1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Most Wal-like tone on a Fender?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by -Asdfgh-, Mar 22, 2014.


  1. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    This is one born of wet-afternoon curiosity...

    Many people like the tone of the Wal, although it isn't a universal love. Some of it comes from the very specialised electronics. So a question is - to what extent can you replicate some of that sound with pickup and preamp choices on a modern standard bass (Precision or Jazz as starting points)?
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    This should be fun!
     
  3. MPU

    MPU

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Valkeala Finland
    I'd say four coil pickups wound like a half Wal pickup with ACG filter preamp.
     
  4. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    You can't. They're seriously different basses. Apples to elephants.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    By upgrading the bass and the electronics you should be able to get a Wal sound. I'd say, give Wal a call and see if they will sell you one of their necks to put on your Fender. You'll probably find it won't fit...in which case, you could ask Wal to sell you a loaded body to put the new neck onto. That should do it.
     
  7. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    I'm not expecting to do it. It was an academic question out of interest.
     
  8. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    It's a speculative question. How close is it possible to get?

    On various vintage recordings basses of one type are mistaken for others, so how distinct are the tones in reality? Do our ears fool us?
     
  9. WaskoDS

    WaskoDS

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Location:
    Allentown, PA
    I don't know what pickups you'd put in unless routing the body is an option, but you could definitely drop in an ACG-01 filter preamp; basically an intersection of the Wal and Alembic filter preamps, with an additional high-pass filter that neither possess. A Jazz Bass would definitely be the preferred vehicle for a mod like this, due to the dual pickups. If there are any "bright but thick" J-Bass pickups, those would be the go-to.
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Most Wal-like tone on a Fender?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jazz bass
    light strings
    active electronics
    underwound pickups
     
  11. -Asdfgh-

    -Asdfgh-

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Sorry, I didn't mean to come over as all school-ma'am there.
     
  12. Buchada Azeda

    Buchada Azeda

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    Has anyone ever thought of copying a Wal's preamp and circuit and putting it in pedal form? I'd pay big money to see that happen.
     
  13. lordradish

    lordradish

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Media:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Vermont
    Wal's pretty protective about their stuff (I own one). You can't get the electronics or preamps unless you own one. I don't know if you'd be able to get that sound out of a Fender.
     
  14. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    There's a pickup maker here who has been working on it for years with lots of excuses and few results. You can scroll around to find the multiple threads of complaints about his customer service if getting involved with him sounds appealing.
     
  15. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    The issue there is that IMO the pickups play a bigger part in the Wal tone than the preamp.
     
  16. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    Maybe I should have used a tongue in cheek emoticon
     
  17. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    I've owned two Wal's.
    Quick answer, nothing sounds like a Wal but a Wal.
    The pickups, and pre-amp are the sound.
     
  18. Toolmybass

    Toolmybass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Great White North
    +1
     
  19. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    I think that was just a pickup not the preamp.
     
  20. Toolmybass

    Toolmybass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Great White North
    If it's the same pup builder I'm thinking of there hasn't even been any talk for awhile that he is even still working on it or a prototype pic posted of the pre-amp. My guess it's still on the "written down on paper" stage
     
  21. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    He was working on both, at one point farmed out the preamp to someone even less reliable than himself. Progress on it has been even slower since then.
    You are an optimist, I don't even estimate he's tracked down a working writing tool.
     

Share This Page