RH450 and Walkabout

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pfschim, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Just some thoughts about comparing and tweaking amps, and driving yourself generally nuts messing with gear.

    First off, I have a long and happy relationship with my Mesa Walkabout Scout. Really like everything about this amp and combo.

    Of course there is a whole world of other gear out there too (makes life interesting)... so...

    I picked up a TC Electronic RH450 a while back as a back up to my Walkabout. I also just liked the idea that you could get a 300w amp in such a small/light config (yes, I am aware of the wattage rating controversy with this amp). The RH450 also had some interesting features that the WA does not have (tuner, high quality integrated multiband comp, multiple programmable settings etc>)

    After being away from all my gear for about a year, I started fooling around with my collection.

    First off, I fell right back in love with the WA. Great amp/cab combination. Sweet!

    Then I decided I would try to set up the RH450 to work as a backup to the WA. So, my main initial objective was to tweak the RH450 to make it sound more/less like the WA, running through the WA 1x12 (only cab I have at the moment).

    After much tweaking and twiddling of Q points and levels and such, I gave up on trying to make the RH450 sound like the WA.

    I did end up with some very nice programmed sounds on the RH, but never got it to sound like the WA.

    So, my point ?

    Why do we do this ? take one piece of gear and try to tweak it to sound like another. Seems like it makes more sense to use each piece to its greatest advantage.

    Also seems to me that the WA amp is uniquely matched to its cabinet. It just has a sound that I could not duplicate with another amp (at least not easily).

    And here is my question to the assembled brilliance that is TB:
    has anyone successfully tweaked a TC RH450 to sound like a WA Scout 1x12 ?

    thanks for reading. and for anyone who was paying attention, I am really happy to be back in the USA.

  2. Funny - I did nearly exactly the same thing earlier this year. I needed something with a bit more juice than the WA could give me. The guys in the band were dropping comments about how they couldn't hear much definition live. The levels we were playing at were just on the edge of straining the W.A through a pair of DB112's. Anyway... Bought an RH450 and A/Bed them for quite some time. I don't think I could dial the WA in either. The WA was heavier down low and had a cushier sound. The TC was clearer.
  3. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    this is my experience too. WA is warmer/fatter/cushier down low (to the point where you need to reign it in a bit sometimes). I wonder if the WA is just very well matched to its passive radiator cab, where the RH450 needs another cab design to get some of that warmth.

    Even dropping the center freq point on the bass eq does not get the RH450 into that range. At least not that I have been able to make happen.

    I don't need any additional gigging volume because I usually get FOH when the venue is larger than the WA can cover.
  4. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Maybe you guys are trying to get a sound the compression in the RH450 won't allow!
  5. I'm sure the WA is very well matched to it's cab, but I've found it to sound equally sweet into other cabs too. Especially nice into the Berg NV215.
  6. Yeah. The RH just has different tonal goals with a tighter low end. I find it pretty good live though - and closer to what I was after.

    I had one gig with the WA - I was using a wireless and every so often I would reach my amp through the brass section and tweak the EQ. Half way through the first set I had it PERFECT. In the morning I thought to look and check the EQ I ended up with so I could remember it in future: Bass and Treble controls nearly OFF. Low mid boosted to 2:00 (freq dialled down), mid mid 1:00 high mid 12:00. There's no way in hell I'd dial it like this if I could see what I was doing. Months later I saw an RH frequency plot for the default EQ and I reckon its got to be pretty close to that.
  7. Don't think so. I think it's more to do with the RH baked in freq curve and the WA's bloomy low end. The RH just doesn't do bloomy. The OD sounds are very diffeent too. The W.A is a much softer drive.
  8. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    "Bloomy low end" sounds like something the compression/ active power management would not want to do? To me anyway? Possibility :)
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Perhaps this going down a different path than you want, but what about hooking up your WA to a power amp? Those Peavey IPRs are only 7LBS and less than $350. Or you could go even lighter and use the GK MB500 and bypass the pre and use its power amp. Plenty loud and less than 4LBS.
  10. I've not done this, but from others posts, the driver tube has a lot to do with the WA's sound iirc. & you don't get the same feel outta the WA running it into a power amp
  11. I think your perception of people trying to make one head sound like another is primarily a Walkabout issue, since so many love the tone of the Walkabout, but find the power section to be lacking in some situations. There has always been a strong demand for a more powerful Walkabout on TB, and Mesa has not responded to this point.

    The RH450 is a totally different voicing than the Walkabout, and like most other heads, you won't get them sounding very much alike, no matter how many knobs you twist. Both great IMO, and they 'do what they do' wonderfully.
  12. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Welcome home, pfschim :)
  13. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    thanks Lomo. very happy to be back. :hyper:
  14. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Ken, I basically agree with you, although I don't think the WA is under-powered, so much as the single 1x12 of the WA combo does not fully handle the full 300w the amp puts out (I have the 4 ohm version).

    Ultimately I did give up trying to make the RH450 sound like the WA. In the process of all that button pushing and knob twisting (geez, that almost sounds nasty) I did find some very nice, and very usable sounds with the RH450. Much more on the modern, mid forward, snappy high end side than the WA (at least to my ears).

    But, at the moment I am limited to the WA 1x12 as my only available cab option for doing any testing of amps. That got me wondering if the WA cab, while matching the WA amp very well, maybe did not match up well with the basic design concept of the RH450 ? Perhaps I should consider one (or two) of the TC 1x12's to match up with the RH450 in order to hear it at its best.
  15. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I owned both amps for a while (RH450 with RS212) and kept coming back to the Walkabout, I could never get a tone I was happy with from the RH450, too sterile and I couldn't stand the tubetone, in fact it remains one of my most dissapointing purchases ever.

    But the Walkabout through the RS212 sounded fantastic!