New Ashdown Tube Amps

  For almost 15 years, Ashdown Engineering has put the power behind many of the world’s truly great bass players. The traditional Ashdown formula of variable tube warmth at the input stage, combined with precision solid state
By Bass Player Staff ,

For almost 15 years, Ashdown Engineering has put the power behind many of the world’s truly great bass players. The traditional Ashdown formula of variable tube warmth at the input stage, combined with precision solid-state tone shaping and dynamic, bipolar MOS-FET and class D power technologies continues to drop jaws wherever it’s heard. Now, for those players who worship at the altar of glass, fire and high-voltage, Ashdown has created a new range of valve bass amplification.

Available in three strengths, the BTA combines the sophistication of the ABM preamp with sledgehammer, all-tube output stages. The 550 Spyder head and Touring combo reverse the process, using the ABM’s thrilling 500-watt power stage to deliver the rich harmonics of an all-tube preamp. And for the purists, the stunning 427 Small Block and the irrepressible Little Bastard cook-up their magic from a list of ingredients that’s 100% tube.

Ashdown valve bass amps are hand-made in England.

BTA 200, 300 and 400 Heads

Combining straightforward rotary tone controls with two pairs of additional EQ sliders for the more sonically sophisticated, Ashdown’s ABM preamp became an instant classic when it hit the bass world over a decade ago.

The BTA (Big Tube Head) partners a third-generation ABM preamp with a choice of 200, 300 and 400-Watt valve output stages for ABM sophistication with bone-crushing tube power. All the ABM features are there – EQ In/Out footswitching, variable Tube/Solid-State input stages, on-board compressor and Sub Harmonic Generator, balanced DI Output with Pre/Post EQ switching, FX loop, Tuner output and more.

The BTA heads partner perfectly with a range of Ashdown US Series cabinets.

550 Spyder Head and Touring Combo

Available both as an über-cool rackmount head and a 2x10" combo, the 550 combines the warmth and grind of the 427 Small Block’s all-tube preamp with the dynamics of Ashdown’s tour-proven 500-Watt ABM power stage.

The 550 Spyder head and Touring combo feature High and Low gain inputs, front panel-mounted Effects Send and Return, rotary Bass, Middle and Treble controls with Mid Shift, Bass Shift and Bright switching, Mute switch, rotary Gain and Master volume controls and balanced DI out with Pre/Post switching.

The 550 Touring combo features 2x10" drivers, while the 550 Spyder head partners perfectly with a range of Ashdown US Series cabinets.

427 Small Block Head

Lurking under the hood of this all-tube muscle-amp is an octet of KT88s and three over-fed transformers, creating a monster power stage that just won’t quit.
Put the pedal to the metal and the 427 surges into action with thundering tones ranging from clean to fat to downright filthy, courtesy of an ECC83-fueled preamp loaded with passive tone circuits and a whole lot of attitude.

The 427 Small Block head features High and Low gain inputs, front panel-mounted Effects Send and Return, rotary Bass, Middle and Treble controls with Mid Shift, Bass Shift and Bright switching, Mute switch, rotary Gain and Master volume controls and balanced DI output with Pre/Post switching.

The 427 Small Block head partners perfectly with a range of Ashdown US Series cabinets. See the Ashdown website for full details.

Little Bastard Head

Rebellious, uncompromising and cool as f***, James Dean – and the car he nicknamed the Little Bastard – are the inspiration for this iconic, all-tube mini bass amp head. Rated at 30-Watts, the Little Bastard won’t rip your head off, but its EL84-equipped power section is more than capable enough for small gigs.
And, of course, it won’t put your back out on the way.

The Little Bastard preamp stage employs ECC83 and ECC82 tubes, and features High and Low gain inputs, front panel-mounted Effects Send and Return, rotary Bass, Middle and Treble controls with Mid Shift, Bass Shift and Bright switching, Mute switch, rotary Volume control and balanced DI output.

The Little Bastard head partners perfectly with a range of Ashdown US Series cabinets. See the Ashdown website for full details.

BassOmeter Bass Tuner
British-based bass amp specialists Ashdown Engineering are launching a dedicated bass tuner at NAMM 2010. Joining an accessories range that already includes six bass effects pedals and a bass wireless system, the new BassOmeter tuner will doubtless further Ashdown’s reputation for providing bass players with a fully comprehensive range of amplification and related products to meet all their recording and live performance needs.

Pick up the Ashdown BassOmeter and you immediately know that this is a tuner that’s built to take everything the road can throw at it. Housed in a durable, die-cast metal case with chrome bull bars to protect the tuning meter and LCD display, the BassOmeter can be powered by battery, or by an external DC source – perfect for use alongside Ashdown bass effects pedals in Ashdown’s own, powered pedal board.

Accurate tuning is achieved with visual feedback from both an illuminated VU-style meter, and a series of 11 LEDs, with the note shown in a separate display.

Like all Ashdown bass FX pedals, the BassOmeter tuner features true bypass switching to ensure that the instrument signal remains completely unaffected when the tuner is switched out of the signal path.

Commenting on the launch, Ashdown CEO Mark Gooday says, “The BassOmeter tuner is further proof that Ashdown Engineering is dedicated to enhancing the art of bass playing in every way we can – not only by producing great bass amps, but also by innovating a full range of dedicated bass accessories that already includes FX pedals, a wireless system and now, the Ashdown BassOmeter tuner.”