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One look at the artists page at Ashdown's website is enough to let you know that there's a rich legacy of bass tone in place. From their high-end tube-driven models to the smallest practice amp, Ashdown amps have a reputation for delivering solid, well-defined tone that's right at home in any genre thanks to powerful shaping and dynamics. The AAA Series looks to continue that sonic legacy while incorporating modern connectivity with your tablet and smartphone so you can make the most of every practice session. I was sent the AAA Perfect 10 amp to evaluate.

What You Need To Know

• The Perfect 10 is a compact practice amp boasting a 10" speaker pushed by 40W of power (RMS).

• The full-featured top panel provides lo/hi inputs for both passive and active instruments; 3-band EQ; Drive, Input level and Volume knobs; and a 1/4 auxiliary input with independent level control for mixing source material with your playing.

• Headphone jack and speaker mute switch are included for silent practice.

• An XLR DI is provided for output to a mixer for both recording and playing live.

• Using the App Tek cable, you can connect your tablet or smartphone and, in conjunction with an app like the recommended AmpKit from Agile Partners, get access to models of Ashdown's incomparable ABM 900 EVO III amp and matching 8x10 cabinet.

• Once purchased, you have all the features and tones of the ABM 900 at your disposal, including its powerful tone shaping (preshape circuit, 7-band EQ), sub-harmonic boost, and onboard tube overdrive and compressor. Along with the DI output, this means when it comes time to record or play live, you can effectively have an ABM 900 EVO III in your arsenal!

• The AmpKit app also has countless other amps, effects and microphones for getting the most from your iOS device and Perfect 10 amp.

• If that's not enough, the App Tek connection also interfaces with other music-related apps as well, so if you have one you prefer or are already using,

• None of that means that the Perfect 10 on its own doesn't sound fantastic, because it does. It's loud enough for small jams with plenty of low end and midrange punch that cuts through with clarity. While the app and related connectivity is a really powerful add-on feature, this is also an amp that delivers the kind of grade-A tone you'd expect from an Ashdown.

Limitations

• Most apps, like the recommended AmpKit, have some free stuff available, but if you want access to, for example, the ABM 900 EVO III, you'll have to pay for it ($5.99, in this case).

Conclusion

I've played plenty of amps in my many years of playing, to the point where it really doesn't take long for me to know if something is a winner or not. With the AAA Perfect 10, it was apparent early on that this is a formidable practice amp that can easily transition to a performance or recording session. It's punchy, has plenty of volume and depth and blends well in a group environment. Factor in the array of options that open up thanks to the App Tek connectivity and smartphone/tablet integration, and you have one of the most feature- and tone-rich amps available at this price point ($249 street). If the Perfect 10 is indicative of what the AAA Series has to offer, I'm sure you can't go wrong with any of the many options the line has to offer.

Resources

See the entire AAA Series at ashdownmusic.com

AAA Perfect 10 product page at ashdownmusic.com

 

Ashdown AAA Series Vintage 12 Product Demo

 

 

  

 Ara Ajizian, Harmony Central's Editorial Director, has been playing bass and guitar as well as singing since he was 18, and soon that love of music combined with a passion for writing; launching what's now a decade-long career immersed in the gear world. He's thrilled to be back on the Harmony Central team after two years as Managing Editor for Musician's Friend covering gear, bands and events and gigging in the Los Angeles area.

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