From Ampeg to Ashdown

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From Ampeg to Ashdown

Postby dennis bentley on Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:55 am

So i am a guitar player speaking on behalf of my bass player and myself outta curiosity. i have been seeing some of my favorite bass players switch from Ampeg to Ashdowns in the past 2 years or so, and i am still wondering why. a friend of mine got an Ashdown and its a really great amplifier, and maybe that answers my own question, but i still havent has much on hands experience with a real all tube Ampeg SVT classic or what have you, but it seems the hybrid solid state/preamp tube combo is in favor. anyways long question short, i stilll think the SVT's sound great, but whats so great about these Ashdowns? any other threads with this same question?
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Postby 1953Vintage on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:04 pm

Hi...

If your friends are getting endorsements, don't forget most endorsements involve free equipment, so who wouldn't take free over not free, I guess. (The mythology behind which famous bassist is using what amp can be sort of funny at times, especially considering that so many great bass players end up playing thoroughly lame rental equipment on live gigs.)

But if you're just speaking about "normal" friends (i.e., people who have to pay for things like everyone else), then maybe it's the finickiness of tubes versus the ease of solid-state OR maybe it's just the wonderfully smooth Ashdown preamp.

I have an inexpensive Ashdown model (an Electric Blue 180 head) and its preamp is just sensational. I use a passive fretless bass and am never at a lost for the tone I like. And it sounds great even with the tone defeat button activated (i.e., no tone controls)

For years (since about 1969), my primary knock on SVTs has been that every bass you play through an SVT sounds like the SVT rather than like the bass. Since then, every Ampeg amp I've used (tube or solid-state) has had this "quality." You either like it or you don't. I don't. I LOVE the heft of an SVT, but the Ampeg preamp leaves me cold. (Ironically, the Ampeg tube direct box [ the SVTDI] is excellent. Less is more, I guess.)

FWTMBW... best regards!
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Postby 1953Vintage on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:17 pm

The phrase, "If your friends are getting endorsements" should have read "If your favorite bass players are getting endorsements."

With apologies!
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Postby dennis bentley on Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:36 am

thanks a lot for that insight sir! it will really help me when we go shopping soon for a new head. i can tune my ears to you suggestions!
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Postby 1953Vintage on Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:07 pm

Please don't rule out Ampegs, though; you might find they work great for your style.

Good luck!
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Postby brycebites on Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:55 pm

I have bee put off ashdowns from the huge reliability problems they had a couple of years ago. I believe they have improved since then.
If you're looking for punch with a hybrid amp, try the Hartke 3500. A cracking amp with loads of headroom.
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Postby mattvon on Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:53 pm

Ashdown's come in two distinct product lines--the "Classic" one made in the U.K. and the "Mag" one made in China.

As I've been told, the reliability issues have been predominantly the Chinese-made amps...but YMMV.
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Postby Painterman on Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:58 pm

I might be wrong - but I think my amp guy - Dennis Kager - who used to work for Ampeg - designed the amps for Ashdown.

8)
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Postby brycebites on Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:11 am

Mark Gooday was MD and part-owner of Trace Elliot, not Ampeg. I've just found and skim-read this interview with Mark from 2000. It looks quite interesting.

http://www.globalbass.com/archives/dec2000/mark_gooday.htm
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