Last week I bought a second-hand Ashdown Little Giant 350W on eBay for £130+ shipping. I'd been looking to upgrade my Behringer 300W head for a while, and liked the idea of a mini head that was easy to take to rehearsal studios. I saw mixed reviews of the LG350 (mostly relating to it being quite quiet) but the price was right so I took the plunge.
It arrived, plugged it into my Marshall 1x15 (250w 8ohm) and was impressed with the tone shaping, but it definitely was really quiet and it all seemed to relate to the preamp - with gain all the way up, my Fender Jazz was hardly getting the VU to react, let alone give much movement. A compressor pedal helped sort that out though.
Fast forward to tonight and I'm in a decent rehearsal studio playing bass with a new band. There's a stack of Ashdown Mag cabs there, so I plug both speakers into my Little Giant. The preamp thing is still a bit of an issue but there was still plenty of output volume to keep up with the band, running at 60-70% output volume. Happily playing away and all of a sudden the output rapidly nosedives and cuts out completely. The VU is still responding though so it's getting a signal, just not putting anything out.
I switch off, check the speaker connections (it'd be odd for both to go anyway) and turn on - still no output. I have a fiddle around again; it's feeling warm but not too hot to touch, and the fan hasn't kicked in at all. I plug the studio's Mag head in to check the speakers and all is working. Plug the LG back in and it's working again, phew! Carry on jamming, 20 mins and the output goes again. At this point I unplugged it and carried on with the studio's head for the rest of the session. At packing up time I gave the LG one more try, and it's back working again.
Got home and googled it - apparently overheating and fan failure is a common issue with this amp, causing the symptoms I'd experienced. Apparently the fan is supposed to briefly spin on powering the amp up to show that it works - mine is not doing that, so I imagine that, without the fan running, the amp just can't handle being pushed into higher volumes. I've requested a refund from the seller (the listing said "perfect working order" and unfortunately it isn't) but it's a real shame as I actually really quite liked how it sounds!