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Any Wal bass owners?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ttyR2, Mar 17, 2003.


  1. ttyR2

    ttyR2

    Feb 23, 2003
    Athena, OR
    What do you think of the Wal basses? How do they rank among other higher end units? Pretty flexible in regards to sound?
     
  2. I had one about ten years ago, but sold it because I could'nt get a Fender Jazz sound out of it, and it was goddamm HEAVY!
     
  3. Bigwan

    Bigwan

    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    I love mine, which sounds incredible (1983 Mach I, padauk top). It has a very flexible pre-amp that I still haven't fully got my head round.

    It's main disadvantage is its weight, but apparently this varies from bass to bass. Have a look on the Yahoo Wal group and Steve Chesney's "official" Wal site.

    I think they stack up very well against other basses in the same league...
     
  4. I love them. I have owned both fretted and fretless 5 strings

    Build quality 10/10 supurb build quality and looks

    sound 10/10 very versitile but have a distinctive Wal sound which will not suit everyone

    playability 10/10 increadibly easy to play

    Weight 5/10 mine were heavy [14 lbs]. I had to sell them both because I have a bad back and it would really hurt after every time I played.

    I would recommend people to try them out as they are brilliant but they are heavy so bear that in mind. They are top class instruments and Pete Stevens is a good man to talk to about what you want.

    Pictures of my fretless are on Steve Chesneys Wal web site www.walbasses.com under past basses of the month November/December 2000.

    Peace

    Matthew
     
  5. I have a Wal Custom, built in 1981. It's a fretted 4-string with wenge faces. I love the instrument a lot, but it has gotten a lot less use since I got my Bossa UJB-5. It's quite heavy (especially compared to the ultra-light Bossa), but has an immense range of sounds. It excels at mimicking a souped-up Rickenbacker, but you can play anything with it, really.

    The distance between the strings and the body is quite big, not unlike a Music Man, so you have to get used to that when you slap. I saw some models where there was a piece of see-through acryl mounted to diminish the distance. Maybe it is also not so prevalent with the newer models (Mach II and III.. mine is an old-fashioned Mach I).

    The pick-ups are great and EXTREMELY hot... I can totally piss off my Trace amps with this bass :)

    All in all: a great instrument that I will never get rid of. They are not cheap though... but if money is not a problem, you should check them out.
     
  6. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    IMO, they're the best basses in the world.
    I agree with everything matthewfoote said, except for the weight, mine weighs between 9 and 10 lbs.
    Mine has been my main bass for 18 years, below is a pic, and I also have a fretted neck for it that was on the bass from about 1995 to 2001.
     
  7. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Where's Zoomboy?? He has the nicest Blue 5 St Wal I ever seen or played!!!
    Come on Jeff post a pic of that baby!!!:D
     
  8. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    MA
    I'll show off his pic for him. I'm sure he'll be here soon!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ttyR2

    ttyR2

    Feb 23, 2003
    Athena, OR
    What kind of price ranges are we talking about? $1,000 -$5,000? How do you talk to the factory/Pete? I haven't seen them advertise anywhere.
     
  10. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Depends on where you are. I don't know what the price in the UK is, but in the US new ones don't ever show up less than $3,000. Bass Central is an official dealer, you can order one through them. Also, check out www.walbasses.com, they have contact info for Pete.
     
  11. Bigwan

    Bigwan

    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    My Wal cost me £550 sterling second hand (I think that's about $900 US). I bought it about 2 years ago from a local store where it was on consignment. It was (and still is!) a little battered and bruised, and I know at least one person who thought I payed too much for it, but I though it was a good deal... I felt a little bad about it all actually. The day I went to pick it up, the guy who was selling it came in to collect his new bass (a 2 year old Yamaha TRB... talk about a step down!).. it turned out that after buying the Yam. he had only made about £100 on the whole deal... his original reason for selling the Wal was that he couldn't justify having that level of instrument since he didn't play much any more. I felt like I'd asked him to pick up the soap or something :meh:

    I'm considering having it refinished by Pete 'the fish', which would bring it up to 'just came out of the factory' condition... :bassist:

    (I'm not having a go at Yamaha basses btw... they just don't compare to a Wal!)
     
  12. Bigwan

    Bigwan

    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Here's a pic of the beasty...
     
  13. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    How is the Wal slap sound? I've never listened to a slap song played with a Wal... I know that the fretless tone is unbelievable (Karn) and the fretted/bridge pickup tone (Geddy Lee) is really nice too... the pick sound is really sharp (Tool) but how the slap sound does compare to these other ones?
     
  14. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Check out "Suck My Kiss" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dread. that's at least one slap sound you can get from it. I'd imagine given its versatility, there are a number to be had. (though, apparently, not a "Fender Jazz sound" :) oh well)
     
  15. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Well, I knew Flea owned a Wal, but I didn't know WHERE he used it ;)
    I'm not a big versatility maniac... I usually use my basses in flat to hear it's natural tone. I think I'll give a try to these axes asap :D