charge me? Zero, zilch, Nara, nothing.

Ashdown, you now have a friend for life.  Well done Mark and the gang.

And mostly a big thank you to Guy.  You sir are a rootin, tootin, troubleshooting superstar. 

 

excellent customer service, which is what I got, however, valve drive on mine gives a noticeable overdrive tone, not Lemmy territory but heading in that direction, unlike the valve preamp on my Trace SMX, doesn't seem to make any difference at all

Edited by PaulWarning
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2 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

excellent customer service, which is what I got, however, valve drive on mine gives a noticeable overdrive tone, not Lemmy territory but heading in that direction, unlike the valve preamp on my Trace SMX, doesn't seem to make any difference at all

Maybe as this is one of the earlier models, it's spec is probably similar to the Traces. That's why I thought it was broken as it didn't seemed to make a noticeable difference.  Expected a bit more grit.  Great amp nonetheless. 

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Definitely warm overdrive tone on mine, but mine's a 600 Evo IV - maybe that's different. Either way, superb service!

 

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AFAIK the EVO IV is when Ashdown changed the valve drive to be fatter, before that it was more like a subtle nuanced addition :)

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Dave Green is in my opinion  legendary in his Ashdown advice. He recently fixed me up with a replacement set of Mosfet's for a super early 1997 ABM500H rack mount amp. I also personally use a 2000 vintage ABM EVO500 as my main gigging amp and the valve sound on these amps is more like a valve 'presence' than a 'grind' option. I must admit to liking this very much. I also use an EVO2 300 watt ABM big chassis version (2005 vintage) where the valve sound is much more aggressive than earlier models so there is def a difference in pre amp valve performance for different model year ABM's. I have no experience with evo 3 or 4 versions so not sure how these are voiced. The older ABM's in my opinion have a much more subtle rounded presence rather than a grit/grunge sound.   

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