New from British manufacturer Ashdown is the AL-ADRP1, a sophisticated bass preamplifier developed for use in professional recording applications, and in conjunction with the AL-1500D DSP power amplifier in a high-power, rack-based backline bass rig.
Suitably equipped instruments are plugged in via a balanced, low impedance XLR input for the ultimate low-noise connection, with a conventional jack provided to accommodate standard instruments. The optimum input level is set by an input gain control, operated in conjunction with a classic, illuminated Ashdown VU meter.
Precision tone shaping comes courtesy of a 12-band graphic equalizer, which can be switched in and out from the front panel. Unique to Ashdown Labs is a revolutionary Harmonic Emphasis circuit that actually synthesizes new harmonics which combine with the originals under variable level control to create a stunning extra top-end 'zing' like permanently playing with new strings. The balanced DI output on the front panel can be switched pre and post EQ, and a tuner output with mute switch is provided for silent tuning.
Comprehensive rear panel facilities include an additional balanced DI output, an effects loop, a full range line output, separate low and high pass line outputs with variable low pass level and crossover frequency, and switchable 0/+4dB output levels.
Also located on the rear panel is a stereo 24-bit SPDIF RCA/Phono digital output with 44.1/48kHz switchable sample rates, for direct connection to digital recording systems. Channel 1 carries the pre EQ signal and Channel 2 the post, enabling the signals to be mixed by 2 channels of a digital mixer.
The power amp that completes the full rig is the Ashdown Labs AL-1500D 750 + 750 Watts RMS stereo power amplifier. Using the AL-ADRP1 preamp as a front end, powerful on-board DSP in the power amp enables the player to set up and store critical parameters including crossover frequency and type, and independent EQ, compression and time alignment settings for the high and low frequency components of the sound, to create a bi-amplified system of unparalleled sophistication and versatility.
System configuration is easy using intuitive Windows/Mac remote control software running on a laptop connected to the AL-1500D via a rear panel RS232 connector. Settings can be stored in 32 user memory locations and recalled from the front panel for different venues, or even different songs.
According to Ashdown, audio quality is ensured by elegant circuit design, massive toroidal transformers and high quality output devices.