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15" WalkAbout Scout--Whoa, Baby! (but a question...)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by emor, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I got my WalkAbout Scout w/15" yesterday (was on order for 8 weeks).

    It's like getting behind the wheel of a Ferarri after tooling around in a '63 Ford Falcon (aka 20+ year old Peavey TKO 80).

    HUGE bottom end. I'm having to continually experiment with the EQ to keep the lows from devouring everything. I think with some tweaking I'll be able to get a very Jamerson-esque type sound. I'm looking forward to using it in an ensemble setting--sooner than later, I hope.

    I do have a question, however. I'm getting a buzz--particularly on the E and A strings--most noticeable at lower volumes. (It actually took me awhile to pick up on it because this thing vibrates everything in the house.) But I'm almost positive that this is an electronic sound and not just a loose part. (I checked the speaker mounting screws and they were all snug.) It is not really noticeable when playing along with the stereo.

    Gain is set at 9 o'clock (but buzz occurs at even lower setting), master is set at 9 - 11 o'clock. All EQ and tone controls are set between 10 and 2 o'clock.

    The owner's manual has a section on noise and microphonics, that discusses noise associated with pre-amp tubes. It doesn't sound like microphonics, which is described as "ringing or high pitched squealing that gets worse as volume is increased." "Noise" is described as "crackling, sputtering, white noise/hiss and or hum"

    I know that there's lots of satisfied WalkAbout users here, and thought I'd run it past you before I called the company about it.

  2. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Chances are it's picking up something in your house/apartment wiring, i.e.: a light dimmer, variable speed fan or just some noise that's in your power.

    Try some different outlets (just for kicks) and try it at someone else's house and see if it stays the same no matter where it's plugged in.

    If that's a yes, you could also try another bass (just to see if it reacts the same way.) If both are yes, it's coming from the amp.

    Good luck.
  3. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I tried a different bass and a different circuit--same story.

    I don't think it is interference from something else--the noise I'm talking about only occurs when the string is plucked. Sounds distorted--kind of like a fuzz tone.
  4. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    No clue on the "fritz", tried a new tube.?....BUT this is the amp I have been waiting to see for a long time.

    A review + picswould be great and also - how much in $$$ is one of these?

    Best wishes
  5. emor


    May 16, 2004
    So, I just got off the phone with the local Mesa repair station.

    The tech said to try it through a different cab (duh), so I dug up another one and tried it through it. No buzz. He said that if the speaker had been dropped or jarred, that it might have a misaligned voice coil.

    I will call Mesa this afternoon and see if their customer service is as good as everybody says. I'm hoping they can let me hang onto the amp so I can keep on using it, and send me a new speaker.

    After doing all the research and waiting 8 weeks, I'm hoping it all works out. I really want to like this amp.
  6. emor


    May 16, 2004
    Some specs and initial observations:

    Weight: approx. 61 lbs. (according to my bathroom scales).
    23 1/2" x 19 1/2" x 17" (HxWxD).
    Price, new: $1249.

    It has a continuous running fan, which I know bothered an upright player here, but in a gig situation in a noisy bar, I'm sure it won't be an issue. It is mildly annoying in the quiet of the practice room.

    It fits easily in the seat of my PU truck, and looks like it'll fit in the back seat of my Honda Civic with no problem. There is a heavy duty leather handle mounted to the top of the cab, but it is rather awkward and not too good for the back to carry it this way. Much easier to simply pick it up like you would any box and carry it that way.

    I had the grill cloth off last night. It is attached with Velcro tabs and reinforced with four screws through the front.

    Construction/fit & finish is very clean and crisp. It has black leather (rather than metal) corner protectors which look great now, but I have a feeling would not endure too much abuse (that's O.K., I plan on taking good care of it).

    For those of you that don't know, this is a combo unit from which the WalkAbout head is removeable. There is a recess in the back of the cab which houses the amp in a vertical position. It is held in place by a 1/4" panel attached with six screws. This allows easy access to the controls on the front (top) of the unit, but might be a bit of a hassle in accessing the rear (bottom) panel (fuse, speaker jacks, direct out jack, AC cord receptacle). As stated above, there is a fan, with vents on the front (top) of the unit. This would seem to make it especially vulnerable to a spilled drink, so rule #1: NO DRINKS ON THIS AMP!

    This cab has a 10" downward firing passive radiator which is protected by a perforated metal plate. It stands on four heavy duty rubber feet.

    This is my first new amp in over twenty years, and I have been admittedly "out of the loop" on new products, but I've got to say that this is a really impressive unit, especially for its size. I am going for more of an "old school" sound. I use flatwound strings, don't slap, and use fingers only (no pick). I'm thinking that it will fit the bill nicely. All my playing, of late, has been practicing at home alone. I have been attending some open jams around town the last few months, but have yet to sit in. I'm hoping to give this amp a try at one of them very soon.

    (edit) minor correction: I had the grill cloth off again this evening and noticed that it does not have Velcro tabs. In fact there are pieces of self adhesive foam that cover the screws that mount the front panel to the cab, and isolates them from the grill cloth frame to prevent vibration. It makes a Velco-type sound when removing and I made the assumption without close inspection. Not a big deal, but in the interest of accuracy....
  7. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Thanks for the nice review. Sounds wonderful. I might be interested in checking out the Scout 12". Does it also have a 10" Passive radiator?
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I have been attending some open jams around town the last few months, but have yet to sit in. I'm hoping to give this amp a try at one of them very soon.

    There's a guy here who brings a 12" Walkabout Scout to open mike every week. Almost nobody brings their bass amps in anymore, since we're all more than happy to use his amp. You'll be popular right off the bat, I'll bet! :cool:
  9. The 12 inch version has an 8" passive radiator, I believe.
  10. emor


    May 16, 2004
    Well, crap.

    Mesa's closed on Fridays. Have to wait until Monday to deal with it.
  11. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I would love to try one of those out. I have a 1-12 Scout and the 1-12 Scout extension and I love it. Congrats!
  12. Thanks for the review. I have a walkabout on the way shortly and was wondering how loud the fan really is while in practice? is there anything it would compare to, say like a computer?

  13. rbud2003


    Feb 21, 2003
    I have the walkabout 12 and the fan is pretty loud (IMHO) but once the whole band gets going, I don't notice it a bit. Great combo.
  14. I'm guessing its like my computer, which i consider to be pretty loud.
  15. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I have owned the 12" Scout for a year and I love it..so do my bandmates...
  16. emor


    May 16, 2004
    It probably makes about as much noise as a computer.
    I frequently use my computer when practicing, as well, so I guess it is pretty noisy. When I'm playing along with CDs, however, I don't hear it.
  17. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    Ignore if this has already been covered: have you tried using the amp outside your house? Most bass amps will cause things in your room to vibrate and, in my case, it really sounds like its coming from the amp.
  18. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    Where did you get the Scout 112 extension cab? And price.
    Also, how does it compare to something like the Aguilar 112?
  19. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I spoke with Chris at Mesa this afternoon.
    He is going to send me a new speaker and I can switch it out myself, and return the existing one. I should have it early next week.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that this takes care of the problem.
  20. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    I've only seen one 12er extension and it is 90 minutes away from where I am. It looked nice,but I don't think I will need it. I can only imagine that the 15 puts out major booty shaking bass. My 12 has crazy low end. I believe the 12 extension was $399. That price should be consistent everywhere.