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How does Walter Woods get 1200 Watts out of that little box?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheCreature, Sep 18, 2002.


  1. TheCreature

    TheCreature

    May 22, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    I gotta wonder. I've asked owners of the WW Ultra High Power amp (1200 watts) if they think it really sounds that loud. The majority of the responses were "Yes".

    Now - I looked all over the web for lightweight digital power suplies that could do >1500 Watts. This is at *least* what you'd have to supply to make 1200 Watts of audio. All the power supplies were bigger and heavier that Walter's entire amp.

    How the hell does he do it? Anybody?
     
  2. If you look at the internals with a good quality microscope you'll find that he's found a way to miniaturize an amazingly complex all valve head. He also uses special wiring with more smoke per meter than has been used prior. Lastly, to keep its cool the entire chassis is cooled in liquid nitrogen...

    In other words, beats the heck outta me! :D
     
  3. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I dunno. Pretty amazing for 7 lbs. OTOH, a Stewart 2.1 will put out 2100 watts into a 4 ohm load. And it weighs 17 lbs. You'll still need a pre, however. :p
     
  4. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    $$$$ in...watts out.

    Seriously, Mr. Woods products are not over priced at all, there priced more than reasonable and a bargin In My Opinion.
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Walter's secret is in his power supplies and since he hand builds and warranties all his electromagnetic components (i.e. transformers) for life I would assume he knows something the big boys don't....and has protected it with patents.

    He once told me over the phone that the reason noone has duplicated his designs is because (paraphasing) "I don't have to make my design decisions by committee" :D

    There are other real small high powered amps, seen Peavey's single rack space 1400 watter? It's not THAT much bigger than a WW.
     
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It was Guitar Player, the review and teardown was done by amp guru Paul Rivera. It was an MI-100-8, rated by Walter at 100 watts into 8 ohms, 150 into 4 ohms.

    Rivera said it actually checked out on the bench at *150* watts into 8 and *200* into 4 :eek:

    At the time I think the price was only about $700, too!
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I think a switching supply and a switching output section are keys. I'd guess though that there are probably at least a couple other "neat tricks" that he's come up with though, just because nobody else has come that close. (The DPC isn't that much bigger, but also doesn't have a monster preamp section and needs cooling fans).
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    This is a surveillance pic from his shop. Do the math.
     
  9. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I have to second Geshel, its a switching supply. Quite a few amp company's are doing.

    Great for light weight amps with lots of power. Down fall to a switching amp is a club with not so great wiring. Your power drop's and your volume goes away!!!!!! Thats what makes the older style amps so affective. They retain power when current drops.

    WW amps are really cool. I don't think there over priced, but they do cost alot. And it can be tuff for some to buy an amp at that price. But then again if your buying a fodera, why play through a hartke............ NOTHING WRONG WITH HARTKE, I could have said peavey or any of them. Just ment lower line and price.
     
  10. I believe it's the other way round. A switching supply can often have a variable input voltage, say 100-240 volts AC. It will regulate it's output to always supply the amp section (be it switching or not) with the same voltage.

    A conventional power supply will not regulate, and the supply voltage for the amp section will drop when mains voltage drops.
     
  11. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    correct me if I'm wrong, but a switching amp pulls power straight from the wall. No big transformers, which is how the weight is kept down?

    With the power coming direct, when you have a power drop off then your power output would drop. Am I not correct.

    With the old transformer's, they basically stored power and then thetre was a drop they retained power>!
     
  12. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    True, a conventional supply stores a lot of energy in the transformer and capacitors. I think if the caps are big enough it can cover temporary sags in line voltage, but I'm not sure.
     
  13. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    If it might provide any insight, I have a Yamaha p2201 poweramp. It's a monster, 4 rack spaces and 45 lbs to provide only 350w@ 4 ohms per side. I'm no tech, but I'd wager that the size and weight has something to do with a huge transformer and large capacitors. It's also the most finicky amp I've ever seen as far as outlet power is concerned. I've experienced massive volume dips when playing at a somewhat decent college auditorium, and it fails to function at all when plugged into some outlets and powerstrips in homes and clubs.
     
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    No, switching power supplies use capacitance reservoirs, just like the conventional supplies do. What switching supplies do is make their own high-frequency AC, which allows them to use smaller power transformers than if they were running at 50 or 60 Hz. A well-designed switching supply can make up more than enough in efficiency than it loses in overhead running the switching and control circuitry.

    Uh, no. :) Joris is correct; switching supplies can be designed to have any degree of regulation. For example, my PLX 1602's power capability will drop only a very little bit from 120V down into the mid 80's (somewhere in the low 80's it'll shut down), but a conventional supply (unregulated, as almost all power amps are) will drop maximum power by about 50%. That doesn't mean the volume will change.

    Transformers don't store power. They convert voltage (and thus also current and impedance). You might be thinking of capacitors, which are used as reservoirs to store electrical charges. As I mentioned above, both conventional and switch-mode supplies use them.
     
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Golem, it sounds like there's something defective with your amp, plain and simple. Maybe one or more poor or loose connections inside, or even bad components. Have it checked out.
     
  16. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Conclusion:
    Switching input + ClassD amplification = low weight, small size, many watts and great sound.

    Walter Woods = high price.

    Combine the equations according to own will :oops:
     
  17. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    So, if I paid just a few hundred thousand more dollars could I get a 6000 watt bass amp the size of a wristwatch? :D
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Actually mine cost far less than that... the catch (there's always a catch) is that the minimum impedance is 340 ohms.