“Red-blooded overdrive without shaking the foundations”: Is Ashdown's upgraded CTM-15 desktop bass amp the ultimate recording rig for tube fans?

Ashdown CTM-15
(Image credit: Ashdown Music)

Designed for both home and studio use, Ashdown’s new CTM-15 packs all the mojo of the company’s more substantial tube bass amps, but in a desktop version that weighs around 5kg.

What’s noteworthy with this re-release is that there’s no load required when using the DI and headphone output, which makes it ideal for the studio or for silent practice. Along with this unfettered performance potential, the low wattage means it should also be easier to get authentic overdriven tones – all without waking the neighbours. 

Delivering 15 watts of output using a dual EL84 power stage, with a single ECC83 tube in the preamp, the CTM-15 promises a punchy set of tube tones that are designed to sound great at low volumes. According to Ashdown, the low wattage makes it easier to get “red-blooded overdrive” when driving the amp hard.

As well as gain and master volume controls, there’s also a 3-band EQ and Ashdown’s analogue VU meter, which gives an instant display of your output. The distinctive Ashdown logo (which was inspired by the Austin Healey motor badge) is also proudly emblazoned across the front. 

More features can be found on the back panel. Here you get a DI and headphone output, while 4 and 8 ohm speaker outputs add extra versatility. 

Ashdown CTM-15

(Image credit: Ashdown Music)

Ashdown are seemingly very confident of the road-worthiness of this range, touting the CTM-15 as repairable down to a component level for the next 25 years. It also comes with a five-year manufacturer's warranty, and a custom gig bag, making it easy to safely transport to your next session.

Head over to ashdownmusic for more information.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.