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Ashdown Amps - what are the differences between models?

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5 minutes ago, Doddy said:

I'm not technical or anything, but I've always used the master to give me maximum volume, while using the gain to set my level. If I set the gain anywhere near full, I invariably end up clipping the preamp before ever touching the master volume.

 

ok I get that, but shouldn't the input gain be set as high as possible before clipping occurs (some amps like Ashdown have a VU meter for this), then control the volume with the master, it just seems a bit odd to me to do it the other way round, I would have thought it's best to give the preamp the best possible signal, maybe I'm missing something

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50 minutes ago, Doddy said:

Maybe because of the way the volume controls work, which @BassBunny mentioned earlier?  Or maybe because of the different eq? 

All I know is I've been using the Retroglide solidly for a few years now, and I never have to crank the volume too much. It's loud.

Everything was flat and the volume was about the same. It wasn't about loudness. We tried a slew of different amps. The other one that had the same 'hit you in the chest' sound was a 150W Trace Elliot. Go figure (as they say). Otherwise, all the amps we tried sounded fairly similar.

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I will give it a test once it's here and compare it to the Laney (500w) and Hartke (250w) heads I have. I have a stone outbuilding where I can turn it up full if need be and no-one will be any the wiser (apart from the bats in the roof!).

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2 hours ago, PeteJ said:

What can they send to allow you to change it? Might give that option a go if I don't like the tonal variations.

 

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26 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

ok I get that, but shouldn't the input gain be set as high as possible before clipping occurs (some amps like Ashdown have a VU meter for this), then control the volume with the master, it just seems a bit odd to me to do it the other way round, I would have thought it's best to give the preamp the best possible signal, maybe I'm missing something

I'm just going off what I've been recommended. Although I have always been lead to believe that higher master and lower gain will give cleaner headroom than higher gain and lower master. Going off that, I've always set the master relatively high first before turning up the gain.

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Some amps are recommended to be used like that, Ampeg SVT 3-PRO for example, whereas my Ashdown ABM600 is the input gain to clipping/meter in the red method.

Edited by Lozz196

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The ctm300 breaks up the more you turn the gain (not the master volume). So you can pick you ideal sound using the 2 together (gain and master). Its not really to do with the vu on the valve amps, it's just using your ears to find the sweet spot.

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2 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

There is a thread on that somewhere on here, whoever it was who did it said it really opened the amp up.

Yeah that was my CTM! I love it now that I've had the EQ mod, it's still my only gigging amp. I don't understand why they make them the way they come - the EQ was essentially useless to me. I would've sold it if I hadn't been able to change it. But now it's my favourite amp that I've ever used.

While I'm here, I've since come to realise too, that the power valve driven DI is also a hidden gem in the CTM. I'd love to A/B against a Noble DI or a REDDI or the like - I reckon it'd give them a run for their money. Sound guys are always full of praise.

Anyway yeah, check out the thread I started above if you're interested. 

Also I've had an old EB150, had an ABM 500 rig that I used and loved for many years. I only moved it that one on because I got the CTM. I'm an Ashdown fan!

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2 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

what is the difference between having the input gain on full (which I do using a passive P bass) and using the master volume to control loudness , or the other way round?

The Retroglide will clip quite a bit before you hit max on the input. It is a completely different design to the Rootmaster and has an extremely powerful eq section.

I've got a RM500 as well as a Retroglide and they are different beasts entirely.

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I missed out on an mk500 last night

was described as perfect, once I paid, the seller mentioned a few defects and gave me a refund

to be fair, I don’t think he had used it for a while

it was the PI version, so fairly rare!

I still need another amp, really wanted an mk as I’ve had one before, but not many around, so might give a retro glide a go! 
 

Tony

6EDCEFDC-27EC-4906-B70E-BAC44CA0424D.jpeg

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2 hours ago, sshorepunk said:

I missed out on an mk500 last night

was described as perfect, once I paid, the seller mentioned a few defects and gave me a refund

to be fair, I don’t think he had used it for a while

it was the PI version, so fairly rare!

I still need another amp, really wanted an mk as I’ve had one before, but not many around, so might give a retro glide a go! 
 

Tony

6EDCEFDC-27EC-4906-B70E-BAC44CA0424D.jpeg

Would it be worth buying on th cheap and having Ashdown resurrect it?

I got an ABM EVO II for free, for spares or repair off a local pro who had 3 other working EVO IIs and was moving abroad. Sent it to Ashdown, and for under £100 it was repaired and serviced.

They're able to fix up everything they've made as far as I'm aware...

Eude

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Another difference between ABM and RM is the bass eq. 

ABM has a big low end and the bass knob is a peaking filter at about 45hz (changed slightly over the years) with a HPF below it. Means you can get a lot of low end  - as much or as little as you want. The RM bass knob is at 100hz, also a peaking filter.

As a result, on the ABM Evo 4 you can get an 'RMish' sound by using the first little slider,  but on the RM you don't have any control below 100hz other than the shape button - which also affects other frequencies. 

Lots of people love the RM amps, hardly a bad word to be said about them - but if you want to be able to boost or cut in the 40 - 80hz region my conclusion is that ABM is the way to go (with Ashdown anyway!)

 

Edited by funkydoug
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4 hours ago, sshorepunk said:

I missed out on an mk500 last night

was described as perfect, once I paid, the seller mentioned a few defects and gave me a refund

to be fair, I don’t think he had used it for a while

it was the PI version, so fairly rare!

I still need another amp, really wanted an mk as I’ve had one before, but not many around, so might give a retro glide a go! 
 

Tony

6EDCEFDC-27EC-4906-B70E-BAC44CA0424D.jpeg

I was tempted with that one as well but decided I've bought enough whilst in lockdown.

@sshorepunk if you want to try a Retroglide you're more than welcome to have a try if mine when things open up a bit as I believe we're both from Mancunia.

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5 hours ago, sshorepunk said:

I missed out on an mk500 last night

was described as perfect, once I paid, the seller mentioned a few defects and gave me a refund

to be fair, I don’t think he had used it for a while

it was the PI version, so fairly rare!

I still need another amp, really wanted an mk as I’ve had one before, but not many around, so might give a retro glide a go! 
 

Tony

6EDCEFDC-27EC-4906-B70E-BAC44CA0424D.jpeg

Ashdown have just reissued this for 2021 with an upgraded evo iv spec if that helps.

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My purchase off ebay arrived today, one heavyweight Ashdown ABM 500 EVO III head! Looks and feels like a proper amp 😎

Will plug it in soon and give it a go.

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Sounds pretty good to me, a nice warmth to it - I was able to get a good tone more or less straight away. Used it with headphones, will try speakers tomorrow hopefully. Getting a few crackles when I adjust the gain/volume knobs - is that normal or does it need a service?

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On 19/01/2021 at 07:12, javi_bassist said:

That's a sexy awesome sounding amp. Is the cab a RM?

Yes, well spotted. I'm a big ABM fan but I also like the RM cabs. If you like, it's not a bad thing to mix and match different lines. I've owned and tried a bunch of MAG and ABM cabs, both had their positives but were a tad on the heavy side for me. I like the form factor, size and weight of the recent RM cabs, and the one thing that impressed me was how they sounded. The RM white line drivers don't seem particularly efficient but they really do have that Ashdown tone nailed. For me the speaker efficiency isn't a major issue as my ABM 500EVO is more than able to drive them hard at gig volume. I use a four year old RM210T EVO and a two year old RM115T EVOII cab with the ABM and I'm very happy with the balance and tone of each cab and how they perform together gig wise. They are both slightly customised with vintage tinted Musicman grille cloth and the 210T also has a fair bit of internal structural customisation to tighten up the response and performance of the cab. The 210T is 14kg dead, and the RM115T EVOII is 15.5kg. My ABM is 12.5kg. it's an easy lift into a gig and I've used both cabs on their own many times for rehearsal to great effect. Point is, the Ashdown thing works well wether you are in to ABM's or an RM user and don't be afraid to mix and match.  Both are viable lines to get in to and sound good when mixed together. I must admit being interested in the new ABM Neo cabs but they are heavier than the the RM's and don't add any extra power handling and cost more. So I'm happy with my investment in RM cabs for now to use with my ABM 500EVO.   My ABM EVOIII 500 combo is a whole different thing...its a complete MONSTER and the only amp that's frightened me in recent times😲 It's heavy though at 32kg so not used as much as the RM cabs/500 EVO setup.  🙄  

RM_gig_stack.jpg

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On 19/01/2021 at 12:24, PaulWarning said:

what's the difference between the MAG and ABM ranges?

thats a good question... IMHO MAG's don't quite have the bottom end grunt ABM's have but they aren't far off it. They are really good at low mids and upper mids. Especially the old school MOSFET MAG's.

Screenshot 2021-01-22 at 04.29.57.png

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2 hours ago, dangoose said:

Yes, well spotted. I'm a big ABM fan but I also like the RM cabs. If you like, it's not a bad thing to mix and match different lines. I've owned and tried a bunch of MAG and ABM cabs, both had their positives but were a tad on the heavy side for me. I like the form factor, size and weight of the recent RM cabs, and the one thing that impressed me was how they sounded. The RM white line drivers don't seem particularly efficient but they really do have that Ashdown tone nailed. For me the speaker efficiency isn't a major issue as my ABM 500EVO is more than able to drive them hard at gig volume. I use a four year old RM210T EVO and a two year old RM115T EVOII cab with the ABM and I'm very happy with the balance and tone of each cab and how they perform together gig wise. They are both slightly customised with vintage tinted Musicman grille cloth and the 210T also has a fair bit of internal structural customisation to tighten up the response and performance of the cab. The 210T is 14kg dead, and the RM115T EVOII is 15.5kg. My ABM is 12.5kg. it's an easy lift into a gig and I've used both cabs on their own many times for rehearsal to great effect. Point is, the Ashdown thing works well wether you are in to ABM's or an RM user and don't be afraid to mix and match.  Both are viable lines to get in to and sound good when mixed together. I must admit being interested in the new ABM Neo cabs but they are heavier than the the RM's and don't add any extra power handling and cost more. So I'm happy with my investment in RM cabs for now to use with my ABM 500EVO.   My ABM EVOIII 500 combo is a whole different thing...its a complete MONSTER and the only amp that's frightened me in recent times😲 It's heavy though at 32kg so not used as much as the RM cabs/500 EVO setup.  🙄  

RM_gig_stack.jpg

First of all, that's a really sexy bass. I love jazz basses and I love that colour. 

Thanks for sharing your story about the cabs. I've been thinking about the RM cabs. I used to play an ABM EVO II with an ABM 410 cab for years, and I loved the tone. But weight and size were problems. So I moved to the RM EVO head and a MAG RM210 (the first RM cabs). But I'm not 100% happy with the cab. My options are 2 1x12 RM cab or 2 1x12 Hartke HD cabs. I liked the idea of having everything from Ashdown, but I'm not sure about the cab. Still thinking...

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3 hours ago, dangoose said:

Yes, well spotted. I'm a big ABM fan but I also like the RM cabs. If you like, it's not a bad thing to mix and match different lines. I've owned and tried a bunch of MAG and ABM cabs, both had their positives but were a tad on the heavy side for me. I like the form factor, size and weight of the recent RM cabs, and the one thing that impressed me was how they sounded. The RM white line drivers don't seem particularly efficient but they really do have that Ashdown tone nailed. For me the speaker efficiency isn't a major issue as my ABM 500EVO is more than able to drive them hard at gig volume. I use a four year old RM210T EVO and a two year old RM115T EVOII cab with the ABM and I'm very happy with the balance and tone of each cab and how they perform together gig wise. They are both slightly customised with vintage tinted Musicman grille cloth and the 210T also has a fair bit of internal structural customisation to tighten up the response and performance of the cab. The 210T is 14kg dead, and the RM115T EVOII is 15.5kg. My ABM is 12.5kg. it's an easy lift into a gig and I've used both cabs on their own many times for rehearsal to great effect.

....

What mods did you do to the 210?

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Regarding the MK I won on ebay that never was....

I suggested the seller gives me a partial refund so I could then get the amp to ashdown to be sorted, but he gave me a full refund

@ bassbunny is it yours that is for sale? Altrincham?

@La bam, yes I saw the new version, a bit rich for me as this is a second amp for me.

My two 2x10's are in different places in the house, one in the lounge and one on the third floor where we have created a "music room" so wanted another amp so I don't have to keep moving my Genzler (it's a big house)

I've had an MK before and also a JJ! Good amps and I like what they do

I used the JJ amp with two aguilar 4x10's once, just before I got my aguilar DB, huge sound! Photo below

 

Tony

D0432289-E110-41BF-9157-D1FD730C6296.jpeg

Edited by sshorepunk

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3 hours ago, dangoose said:

thats a good question... IMHO MAG's don't quite have the bottom end grunt ABM's have but they aren't far off it. They are really good at low mids and upper mids. Especially the old school MOSFET MAG's.

Screenshot 2021-01-22 at 04.29.57.png

I remember lusting after the 12" wedge combo version of that MAG.
I bet it weighed a tonne though!

The old school MAG stuff is indestructible though, the majority of all house backline across the central belt in Glasgow when I gigged a lot back in the late 90s early 00s was all MAG, and oqccaiosnally ABM. Super resilient and power gear.

Eude

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On 19/01/2021 at 11:20, stevie said:

I did a direct comparison between the Retroglide and the RM500 at the last SW Bass Bash. No idea why it should be, but the RM500 had noticeably more punch or kick to it.

Would that be because of the drive adding harmonics? Also when looking at the manual the retroglide says 710 watts, not 800. I would bet that the newer RMs have a different power module to the older ones as they are now lighter, but from what I've read, the retroglide appears to be underpowered which is a shame.

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3 hours ago, javi_bassist said:

First of all, that's a really sexy bass. I love jazz basses and I love that colour. 

Thanks for sharing your story about the cabs. I've been thinking about the RM cabs. I used to play an ABM EVO II with an ABM 410 cab for years, and I loved the tone. But weight and size were problems. So I moved to the RM EVO head and a MAG RM210 (the first RM cabs). But I'm not 100% happy with the cab. My options are 2 1x12 RM cab or 2 1x12 Hartke HD cabs. I liked the idea of having everything from Ashdown, but I'm not sure about the cab. Still thinking...

If you liked the ABM 410 sound they now do ABM NEO 210s - weigh about 35lbs and the cones are placed diagonally so a pair stand nice and tall baking it easier to hear your proper tone.

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4 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

If you liked the ABM 410 sound they now do ABM NEO 210s - weigh about 35lbs and the cones are placed diagonally so a pair stand nice and tall baking it easier to hear your proper tone.

I thought about that, but I'm trying to reduce space and that's why I thought about 2 1x12. To take one for small venues (my main giggs lately) and both to bigger ones. The ABM NEO 1x12 is relatively big compared to what I was considering.

I have also gigged with an old Vintage 12 (an low volume pop band I was in) and it sounded pretty good. I wonder how that would compare to the RM500 with the RM112.

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