1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Can a Walter Woods get lound and funky?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mario Lewis, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I'm considering a WW 1200 watt integrated head, but the nay sayers are telling me that (1) for aggressive funk with a lot of slapping and what not, the Woods AIN'T the amp. A DB750 would be better ( and mildly cheaper) and....(2) the Woods are better for upright and (3) while 1200 W is nothing to blink at, it's not a STRONG 1200.... not sure what that means....

    Any thoughts any one? Can a Woods handle High Demand stuff dependably? Will the tone just not be right for Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Not" or Cheryl Lynn's "Got To Be Real" or THe Brother's Johnson's "Strawberry Letter 23"?
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I've been funking with a WW Ultra for many years. It's a great amp, gets plenty loud, and is ultra reliable. However... whether it's due to the switching power supply, the way the preamp is voiced, internal filters... not sure... (there's been threads on this before)... it does not wump out the low end like amps I own with big traditional analog power supply. My Thunderfunk550 gets every bit as loud as my Walter Woods Ultra, and I actually prefer that when I'm on gigs requiring 'old school funk' technique and tone. The bottom is a little fatter and seems to project a lot better out into the room.

    The WW is a very 'dry' sounding amp. That's not a bad thing... it is what it is. I wouldn't necessarily call it flat, but it is very precise. His older models had a lot more 'tube-like' warmth. His newer models (as of about 10 years ago) are much more modern and very clean.

    The 750 is a great amp, but I wouldn't say it's voiced, etc. that great for funk playing... and it weighs a ton (great amp though).

    If you are totally enamored with the incredible small size of the Walter Woods, go for it. If you have a good bass and your slap/funk technique is good, there are very few amps that won't do the job for you. However, for about $1,500 less and only 8 pounds more, the TF550 is just a GREAT pop and funk amp.

    That was a little rambling..... PM me if you have specific questions about it.
  3. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 the iAmp800 is another good option for small, loud and reasonably priced, along with the Eden550, and the TF550 (as mentioned before).
  4. willrwilli


    Jul 15, 2002
    I gave up my Aguilar DB 750, and my EBS Fafner for the Woods. I play gospel that requires a lot of slap, and I think the amp is amazing. I have the high power stereo model, and I have never wished I had something else. I play an MTD 6 and a Ken Smith 6, with two Bergantino Ht 322 cabinets, and it delivers the goods. I have an incase gig bag, and the head fits in a space behind the front pocket. I never thought I would ever have a head with that much power that would fit into a gig bag.
  5. Well, Victor is doing his thing with a Walter Woods amp :smug:
  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    1) It's a matter of taste, of course. The WWU is great for slap, IME.

    2) Great amp for DB but equally superb for electric. Again, strictly a matter of taste.

    3) It's a very honest 1200.

    The WWU (which I own and use a lot) is very balanced top-to-bottom and will drive just about any cab on the market. Whether you will like it more or less than something else really depends on you. But Walter's amps have a rep that is well-deserved and earned over many years. Good luck.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Agree that it's a matter of taste and that the WW is a great amp. I do find, though (as with many other WW users) that the 1200 watts of the Walter in no way can compare in fullness in the low end and volume to a huge, heavy, well built, high quality analog amp/power supply. No way...no how... even Walter agrees if you talk with him about it. That being said, you will only notice it at very loud volumes using relatively aggressive playing styles... which is what the originator of the thread was talking about. If you are looking for a small, well build, loud amp that does a lot of things well (DB, electric, slap, pop, etc., etc.), the Walter Woods is great... it's like a Swiss Army Knife.

    If, though, you are primarily an aggressive funk or rock player, IMO, there are many, many small amps at a small fraction of the price that do that one thing much better.
  8. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Let me add the total picture.

    Bass is a Smith 6 string bolt on. very punchy, good woody tone, Walnut & maple body, maple neck, steel roundwounds, eq is set for a good slap tone, maybe 75% on the Bass, a little more than 50% on the Treble, around 20% maybe slightly more on the mids, your traditional smiley faced EQ.

    Cabs are a Epi 310 NYC which is my main stay. I'll haul it to practice and to small gigs. This is what I plan to mostly use with the WW.

    For "big gig rig" I plan to augment the WW power with a Stew 1.2 to a pair of Epi 112 NYC's.

    Music type is what I've said already. The band I'm in does a lot of old school R&B covers. One of the reasons they picked me for the group was because I like to slap and we play music that tries to get some butts shakin' and finger's poppin'. PA support is so so for me, sometimes I'll get it, most times I won't, and on those ocassions I don't, I still want to be able to be heard and felt and contribute to the "git yo par-tee on" effort.

    So, will the woods do it for a party of 200- 300 in a small club or wedding gig?

    For the sake of comparison, I currently use an Eden Navigator to a Crest CA9 (one side at about 800W max) and it does fine. Weighs a ton, but does especially well when I put the pair of 112's on the other channel.

    I'm sorta getting the feeling that the WW isn't going to have the same booty as the CA9, 900 traditional heavy overbuilt power supply watts or 1200 lightweight digital watts, I'm not gonna hear a significant difference volume wise but may be in the "integrity of the tone"?
  9. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I've never found that to be true nor have I seen any evidence that "many other WW users" agree with that opinion. Walter, in fact, told me that he did not agree with this assessment, either, when I brought up the subject recently. And Jim Bergantino, a confirmed heavy-weight power amp advocate, is constantly recommending the WWU for use with his cabs to me. In fact, it's the only lightweight amp I've ever heard him recommend.

    No doubt about that!

    There are certainly cheaper amps on the market but none that I'm aware of that offer the clarity and performance of a WW2. Obviously, styles vary but sometimes what you give up for price you sacrifice in quality. I see no reason why an aggressive slapper would be disappointed in the performance of a WWU. The price, maybe. The sound, no.
  10. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    I own a WWU and the is summer I got a CA9. Theres a Difference, it's subtle but its real. the Crest sounds better BUT the woods is so light and easier to deal with,Nothing subtle about that.

  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Interesting... I've been using the one of Walter's heads for about 15 years, and know a bunch of players who also use them. We all agree that there are 'Walter Watts' and 'regular watts'. Still though, great head, but if you are saying that, for example, the Walter has the same low end punch and volume as an Aggie 750 (which is hundreds of watts less by the way), then I'm not sure what you are hearing. If you've never been in a very loud, large room situation playing pop music using a 5 string bass, maybe you've never had the chance to push the amp enough to hear the difference.

    Not worth getting in an argument about :) , but the guys I know who are really gigging a ton at relatively high volume gigs pretty much agree with the Walter's positives and negatives.

    Again (and finally), if you want a great, small, light, powerful and very expensive all purpose head, the Walter is it. If you are a rock or funk player that does not double and likes a relatively aggressive funk sound.... you would be WELL SERVED to try other amps.

    PS... again, not baggin on the Walter... I'm on my 3rd one over a long period of time... I'm just reacting to the very specific topic of this thread. The only gigs type of gigs I don't use the Walter on are loud, large room funk gigs... and even with those gigs, it's not that the Walter sounds 'bad', it's just that other heads sound much better.
  13. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I hadn't read your most recent post.... first, for a small double cab rig like two Epi112's, there would be absolutely no reason to add power to the Walter woods. Those two 112's would be perfect for the Walter Woods, and the Walter would drive those like crazy. And for a 200-300 room wedding, man that would be the rig.... those two small cabs (and I'm an Epi fanatic by the way) wouldn't put out the low frequency volume that I'm suggesting the Walter is slightly lacking anyway... those small cabs roll off prior to any lack of low end the Walter might exibit anyway.

    My comments were based on much larger gigs with much larger cabs in much larger rooms. If those are the cabs you are going to use, and that's your typical gig... you will LOVE the Walter.
  14. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Maybe you didn't see it all. The Epi 310 will be powered by the Woods. The pre amp send from the Woods would also be sent to a Stew 1.2 to power the Epi 112's. So the Epi gets the Woods power and the 112's gets the Stew 1.2's power for big gigs where volume and acoustics demand it. That could possibly be half the time. Say 5 out of 10 confirmed/booked gigs this coming fall & winter and more to come.
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Sounds like an awesome rig. Quite frankly, the 310 with the Walter does put out a lot of wump also... so you should be fine. Again, not saying that the Walter won't cut it, but if you are really doing big gigs with 410 cabs or multiple 410 cabs, a big old analog amp might be the ticket. From what you are describing, the Walter would be perfect.
  16. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I think I'm just gonna have to take the plunge and find out for myself. THe info I'm getting is that the Woods is capable, and the real decision is whether the subtle loss in tone and appreciable convienence of a cigar box sized amp a worthy trade off relative to the price I'm gonna pay fo the Woods when compared to the 57+ pound rack with a CA9 I'm already lugging for EVERY gig.

    On a similar bt totally different note.... How are the two channels voiced differently on the Woods? For my style of play, which channel would be more suitable?
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    It's been many, many years since Walter voiced his channels differently... they are both identical.
  18. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I'm pretty much in AMP Nirvana...
    WWU, Dem201s/CA9, TFB550, and newest addtion DB750.
    All and I mean ALL fantastic gear.
  19. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    Am I at least half wy right in assuming (and recalling other threads that I've read here) that at one time they were voiced differently? Is there a footswitch to go between the two or is it pull out plug from Channel 1 , reinsert in #2? (I've never had one, so I'm gonna have a learning curve when I get it.)
  20. I've owned all those amps and have kept just one!

    Walter Woods! :)