Ashdown Engineering

OriginAL Valve Pre-DI Pedal


Valve driven pre-amplifier pedal like no other.

The OriginAL beautifully shapes the bass player’s clean signal whilst offering a foot-switchable valve powered overdrive in a single compact unit. Crystal clear cleans and powerful overdriven growl, The OriginAL encompasses it all.

Setting the Level

The -3db Pad switch is used in conjunction with the input level control to suit the instrument in use, Low output basses will not require the use of the Pad but Higher Output basses may overload the pedal and require use of the Pad. Overloading the Input will simply create unwanted distortion and sound unpleasant, with experimentation the correct settings will be found for the Instruments you have.

Real Valve Overdrive
The Valve overdrive circuit fitted into the Original pre amplifier duplicates the kind of overdrive you would get from Valve Amplifier and works in exactly the same way as follows,The DRIVE GAIN controls the magnification of the signal from the instrument, at higher settings the Valve will be overdriven clipping and compressing the sound from the instrument, Higher harmonics and higher frequencies will be accentuated whilst the lower frequencies will be compressed. Just as in a valve amplifier this will be accompanied by a drastic increase in volume dependant entirely on the setting of the gain control.

To enable you to match the Overdriven signal level to the clean level a Drive level control is also provided. In this way it is therefore possible to change from a crystal clean sound to an overdriven sound of similar level. The Input Level control also has some bearing on this as it sets the starting point from which the overdrive circuit works so some experimentation with this in conjunction with Drive Gain and Drive Level will be required to get exactly the results you are looking for.

The OVERDRIVE is foot switchable and the pedal lights up blue when the overdrive is engaged. When using the footswitch it is advisable and desirable to avoid large increases in volume as sudden level changes may produce switching noise further down the line.

Power Supply
The ORIGINal Pre-amplifier requires a Linear Isolated High quality Regulated power supply that can supply a current 300mA at a voltage of 15-18V DC Centre Pin NEGATIVE for the fitted 2.1mm connector socket. Since most Professional pedal board power supplies have outputs at 9V and 18V the pedal is marked at 18V. The pedal reduces the incoming power supply down to 12v suitable to drive the Valve and internal circuits, for the internal stabilisation to be fully effective the connected power supply should be between 15-18V DC as stated…

Please Note:

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OriginAL Features
Ashdown | Setting the standard since '97


  • Power Requirement - 15-18v External Power Supply Centre Pin Negative
  • EQ - 5-band EQ, bass, low-mid, middle, hi-mid and treble
  • Distortion - 12AX7 powered Valve Drive
  • H x W x D (mm) - 62 (inc 6mm feet) x 183 x 118
  • Weight (kg) - 1.4

The shape Button when engaged provides a broadband mid scoop and is applied to the signal Before the Drive circuit or EQ.
The Equalisation circuit has 5 bands with the control frequencies centred around 100Hz , 340Hz, 680Hz, 1.6KHz and 7KhZ. The associated filters are of a low Q type and therefore there is considerable overlap between frequencies, which ensures a smooth response. Since the pedal has been designed to be used with other equipment such as mixers and amplifiers etc. which will invariably have more on board Equalisation the control range has been tailored accordingly.
The output control controls the signal from the pedal to the connected equipment via the ¼” JACK socket. When this output is in use the Phones output is unavailable. This jack socket has a PERMANENT ground. Adjust the output level to suit the connected equipment. NOTE that this control does NOT adjust the DI output This control also functions as the VOLUME control for the inbuilt headphone amplifier. Headphones can be connected on the rear panel via the 3.5 mm 3 pole MINI Jack.

The Line Input is located on the rear panel below the PHONES out, this is again a 3.5mm MINI Jack the level control is used to mix the line signal with that from the instrument.
It’s Showtime!
Showtime is basically the overall Mute button the pedal lights up RED when unmuted and ready to play Note That the LINK socket on the rear panel remains Active whilst in mute mode. This output is at instrument level and can be used to drive a tuner for example .It is therefore possible to tune up without any signal to the PA or other connected equipment.


OriginAL Pedal User Manual

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