ABM 500 RC EVO II Head review by Ashdown

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (7 votes)
Ashdown: ABM 500 RC EVO II Head

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 10
I'm using this with my MIA Precision Bass playing in a punky/indie band which this amp suits fantastically. I really have no complaints with the sound and I've got other decent sounds out of it too for stuff like country, jazz, blues and funk, it really is a versatile amp.

Overall Impression — 10
I have no regrets after buying this amp, I A/B'd it against loads of other bass amps in it's price range and some more expensive ones (e.g. Ampeg and Eden) and this one came out on top in the end because I just loved the sound of the thing. If it was stolen I would definitely buy another one. This amp is damn near perfection, if it had that wet/dry blend on the effects loop and dropped the shape Switch (although you can just ignore it) then it would be spot on.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing has no broken down on me yet and I am confident enough to gig without a backup. I've got it in a rack case and so far it seems as if it's bulletproof. I can definitely depend on this amp, I know others Who own them and are as happy as me with theirs and they've had no problems what'soever and some of theirs have been very heavily gigged.

Features — 9
This is a fantastic amp for the music I play (punky stuff) when I hook it up to my 1x15 cab I got with it. It's got and effects loop and headphone jack etc, a seven band EQ, great mute feature so you can tune up in silence (it mutes all outputs apart from the tuner output) and you can switch the EQ in or out to go straight to a flat sound. The DI is switchable to be pre or post EQ which is good, you can either give the sound engineer a flat sound to work with or send your sound straight to the desk. The sub-out I have not used yet but I plan to try it out some time, it basically sends the pre-amp signal, with the crossover set to 160Hz, to a separate powered sub for some extra low-end. The shape Switch I have not found a use for, it sounds like I'm playing bass through my nose so I stay away from that (this is the only thing I do not like about this amp). The sub-harmonics feature is good for subtly thickening out your sound, if you put it on higher levels it doesn't sound as good as a normal octaver but it's not bad. The tube preamp with variable valve Drive is good, the amount of Drive you get really depends on where you have your input volume set but I tend not to have the valve Drive knob set that high and the input knob at about 3 o'clock. I've found that if you turn the valve Drive knob up too much, it doesn't sound too great, it's best set around 12 o'clock for a little bit of Drive or around 9 'clock for some added warmth (this is what I do). Separate input and output volumes are great, just by adjusting the input volume you can get a wide range of sounds as you can choose just how much you push the preamp, I love this feature. On the back you've got the standard speaker connectors and one for a Speakon cable, there's fans and all the other usual jacks etc there too. The only thing I wish it had was a wet/dry blend for the effects loop, if it had that instead of the shape Switch, this amp would be perfect. It has the awesome chrome finish (which looks great under stage lighting) and to top it all off, there's the cool (and helpful) Ashdown VU meter that lights up.

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