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King Tut

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I picked up an Ashdown MAG600 from here earlier in the week and was keen to try it out last night. I think the model is an EVOIII although it's not labelled as such, it just has the 15th anniversary logo on the front and all the facilities found on the later MAG's. It's well equipped with the usual Ashdown VU meter and passive and active inputs. It has a five band EQ entered around very useful frequencies and deep and bright switches. The EQ can be switched in and out from the front panel. It has a one knob compressor and an octave down facility and overdrive, again switchable from the front panel. The distortion can also be operated with a foot switch. The Octaver is a bit of a waste of space - sure it works well and sounds good but without being able to foot switch it in and out you could only really use it for a whole song.

On the back it's just got an IEC mains in and switch, two big fans and usefully, a pair of Speakon/Jack combo sockets - so all round, a pretty well equipped amp.

I played with Stray, a fairly loud but not stupid loud, Classic Rock five piece at Leo's in Gravesend. It's a nice rock venue with a medium stage and a good sound engineer and PA. I was running the amp through an Eden Nemesis 4 x 10 which is an 8 ohm cab rated at 500W. I've used the cab with other heads and it's never been lacking volume, but of late, I've been running a 2 x 12 stack to get the sound closer to my ears (which are protected with ear plugs).

Tonally, I bloody love the thing. The EQ, as mentioned is really useful and the tone is solid and clear but warm with a hint of grit when pushed. I played the first set with a Jazz Bass and the second with a Ric 4003 - two different beasts and the Ashdown really brought out that difference. In isolation I was over the moon with the tone. I had the deep switch in and each EQ knob pushed a bit past noon with a bit more top and high mid than the rest. Once we'd kicked off sound checking though, I had to really crank the master volume and by the end of the night it ended up around at around 3 o'clock. Bear in mind that with my Class D heads (A GK MB500 and a Bugera Veyron 1001T) I seldom get the master volumes past 11 o'clock - so this surprised me a bit. Having said that - the tone did not break up at all - it was sweet.

I think - having not used the 4x10 for a while, the perceived lack of volume may have been down to all the sound coming past my knees. I know I was pretty loud cos the Jazz fed back a couple of times. I'm also going to experiment with not having the deep switch in, so I can drive the front end a bit more.

To summarise - the amp is well equipped and easy to dial in great tone, but the verdict is out on for the time being on volume. I'd be interested in the collective opinion on my observations.

IMG_20191214_132243787_PORTRAIT-01.jpeg

Edited by King Tut
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7 minutes ago, King Tut said:

Surprised no comments on this - anyone got any thoughts - particularly on the volume?

I had a ABM 500 EVO III and was disappointed by the volume, I had it all the way up with the gain on full and it was only just as loud as my 200 watt Trace Elliot on '2' with the gain on 10, @Lozz196 did mention that the 600 was a lot louder when I queried this on another thread

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My first Ashdown was a wide Mag 300. My Mag 600 also does not seem extra loud . I think you might need about 1/2 of the input meter and a 4ohm cabinet for more volume. 

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I used to think Ashdown amps lacked volume but learnt how to use them and would say there are a couple of things to consider:

1. The Deep switch will suck power into producing low frequencies. This is a similar thing to the Shape button on the ABM

2. It’s not clear from the pic or your description if the Sub Harmonic is switched in, but if it is in it is being pushed quite a lot and will also suck power.

I’d be inclined to reset everything back to noon on the EQ, switch out anything like the Deep and Sub buttons and start from there. Cut the bass control, boost the mids and don’t be scared to drive the preamp hard with the Gain control. See how you get on with that :)

Edited by Merton
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9 hours ago, Merton said:

I used to think Ashdown amps lacked volume but learnt how to use them and would say there are a couple of things to consider:

1. The Deep switch will suck power into producing low frequencies. This is a similar thing to the Shape button on the ABM

2. It’s not clear from the pic or your description if the Sub Harmonic is switched in, but if it is in it is being pushed quite a lot and will also suck power.

I’d be inclined to reset everything back to noon on the EQ, switch out anything like the Deep and Sub buttons and start from there. Cut the bass control, boost the mids and don’t be scared to drive the preamp hard with the Gain control. See how you get on with that :)

Thanks Merton. The sub harmonic generator wasn't switched in but the deep switch was. I've messed about at home with the pre and found I could drive it a bit harder than I was before it clips. I won't be using it on Saturday but will prob take it to a couple of dates on our Feb tour to see how I get on!

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21 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

I had a ABM 500 EVO III and was disappointed by the volume, I had it all the way up with the gain on full and it was only just as loud as my 200 watt Trace Elliot on '2' with the gain on 10, @Lozz196 did mention that the 600 was a lot louder when I queried this on another thread

I felt the same going from a MAG300 to a ABM 300. The ABM seemed quieter. Probably a difference in EQ and voicing, but where as i could happily gig with the MAG, i was struggling with the ABM (in to the same cab). Never used the Deep or Sub features.

Edited by dave_bass5

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I had an interesting chat with Dave Green at Ashdown earlier this week about Volume/Loudness. I've got a Retroglide that I felt was not delivering the full beans of 800w and as he designed that particular amp he made some interesting comments.

I was comparing it to my trusty MarkBass SA450, which is a 500w amp and I never had the master above 12 o'clock, whereas the Retroglide was nowhere near as loud with similar settings. He pointed out that MarkBass, like most other manufacturers, design their amps to deliver full output at 12 o'clock and anything after that involves a bit of limiter/compressor to stop them going into distortion and blowing speakers. The Retroglide is designed with a linear master control, so full power is with the control wound fully up. Anyone who has used an EA iAmp will know what he is getting at, as they also have a linear master control. His suggestion was to wind the master up full and control it with the input gain. A lot of people seem reluctant to wind an amp up full hence why some are "full at 12 o'clock".

Could be the MAG 600 is designed to behave like the Retroglide. 

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56 minutes ago, BassBunny said:

 His suggestion was to wind the master up full and control it with the input gain. A lot of people seem reluctant to wind an amp up full hence why some are "full at 12 o'clock".

 

This is what GK suggest as well.

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1 hour ago, BassBunny said:

His suggestion was to wind the master up full and control it with the input gain. A lot of people seem reluctant to wind an amp up full hence why some are "full at 12 o'clock".

Does that advice stand for the ABM as well? 

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3 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

This is what GK suggest as well.

And I think Ampeg with their SVT3-PRO.

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3 hours ago, Muppet said:

Does that advice stand for the ABM as well? 

Haven't a clue I'm afraid. I was only interested in talking about the Retroglide. Give him a call and see what he has to say.

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4 hours ago, Muppet said:

Does that advice stand for the ABM as well? 

I doubt it as the pre amp is designed to be clean or dirty, so this would depend a lot on how the master is set.

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5 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

I doubt it as the pre amp is designed to be clean or dirty, so this would depend a lot on how the master is set.

Agree - I think on the ABM's the gain alters the tone.

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Always did this with a pre amp/power amp set up with the power amp on full and pre amp gain/output to set the level needed. Depends on the manufacturer maybe?

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