As seen on major stages across the world with some of the biggest and most famous bands of our time, the status of the Ashdown Bass Amp rig has firmly secured its place in “Rock ‘n’ Roll” history. Setting the stage since ’97, Ashdown have been dedicated to providing bassists with the best possible tone, on stage and in the studio.
The Ashdown story began back 1997, but this certainly wasn’t a new venture for company founder Mark Gooday. Having previously been managing director of industry giants Trace Elliot for the 12 years prior to forming Ashdown, Mark was already somewhat of a bass amp pioneer. You could say that Bass was in his blood. Mark’s natural eye for design and enormous attention to detail in terms of bass tone has helped to establish Ashdown as the world’s leading amplifiers on the market.
So, it’s 1997, and armed with a wealth of experience and headful of new ideas, Gooday kickstarts Ashdown Engineering to life with a simple vision – to build and ‘engineer’ a better bass amp.
With a “nous” for innovation and a flair for design, many would’ve jumped straight in, but Gooday was smart enough to first court feedback from some of the world’s most respected bass players, including John Entwistle (The Who), Mark King (Level 42) and JJ Burnel (The Stranglers).
Inspired by the comments from these trusted advisors, Gooday focused his efforts on designing a new kind of bass amp, where superior tone was matched by unrivalled power and tour-grade performance in a truly engineered, uniquely-styled package.
…AND SO THE ABM WAS BORN
And so the ABM was born, simultaneously setting new standards in tonal flexibility, power and reliability. The original name for these first amps was Klystron Bass Magnifier, inspired by a scene from Flash Gordon (one of Gooday’s favourite movies) in which Doctor Zarkoff says: “Turn up the Klystron Magnifier”. The huge images of power depicted in the movie sat perfectly with the image and the sound Ashdown wanted to portray. With the name morphing to ABM (Ashdown Bass Magnifier), these early units were built by Gooday, his wife Jane, son Dan, and daughter Daisy in the living room of the family home every evening, allowing him to visit dealers and artists in the daytime. It didn’t take long for the reputation of these incredible new amplifiers to get around.
Reaction to these first ABM’s was overwhelmingly positive, as they found favour with leading bassists and soon the familiar sight of Ashdown’s trademark VU meter would be seen adorning bass amps on major tours around the world. The Who’s John Entwistle, immediately impressed by what he heard, became an early Ashdown advocate. The unwavering support from around the world helped kickstart Ashdown and establish it into the global name that it is today. And from there it was unstoppable.
Broadening the product range, Ashdown remained true to their core vision as they expanded to build better bass amplifications for players of all levels – from beginners, to gigging semi-pros, right up to their enviable array of leading artists. Ashdown’s unwavering focus on design and innovation is plain to see in a product collection that encompasses tube and hybrid amps and combos, practice amps, FX pedals and a range of Studio reference monitors designed and engineered in a yearlong R&D project. And pushing its boundaries even further in 2017 with the launch of Meters Music, a separate entity established to design and engineer consumer electronics. Building on the ethics that established Ashdown, Meters have a range of headphones and audio products with advocates such as the amazing Stevie Wonder to Jimmy Page & Johnny Depp. Music, the way the artist intended.
Recognising its considerable appeal, Ashdown placed the vintage, illuminated VU meter at the heart of the Meters Headphones’ distinctive design, naming the brand accordingly and positioning it as combining audiophile performance with a unique visual appeal.
2022 signifies the 25th Anniversary milestone since the launch of Ashdown but building a globally respected brand does not come without hard work, passion and determination. 25 years on and Mark Gooday and his team still strive to learn, evolve and take the Ashdown brand name to the next level.
With Mark’s son Dan Gooday leading the company in product development with electronics engineer, Dave Green, the range of new products on the horizon for Ashdown now is exciting for all involved. After growing up within the industry, Dan has gained some incredible insight into the world of the hard-working bass player. Dan’s time growing up around his father in Trace Elliot wasn’t really like that of others of his age, he grew up going to the factory after school helping them move from Witham to Maldon, around the engineers and wood shop. The passion for bass has always been at his heart. He hasn’t really known anything else…
Dan is responsible for most of everything you see in Ashdown & Meters, from the website to the product design and artist photography and videos. Now with the support of a great team Ashdown’s in house marketing department Joe Branton heading up the marketing and content strategies with the support of Georgina Tanswell-Lowe for all the coordination required, the Ashdown team go from strength to strength.
We are a team of 8 people who live and breathe what we do. From Sales to service and production to R&D. With Chris Bates heading up our sales team and the formidable Guy Morell who has been here since 2001… The to heart of operations is the family Green, Dave and his long suffering life partner and wife Joe Green who produces all of the UK build PCB’s populated by had with love care and devotion.
We are a family and we love what we do and we are so grateful that so many of you share that same sentiment and have done for so long.
With a global family of users that runs across all spectrums of the bass playing community, Ashdown Engineering remains as true to its roots today as in 1997, giving it a unique place in the hearts of bassists who know that just like them, Ashdown has bass in the blood.