You Me At Six, Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters and 1975 choose Ashdown Bass Amps!


You Me At Six, Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters and 1975 choose Ashdown Bass Amps!

You Me At Six, Matt Barnes

The collection of artist's using Ashdown bass equipment is continually increasing. Whether it's an Ashdown bass amp, bass guitar or a bass head, musicians are noticing that Ashdown engineering is producing some of the best bass equipment on the market.

With an ever increasing number of bass amp reviews online, it's becoming more and more difficult to choose equipment.
In this article we'll give you the lowdown on the current roster of artists who have converted to Ashdown products.

Ashdown engineering deliver bass amps with tone for every occasion. Whether it's the sweetness and gnarl of tubes or the presence, attack and heft of a solid state they've got the bass tone you're after.

You Me At Six poster boy, Matt Barnes is one of the latest additions to the Ashdown Family. The bassist is currently performing on the You Me At Six tour supporting 30 Seconds to Mars and he's chosen to use the Ashdown ABM-900 bass guitar amp and the classic Ashdown 810 Bass Cabinet to enhance his live performance.

It's no secret that the Ashdown 810 bass cabinet is great at delivering powerful rich bass tones and this Ashdown Bass Amp was specifically designed for the stage. Featuring custom Eminence drivers, dual Speakon/jack connectors, horn control switch and heavy duty vinyl covering, its no surprise that Matt Barnes chooses Ashdown bass amps to replicate the You Me At Six sound live on tour.

Check out the Ashdown Bass Amp in full action below

Nate Mendel Of The Foo Fighters champions Ashdown Engineering

Nate Mendel Amp

We've already seen Nate chatting about his Fender signature model Nate Mendel bass, a near-perfect recreation of a Precision Bass from a limited run from 1971.

When it comes to amplification and effects Nate is Ashdown engineering all the way and has been for over 10 years now. In Nate's bass amp review, he states how he particularly loves how you can crank the volume without the low end falling apart on his BTA-400 head and CL-810 stack. This allows Nate hear himself on stage, important when you're sharing it with the might of Dave Grohl's guitar.

For pedals it's all about the drive, Nate keeps his guitar effects rig very simple. That means if he's only going to have one drive then it better be damn good. Depending on the kind of tone you're after there are a couple of great choices to get the Foo Fighters aggressive rock sound for yourself, either the Stacked Actor Drive or new Double Drive effects pedals.

Here's the man himself explaining why he uses Ashdown engineering while he gives us a demo of the Double Drive.

James Johnston's Bass Amps

Another acolyte, James has used just about every Ashdown engineering amp going and is currently singing the praises of the CTM-300 bass head. Having a quick glance at the Biffy Clyrorig we can see that James is no minimalist like Nate Mendel however, with no less than 8 Ashdown bass heads in 4 different flavours.

  • 4 x valve monster BTA-400, 400 watt heads
  • One Little Bastard
  • One JJB-500 575 Watt Head

Jack Johnston Amp & Effects

James Johnsons BassSo that's around 3000 watts of power and backed up with CL-810 you're not short of show stopping stage presence. This maximalist approach extends to guitar effects pedals, well 5 pedals and multi-fx unit is a lot by many bass players standards. Using a lot of guitar effects can get in the way of pure tone but Biffy Clyro aren't shy and can get pretty wild with sounds. We'd be willing to bet that with all those amps in the rig there will be a split with some unaffected tone coming through for the sound man to use if need be. Let's don our gear goggles and see what James' got:

James Johnston's bass guitar is a classic Fender Jazz and if you fancy something similar his signature Squier is a whole lot of bass for under £400.

James LoMenzo PedalJames LoMenzo's Amp RigJames LoMenzo Bass

Playing in Megadeth mean's James LoMenzo has one major requirement, it needs to be loud and it needs to be brutal (ok two requirements). So James rocks a heft BTA-400 head into an ABM 8x10 cab.

“Some years back Ashdown asked if they could bring some equipment down to my rehearsal room and it just killed! It completely filled the room. I bought it right there and then – no problem. The greatest compliment I can pay Ashdown is that I bought my own gear.”

Ashdown paid the compliment back by designing a guitar pedal specifically for James. If the Nate Mendel drive pedals let you dial in rock the LoMenzo Hyperdrive turns the heat up until things start to blister.

The 1975 band

The 1975 choose Ashdown

With a UK number 1 album under their belt and sold out tour to follow, The 1975 embark on their first US tour later this month. It's the bands biggest tour to date which is why bassist Ross Macdonald has chosen the top of the range Ashdown ABM bass equipment to accompany him onstage.

Ashdown ABM 410H Bass CabinetThese Ashdown BlueLine bass amps have been specially designed to deliver a superb balance of power, transparency and deep, controlled low end, without sacrificing any of the mid-band attack and high-end brightness that are so important in a modern bass sound. The Ashdown ABM range includes bass amps, bass amp heads, cabinets and a bass magnifier, basically all the essentials any bassist could ever want.

The Ashdown ABM 410H EVO3 Bass cabinet (pictured left) is one of the best bass amps from the Ashdown range. This model is more compact and affordable then other bass amps in this Ashdown engineering range and is a great amp for any frequently performing musician.

Some of the Ashdown ABM 410 EVO3 bass cabinet's features include:

  • 4 x 10” Ashdown BlueLine drivers
  • switchable high frequency horn (Hi, Low, Off)
  • Constructed from high-grade birch ply and protected by a tough, buffalo leather cloth covering, metal corners and steel grilles.
  • ABM Cabinets use high quality handles for reduced vibration by heavy-duty rubber feet.

Colin Greenwood's Bass Rig

Colin Greenwood Bass

Radiohead's finger picking (occasionally slapping) bass maestro is a fan of Fender for his bass and Ashdown engineering for his bass amps, we can see a trend emerging. Using the ABM 500 EVOIII and a 410H Cab Colin doesn't need the same man-high stacks that some heavier bands use. Better to have the versatility and clarity of a good solid state that can fit into a varied and ever evolving Radiohead set list.

The Ashdown Family

While it's fun to gawk at the rigs of the great and the good we know you're average hard working muso can't afford four BTA400 valve amp heads. HoweverAshdown engineering has always sought to make quality affordable and indeed you simply don't need an 8x10 bass cab with 1000 watts behind it in anything smaller than a 1000+ capacity venue. So here's our gear guide to getting the best bass amps and best bass tone at a range of prices.

Ideal Hybrid Tube Amp
Dual Tube Series 330

Tube tone and power.Nate Mendel Style Bass Cab
MAG414T Deep Bass
Deliver all the growl from the tube drive 330 with a 4x10Nate Mendel Signature Pedal
Nate Mendel Stacked Actor Distortion

What else? The bass sound of the Foos in a box.James Johnston - Big & WildAshdown Little Bastard

Little Bastard

James still carries this diminutive valve machine out on tour. A sound all it's own and plenty of power for small gigs. True tube tone.

Ashdown VS212
Get matching looks for your Little Bastard with this stack.

Best Bass Octave Pedal
Dr Green Octa Dose
James likes his octave effects and uses the POG2 & Whammy on his board. Unlike those pedals the Octa Dose is designed for bass, boutique quality handmade in the UK.

Colin Greenwood - Balanced & VersatileAshdown ABM500 EVOIII

With extensive EQ options, onboard compression and sub octavegenerator the 500 is ready for anything.Ashdown ABM115
ABM 115 Compact Bass Cabinet

A single, big speaker gives depth and clarity. Combined with the ABM 500 you have a huge range of tones to stand out on stage.Ashdown Drive Plus
Ashdown Drive Plus
With your sound tweaked and sorted on the amp you might just want a little grit now and then. With the Drive Plus you can get this without sacrificing low end.


Ashdown Custom Shop CTM 112-250 Limited Edition Tweed Cab

Wrapped in a gorgeous custom vintage Tweed covering, the Ashdown CTM112-250 marks their 20th year in the business. The CTM112-250 is designed to compliment the classical looks of the CTM-30 amp head, as well as complimenting the valve driven tone of Ashdown's CTM range. This means there are no compromises on style, tone or performance. The CTM112-250 also comes with a hand-signed label from Mark Gooday, Ashdown's founder and current managing director.

Ashdown Custom Shop CTM 30 Limited Edition Tweed Head

Above we have the Tweed Edition of the CTM-30 Bass Head, this gorgeous edition is only available for 1 year to celebrate Ashdown's 20 years in amplification. With a 30-watt EL84 power section that features hi and low outputs with active/passive basses, the CTM-30 has a wide range of classic and contemporary all-tube tones to choose from. The CTM-30 combines traditional ‘Bass, Middle and Treble’ EQ with the additional flexibility of ‘Mid Shift’, ‘Bass Shift’ and ‘Bright’ switching. It comes with ECC83 and ECC82 preamp tubes, giving the flexibility a bass player needs when shifting tones.

Ashdown MAG-C112 250 Bass Combo, Limited Edition Tweed

 Celebrating their 20th anniversary with style, the MAG-C112 250 Bass Combo is Ashdown's super limited edition amp with limited availability. The MAG-C112 250 pairs a single 12" Ashdown bass speaker with a massive 250w solid state amp, creating a powerful yet compact and sleek combo loaded with Rootermaster giant tone for an amazing performance that doesn't break the bank.

With 5 band rotary tone controls providing total control over your sound and a shape switch that instantly dials you into classic Ashdown tone settings, there's plenty of styles and sounds to choose from with this amp. Want to add warmth and body to your tone? The one-knob compression tool delivers great sounding tones, ensuring your bass fills any mix.

Remember, these 3 bass amps are only available for 1 year, so if you're interested in them it's worth coming to view them as you are ensuring getting yourself an Ashdown collector's item!

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