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pups that have the "wal sound"

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fleabee, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Anyone know what pups sound most like wal bass pickups? And also do they come in soapbar size?
  2. dr_love2112


    May 28, 2005
    baytown texas
    well the only ones i have heard that come close are wal pickups but long time ago some guy at GC had a jazz bass that has some kind of soapbar looking pickups in it and it sounded just like a wal, at first when i heard it i tought they had a wal and i was :hyper:
  3. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Some credible people posted recently that Bongos sound close. I can't remember where, and don't have the time to do a search right now... sorry.
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    IMO put on some fresh T-I Powerbass strings, and use only the neck p-up with a pick. It will get you close without much cost and hassle.
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    IMO the width of the pickup (well the width of the coils inside) is fairly crucial. A narrow-aperture pickup like a P, J, or even most soapbars will be missing something. I'd believe the Bongo could get fairly close, though its pickups are shifted quite a ways towards the neck compared to where the Wal pickups go.

    I just got a new bass (see avatar) that has two Stingray-sized Bartolini pickups (with the CB windings) in it, near the locations they're at in a Wal. I wouldn't say it sounds like a Wal, but it does have some of the qualities that I like about the Wal sound.

    Here's a sound clip. The slap intro is done with the coils split, and it sounds more like a J bass. The picked straight-8ths bassline in the second half is done with both pickups full humbucking. I don't know what words to use to describe it, but that part has the sound that I associate with wide-aperture pickups like the Stingray's and the Wal's.
  6. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Here's another clip - this is just the bridge pickup, full humbucking (coils in parallel by the way). It's a fretted bass, but sounds quite a bit like some fretless Wals I've heard (the warm reverb helps there).
  7. excellent,thanks for posting the sound clips..i wish everyone could do that with their basses
  8. ...in the past (well ,the bass was mine) , and I can tell you that this pickup isn't quite conventional in the way it's built, each string have it's own coil ( 8 small coils in a 4 strings pickup) , each coil quite low and wide.

    The magnet is ceramic, and the output quite low if used in the passive mode,

    i don't know any other pickup built exactly in this way, but the most similar is the Ken Smith soapbar (i've opened a couple of K.S. too) , as far as i know, but they don't sound much alike, so IMHO if someone want the wal sound, the only way IMHO is to own a wal.


  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    It's probably not the answer you want, but I don't believe there is another bass or bass pickup that sounds like a Wal, other than a Wal.
  10. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005

    yep - maybe someone could custom wind one for you, but i have no specific ideas :meh: