Eden WT-1205 Laymans Review
Let me preface this review with a disclaimer. I am NOT a professional bass player. I am completely self taught, and although I love what I do, most of the time I have no idea how I did it. I compare it with learning how to fly by falling off a cliff. I am just your average player who was lucky enough to get in with a really talented bunch of guys who inspire me to play my heart out. That being said, whenever I buy equipment, I try to buy the very best I can ( even if its a bit more than I wanted to spend) so that my gear will always exceed my level of talent. Reason being, I can focus on being a better player and not be hindered by shotty equipment. So.. on with the review:
I own a Eden WT-1205.. bought it a couple years back after my American made SVT-IV Pro took a dump for the 3rd time, and the repair cost were going to be more than what the amp was worth.
I did a lot of research, asked a lot of questions, but couldnít find one to try out anywhere local. My problem is that we play a multitude of different venues, from large open air resorts to small dive bars, and I needed something that would be versatile enough to cover that spectrum. I ended up buying it on-line without ever hearing one in person.
Well, I have been gigging every weekend for almost 2 years straight now with this amp. I can say that the tone from my Eden WT-1205 was leaps and bounds from my SVT4 ( even before she blew up). There is a definite richness about it. One of my biggest complaints with my SVT was the lack of midrange. I was never able to get that cut through sound no matter how much I eqíd the thing. The Eden WT-1205 right out of the box was already night and day from my SVT, and I hadnít even turned any of the knobs past noon.
My drummer is a very heavy hitter, and plays through an acrylic Crush kit, and I am competing with both a EVH & a Hughes & Ketner guitar rig... so cutting through the mix was paramount for me. This amp is a beast.. it has plenty of head room to fill the venue, and even when I back it down for the smaller clubs she sings like a bird. I run her bridged mono through an SVT 8x10 cabinet, while playing through a hot-rodded Ibanez 5 String.
I'll be the first to admit it, I am very bad at dialing tone. In fact, I really have no idea what it is that I am doing most of the time. The beauty of this amp is that it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to get the right sound. Most of my dials are set in the noon or 1pm position, and the "enhance" & "compression" are dialed back just enough to keep that boom while removing that cracking string noise from my horrible fingering technique. If I need a little extra here and there, all it usually takes just one click and I rise up from the sea of guitars and drums like the Kraken.
I'm sure there are plenty of tone Nazis on here that could give you the hard numbers on this rig, but I'm not that guy. I'm the layman... and letís just say that this thing will move some air. I can get a really good slap tone from it, as well as a boom that will shake out your fillings. The foot pedal is such a nice feature too. Mute to Tune, channel select, enhance bypass, and you even have a turbo boost. I love the turbo boost on the pedal.. this is great for those moments when you want to really stand out ( solo pieces, or just want to make your guitar players ears bleed).
Now there are some cons to this rig as well. There is a somewhat un-documented issue with buzzing. This buzzing is even in the recording out ( DI). My buzz didn't show up until I played on the Jagermeister stage. At first I thought it was a bad speaker in my cab. It wasn't until the sound engineer ended up running me through an external DI to bypass the amp that we realized the problem. He made a few calls and told me that another tech had run into that before with another 1205.
A little internet sleuthing when I got home turned up some documents about the issue. I quickly took it to my local propeller-head, and they fixed it for a mere $50. Apparently there was some unshielded cables near the power block that cause this. Itís an easy fix, as my tech did it in just under an hour. She is now as quiet as a church mouse with a ball gag.
Another issue I had with the rig was the footswitch jack on the rig itself. There is a little metal cap that surrounds it in the back of the amp ( inside). If the jack gets pushed in too hard, this cap can come loose and ground out against the solder leads. Very bad. It makes a HORRIBLE popping noise that will literally clench your sphincter shut with the velocity of a bear trap. The metal cap was compressed over a plastic socket, and it doesnít take much for it to come loose. My tech ended up gluing the cap in back in place with some loctite, as well as insulating the solder leads just in case it was to happen again. Problem solved.
Is this the end all be all amp? No. There have been complaints of it needing more gain, but honestly I havenít found any issues there. Even on stadium style stages I can push enough air to hear over the rest of the group.
We have played a few benefit shows where other bands have used my rig, so I got to hear it through everything from a $250 Peavey Grind, an American Made Fender Jazz, an MTD KZ 5, a Warwick, and even some custom 6 string boutique bass. Despite my lack of tone setting knowledge, they all sounded very crisp from the audience. Although the guy with the Fender did bitch a little about not having enough brightness, but he was a country player and his usual rig was a Hartke. My band plays a lot of modern rock, so I tend to lean more on the thumping, thunderous side of the spectrum.
I keep my amp in a 5 space Gator rack with a power conditioner and a tuner. I left the bottom slot open to help vent it a bit more, although I have never had an issue with overheating ( something that the Ampeg would do quite frequently). It also has a built in DI with a ground lift. That makes things a bit easier on the sound guys. All in all I am very pleased with this amp, and Eden in general. I would buy another one, and have actually looked into getting a small 300 watt combo for practice. Iím also buying an MTD KZ5, or an MTD AG 5 in the next few weeks, so we will see how much of a difference that will make it compared to a middle of the road bass.
All in all I am extremely happy with my purchase. The construction on the amp is such that if you have an issue, it doesn't cascade throughout the circuitry. While this may not be as important as you may think, when you actually blow a $3 part in your amp and it causes $300 in damage, you will understand. They also took the time to build redundancy into the rig as well, so if you do have an issue on stage ( just short of catastrophic mind you) , your amp doesn't go dark. Very beefy, and able to take the rigors of a touring band.
I would be curious to hear from other WT-1205 owners to se what kind of settings/ Cabs they are running. I have toyed with the idea of getting the matched cabinets from Eden for this rig.. but it seems that most everyone is running the Ampeg 8x10, so why change if it is pretty much the industry standard.