A totally subjective and one-dimensional comparison...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by MrSidecar, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. ... of two great amplifiers. My 41 year old Walter Woods mi100-8, and a brand-new EA Doubler 2.

    The thing is- I play both electric and upright professionally, but I never double. For my electric bass amp needs, I’m covered.

    So when I got the doubler, I didn’t even bother to try it with my p-bass. My sole interest was to try the doubler’s xlr input with my Nadine mic, because all the boxes necessary to make the mic work with the Woods are cumbersome and add an unwelcome level of error-proneness. Cables can go bad, power supplies can be forgotten at home, venues can possibly provide less than three power outlets in the bass amp’s vicinity. All that.

    All testing was done with my MAS26 as the cab. The signal chain to the Woods has a rolls phantom power supply and a broughton hpf-pre DI (the latter only used for gain).

    To cut a long story short- the doubler sounds very good, has plenty of power and seems reasonably well-built. But there’s for me no way that it can compete with the Woods in terms of warmth and eq musicality, let alone sheer awesomeness. One could say while the doubler does a very good job sounding good, I can’t make it sound like the Woods. And of course one could easily say that’s a silly endeavour anyways. But for me, the Woods is gold standard. Maybe the slightly harder, colder midrange of the Doubler is more “accurate”, but the Woods is so much more pleasing to my ear that I gladly sacrifice the accuracy.

    Before the direct shootout I tried the doubler on its own and was initially quite pleased, albeit a little puzzled by my lack of understanding of how to properly incorporate the magic that is a notch filter, into my amp-usage. I felt whatever I did, the notch did more harm than good. But it felt like the doublers power which is roughly 4 times that of the Woods, translated into “more punch”.

    the direct shootout proved me wrong. The woods does not lack at all in that department, and the eq is SO much more effective! Small changes go a long way. I actually found I can control feedback better and with less compromise for the sound when using the Woods, thus it effectively can get louder than the Doubler. Even though we’re talking unnecessary levels there.

    At the end my findings of the shootout made me pack the Doubler up and return it.

    There you go- and yes, the Doubler is very cool and the intelligent input switching thing is beautiful. And it has lots of power. And a phantom powered xlr input on the amp is supercool and I’ll miss it. But sound wise, the Woods is still far superior to me. Maybe I’ll try an Acoustic Image head one day, but it’s quite likely that is first going to happen once the Woods dies. Which is probably never.

  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Once you get used to playing through a Walter Woods, although it has a simpler EQ setup it's a very sensitive set of controls that can cut as well as boost frequency bands. Most bass amplifiers just don't have that kind of sensitivity. My friend

    although I think the best of Rick Jones and Acoustic Image, I'm not certain their sound will be for you. Just my take however.
    MrSidecar likes this.