Ashton ‘Horrortones’ Bass


An Australian designed/Asian built bass that is pretty damn cool…

One of my bands is a soul covers party band called the Horrotones. I get to play some fun garage guitar licks, drink tequila’s and generally have a good time. The bass player in this band is my friend Ben Dougherty, who is the awesome guitar player in both Texas Tea & Vegas Kings. Ben just happens to also be a fantastic bass player (talented bastard!) and his axe of choice is this strange but cool Ashton ASRB-282… catchy name, eh?


Ashton is like the modern version of Onyx guitars. Remember them? They imported many different types of guitars from Korea in the 80’s & 90’s, rebadged them and sold them to various students and snotty nosed punks here in Australia. Many of these plywood pieces of crap can be found in your local Cash Converters.

Ashton do it a little differently, though, and design their own instruments then get them built in the cheap factories in Indonesia/China/Korea etc. This Ashton was part of a series that also included various guitars. None of the guitars were as cool as the bass though… most were the usual Les Paul/SG wannabe’s…

Picture 1

They were pretty cheaply made, and the reviews that I’ve read on Harmony Central aren’t exactly glowing. The worksmanship and electrics were a bit hit and miss, which is to be expected in this price range.

But Ben’s bass is a cracker! It’s completely hollow, painted in a beautiful candy apple red and with a set neck that is very Rickenbacker like…


The pickups are 3 Burns-like single coils. They sound pretty massive, and love being played through a good overdrive pedal.


The headstock is very PRS… with a straight string pull to help with tuning. I’ve never noticed Ben going out of tune with this thing onstage… plus the tuning pegs are pretty good quality anyway…


The neck is really comfortable to play. Pretty slim profile, with a not too wide rosewood fretboard. This particular fretboard has NEVER been cleaned… or had it’s strings changed in SIX YEARS! It looks like moss is growing on this guitar!


All in all it’s a great cheap bass. The dead strings and short scale make it sound very double bass like, which is perfect for The Horrortones.

Here is the info Ben provided me on his bass:
* I bought it over 6 years ago for Trish for Christmas
* It was $380
* It has never been set up
* it has never had a new string
* it is awesome


Unfortunately Ashton stopped making this cool design a few years ago and has just got the usual Ibanez SGR bass look-a-likes… which is a shame. This was a great, well though out, original design which is a rarity in today’s guitar market.