MAG C115-300 EVO II review by Ashdown

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (12 votes)
Ashdown: MAG C115-300 EVO II
6

Price paid: € 395

Purchased from: Feedback Musicstore

Sound — 9
Hooked up to my Schecter four-string with two massive EMG humbuckers, this beast roars! I bought an extension cab recently (the Ashdown 410T deep (about 240 euro's)) and this makes the sound very rich. It just sounds right, complete. Although you can create a lot of different sounds, I like this amp most when it's only amplifying. In my opinion, an amp should be a magnifying glass, exclusively making the input signal louder. This amp does the trick very well. I love hearing the sound my bass is actually making, not the effects in between (although those come in handy too a lot of times). I play a lot of different styles, from Megadeth to Steely Dan. This amp handles every sound perfectly. To test its noise, I tried to turn up the input level and output level to max (without actually playing the bass, that would destroy your ears instantly). Only when I turned up the higher EQ-knobs I heard little noise, which seemed to come from the pickups rather then from the amp itself. Every other noise coming from the amp would directly be subdued when playing. This amp in combination with the extension cab is perfect for any small to medium gigs. Arms-races with guitarist or agitated, aggressive drummers are easily beaten with this stack. Versatile and loud, this amp is well worth the money, compared to other amps in this price range.

Overall Impression — 9
What's more to say? This awesome old-school-looking amp definitely was the right choice for me! My guitarist got a slight disappointed look on his face when he knew I would blow his Marshall-stack away (yes, it actually can compete with the fat sound coming from an amp like that). I'm totally happy with my purchase!

Reliability & Durability — 7
Well, this thing is a tank. I'm not sure whether it would deflect bullets, but everything else you might throw at it can't hurt it. It has a heavy, solid wooden casing with little metal plates at the corners. I'm quite sure the electronics and the drivers are of good quality. The knobs are big and solid, making a very though impression. When gigging I'm not going to take any backup with me when I know I've got this beast in my backline. In the first place because it simply is reliable. In the second place because my back won't survive dragging another amp like this everywhere I go. It's heavy, but this ensures me that it won't break down easily. I've actually never heard of anyone with a broken Ashdown amp. The only thing I'm a unsure about is the front of the amp. It does not have a steal grill or something to protect the speakers. It would be a terrible loss when something punched through the carpet on the front...

Features — 8
This relatively small solid-state combo, built in 2009, packs a whopping 307 watts of power (indeed, exactly three hundred-and-seven watts). A single 15" Blue Line speaker is capable of producing a powerful, yet accurate sound. Of course Ashdown's old-school-looking trademark is built in the front panel: the awesome VU-meter. With the 5-band EQ and the "deep" & "bright" presets it's possible to create any sound that comes to mind, from a growling thunder to a flat and rich jazz sound. What surprised me most was the effect of every single knob of the EQ. Turning each one slightly up or down actually changes the sound a big deal. This way you can easily create your own distinctive sound or make subtle changes (With some cheep EQ's I feel like I'm just turning a few pointless knobs around without the slightest effect). Anyway, the front panel also features passive & active inputs, a compressor, an octaver, effects send & return and a D.I. out. Last but not least there's the mighty output knob, which is only turned up ever so slightly when I'm practicing at home. This amp surely is loaded with some cool features, but I'm missing a pedal-input to Switch the compressor and octaver. On stage, things can get a little complicated when trying to jump from a little solo with the octaver to a heavy chorus with a lot of compression. Besides this amp makes a lot of side-noise (non-electrical). The cooling fan in the back sounds like a vacuum cleaner, disturbing me sometimes when playing at lower levels. The thing weighs a ton, and is not very easy to carry around, but still the sound is well worth it. Also, there's no headphone-output. But who buys this 307 watt beast to plug headphones in it? All in all, I'm very pleased with the assets on this amp. It has everything you might aspect.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Raizer Sabre
    i have one of these and love it. in regard to the grill, my one does have one since i got the carpet covering, if i had the vinyl, it would have been the softer front. one question i have though, are there particular limits as to what cabs or heads you could add to it in terms of power seeing as i don't want to risk damaging it
    Anthony1991
    I remember when my bassist loaned one, personally i believe Ashdown make the best bass amps, and the EQ's on them are frankly amazing, especially for the price - so smooth, and when crank the lows and highs and lessen the mids, it's so fudging sexy and deep
    EpiExplorer
    307 is a bit precise, lulz. But yeah.. if I ever wanted to play bass, I'd get this to start.
    lildude_6859
    why 307W? lol that's gotta be the weirdest thing i've heard of, besides PRS's Sweet 16, which is 16W of tube...lol
    jammy827
    im thinking of getting the 2x10 version on this really soon. im now sold even more.
    ProgFolk12
    Ahh you can quote an amp as producing pretty much any power output, it's not exactly a simple science. Bare in mind the 16 watt tube amp probably runs a pair of EL84's, which in most amps are quoted as 15watts, in marshall's are usually quoted as 18 watts, in some highwatts are quoted as 20 watts and in the new mesa transatlantic are quoted at 25 watts (somehow )It's just usually nobody bothers mentioneing little things like 307 watts lol. Nice review. I needs me a decent giggable bass amp, definately have a look at some ashdowns
    ronhoward
    It's 307 watts @ 4 ohms. So you'll need to add an 8 ohm cab. And the blue line speakers are garbage. It's not hard to burn a voice coil out of one. This is an ok amp, but you could probably find something better in that price range. The speaker doesn't do the head justice.