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iAmp 800 vs Wlater Woods Ultra?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Peter Lufrano, Jul 25, 2004.


  1. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Hi fellow bassists!

    I am in the market for a light weight alternative to my medium weight racks and I am considering wither of the 2 units in the subject a W.W.Ultra or an EA iAmp800.
    Has anyone here experience with both of these units?
    Any input would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    The Woods Ultra is my favorite amp but I usually take the EAiamp600 to every gig as a backup. Sorry to say I've never had the pleasure of gigging with the 800. But the Woods and 600 are both exceptional amps with some similarities (versatile EQ controls) and some differences. The Woods has a warmer overall sound while the EA is flatter. You could say the EA has more clarity but the Woods really has to be heard to be appreciated. It's incredibly light and sounds, well, wonderful. It may be tough to try them both out as the Woods is not all that widely available. For me, I prefer the Woods but I am seriously fond of the EA (at one time I owned two 600's). Based on rep alone, I doubt you could go wrong with the EA 800 and it will be MUCH cheaper, if that's a consideration. Keep in mind that the Ultra is 1200 watts into 4 ohms and smaller and lighter. Good luck!
     
  3. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Thank you Boogiebass for your input.

    Anyone else with experience or opinions?
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I've never played the WW ultra, I did, however used to own an MI 225. I also had an IAMP 800 and now just an iAMP500.

    I think Boogiebass nailed the diffrences. iAMP is considerably less expensive but heavier than the WW. The iAMP is probably easier to get, unless you have an ultra that you know you can get right away.

    WW and EA approach EQ'ing from a very different perspective. Both are excellent, but different.

    One of the main differences between my WW mi225 and my iAMP is the power supply. My old WW had a class D, switching power supply. The iAMP has a transformer. The old WW had an analog power amp, while the iAMP has a class D digital power amp. The difference is that the traditional Toroidal transformer of the iAMP provided much more headroom than that of my WW. Now I assume that the Ultra is different than my old MI-225, perhaps boogiebass, can address the power handling in the WW ultra.

    Mike
     
  5. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Very interesting information, thank you Mike. The headroom factor is a concern for me as I feel this contributes to the quality of sound.

    Anyone else?
     
  6. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I believe the Ultra is indeed a switching power supply but I don't know for sure. I do know that it has headroom equivalent with what I have experienced with other amps rated at 1200 watts into 4 ohms. In short, it seems to have lots of headroom. One of the knocks on the iamp600 was that it lacked headroom but I never felt that to be the case, that's why I've hung onto mine. I think it's a great amp. It's just that I prefer the Woods. Everyone's personal preferences will determine which they prefer, of course. I see no way to lose with either choice here! :D
     
  7. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    I do not think there is a "loser" either as both appear to be very high quality.
    It is only that I would prefer to spend money once, even if it is more money, rather than spend less initially only to regret not buying the more expensive choice a few months later.

    I am using either a combination of my trusty Acme LowB1 and LowB2 cabinets, or my two new Accugroove Tri112T as soon as they arrive.

    Either the iAmp800 or the Ultra would seem to have plenty of power for the Accugrooves, but the better headroom would suit the Acme's better.
     
  8. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I would research the WW's headroom a bit. The iAMP is rated at:

    500 watts - 8 ohms

    800 watts - 4 ohms

    1000 watts - 2 ohms

    and 2500 watts peak

    These are two very high quality amplifiers. It's too bad that you cannot A/B them

    Mike
     
  9. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    And keep in mind that while the iAMP 800 is 2 ohm stable, the WW Ultra is only rated to handle a 4 ohm load. I would love to compare, though. Big String and I still need to get together one of these days to do just that!:bassist:
     
  10. I went from an iAMP 500 (the original British made ones) to a WW Amber for my small rig. The iAMP was rated 500w@4ohms and the Amber 650w@4ohms.

    The two rigs had similar voicing. The Woods seemed to have lots more available power, maybe double. I had trouble a few times with the iAMP not being loud enough on outdoor "picnic type" gigs with a Bagend 15 & 12, whereas the WW had enough but was not not overpowering.

    My new Ultra has a lot more juice than the Amber, and it seems warmer. I used to boost bass and mids a bit with the Amber; the Ultra seems perfect (in the studio) set flat.

    It's more like a F1-X PLX 1602 rig in bridge in terms of power and tone. They are pricey, but WW heads generally sell for more used than they cost new.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  11. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    You cannot compare the older iAMPs with the new ones. The technology is completely different

    Mike
     
  12. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    You also cannot compare the old WW to the new ones.

    I've owned 3 iAmp 800's with the last one as recent as last week. I keep reading and hearing people rave about them and I must say, I still don't get it! My SWR SM-400S sounds better.I fiddled with the iAmp for hours and with several different cabs and could not come close to the magnificient tone of my WW. I've owned WW's for over 20 years and presently have 2 Ultras. I'll never get rid of my WW. You couldn't give me an iAmp 800. Just MHO! :bassist:
     
  13. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Mark,
    It is not really your humble opinion. I see you selling EA gear at Bassgear.com all the time. You continually buy it, sell it and then go out of your way to trash it at talkbass. EA gear isn't for everyone and obviously it is not for you. Why you would buy 3 of them after you didn't like the first 2? makes me think that you got something wlse going on. I am really curious, please tell me.

    The iamps have a very nuetral sound, perhaps you are not ready to really hear what is coming out of your hands, your strings, your bass and your heart. Perhaps you need the coloring of an SWR SM-400 to create the sound that for some reason you cannot otherwise get. Perhaps you really didn't understand the EQ of the iAMP. There is a big difference between "fiddling" for hours and having an understanding and working from a knowledge base. So, Mark, tell me what is it, really?

    Mike

    Mike
     
  14. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    Let's see, didn't you just say the old iAmps were not the same as the new ones?? There have been incremental changes in the iAmp 800 since its introduction, that's why I've had 3!!! Also, the iAmp 800 is the only thing I trash from EA. On the other end the iAmp 350 is a great sounding head. I am constantly recommending their speaker cabs and the only reason I'm selling any now is because I have
    12 of them!!!!! If I wasn't ready to hear what is coming from my bass, strings, or heart, I wouldn't be using EA cabs with WW(Ultra), Acoustic Image(Focus), or SWR(SM-400S) amplification.

    BTW, I see once again you are giving your supposed opinion about EA gear without revealing that you work for them. :spit:
     
  15. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I am not an employee of EA. I am an endorsing artist, which by now should be public knowledge. I NEVER try to hide my affiliation with the company or state anything otherwise. I wrote the forward for the iAMP 800 manual. I also do some other writing for them, but I am NOT and have never been an employee of EA. You say that I am doing it "once again" - that is just not the case. I am always upfront about my affiliation with EA. Now if you read my posts on this thread, I highly recommended both amps and was looking for the differences - an honest comparison.

    You also took what I stated out of context. I said that you could not compare the older iAmps, in response to Jonathan Starr's comment. He was talking about the the older, orignal iAMP (analog, 500watts) not the class D iamp 500. That is just not the same as buying 3 iamp 800's all of which are basically the same with minor changes.

    One last things, iAMP don't really have a sound. They just faithfully represent your sound. There are many who prefer the characteristic tones provided by certain manufacturers. That is cool. If the Ampeg or the SWR sound is also your sound, then great. But the iAMP allows each person to create their own sound. It is not for everybody. it is however, perfect, for me.

    As an aside, prior to being an endorsing artist for EA, I was an endorsing artist for one of those aforementioned major companies. They had more support/clininc money, they gave me gear, they had a large dealer base and all those things that make it easier on an endorsing artist ... and yet I switched to EA for two reasons. First, the sound - totally uncompromised and secondly I like the guys who run the company. Now I do pay for gear and I do not get tour support money. But I believe in the gear. I believe in the amps and the cabinets. I believe in the vision of the company and i believe in the guys who design and make the stuff.

    Mike
     
  16. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    Exactly the reason why I bought 3 iamp 800's. and when they make another change I'll try it too.
     
  17. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    ive never played an amp that doesnt have a sound. there are a ton of amp and cab makers that say their gear is uncolored yet they all sound different.
     
  18. billys73

    billys73

    Apr 25, 2003

    Your statements are contradictory and fly in the face of logic.
    The iamp has a "sound". Unless it has NO distortion, it does color the sound. You cannot prove by one single specification of the Iamp that it is "faithfully representing the player" any more than Ampeg or SWR, Aguilar, Ashdown, Walter Woods, or any other manufacturer. It may be the sound you want to hear; but it is not somehow a sound that is the hallmark of the bass player who is "ready to create his own sound" out of some imaginary blank slate.

    As you pointed out in your statement, you "believe". That's fine; but you often climb up the rear of anyone else who says anything about EA. For me, I would like you to say something about EA that is technically accurate that backs up EA's and your silly rhetoric.
     
  19. I didn't mean to muddy the waters on this, and I really respect Mike D's opinion and experience.

    I really liked my old iAMP, which always sounded great. I know it's quite different from the new lightweight, higher powered ones, and if I didn't stumble on a great deal on a virtually new WW Amber I probably would have gone with a more evolved iAMP eventually.

    Having said that, after proudly owning two WW heads, there is no turning back. The Walter Woods Ultra is a truly magnificent package, and every time I use it I have trouble believing how such a tiny, light little thing can produce such big, wonderful tone.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  20. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I am sure that autofile and anyone else interested in the EA iAMP has already visited the EA website and read all the technical articles there, some of which I wrote
    Mike