Stringed instruments and accessories

Ashdown Labs with a Hi-Fi approach to bass amplification

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At Musikmesse Frankfurt 2004 Ashdown Engineering launched several products designed by Ashdown Labs, a recently founded division of Ashdown Engineering taking a Hi-Fi approach to bass amp design to provide funk, dance and hip-hop players with bass amplification of quite extraordinary clarity and dynamic range.
Ashdown Labs bass comboAshdown Labs bass amps feature balanced low impedance instrument inputs and pre and post EQ digital outputs for direct interfacing with digital recording systems and workstations. A stereo power amplifier with powerful on-board Digital Signal Processing (DSP), enabling precise control over compression settings, equalisation, crossover points, etc., via remote control Windows / Mac editing software.
The signal path contains a minimum of switching and uses only discrete components with no integrated circuits to ensure maximum headroom. And all jack sockets and key signal path connectors are gold plated for enhanced connectivity and longevity.

AL-ADRP1 bass preamplifier

The AL-ADRP1 is a sophisticated bass preamplifier developed for use in professional recording applications, and in conjunction with the AL-1500D DSP power amplifier in a high-power, rack-based backline bass rig.
Suitably equipped instruments are plugged in via a balanced, low impedance XLR input for the ultimate low-noise connection, with a conventional jack provided to accommodate standard instruments. The optimum input level is set by an input gain control, operated in conjunction with a classic, illuminated Ashdown VU meter.
Precision tone shaping comes courtesy of a 12-band graphic equalizer, which can be switched in and out from the front panel. Unique to Ashdown Labs is a revolutionary Harmonic Emphasis circuit that actually synthesizes new harmonics which combine with the originals under variable level control to create a stunning extra top-end 'zing' like permanently playing with new strings. The balanced DI output on the front panel can be switched pre and post EQ, and a tuner output with mute switch is provided for silent tuning.
Comprehensive rear panel facilities include an additional balanced DI output, an effects loop, a full range line output, separate low and high pass line outputs with variable low pass level and crossover frequency, and switchable 0/+4dB output levels.
Also located on the rear panel is a stereo 24-bit SPDIF RCA/Phono digital output with 44.1/48kHz switchable sample rates, for direct connection to digital recording systems. Channel 1 carries the pre EQ signal and Channel 2 the post, enabling the signals to be mixed by 2 channels of a digital mixer.

AL-1500D stereo power amplifier

The Ashdown Labs AL-1500D 750 + 750 Watts RMS stereo power amplifier represents a revolution in bass amplification. Using the AL-ADRP1 preamp as a front end, powerful on-board DSP in the power amp enables the player to set up and store critical parameters including crossover frequency and type, and independent EQ, compression and time alignment settings for the high and low frequency components of the sound, to create a bi-amplified system of unparalleled sophistication and versatility.
System configuration is easy using intuitive Windows/Mac remote control software running on a laptop connected to the AL-1500D via a rear panel RS232 connector. Settings can be stored in 32 user memory locations and recalled from the front panel for different venues, or even different songs.
Audio quality is ensured by elegant circuit design, massive toroidal transformers and high quality output devices.

AL-AD600 bass amplifier head

The AL-AD600 combines the front panel features of the AL-ADRP1 bass preamplifier with an ultra-clean, fast-response 575 Watts RMS power section to create a versatile, rack-mounting bass amp head with a thrilling dynamic range.
The massive, shielded toroidal transformer is custom designed for Ashdown Labs and ensures a continuous, regulated supply to power huge transients across a wide frequency response. Preamplifier features include low impedance and conventional instrument inputs, illuminated VU meter, Harmonic Emphasis, 12-band graphic EQ, switchable pre and post EQ balanced DI output, tuner output with mute switch, line output, pre and post EQ digital recording output, effects loop and speaker outputs on jack and Speakon connectors.

AL-C210H bass combo

The only combo in the Ashdown Labs range partners the AL-AD600 amp head with 2 x 10" drivers and a high frequency horn in a 15 ply marine birch cabinet with a durable, double coated paint spatter finish and detachable heavy-duty castors.
Custom Ashdown BlueLine™ 10" drivers ensure high power handling and exceptional mid-range attack with a bright, clear high-end and a controlled and extended low-end performance. The high frequency horn is switchable for high, medium and low power and reveals every nuance of the player's finger technique, particularly when used in conjunction with Harmonic Emphasis.
A 1U rack space is conveniently located beneath the amplifier to accommodate a tuner or effects processor, and the amplifier itself is also rack-mounting and can be easily removed for stand-alone use by unscrewing the cabinet front. The AL-C210H combo is available in black/gold or custom white/gold.

AL-MK500 Mark King Signature Series

Forming a platform for the development of the AL-AD600 bass amp head, Ashdown Labs worked in consultation with Level 42's Mark King to build an amplifier which met his requirements for absolute fidelity and clarity, precision tone shaping and masses of power on tap for stunning dynamics. The result is the AL-MK500, a 575 Watts RMS funk powerhouse with low impedance instrument input, illuminated VU meter, Harmonic Emphasis, 12-band graphic EQ, switchable pre and post EQ balanced DI output, tuner output with mute switch, line output, effects loop and speaker outputs on jack and Speakon connectors.

AL-410H / AL-115 bass cabinets

Ashdown Labs 1 x 15" and 4 x 10" plus horn bass cabinets are constructed from top quality 15 ply marine birch with no vulnerable external badges, screws or fittings.
Unlike carpet or vinyl coverings, the double coated spatter paint finish is easy to touch-up, keeping the cabinets looking pristine even after years of work on the road. The tough, kick-proof steel grilles are easily removed, providing straightforward access to drivers, and both cabinets are supplied with removable heavy-duty castors, two of which are lockable.
Like the combo, Ashdown Labs cabinets use custom Ashdown BlueLine drivers for high power handling, clarity and fast attack across the full frequency response. The 4 x 10" features a horn with high, medium and low power switching to articulate high frequency detail, and both cabinets are rear ported to minimise air noise.
Both Ashdown Labs cabinets are available in black/gold or custom white/gold.

AL-PM210H-150 / AL-PM210H bass monitors

With the AL-PM210H-150 and AL-PM210H, bass players finally have their own active and passive wedge monitors, specifically developed for use with bass guitars.
Both monitors feature a 2 x 10" configuration of Ashdown custom BlueLine™ drivers plus a HF horn which is switchable for high, medium or low power. The 15 ply marine birch cabinet is protected by a double coated spatter paint finish, and has steel kick-proof grilles and no protruding external parts.
The AL-PM210H-150 incorporates a 150 Watts RMS power amplifier with a balanced XLR line input, balanced/unbalanced jack line input, variable level control and built-in limiter with an LED indicator.
Ashdown Labs monitors are available in black/gold or custom white/gold.
© 06/2004 pro-music-news

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