Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yet Another New Amp - UPDATED 05Sept2007

I think I should work for Ashdown. I liked the combo amp I bought a couple of weeks ago so much, that I bought another, this time a mo' powerfuller model of the same amp - the Ashdown MAG600R.

In our last episode, I got a single-15" combo, the MAG 300-115. To review (there will be a test): At rehearsal, that combo itself more or less kept up with the very loud rock ensemble with whom I play. When I attached an additional cabinet (which lowered the ohmage load and doubled the output), the amp really came into its own. Not only is it loud and deep, but notes on the low B string are as clear as can be, growl like anything I've ever heard, while being very deep and well-defined . And this from a 34" scale 5-string.

That amp produces 307 watts into 4 ohms, and was just barely keeping up at full output; onstage, I think it would run out of steam. After all, it is just a combo (albeit a loud one!).

I'm a firm subscriber to More's First Axiom of Music: If more's good, then too much is just right. I went out and got the Ashdown MAG600R head.

This head has the same tone, same controls and same appearance of the combo, but packs 575 watts (1000 W peak) at 4 ohms. Basically, double the juice of the combo amp. It sounds just like the combo, only louder (and possibly cleaner, because it doesn't have to be driven as hard), and - whoohoo - only weighs about 26 pounds. I loaded it into a Gator Rack Bag and I'm stylin' as I'm boomin'.

Of course, I really like it. Light and loud. Ahhh...

Special thanks to Tod and Larry at Washington Music Center for their Great Big help.

UPDATE: Well, after doing a couple of gigs with the amp, I finally got around to running it with a 4ohm load. The volume went down, and the tone got thin. Not good, not right. Back to Washington Music, where another Mag 600R came out and was tested in both 8ohm and 4ohm configuration. This time, with a 4-ohm load, the amp got louder and thicker - just what's supposed to happen.

So, check the amp thoroughly before you leave the store. Not all vendors are as nice as mine.

On the plus side, doing the gigs were cool. This amp can really grind; it has a great rock sound, while not exactly dirty, when driven it has a "strained" sort of tone that's very interesting and I like a lot.

Whoowaa, back in the saddle.

Zebron and James