Price paid: € 399
Sound — 8
The bass I use is an Ibanez SR300 PW, often accompanied by my Boss bass ODB-3 Overdrive effect pedal. Together they create a massive wall of sound. All volume buttons on the three items need to tweaked and re-tweaked to keep cohesion between pitches. Which isn't hard to do at all. Although without effects I do have trouble getting my G-string heard when I'm with the band. It doesn't seem to cope with treble very well, unless it's wired to a PA. But overall the sound is loud, distinct and worth the money. Doesn't matter which kind of music you play. I myself prefer stoner/psychedelic/doom at home, but play Britpop with the band.
Overall Impression — 7
It's three times the power as most amplifiers, but for the same amount of money! Overall, Ashdown is very reliable, so I've been told. Guess I was just unlucky. It can take on any guitar amp when it comes down to loudness. Apparently I'm better heard live than my fellow band members. However, if I were to purchase a new amp, I would try some Warwicks first. Played one a couple of times and it produced a much cleaner sound.
Reliability & Durability — 4
Despite all the words of praise spoken about Ashdown, I did manage to blow up the speaker on Bro Hymn 2,5 years after I purchased the amp. Obviously the warranty was two years. And the breakdown itself isn't noteworthy at all. No thunderous crash, the sound just quit like that. The voice coil had completely melted. Finding a replacement speaker that fit the necessary requirements for the speaker's top was rather hard, yet cheaper than buying a new amp altogether. Obviously the sound changed slightly, but I'm very content with it. At the moment of the collapse all buttons were off and on a scale of one to ten the volume knobs were at five or six. When I told the shopkeeper and my friends this, all wondered how it was possible to blow up a piece like this. I keep the broken speaker in my room as a warning sign to be even more careful with my gear than I used to be. Regretfully, the reason for the crash is still unknown. Another time I couldn't get sound come out of the amp for a week. Tried all the buttons and knobs, even changed bass, but nothing happened. Took it to the shop claiming it went silent on me, the guy tried himself and it worked instantly. Too weird. Other than that I've got no complaints. The hard wooden casing provides excellent protection and I can max the volume without any unfortunate side effects. Although it's not recommended to even test its maximum capacity at all!
Features — 9
I stumbled across this amp in 2007. Was looking for an amp to replace my 10W Ibanez. There weren't many amplifiers in the store (there never are for some reason) and this one cost as much as any other 100W one, so it was an easy choice. Power guaranteed! Tried it of course before purchase and the shop owner did some demonstration as well. Liked the sound and therefore took it home. Hadn't heard of Ashdown at the time, but my friends complimented me with an apparently excellent brand. It contains: - Passive and aggressive inputs, depending on your bass guitar - Input knob to adjust the incoming sound from the bass - Three buttons to boost Deep (Bass), Bright (Treble) and EQ sound - Five knobs to adjust Bass, Middle and Treble volume - D.I. output - Sub-harmonics button and knob to thicken the sound, which doesn't seem to work on mine - Two inputs to send or return effects, but I never use these because it causes the speaker to buzz. I'd rather plug the bass into my effects and plug those into the guitar input. - Output socket for tuner and line. Never had to use it. When playing its best to keep the input knob and the volume knob on the bass low, and use the output knob to arrange the volume. The sheer overkill of Watts makes sure guitarists and drummers won't be able to oppress bassists as they usually please to do. It lacks a headphone output. I did plug in a headphone directly into the top once, but that left me with a slightly burned and permanently damaged headphone. Side handles would have been nice too, the thing weighs about 25 kg and you're forced to carry it either in both arms or via the lone handle on top. Also, the ventilator can get a bit loud, but you won't notice it while playing. The only time the speaker itself will distort is when all volumes are maxed out and the EQ knob is in.