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choosing Eden WT400 or 800??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by winsorbass, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. winsorbass


    Sep 2, 2008
    Portland, ME
    I've recently found some used Eden heads for sale, and I am really interested in what they have to offer. I've got an option between the Eden WT400 Traveler, and the big brother WT800. Also, I have read lots of good things about both of these amps, Im just wondering if any of you folks have either model, and what your experience has been with them.
    I play a variety of different music, from acoustic singer-songwriter groove stuff, to a folk/soul/americana project. As well as lots of freelance jazz gigs on upright. In case it matters, my main electric is a Fender 75 reissue jazz bass (with DiMarzio ultra jazz pickups), which I use for pretty much everything.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for your time!

  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I love my WT-400. I played one note on my fretless through it at the store, and heard the sound out of the cabinet that was the sound I'd been hearing in my mind for a good 10 years. Light, powerful, great sounding, and utterly reliable. It's 400 WRMS @ 4 ohms (minimum load).

    The WT-800 has the same pre-amp, but a stereo power amp and the ability to bi-amp. I have no use for bi-amping (been there, done that, hated the mids). But, the 800 winds up being the same preamp with two of the 400's power amps. You can drive four 8-ohm cabinets with it, you can bridge it to use 800 WRMS into a single 8-ohm cabinet, or you can run a cabinet off either side and control the balance between them. Obvioiusly it's bigger and heavier.

    I had my WT-400 in a rack for about two gigs. Because it was racked, I had a rack-mount tuner, and so I added a rack power strip to have only one power cable. Then I realized the rack and the other stuff weighed about as much as the amp. I got one of Eden's bags for the amp and haven't looked back. I can carry the amp, two guitar cords, the AC cord, a spare set of strings, a spare tube, fuses, a mic cord, and a heavy 20' extension cord I made with a 4-way box on the end. All in the Eden bag, which I can carry on my shoulder. I can do a one-trip load in if I want by putting a bass in a bag, carrying the two bags over my shoulder and rolling in the cabinet.

    Higly recommended!

    Note that the WT-400 is discontinued (the WT-550 is the replacement- same pre, with a bigger and beefier power section that operates down to 2 ohms). The WT-800 has been through several iterations, and I beleivet the newest version is the WT-800C which will operate a bridge load of 4 ohms and can run a 2 ohm load off each side. The earlier versions were only rated at 8 ohms bridge and 4 ohms/side.

    No idea about current prices (I got mine in late 1997).

  3. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I think the WT400 was the best "Sounding" head Eden made. They are supposed to be the same bt poll any one on the Eden forum and they will agree...the 400 is simply warmer. The 800 could be the last head you ever own tho'. It is their touring standard and will not run out of power. Good luck with your decisn.
  4. As mentioned above, they both sound very similar, with the 800 being quite a bit louder and fuller.

    Since the tone is close enough for most to be identical, and the front end (preamp and controls) are virtually the same, it comes down to a few things for me:

    1) Size... the 400 is a relatively small box that can be carried in a bag is you want. The WT800 is really designed to be rack mounted, and is on the heavy side of two space heads.

    2) Cabs.... the 400 is a moderate power, monoblock head. So, it achieves maximum power into two 8 ohm cabs or a single 4 ohm cab. If you are using a relatively small cab like a 210, or two small cabs like 2 x 112, the WT400 would probably put out enough watts (especially if the 210 was 4 ohms) so that the large 800 would be somewhat of a waste.

    3) There are three versions of the WT800 (a, b, and c). The older original 'a' version will run at a minimum impedance of 4ohms per side. That means that you can only bridge it into a single 8 ohm cab (not a big 4ohm cab). The B and C are safe down to 2ohms per side, so you can bridge it into a single large 4ohm cab. So... if you have a large 8ohm cab, the WT800 is PERFECT, since it puts out 800 watts into 8ohms (versus only around 200 into 8ohms for the WT400). That's a BIG difference. If you have a single 4ohm cab, you can't even really use the WT800 with it (except to run only half the amp, which would be identical to the WT400). Whew!

    So, IMO you really need to determine your cab configuration (large single cab or one or two small cabs), your volume needs, and the version of the WT800 you are looking at.
  5. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I have tried with the band a wt300, wt400 and owned a wt550 and tried a wt800 in the store. all have similar tone, they seem to differ in volume. so, I'd say if you see yourself doing acoustic or semi-acoustic gigs a wt400 will be enough. I use a wt550 in a CHURCH setting with 3 112 cabs and sometimes feel I don't have enough power. I've been eyeing the wt800c or another 112 cab.

    you sort it out....:D
  6. USAJO


    Apr 13, 2005
    I use a WT400 and have for over 5 years. I started out with a 410T Eden cab and after several other cabs now use it with a UL212 Epifani. It has sounded good with every cab I've owned. I play clubs mostly and always have PA support but it is loud enough for my purposes. I can imagine if you were playing in a very loud band that didn't have PA support you might want more but from what you are describing the WT400 would be plenty.
    Playing in a church where a WT-400 isn't enough surprises me. Is it the The Church of Lost Souls and Hard of Hearing? Just joking.

    Maybe another part of the puzzle is how much more the WT800 would cost you?
  7. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    +1. There's your answer. The tonal differences exist, but are subtle, and not different enough to trump the utility factor. If you like how one sounds, you'll like the other, so get what fits your volume/config needs.
  8. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I agree.
    It's just warmer.
    I used one for 4 years with a 4x10 cab.
    Nice amp.
  9. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Heck, buy both!

    Then you'll have a small amp for jazz gigs, a big amp for concerts, and a backup in case one gets fried!

    Seriously, I'd buy the 800 myself.
  10. My WT400 is the best head I've ever had. It may be one of the last made because it is rated down to 2 ohms. That said, I use an 8ohm GK410 with it, and have never had a problem with lack of volume or tone.
  11. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    800 = plenty of headroom at any ohmage.
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I miss my old WT 400. I felt while I had it that it was a relatively quiet 400 watts but it was enough to get the job done most nights. I migrated to a Navigator Pre & QSC 2402 - that was a mistake. The Nav is a great pre but - too many freakin' knob's for live use - at least by me. I'll have another WT 400 at some point. It's a unique sound and one that I want in my stable and for precisely the sort of gig's you describe.

    At the moment I havd an iAmp Micro 300 that is doing service for my singer/songwriter / acoustic / Gypsy Jazz stuff. A GK 100 RB II serves as my rock rig. A Traynor YBA-200 swerves as - trade bait ... anybody got an extra WT head ?​
  13. matt thompson

    matt thompson Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Get a navigator and a ca-9 then you will have options when you gas for a different sound... Just buy a new preamp. IMHO the ca-9 nav combo will do any and everything that the wt800 will.
  14. And only with double the size and double the weight:D
  15. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Along with the size and weight of that - the other issues I had was that on a very crowded stage, on a multiple band night with little time for sound checking and dialing in - the norm for the Portland, OR gig scene IME - asking Stan the drummer to cut the low mid's a bit and goose the bass a bit - beacause I couldn;t reach across his kit and get to the head - was basically impossible.

    Highest priase I can give the Nav was that in side by side comparison with a Great River pre in our studio... with everything on the Nav flat, EQ out, Turbo Boost off, no comp - nuttin' but gain - the two were very, very close. The Nav was a tiny bit noisier - so there's a $600 buy used against a pre that cost in the neighborhood of 2 grand ... I'm not kidding a bit . That Nav is a hella good pre - just more complicated than is practical live for this old coot.

    The WT is actually pushing it for the number of controls I really want or generally need on an amps face plate - at least I have a chance of getting Stan to twist the correct knob though...

    A CA9 ? ... you have too much time to spend at the gym ...
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have both a wt800B, and a Navigator/QSC-PLX rig.

    The wt800b is nice...all the power and eq in a relatively small package...mine's in a three space rack bag with a tuner.

    The Navigator/QSC-PLX is-obviously?-in a bigger, heavier 4 space rack. But I kinda prefer the more direct, more clear power section of the QSC. Kinda the best of both worlds there...Also, the Nav has a nice comp/limiter, and the tube drive control.
    As 4Mal noted, it can go from "nice clean recording pre," to about anything you'd want. Heck, with the right combination of a lil enhance, tube drive, and comp limiter, it deos a pretty decent SVT thing.

    Both the Nav and WT800 will bi-amp, but I really feel "that's a feature of the past" with speaker cabs being as nice as they are anymore. I do like being able to drive more than one 4 ohm speaker cab sometimes....

    I've not played the 400..so, no help there.
  17. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    I'm using a BBEMaxT with a Carver/Claire Brothers 600+watts per channel power amp...
    Sound is killer with a fast transcient attack; no slow mush from the tube and plenty of headroom......
  18. Bluesbob


    Mar 13, 2000
    Springfield, TN
    I have a WT550 and a WT400 which I use for a (unnecessary so far) backup and for small gigs with a 4-ohm 2X10. My regular rig is the 550 and a Schroeder 410L. I love the sound of the WT550 and 410L, but what I really need is the WT800 (C), which will bridge to 1100 watts at 4 ohms - perfect for the Schroeder. I have the 550 rack-mounted, so no practical difference. I just have to try to save up.
    The WT400 puts out 400 watts at 4 ohms, the WT550 does 500 watts at 4 ohms. This is not a big enough difference to matter, except to a bass player. The 410L (and my pre-Fender Goliath III) have more punch with the WT550. With the small cab, the WT400 sounds great. I used it for 6 years before I got the WT550, and it is warmer, but I think I need more power in a bigger place (or outdoors). For these reasons, plus the versatility, I think the WT800C is the way to go. It will be for me sooner or later.
  19. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Did someone say:confused:
    Actually I might.:bag:

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