Something bassists will flip for: Two new Ashdown "fliptop" combos
(Dave Molter | Posted 2011-01-13)
If you've heard a Motown hit from the early '50s through the 1970s, chances are that you've heard a bass being played through one of the old Ampeg B-15 "fliptop" tube bass amplifiers. The Motown studios often used the B-15 in combination with direct injection (DI) -- most often of James Jamerson's Precision Bass -- to achieve the sound that drove Hitsville USA. In fact, the 30-watt B-15 was a very popular combo for both upright and electric basses on club gigs until volume levels got out of hand and bigger rigs were required. Even today, the B-15 remains a staple in some studios. It was in many respects the original "plug 'n' play" unit.
Now Ashdown has updated the "fliptop" concept by rolling out two new bass combos for Winter NAMM 2011 in Anaheim - the LB-30 Drophead 15H (pictured) and the DP-200 Drophead 15H. The name just about says it all, with the LB-30 being a 30-watt model and the DP-200 a 200-watt big brother. Each head is designed to be flipped over and stored in the 115 cabinet for ease of portability. For use, simply unclip the head, and clip it into place on top of the cab. Voila! Instant thunder.
As is to be expected, Ashdown has updated the nuts-and-bolts approach of the original Abpeg with modern specs and the asddition of a tweeter to the 115 cabinet. The LB-30 Drophead 15H takes a "Little Bastard" 30W amp chassis and builds it into a retro 1x15" + HF horn cabinet with a stainless steel top. Rated at 30-Watts, the LB-30 won’t rip your head off, but its EL84-equipped power section is more than capable enough for small gigs.
The Little Bastard preamp stage employs ECC83 and ECC82 tubes and features High and Low gain inputs, front panel-mounted Effects Send and Return, rotary Bass, Middle and Treble controls with Mid Shift, Bass Shift and Bright switching, Mute switch, rotary Volume control and balanced DI output.
The DP-200 Drophead 15H combines the Drophead 200 head with a 15" bass driver and HF horn to create a potent and portable 200W all-tube Drophead combo.
Throw the power switch and the Drophead 200 fires up a 4 x 6550 tube output stage for masses of low end grunt and plenty of torque through the rev range. The preamp comes straight from the 427 Small Block – a sensationally expressive vacuum tube design using 2 x ECC82, 1 x ECC99 and 2 x ECC82 valves.
The Drophead 200 head also features high and low gain inputs, front panel-mounted FX send and return, rotary bass, middle and treble controls with mid shift, bass shift and bright switching, mute switch, rotary gain and master volume controls and balanced DI output with pre/post EQ switching.
Pricing an availability was not immediately available.From information on the Ashdown Website: www.ashdownmusic.com.