Our Guide to the Ashdown Bass Heads range
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Our Guide to the Ashdown Bass Heads range

Whereas Combos put everything in one box for you, having separate Heads and Cabinets gives you the flexibility to mix and match your functionality requirements with your speaker requirements.

Ashdown have a selection of Heads with different power ratings which incorporate loads of great features, as well as some specialised custom models designed in conjunction with some of the artists who have been long-term Ashdown users. So, there should be a model in their range that suits your requirements. 

In this blog we take a look at the wide range of Heads that Ashdown offer - Let’s dive in!

The Ant

We’ll start with the smallest head Ashdown make – the tiny, but mighty Ant. Here is a 200w head that weighs just 900g and is small enough to slip in the pocket of your gig bag. 

The Ant is ideal for rehearsals where you can take it with you and plug directly into the PA to get your tone straight away without the need of big bulky cabs and amps. 

It has a simple EQ for adjusting your sound and features a headphone out socket, so is also great as a portable silent practice tool.

Where to buy The Ant in the UK

Andertons Ashdown The Ant
Gear4Music Ashdown The Ant
Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre Ashdown The Ant
Professional Music Technology Ashdown The Ant

OriginAL HD1

The OriginAL HD1 is probably the most straightforward of the range of heads. Referred to as a ‘Mini Bass Head’, it offers simple, easy to use functionality in a small, portable lightweight chassis. 

It will give you that Ashdown tone and allow you to shape it to your specific requirements with its 5-band EQ. It only weighs 2.5kg but delivers 300w of power.

Where to buy the OriginAL HD1 in the UK

Andertons Ashdown OriginAL HD-1
Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre Ashdown OriginAL HD-1
Professional Music Technology Ashdown OriginAL HD-1

RM (Root Master) Range

The RM-500-EVO-II head is the same head found in the C210T 2x10 Combo. Having it here as a separate head means you have access to all that same functionality, but you can hook it up to different cabinet configurations. 500w of power, 5 band EQ section, inputs for passive and active bass plus compressor, drive and the subharmonic dial for extra fatness.

The RM-800-EVO-II, as you can guess, is an 800w version of the RM-500. It has all the same functionality but comes in a distinct ionised black chassis, making it look super cool. This head is ideal for the player who requires more power, but still in a lightweight box as it only weighs 2.6kg.

Where to buy the RM-500-EVO-II & RM-800-EVO-II in the UK

ABM (Ashdown Bass Magnifier) Range

The ABM range of heads have become the industry standard bass heads for both live and studio use for players who need superb tone, portability and reliability. Always identifiable by the glowing VU meter and silver facia, you can spot them even from the back of the venue! 

The current version IV range have had their power increased and now feature a nine band EQ system with a mixture of sweepable and graphic EQ controls to help you get to your chosen tone quickly and then fine tune it to meet your specific requirements or shape it to suit the acoustics of the venue you are playing in. 

The three models in the range come in at 300w, 600w and 1200w of power.

CTM (Classic Tube Magnifier) Range

If you want that vintage bass sound, then look no further than the CTM range of heads. All valve inputs and outputs for that warm saturated tone or valve driven edge. 

The range starts with the CTM-30 Little Stubby which is a 30w head, plus there is a 100w version and then a larger 300w version. Ashdown have also recently added a new stylish black facia'd 200r rack mount version to fit in between. 

All feature a simple passive EQ section with bass, middle and treble controls, an effects loop, plus front DI Output socket.

Where to buy the CTM range in the UK

12-Band 600

The 12-Band 600 head was re-introduced at the beginning of 2021 to meet the demands of users who preferred the Graphic EQ style of controls. This 600w head features a valve preamp, effects loop, line input for routing external devices through the head and a DI output.

Where to buy the 12-Band 600 in the UK

Signature Models

Ashdown are known for the many prestigious bass players who use their products and they have collaborated with some of their artists to produce Signature Custom Heads that are designed specifically for their particular requirements and features.

Head of Doom

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) required a modified ABM head so that he could hone a different set of specific frequencies that the standard head did not cover. 

The Head of Doom offers completely different tonal characteristics to the original ABM and the modified Sub Harmonics gives your bass a real ‘doom-laden’ bottom end. It also features VU meters for both Input and Output stages. 

The rear panel was also modified to provide more versatility in the way Geezer could configure his speaker cabs to get his on-stage sound exactly the way he wanted it.

Where to buy the Head of Doom in the UK

Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre Ashdown Head Of Doom - Geezer Butler
Professional Music Technology Ashdown Head Of Doom - Geezer Butler

Interstellar 600

Guy Pratt has been one of the top international session bass players for the past thirty-odd years. He has played on everyone’s material including Robert Palmer, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bryan Ferry and he has been Pink Floyd’s bass player ever since he first replaced Roger Waters in 1985. He is currently touring with Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets band who are specialising in performing the early Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd material. 

Due to the demands of this style of progressive rock music, Guy is often called upon to supplement his bass playing with the classic Moog Taurus Bass pedals. 

He has worked in conjunction with Ashdown’s Custom Shop to produce a head they have christened the ‘Interstellar 600’ as a doff of the cap to the Barrett penned song ‘Interstellar Overdrive’. 

This has a dedicated socket in the back where the Taurus Pedals can be connected, and Guy has also worked with Ashdown to select just the right combination of valves to produce the exact tone that he needs from the head and to fix the compression and sub harmonics to his own specific requirements. The front panel has also been retro fitted to give it a unique boutique look that is simple but versatile to use.

We hope you have found this guide to the Ashdown Bass Heads range useful. Keep an eye out for more Ashdown Engineering blogs and updates on our website and social media pages.

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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.