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Putting the new Ashdown through its paces


DafDuc

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After some convoluted screwups on the part of Zzounds, they made (more than) good and shipped me a non-blem Ashdown 300/410 combo for the blem price I orginally paid. Thst saga's not over yet, as they failed to send the return "kit" for the 410 cab they sent by mistake. It's in the mail now. They say.

 

Anyhow...

 

Loaded the Ashdown into the band basement last night, set it up - running my K-Station (2 octave VA synth) as my bass module. Had some real trouble making the thing thump, especially the bottom octave, even with the bass eq cranked. Finally reworked the patch to filter out the high lows / low mids, which were just booming on the 2nd octave. Then I cranked the volume. Took me about half the practice, but I got that thump.

 

I have the K-Station on the second tier of my stand, and finally smacked it so hard that it jumped off and landed on the QS-8 below it. Grumble.

 

Got that resolved, but then got the idea to midi up the QS and the K. Grabbed an EP Mix on the QS that only sends channel 1 for the bass notes, then I could play the whole thing from the QS, and still grab EP parts with the right hand. QS has much better touch, is at a more comfortable playing height, and this is actually a plus: the growly EP patch the QS pushes through the keyboard rig when I'm hitting the bass notes really fleshed out the sound without overpowering the bass - wasn't sure how that would work.

 

Another nice thing about the midi setup is I can still play the K-Station when I need to - worked out perfect for the 16th-note ride in What is Hip (though I need to work on my timing some... :rolleyes: )

 

I cranked the K, and the input level on the Ashdown, and still seemed to barely register on the input VU - maybe I should preamp it? There's stuff I could use: an RNC compressor, an AudioBuddy pre, or a J-Station, though I'm not sure I want amp/cab modeling going into a real amp/cab. Still, something cool about the idea of running my K-Station through a J-Station, LOL.

 

Or this might work: route through my keyboard mixer (old Peavey R6M) and send one bus to the Ashdown, the other to the keyboard amp - plenty of opportunity to boost the signal to the Ashdown in there, plus I could add a touch to the keyboard monitor (old Crest Power Amp, even older Yam 3115 2-way cab) for self-monitoring.

 

Anyone else have trouble getting enough low end out of these? I have a line on a used GK backline 410 - would that help? I'm also wondering if I was just standing too close for the lows to develop. I have pretty bad hearing - deaf in one ear. Still, a LOT of volume the next octave up, til I tweaked the patch.

 

Any insights? Any fellow Ashdown users out there?

 

Daf (just cos it has keys instead of strings don't mean it ain't a bass... ;) )

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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I tried a MAG 300 15" combo. It was pretty nice. I was using a passive jazz and couldn't get the VU to move either.

 

I am looking for a head and a few people have suggested an ABM 300 EVO II but I read MANY commments about reliability. Bad stuff. A couple delaers have quit the line. The sub-harmonic didn't track well. I'm not sold yet.

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I want MY pbj to go to 12, LOL...

 

Getz, I was trying to follow what you were saying about shelving, not sure I got it. I think all I have is those 5 eq knobs. Are you saying to accomplish the shelving with a piece of outboard gear, or just to cut unwanted freqs rather than boosting wanted ones?

 

BTW, I am very happy with the final version of my sound, I was just surprised I had to crank the lows so much to make it happen.

 

Anyhow, teach me, sensei, I fear I have much left to learn...

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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Are you plugged into the correct input?

 

The Ashdowns have an annoying label on the two bass inputs which are the opposite of what you think. Try the other one and you should find the VU working.

 

It may also sound very loud so be careful!

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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I tried them both - you're right, they did seem reversed. It's not that the VU didn't move, it just didn't move much.

 

I'm used to weird labeling, though - the audio out on my Fender Rhodes is labeled "input", LOL.

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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Originally posted by Davo-London:

I have written to Ashdown and suggest they label their inputs "active" and "passive" like everyone else! Davo

Ah, 'High' and 'Low' inputs. That totally caught me out with my first amp, a '70s Traynor Bassmate. The markings refer to the input impedance and/or input gain, rather than to the signal level they expect to receive. 'Active' and 'Passive' would be less confusing, or more accurately 'Active' and 'Passive/Active' (as most active basses aren't much louder than passive ones).

 

A single input with a -10dB pad makes a lot of sense, but then again, it's quite nice to have separate inputs so you can plug two instruments in at once when your guitarist comes round to do some songwriting, and the second input can be very handy when the first one breaks (the only thing that has so far failed on my rig).

 

Alex

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