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Wal-a-like?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by vade700, Feb 27, 2013.


  1. vade700

    vade700

    Jan 12, 2012
    Hey! I know I'm not the only who has thought of this. Do you guys know of anyone working on a design for this sort of thing? I know the wal electronics are hard to replicate but what about the John East preamp? I've heard it gets close. I am not a luthier by any means but how much do you think it would cost to replicate the wal?
     
  2. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I make Wal-like pickups. Pm if interested.
     
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    When you say "John East preamp", you have to remember that there are two different lines of preamps that bear his name.

    The first collection is the ones that you'll find at www.east-uk.com. These are traditional preamps, with cut/boost controls at set frequencies, although they do have some really neat features. I have a couple going into builds soon.

    The second collection is really the collaboration between Alan at AC Guitars (www.acguitars.co.uk) and John East. These are true filter-style preamps, such as the ones used by Alembic and Wal. I've never used one, but am highly intrigued by them, and may try one out on a future fretless build.

    Both types are available from www.bestbassgear.com (not a representative, just a satisfied customer)!
     
  4. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Well, WAL are back in business themselves but I don't think their electronics are available separately.

    The closest and most easily available preamp to the WAL filter preamp is indeed a John East design, but it was commisioned by ACG Guitars and is available and marketed by them - http://www.acguitars.co.uk/shop/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=2

    I have had an EQ02 5k in one of my basses for a couple of months now and it is incredible. It has the usual volume and balance controls but the tone shaping is taken care of by a "Bass Stack" and a "Treble Stack". The Bass Stack has a stacked knob where the lower ring controls the cut off frequency of the filter. If you twist it all the way anti-clockwise it only lets lower frequencies through, as you turn it clockwise it progressively lets higher frequencies through up to about 3K (I think). The upper knob on the stack allows you to apply a boost to the signal at the resonant frequency that you've set on the lower ring.

    This, on it's own is very powerful, but then you also have the Treble Stack that works in almost the same way on the higher frquencies with the lower ring determining whether you just let the real high stuff through (10K) or let it go right down to 1K, with the same boost facility.

    It takes a little while to get your head round compared to ordinary preamps, but it only took me a couple of days before it became completely natural to me. However, between these two controls I can get almost any sound I want (including getting my 6 string to make an indistinguishable tone from that of the bridge pup of my beloved Ric). All this power does have a very slight downside in that small tweaks to the pots can make a big difference to your sound but you soon get used to it.

    I'm so impressed with it that I've just ordered another one, and upgraded to the EQ01 (the EQ02 is going in my fretless). This is essentially the same thing except that it's more powerful because it has a Bass Stack per pickup and a Treble Stack that is supplied by one or other pickup and selectable via switches on the board.

    There is an EQ03 version which has even more power through having push/pull knobs to add mid controls but that's only available on ACG basses (along with some intriguing looking 'resonance pickups).

    You can see those on the builders showcase in Luthiers Corner.

    Can you tell I'm keen on them? I can feel an expensive habit forming through having to put them in all my basses...or alternatively, maybe I can sell some of my basses now because this preamp makes it possible for one bass to (very nearly) do it all.
     
  5. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    These pickups with an ACG preamp.
     
  6. Skelf

    Skelf

    Apr 15, 2005
    Moffat D&G Scotland
    Builder AC Guitars.
    I have my own multi coil pickup now which I pair up with the EQ03 pre-amp in my own basses. The first bass with the new pickups and pre-amp will be at the London Bass Show. Pics in the builders show case on TB.

    Cheers
    Alan
     
  7. vade700

    vade700

    Jan 12, 2012
    MPU would this make a good combination with the ACG/John East preamp?
     
  8. Gotto

    Gotto

    Jan 4, 2013
    Hey Allan, Are you going to sell those MC pickups?
     
  9. Skelf

    Skelf

    Apr 15, 2005
    Moffat D&G Scotland
    Builder AC Guitars.
    Hi
    Sorry not for the foreseeable future. I see them as a unique selling point and as I am sure you know in a competitive market you hold on to any thing that makes you stand out. That is the theory anyway.
     
  10. Gotto

    Gotto

    Jan 4, 2013
    I certainly understand that. By the way, your latest bass with the MC pickups is absolutely beautiful.
     
  11. Skelf

    Skelf

    Apr 15, 2005
    Moffat D&G Scotland
    Builder AC Guitars.
    Thanks very much.
    If you are looking for a good combination I would get some pickups from MPU and combine them with the ACG EQ01.

    Cheers
    Alan
     
  12. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    +10....definitely a good combo. I have one of Marko's pickups here for the Alex Eddy build, and it really has a great sound. Alan's pre's are supposed to be Awesome as well, I do not think you would have a hard time making them sound great together.
     

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