Most Wal-like tone on a Fender?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by -Asdfgh-, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    This is one born of wet-afternoon curiosity...

    Many people like the tone of the Wal, although it isn't a universal love. Some of it comes from the very specialised electronics. So a question is - to what extent can you replicate some of that sound with pickup and preamp choices on a modern standard bass (Precision or Jazz as starting points)?
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    This should be fun!
  3. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I'd say four coil pickups wound like a half Wal pickup with ACG filter preamp.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    You can't. They're seriously different basses. Apples to elephants.
  5. By upgrading the bass and the electronics you should be able to get a Wal sound. I'd say, give Wal a call and see if they will sell you one of their necks to put on your Fender. You'll probably find it won't which case, you could ask Wal to sell you a loaded body to put the new neck onto. That should do it.
  6. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    I'm not expecting to do it. It was an academic question out of interest.
  7. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    It's a speculative question. How close is it possible to get?

    On various vintage recordings basses of one type are mistaken for others, so how distinct are the tones in reality? Do our ears fool us?
  8. WaskoDS


    Nov 22, 2009
    Allentown, PA
    I don't know what pickups you'd put in unless routing the body is an option, but you could definitely drop in an ACG-01 filter preamp; basically an intersection of the Wal and Alembic filter preamps, with an additional high-pass filter that neither possess. A Jazz Bass would definitely be the preferred vehicle for a mod like this, due to the dual pickups. If there are any "bright but thick" J-Bass pickups, those would be the go-to.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    Most Wal-like tone on a Fender?


    Jazz bass
    light strings
    active electronics
    underwound pickups
  10. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Sorry, I didn't mean to come over as all school-ma'am there.
  11. Buchada Azeda

    Buchada Azeda

    Mar 25, 2009
    Has anyone ever thought of copying a Wal's preamp and circuit and putting it in pedal form? I'd pay big money to see that happen.
  12. lordradish

    lordradish Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Wal's pretty protective about their stuff (I own one). You can't get the electronics or preamps unless you own one. I don't know if you'd be able to get that sound out of a Fender.
  13. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    There's a pickup maker here who has been working on it for years with lots of excuses and few results. You can scroll around to find the multiple threads of complaints about his customer service if getting involved with him sounds appealing.
  14. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    The issue there is that IMO the pickups play a bigger part in the Wal tone than the preamp.
    Peter Weil likes this.
  15. Maybe I should have used a tongue in cheek emoticon
  16. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    I've owned two Wal's.
    Quick answer, nothing sounds like a Wal but a Wal.
    The pickups, and pre-amp are the sound.
  17. +1
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I think that was just a pickup not the preamp.
  19. If it's the same pup builder I'm thinking of there hasn't even been any talk for awhile that he is even still working on it or a prototype pic posted of the pre-amp. My guess it's still on the "written down on paper" stage
  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    He was working on both, at one point farmed out the preamp to someone even less reliable than himself. Progress on it has been even slower since then.
    You are an optimist, I don't even estimate he's tracked down a working writing tool.