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Ashdown Retroglide 800


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#1 Ruck

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:00 PM

So curiosity got the better of me, I ended up buying the Retroglide 800 to see what it was like after virtually no detailed reviews anywhere on the internet. I mostly use a late 80s Trace Ellliot AH200 head paired with a Barefaced Big Twin II for all my gigs. Lovely sound that I can tailor to most venues with the 12 band eq and the MOSFET poweramp provides lovely not too harsh break up after 12 o'clock on the volume control where also the tone starts to get compressed, lack of headroom for the bass frequencies etc but still the perceived volume gets really really loud and still sounds kinda lovely to my ears.

Now I was hoping the Retroglide would provide me with more headroom and cleaner output. Well the amp is very clean, nice tone, flexible EQ, but even at max volume it is quieter than the Trace Elliot AH200 at 12 o'clock... Not much extra headroom can be acquired by dialling out the 30hz - 60hz sliders either. So off (back to the shop) with this head! Abit of a disappointment really. I really really want to get into Ashdown but they let me down at every opportunity. Im sure they do lovely valve heads that I will look into for recording needs one day. All this marketing ploy about 800w! is all toilet. I know in order to be twice as loud as 200w it would need to be 10 times the watts or so, but quieter?

Other things to note. Yes the fan on the Retroglide is really that annoying if you wanted to play at lower volumes.

#2 2elliot

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:16 PM

Yep. I had the same issue. It went back and I bought an ABM 600... now that's an excellent head.
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#3 Ruck

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:51 PM

Hmmmm I shall have to keep an eye out for one thanks. ABM600 or AH600? I cant see Ashdown on your sig.

Edited by Ruck, 19 March 2017 - 07:54 PM.


#4 Lozz196

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:16 PM

Very surprising, as the Ashdown RM500 I have is incredibly loud, seems that the lack of power thing must be inherent to the Retroglides then. I`ll echo the thoughts about the ABM600, I have one, the EVO-IV version and it`s an amazingly good amp.
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#5 2elliot

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:06 PM

 Ruck, on 19 March 2017 - 02:51 PM, said:

Hmmmm I shall have to keep an eye out for one thanks. ABM600 or AH600? I can see Ashdown on your sig.

Ha, yes I have both... I was talking about the Ashdown ABM 600 EVO IV. It's very good.
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#6 Mudpup

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:24 PM

i have an ABM600 EVO IV and its truly a great amp. Loud, chewy and slammy in character once you figure out the eq :-)

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#7 Ruck

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:04 PM

Yes promising talk for the ABM600, I shall seek one out to try. Im just not a fan of amps with "extras" such as on-board compression and octave etc. I like an amp to just be an amp. Hence why the Retroglide was so appealing.

#8 Mudpup

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:31 PM

View PostRuck, on 19 March 2017 - 08:04 PM, said:

Yes promising talk for the ABM600, I shall seek one out to try. Im just not a fan of amps with "extras" such as on-board compression and octave etc. I like an amp to just be an amp. Hence why the Retroglide was so appealing.

You can switch all that stuff off - i dont ever use them either. You can even switch the eq section off if you like.....

Edited by Mudpup, 19 March 2017 - 08:31 PM.

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#9 lowhand_mike

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:38 PM

yep the rootmaster heads are very loud, even through my inefficient ashdown mag 4x10 my RM800 is bloody loud and thats not even pushing it certainly wouldnt think its class D
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#10 Kevin Dean

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:46 PM

The JJB 500 is flippin loud ,if required & if you just want a graphic amp .

#11 gjones

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:23 PM

Hmmmm.....Ashdown can be weird, as far a loudness is concerned. My old Ashdown ABM 500, through my ABM 15, was quieter than my Ashdown EB 150 combo.

My Ashdown MiBass 550, through my Barefaced Compact ,is significantly quieter than my GK MB500, through the same cab.
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#12 BassBod

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:45 PM

I've been using my Retro 800 for a year or so, quite happy with its output, but compared to an old TE AH150 it's a bit of a joke. Those old TE's are just monsters...the numbers mean very little these days.

The fan puzzles me. I've used the amp on plenty of loud gigs, into a 4ohm load and it's remained stone cold. Hard to see why it isn't thermally controlled and just for emergencies? For normal low level gigs it really doesn't seem to need it, especially as it's not exactly a "whisper" level fan.





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