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Mesa Boogie Walk About Head Md,Dc,Va

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fountain boy, Apr 1, 2005.


  1. I need help.

    I have a brand new Mesa Boogie Walk About Head, that for the life of me, i cannot see what all the hype is about, concerning this little brutish sounding head.

    I demoed it in the store and have never played it since then(because partly, i have no cabinet yet & from what i recall it does'nt amplify my Pedulla, imo properly, as perhaps, the David Eden WT 330 does)

    Why did i purchase it? Well, Guitar Center in Rockville Md had marked it down 50% from it's original price, due to it being discontinued.

    Here's the caveat though! Can any of you Mesa afficiando's in the Md, Dc, Va area please help me hear it's true potential, because i'm not capable of it. It's almost as if you have to have a master's in engineering to understand how to work the controls on this little thing.

    I'm into the fingerstyle, r&b thing btw.
     
  2. BassIan

    BassIan Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Cupertino, California
    Well, that's pretty sweet that you found it at such a markdown. That's an amazing deal! As for sound from it, I'm assuming first that you're concerned more with how to equalize and set up the head rather than with its particular sound. Understandibly, you may not like it simply due to your preferences for how things should sound. That said, I haven't heard of many people who flat out didn't like any sound coming from a Mesa.

    In order to really get a handle on this, could you perhaps explain what the Walkabout is doing to not "properly amplify" your Pedulla? Does it not have bass, clarity, punch, volume?

    Gain control on this thing varies the sound significantly. Lower gain settings, depending on the output of your bass, will allow for full clean headroom from the preamp. You will not overdrive the tube so no compression or saturation will be taking place. Turn up the gain to around half (again, depending on your bass and which input you select), and you'll start to notice a bit of a shift in the sound. It will saturate the tube, warming up the tube, though not really giving an "overdriven" tone. Gain levels past this go into the overdrive territory with increasing sustain, and lots of compression.

    I've heard that the basic Bass, Middle, and Treble controls on this are rather sensitive, and that has been my experience with my Walkabout as a part of my Scout combo. These are powerful controls that should be used *gently*. These will also affect how the tube preamp is responding to your signal (eg boosting bass may cause saturation sooner). The parametric controls are where most people get confused. Each pair of knobs allows you to set a frequency band, and its level of boost or cut. These are useful, but can be extremely harmful too if you use them incorrectly. The bottom control adjusts the frequency which is being boosted or cut by the top control in each case. Again, these are powerful and will affect preamp response too.

    After that, all you have to deal with is master volume. You'll be surprised how much juice this head has if you open it up into a good cabinet.

    Start with it flat, set the gain at about 10 o'clock with your bass in the Active jack. Work from here, adding colour where you like.

    Sorry if you know all this, but I just wanted to start from the beginning with lots of things to try.
     
  3. Thank You BassIan,

    I was intrested in reading actually testimony (from Mesa owners like yourself) to find out if our walk about head's have the capability of dialing in, or capturing the tone or characteristic of other head's, for all the knobs on this unit. (perferably the eden wt 330, and maybe an ampeg)

    Is the walk about head more or less a one trick pony? (not in a negative sense, but much like a ford mustang cobra, known for going stupid fast in a straight line, or the hummer h2's, which are now sold to civilians but were used primarily for miltaristic purposes ) I hope i'm not confusing you here!

    While being exceptionally loud, i have found the walk about head to be unfocused sounding, and really muddy, whereas the David Eden Wt 330 was just.... more finesseful.
     
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Since when is the Walkabout a discontinued item.
     
  5. illidian

    illidian

    Jul 2, 2004
    That's what Guitar Center says when they stop carrying an item.
     
  6. Not trying to be an ass, but.....

    The Mustang Cobra is the only Mustang with an Independent Rear Suspension, making it the better handling of the Mustang variants. The H2 is actually based on the Chevy Suburban...a rather pedestrian vehicle. The H1 was developed for the military, and is quite a different animal.

    In my limited experience with the Mesa, you will probably not hear a whole lot of "other heads" in the tone. It has a very powerful eq, but it always sounds like the same head.


    Mike
     
  7. Silky, i believe they upgraded the walkabout head from 300 watts to 360, for mesa's entry level head.
     
  8. The Walkabout is really more of stripped down version of the M-Pulse 360 (which has a 5 band eq). It's my impression that the Walkabout will no longer be offered "naked" (rackmount) and will only be offered in a Venture-style enclosure (old school look).

    Mike
     
  9. Nah, its cool Mike_V_S.

    Even if i had the scratch, i would'nt buy either of the two vehicles! :D

    *Clears throat*

    I'm more of a Porshe 911, BMW 5 series type guy myself.

    Now don't you'll go stereotyping me either... :ninja: because my Pedulla Rapture is american made.
     
  10. BassIan

    BassIan Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Cupertino, California
    I see your angle now. Well, since I don't know if you've looked at my profile, I'll tell you that along with the Walkabout Scout combo, I also own an Ampeg SVT-4 Pro and PR-410 HLF, so I can compare the two sounds.

    They are very different rigs, so they are bound to sound different. One is a high-power hybrid into a VERY burly 4x10. It goes low, and does it very cleanly. The SVT-4 is not a dirty/vintage sounding head. It only overdrives a tiny bit when you use its compression excessively, which is to be expected given its design. With Ultra-Low, Bright, and Ultra-high switches, Bass, semi-para Mid, Treble, and 9-band graphic EQ, the tone-shaping is about as in-depth as it gets. Left flat with everything out, it's a pretty classic Ampeg sound with a fair bit of low-mid growl (I also notice this is an aspect of the cabinet), but nothing excessive. From there, one can dial in really low fundamental tones, or very mid-heavy snarl. Pretty much enough EQ for anything.

    With the Mesa, it's a very different beast, because it's meant to smoothly go from clean preamp sounds well into the dirty, overdriven territory. Muddiness is definitely possible. I've noticed that the highs in the Scout are pretty subdued at any setting, and that to get it to sound like some of my bigger rigs (The Ampeg, or my previous SWR/Fender stuff), I need to boost the treble by 6-8dB from 3-6khz. This gives the Mesa a lot more presence. Caveat: I've not experimented with my Walkabout through other cabinets besides the Scout, so this is as much the Scout as anything.

    As I mentioned above, keep the preamp clean by leaving the gain lower, in the 9-10 o'clock range. If you like a high-fi sound, turn your parametric treble to something pretty high, like 3-5khz, and boost it a bit. You could also *slightly* cut the lowest bass by using the bass parametric and cutting at between 30 and 40 hz. This isn't a bad idea since those suck power and can often add muddiness. Some people concern over loss of fundamental notes, but try it for yourself and you may note some increased clarity to your lower registers in particular.

    When the gain goes up more, it's going to change the EQ's sound. The mids get a bit more pronounced as the tube gain stages saturate and overdrive. Mesa goes as far as to say it'll allow you to play in "different time domains." It does change how the amplifier responds to your playing dynamics. I do find the Bass EQ to be voice a bit high and in a kind of woofy/muddy region. If you want boost/cut in the bass department, you're probably better to do it in the parametric section.

    As far as sounding like other heads, it's not likely to happen. It'll always sound like a Mesa. The thing about that, is that a Mesa has a lot of sounds available to it, and in my opinion many more options for different "sounds" than the extensive EQ my SVT-4 Pro provides. That gain knob is a powerful one. There are lots of tones locked away in there. It's kind of a fiddler's dream, so if you don't like fiddling, perhaps the Eden suits you more.

    Hopefully this clarifies a bit. I've probably muddied the water, but feel free to post up again if you get more specific questions for me.
     
  11. Thanks again Ian!

    Are you sure you were born in 85, or is that a typo meant to be read as 58'. You've certainly spent a fair amount of time on the macro and micro of the Mesa.

    I suppose i'm more of a solid state amp guy. So David Eden it is.

    Jacob's Fall is a tight sounding band, btw.

    I can hear the Mudvayne, Linkin Park influences.

    I'll be sure to look for you'll on MTV or and Ozzfest tour in the near future.
     
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Perhaps you'd benefit by changing out the preamp tubes? Mesa tubes are notorious for not being the best, but sell themselves simply for having the Mesa name branded on what usually are durable but mediocre sounding Sovteks (and in some cases Chinese tubes--even worse!). I also think they account for the fact some people (such as myself & Jazz Ad) find the Walkabout/Mpulse series heads "shallow" sounding). The preamp of my bassman 135 is full of sovteks, simply because I wanted to put all my good tubes in my Sunn, that and I never use the bassman anymore. :p I fired it up the other day, fully tubed with Sovteks (pre & power (rebadged as GT)), and it sounded like farting cardboard when pushed, and it didn't have the sweet purring sound it used to with the better sounding Kendricks tubes in there. It was very shallow sounding. The Walkabouts i've tried in store have had similar sounds, although obviously preamp-only distorsion, as opposed to lovely power tube distorsion.

    Perhaps some slightly lower gain & higher quality preamp tubes would tame this beast of an amp, such as some 5751s. TubeDepot.com has NOS JAN GE 5751s for 18 bucks each, they're slightly lower gain than 12AX7s, and alot smoother sounding, should tame any harsh highs you're getting for a much less aggressive Eden or clean Ampeg tone. (don't get the sovtek 5751s) They should give you a bit more headroom as well, to do more drastic tone shaping should you desire.

    Just a suggestion, and as always, it's simply an opinion. I'm just surprised no one has mentioned swapping the preamp tubes, and instead they've suggested fiddling with the EQ.
     
  13. I don't know why this surprises you. Most of the people on this site that have sampled the Walkabout have like the tone stock (with the factory preamp tubes). It follows, then, that they would suggest using the eq to adjust tone if someone asked them how to get a certain sound. Only someone who dislikes the "stock" tone (like yourself) would suggest changing out the tubes as the first thing. This is perfectly fine, it just shouldn't surprise you that you're in the minority on this.

    Mike
     
  14. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Well, he obviously doesn't like the tone of it stock.
     
  15. I never denied that. I did say that, considering how many people here like the head as it is, it should be no surprise that none of them suggested switching out the tubes.

    Mike
     
  16. Thank you Ox for the suggestions and input!

    Thanks you Mike, as well.

    Someone much better than than myself, will love this head for it's natural characteristics, therefore i'll leave her untouched.

    My heart is set on the David Eden WT 330 and i'll more than likely try to barter the mesa for one.
     
  17. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    How the hell did Guitar Center sell it for 50% off? I could see Mesa getting quite pissed unless they're completely discontinuing caring the product. Man GC has gone majorly down hill.
     
  18. Hey karrot-x, it took me all of 1 glance at the price tag, for me to make up my mind about buying it.

    I've been dealing with the same salesman there for 2 years and initially, he told me that i had to buy it that day, for that sales price ($474.00) and that i could'nt lay it away.

    I went home and got my fenderbassman 60 watt amp combo, came back to the store, sold it to them ($165.00) and on good faith assured my salesman that i was going to pick the head up in a few days, which i did.


    The end. :D
     
  19. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    that sound you hear is everyone reading this running to the phone and calling their nearest gc...
     
  20. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Only the idiots at GC would say Mesa is discontinuing the Walkabout head. The truth is GC is no longer going to carry the Walkabout head in their stores. That's why their blowing them out. Mesa IS NOT DISCONTINUING the production of this product. Gotta love the idiots ar GC.