Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Mesa Walkabout as a Pre-Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by peabody, Jun 27, 2004.


  1. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    The first thing I'd like to do is apologize in advance for my ignorance on this subject, but I guess that's why God gave us forums... Okay, here's my question....I currently have a Walkabout Scout combo unit..great amp, great sound, lightweight, perfect. The Scout is great for small venues, but I'm afraid the 300 watts isn't going to be enough for large venues. I always DI my bass, but I also like a lot of stage volume. Is it possible to hook up an external power amp (like a Mackie 1400, etc.) and use the Walkabout as the pre-amp for this unit? And if so, how do I do it? I'm trying to drive a couple of Eden 410XLT's (4 ohms each). Suggestions and/or advice will greatly be appreciated. Thanks!!
     
  2. I just checked out the walkabout scout at the Mesa site and I just gotta say WHAT A GREAT IDEA! The walkabout head pulls out of the cabinet to be used as a head for larger cabs. Have you tried to power one of the 4 ohm 4X10 cabs with it? I bet it sounds awesome!

    Now on to the subject. You can send a signal to a power amp of your choice with the effects send jack on the back panel.
     
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Yes, you can use it as a pre-amp, but not if you don't have it hooked up to some cabs. The DI level is linked to the Master level, so in order to get a decent level to the DI, you need to turn the Master up. It's not really a good idea to run an amp without a load, so if you don't have cabs hooked up to it and leave it running hot, you will get some problems down the road. Mesa could always mod this for you to make them separate, but they don't recomend it as it will change the character of the tone.

    However, the Walkabout is capable of pumping out a TON of volume. It may be small, but it's crazy loud. They are also starting to discover that it is stable down to two ohms, so you could get two 4 ohm cabs and run it at around 600 watts. That should be plenty for most every gig.
     
  4. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    Thanks everybody for the input. Here's my the reason for my question (bear with me)....currently I own the Walkabout Scout combo, an Eden Metro combo and an Eden 410 XLT. For the small venue stuff I use the Walkabout which sounds great. For the larger venue stuff I use my Metro combo and the 410XLT underneath (we do a lot of outdoor/festival type gigs). I'm at the point where I don't think I need two combo units. I bought the Metro because I occasionaly do some jazz stuff and I wanted the flexibility to split my stuff to do different things. It is an awesome sounding amp, but the problem is it weighs close to 80 pounds (and I'm an old guy). It is a pain carrying around. Then along comes the Walkabout Scout (which to me sounds as good as my Metro) and I can literally carry it around with one hand. I'm seriously thinking about selling the Metro and getting another bottom (another 410 XLT or an possibly an Aguilar 2-12), but I'm concerned that the Walkabout won't be able to handle the 2 ohm load. If I can get 600 watts out of the Walkabout safely, I don't need the external power amp, but since the manual doesn't recommend using it at 2 ohms, I hesitate to put it to the test (especially if I sell my Metro, I've just sold my backup). That's why I asked the question about using the Walkabout as a pre-amp. By adding an exteranl power amp, I can hopefully have the Mesa sound and plenty of headroom to boot. Does anyone else have any input?
     
  5. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    ive used mine to power a Ampeg 8x10. Not a problem at all
     
  6. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    The question is...is your Ampeg 8x10 a 4 ohm cab? If it's a 4 ohm cab, the Walkabout should be pushing 300 watts and operating well within the mfg recommendations. It's when it gets down to 2 ohms that I worry.
     
  7. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    i read somewhere on there that Mesa engineers were torture testing the Walkabout at a 2ohm load for hours and no problems......Id do a search on it cause my reading comprehension skills were never that great.
     
  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    It is correct. Mesa has been torture testing the Walkabout at 2 ohms for a while now, and can't get it to melt down. It's safe at two ohms; especially if you aren't playing 8 hour gigs. I'm sure you are safe.

    If it makes you feel any better, I am going to add another cab to my Walkabout Scout and run it at two ohms myself. If it's safe enough for me, it's a good bet it's safe for you.
     
  9. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    Yes Mesa's tech guys said that they have been torturing this head at 2ohm's and "haven't been able to get one to die". I agree also with how frickin LOUD this thing gets. The guy at the local store plugged a Walkabout head into a 4x10 and a 1-15 mesa cabinet and cranked that thing half way up and had me play in the store and it was ungodly loud. Afterwards he said "that made me feel faint" :)IMy last rig was a 475 watt ampeg head into a 4 ohm 4x10 cab and in the 80's I played thru the 8x10 SVT's and I can tell you that this little head is amazingly loud.
     
  10. Mr. Benjamin Strange, is that data posted somewhere on the net? I'm a bit of a Doubting Thomas when it comes to things like that.
     
  11. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    It is not posted on the net, no. Doubt all you want - I will send an email to some of my buddies at Mesa and post their replies here. Then it will officially be on the net and you can cast aside your doubts.
     
  12. I don't think that came out right... but thanks for the effort anyway. It would be nice to know if you really can push a 2 ohm load with the little WalkAbout. Imagine the possibilities!
     
  13. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    Jon R. Mesa told me that about the two ohms. I bought a Walkabout Scout from my local dealer that was shown with the extension cab. After playing the combo I bought it with the intention to come back and buy the matching cab IF I was satisfied. After a couple of weeks I was stoked by the Scout combo and decided to go purchase the extension cab, when I did it was marked 4 ohms. I thought about running the Walkabout at 2 ohms and was doubtful. I came home and called Mesa and spoke with one of their techs. Since I will only use the extension about 25% of the time he said to go with the 4 ohm cab, that they had tortured them at 2 ohms and could not get them to fail. He said that if I was going to run the extension 100% of the time to go on and get the special order 8ohm Walkabout combo and extension speaker set up. The drawback is you would not have a 300 watt combo at 8 ohms more like 220 watts or so. I then called a few days later and spoke with another Mesa guy and he said the same thing. So I have it now and I'll keep you guys informed if problems arise.
     
  14. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Here's my email to Trent Blake:

    And Trent's reply:

     
  15. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have run a 2 ohm load with my Walkabout with no ill effects. Actually, with no discernable heat buildup, either. More frequently, I have run a 2.67 ohm load (three 8 ohm cabs), and it eats it up with not problems. I used to push a Peavey 1820 (one 18" and two 10") AND a Mesa Boogie Powerhouse, Jr. (12" and four 8"), and the Walkabout could easily get these two to obnoxiously loud levels without even breaking a sweat.

    I have no idea how 300 watts can be so loud.
     
  16. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    see... i am debating between going with a high wattage power amp or a walkabout.....

    high power vs. portablility, but damn that thing is LOUD.
     
  17. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have both. In addition to my Walkabout, I have a rack rig with an Eden Navigator preamp and a QSC PLX 3002. I had an extra (unbalanced) line out added to my Walkabout (in addition to a Speakon output) so that I could slave another power amp off of it and still keep my DI and effects loop available. I need to A/B the Walkabout against the Navigator, sometime.

    And for those "in between" gigs, I have an iAMP 800. :D
     
  18. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i need a jack of all trades...