There was plenty of news from the UK’s Ashdown at this year’s Winter NAMM and not all of it bass related.
Yes, there were plenty of new bass ideas (more on which anon) but of special interest was Ashdown’s move back to Mark Gooday’s previous foray into acoustic amplification, when he was at the original Trace Elliot.
‘As a tribute to Fred Friedlein and the remarkable work we carried out as a team in the mid-80s, I felt a strong need to honour him in some small way,’ says Gooday. ‘Our acoustic amps could be seen on MTV Unplugged and were a total revolution in acoustic guitar amplification technology. We have taken those great products and improved them, whilst retaining the classic format and style we achieved in that era’.
The Ashdown AA-50 and AA-100 combos (50 and 100 Watts respectively) echo the sound and look of the late 80’s/ early 90’s, the company says, but with up-to-date features. Bluetooth connectivity allows players to wireless stream audio from their personal devices and a headphone output also allows silent practice. Plywood cased, Tolex covered, the AA combos feature UK made 5″ Celestion Speakers. The AA-50 features two 5” speakers and the AA-100 doubles-up with four 5” speakers, with a tilted cabinet design for better on-stage monitoring.
Channel 1 is the instrument channel and features Passive and Active inputs with Gain, Bass and Treble rotary controls. Channel 2, reserved for microphones, features a single XLR input with phantom power switch and gain control. The amps also feature five band graphic EQ. The Belton Digital Reverb division allows for reverb to be switched on/off for each channel independently, whilst the sensitivity of the reverb is controlled with a single rotary switch for both channels at once.
Back in the bass camp, Ashdown specifically held back news of a major new line to the end of the show – news that it has re-thought its Rootmasters into the Rootmaster EVO Range, the third incarnation of the Rootmaster family.
Ashdown has upgraded the amp’s front panel with a matt anodised alloy finish, replacing the previous polished stainless steel narrowed the Rootmaster EVO II range down to a single 500 Watt Head – The RM-500-EVO II and a single 2×10” combo – The RM-C210T-EVO II.
Finally, a year after its launch, Ashdown has announced the expansion of The OriginAL range, which will now include two compact, 300-watt kick-back bass combos – the OriginAL C112-300 (1 x 12”) and the OriginAL C210-300 (2 x 10”). Not to be overlooked is that these models come with an impressive five year warranty,