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Geddy Live - Steinberger or Wal?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by lijazz, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. So, the other night, my 10 year old son, also a Rush fan, and I were watching the GuP and ASoH concert DVDs in the Replay X 3 box set, and I started to realize that, I preferred the tone of the Berger to the tone of the Wal. I went further and watched some live vids on YouTube from those same years and confimed it further. Most of us are so entrenched into the Jazz vs. Ric debate that we don't seem to separate and compare the other two basses.

    By the way, I was around my son's age, maybe a bit older when I first started to Listen to Rush and now the whole family is going to Rush concerts...how cool is that?

    Any opinions on these two basses ONLY?
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  2. RUSH fan here as well. I really liked the sound of the Wal bass just sounds awesome to me imo. I've got a couple dvds ( boots ) of the presto show using Wal bass & power windows using Steinberg bass . To me theres just so much clarity/tone on the Wal. Either way Ged is an awesome bass player hands down.
  3. Your point about how clear the Wal is is actually why I like the sound of the Steinberger better. The Wal just seems too clean and sterile for me. The berger is darker sounding and has more bottom end to my ears, which by itself would seem surprising since it is not made of wood. However others have stated how Justine Chancellor of Tool (also a Wal player) has had some bottom end issues with his live tone.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  4. duff2

    duff2 Guest

    Dec 16, 2007
    I love his J-bass tone, but I wish he'd switch basses more often during the show. Wouldn't it be great if he used the same bass that was used to record the song on each album?

    The last time I saw Rush was at the Bell Center in Montreal during the Snakes and Arrows tour . The jazz bass sounded great, but when he whipped out the Rick for the encore (Passage to Bangkok) the sound and the visual blew my mind.

  5. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    I haven't watched those gigs in ages but have owned Steinbergers and Wals.

    Both have signature tones but I sold the Wal some time ago as it was too 'electric' sounding for what I'm after today. Back in the 80s I was a huge fan of that picked fretted Wal tone and rounds (eg: Leigh Gorman) but not so much now.

    I still have an L2 Steinberger and I much prefer that. It seems to have a unique mid-thing going on and contrary to some reports, I don't find it cold sounding at all. It's just a little awkward to play compared to fuller-bodied basses which is a real shame. Every few months I get a real buzz regarding the design of it, I still think the original L2s look cool and tank-like. The XL2s are too neat and plastic looking.

    I remember Power Windows has a very cool Wal sound and Grace Under Pressure is Steinberger but it's not a 'wow' sound. It seems a slightly different tone to mine, I think mine is warmer.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  6. coronado3

    coronado3 Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    I would have loved for geddy to use heavier gauge strings on the wal... I like the tone, but it always seemed too thin.
  7. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    My all time favorite tones of his are from the Wal. When I heard Power Windows for the first time back in the 80's it blew me away. I will say that I have come to appreciate his Ric tone much, much more and its probably my second favorite. However, I watched some old GuP tour videos on Youtube recently, and the Steinberger sounded really good IMO. Much better than his buzzsaw Jazz tone for the last 15 years or so.
  8. I actually prefer his present live "Time Machine Tour" Jazz tone as well as his Jazz tone on "Different Stages" with his 1978-82 Ric tone equally. I haven't cared much for the DI Jazz tone of 1998-2009, like the Steinberger live much better. The Wal live tone is my least favorite, although Power Windows was the best studio tone of the Wal era.
  9. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    Geddy's tone with the Berger on the GUP live DVD is fantastic. Very aggressive and very clean sounding. I don't thinks it's all that good on the album. I prefer the Wal overall but the Berger has more balls.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  10. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Both on DVD and from what I recall from seeing him live during that era, I preferred his tone with the Steinberger. I've owned a Steinberger, and I've played a few Wals, and the Wal bass sound never really grabbed me. Back then, my amplifier was not nearly as nice as the Phil Jones rig I play now, so I would love the chance to try both basses side-by-side through my current rig, and see if my opinion would change or not...
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  11. Correct me im wrong but I thought geddy used really light guage on his wal?
  12. coronado3

    coronado3 Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    Yep...very light "funkmasters". I would like to have heard the walbass with his current rotosounds.
  13. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    He had two Wals. The black one, which I assume we're talking about here, geddy has said himself that the tone was a little thin. That's why he started using the red one in the early 90's. The red one to him sounded a little meatier and had a little more depth.

    Attached Files:

  14. Emmaporkchop

    Emmaporkchop Guest

    Jun 23, 2009
    My favorite tone from him was on "Big Money", so I guess my vote would go for his Wal bass.
  15. coronado3

    coronado3 Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    I think he still used the thin funkmasters on the red MK II wal...
  16. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    One less variable. That would actually make his conclusions more acceptable.
  17. He had a five string Wal too, used on Lock and Key.
  18. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better.

    Sep 19, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    It's funny; when I owned a Wal bass, it always sounded dark to me -- unless I pulled up the knobs for the treble boost.

    Having heard Geddy's trebly tone, I was disappointed not to be getting more gank.
  19. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Agree to that, I find Geddy's tone with the Wal my least favorite. I like best his Rick tone and his Jazz tone on Different Stages, followed by current Jazz tone and the Berger, last comes the Wal which is too "nice"!
  20. Of those two, the Wal.
    I like the sound of his red Fender, drop-tuned.

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