Electric Blue 12-180 EVO II Review

manufacturer: Ashdown date: 09/01/2014 category: Bass Amplifiers
Ashdown: Electric Blue 12-180 EVO II
The EB 12-180 1 x 12" combo uses a 180 Watts RMS fan-cooled fast-transient power stage, and a fully-featured bass preamplifier with inputs for both active and passive instruments, an illumunated VU meter, 5 band EQ with Bright and Deep switches, a front panel-mounted balanced DI output for connection to a PA or recording console, an FX loop, a tuner/line output and the classic Ashdown sub-harmonic generator.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Features: 8.5
 Ease of Use: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (1) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
Electric Blue 12-180 EVO II Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 07, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 185

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Sound: I'm using the amp with a Vintage Modified Squier Jazz bass and the sound is brilliant! You would be hard pressed to find another amp for this price which is capable of producing such a good sound. when I bought the amp a few anxieties were in my head, would the amp be loud enough to play live, should I have gone for the 15" speaker, or the MAG300? After playing this amp live I've come to the conclusion that: the EB is just loud enough for some gigs (not connected to PA). You can hear yourself on stage alongside a very loud drummer and very loud guitarist but if you want to be absolutely sure your sound is gunna be heard right to the back of the venue, go for a MAG300. Everything about this amp is amazing, but if you are at a gig where you can't connect to the PA, not many people in the audience are going to be lucky enough to hear the great sound of the amp. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Ashdown is a name you can trust. I know a few people who have Ashdowns and none of them have ever had any problems. The build quality is great, you can just tell these amps are built to cope with being moved around a lot. I used fear that the small handle on the top of the amp is going to snap but I've discovered it's stronger than it looks. I've never kicked the kick-proof grille but I'm sure it really is kick-proof. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp has most types of music covered. Jazz, blues, rock. If you want an amp which sounds brilliant, is reliable and capable of playing practices and small gigs, this is the one! If you want an amp which you can cope with big gigs, take a look at the MAGs/ABMs. // 10

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overall: 9
Electric Blue 12-180 EVO II Reviewed by: lorrythebassguy, on july 25, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 175

Sound: I play a variety of styles including Blues, Jazz, and classic rock, but I mainly play blues & punk roack. My main basses are an Epiphone EB3 & a Fender Marcus Miller jazz. The amp suits these styles well. I can dial in a lot of bottom end for the heavier sounds with the EQ and the deep switch. You can also achieve a good high end twang, but if you turn the treb control up too much, the bass becomes "tinny", especially with an active bass. The amp can sometimes sound muddy, but with a few teaks of the EQ this can be cured. Sometime the amp sounds too sharp, so I wish it had a compressor! The amp does distort at high volumes, but if you turn the Input level down most of the distortion goes. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've lugged this amp up and down stairs, on and off stages, in and out the back off the car and it's even fallen down the stairs and the thing still works fine! It has never broken down on me so I never take a backup to gigs. The amps as solid as a rock, with plastic corners to help protect it. It has a carpet covering to protect it (from everything except cat hairs)! I'll happily give the amp a 10 for this. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mainly blues & rock covers/originals with two very different basses, but this amp is very flexible and still lets my dial in the tone I want. It allows me to have lots of bottom end but still keep the high end twang that I love. I've played a variety of different amps, including Laneys, Ampegs & Marshall bass amps but this is definately the best value for money. You get all the features you expect of a pro bass amp, for an affordable price! I'm glad I bought this amp because it's great for practicing and it's enough to drown out my very noisy drummer! Next I think I'm going to get an extension cab for it. If it was lost or stolen, I would most definately buy another one! My favourite feature is the Flexible EQ and the VU meter, which allows you to get rid of any clipping you might get (especially from my active bass). I recommend this for any bassist that has just started gigging regularly and needs a good, all round amp! // 9

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overall: 8.5
Electric Blue 12-180 EVO II Reviewed by: Pavloveian, on september 01, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: used

Ease of Use: I'm going to test its recording capacity next week and see what I can get out of it. If you've had this amp for a while and haven't played with the features (I've heard some owners haven't), you haven't found what this amp is built for. It will give you outstanding volume and tone. It is sitting there waiting to be designed by the player and will surprise you to what it can do. I would buy another and in fact will probably get the 300 EVO III as well and just keep both. If you're on a budget and need something around or under the $500.00 price range you cannot go wrong with something like this. The quality is definitely more than you'd expect for the price. // 8

Sound: At first I thought the amp had a great retro warm tone (think Hendrix, The Who and Deep Purple late '60s early '70s). However it wasn't pushing enough air and the range seemed limited. That was until I played with the EQ a bit. That's when it really came to life! This solid state amp reproduces those old tube amp sounds like Orange and Vox really well. It went from decently loud to thunderous and meaty in no time at all. It has a low boost, EQ, brightness and harmonic/octave built in which work with the 5 band EQ and allow for a real dynamic range of sound. I became an audiophile in seconds, adjusting for every type of tone it would reproduce. All seemed to have a warmth you would expect in a tube amp. This is similar to what I've seen in the old Traynor solid state amps from the '70s and early '80s. You don't come across this kind of craftmanship often. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It looks sturdy and very compact. From what I've heard it stands up to a lot of abuse. I tend to abuse my equipment pretty awful so that's definitely a plus. I'm rating this part based on what I've read since I've only had it only 2 weeks. All the controls are metal and are in perfect working order. It's not made of cheap material. No plastic to speak of and has a tough looking exterior. The cabinet is sturdy and solid as is the grill. It appears to be a tough workhorse of an amp. It can be heard over the drums, guitars and PA in smaller settings very easily. It doesn't lose any sound quality where I set it which is just over halfway or around 1 o'clock. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing professionally for almost 20 years. I've played through every conceivable piece of equipment you can imagine. Working in a music store for 8 years allowed me to try hundreds of amps, guitars and basses. This amp deserves a mention right up there with some of the better I've heard. Still, this amp is what it is. You wouldn't bring it to a large venue, it is much more suited to the average Joe who plays medium to small gigs. Most of the time I'm playing clubs and bars which hold approx 50-200 people. This amp will do that pretty easily. Over the years I've heard solid states that were outright awful. Flat and lifeless. Some are pretty good at being tube imitators. This is one of the better ones.

If you want real sound control from the amp side of things this is a great amp. It can play well both quiet or loud. It will start to distort (in a dissipated flat solid state bad kind of way) when overdriven but you have to intentionally abuse the settings. Tube amps are made to be heated and driven for good sound, solid states, coddled. This needs very little coddling. It can handle a lot of pushing. There's a lot of control instantly available for whatever level and tone you want. I play every style from Reggae to metal, and funk to punk, mainly with a Fender Jazz Bass. This amp delivers. I'm going to use it as much as possible to see what it's limitations are. SO far, it's only impressed. // 9

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