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Walkabout Owners...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ron Now, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    I got a question for you.

    I just picked up one of these fantastic little amps yesterday (with the accompanying cab)

    Loving it so far, great tone, great bass response really happy overall.


    The fan is really loud, I didn't notice in the store...because well, it is one of those things you get to find out later.

    Is it just my relatively sound isolated room is making the fan seem a lot louder than it really is...

    Or are these fans just kind of loud, or did I get a lemon of a fan, and now I need to go yell at people until it is fixed?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    My experience is that the fan is definitely audible in a small room when not playing. I have no way of knowing whether yours is louder than normal, though. It is kind of a bummer for recording, but certainly wouldn't be a problem live (particularly in bearded-doom kind of music). I have recorded it solo with a mic and the fan wasn't a problem, now that I think about it.
  3. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I don't own one, but the fan issue has been an ongoing thing with these amps. I think the general consensus is that you don't notice it in a band situation.
  4. quigg


    Jul 27, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    I can't hear my fan over the ventilation on my ship. :) In my apartment I can barely hear it.
  5. jimiwhite


    Jul 8, 2003
    Remove the head and put it in a location away from the recording set up. You probably can disengage the fan, for a recording session I doubt you will over work the amp and create overheating.
  6. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    not a big deal- live with it- we do :)
  7. Widdershins


    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm almost 100% certain you won't notice it while playing either.

    Check out
    1. Megathread #1
    2. Megathread #2

    Lotso' awesome info and mods concerning the fan noise if it REALLY bugs you

  8. The fan is really not an issue. I practice with mine in my appartment, where the master volume is less than 7 o'clock and I can't hear it.
  9. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    I have changed stock fan for this one in mine. Happy now.
  10. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    Neat looking fan, but doesn't appear to be available in the US.
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I bought a WA12 combo, heard the fan and although I loved the tone, returned the combo, since it IS louder than others I've had. For the next week I couldn't get the tone out of my head and, after realizing I could change the fan, ordered another combo. The 2nd time the fan never bothered me and I never bothered to change it. I suggest just ignoring the fan for a bit, and if it still bothers you in a month, do the mod described in the megathread.
  12. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    Thanks for the advice everyone

    I can live with the fan sound, at least for now.

    I just needed to make sure that I wasn't just crazy and the fan was in fact loud.
  13. Dan55


    Apr 26, 2006
    They are a bit louder than normal, but to minimize the noise, pop the cover off and clean the fan blades. Accumulated dust will make them even louder.

  14. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I have a Walkabout Scout 1x15, which -- so far -- has only seen action in my living room and in a friend's practice space. I don't seem to hear the fan, even in the quiet environment of my home.
  15. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I was prepared to swap out the fan when I pulled the trigger on a WA 12" combo (one of the older redface models), but fan noise isn't a problem with it.
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I hear it run til I start to play, then I fuggetaboutit;)
  17. Buzz Grim

    Buzz Grim

    Dec 2, 2003
    I have a Scout 12" combo a couple of years old. My opinion is that the fan is obnoxiously loud. It bugs me when I am practicing by myself or playing with friends at acoustic levels. I'm the second owner and the guy I bought it from sold it because his church music director said the fan was too loud. When I first got the combo I thought that the fan must be a defective so I took the Scout to my local Boogie service center and ordered a replacement fan. The replacement fan that Boogie sent was even louder than the original. I consider the loud fan a design defect since I know that it would be easy for Boogie to spec a variable speed fan or a thermostatically controlled 2 speed fan with a quieter low speed. Many other manufacturers have solved this problem.
    It's possible to replace the fan with a quieter one or rig up a 2 speed option but I'm pretty sure that this would void the Boogie 5 year warranty.
    I guess I don't think that the customer/user should be put in this position when the engineering fix would be an easy one for Boogie.
    Other than this I really like the amp and the cabinet.
    I also agree that when playing out in a normally noisy bar/party environment the fan noise is not an issue.
  18. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    The fan is loud, and much of that noise is actually air flowing through the slats so a quieter fan may not make as much difference as you think by just comparing the fan db specs (I think the stock fan is around 24 db ??).

    A better stock design would be really nice, but they're being cheap on that part and it's just one of Mesa's many quirks. The fact that it can run at 2 Ohms makes up for it, IMO.

    If you search the Walkabout Megathreads you ll find the specs. I believe stock they're 32~ish cfm. I've switched a few to much quieter fans (around 17 db) with the same airflow. It's very easy to do and I see no reason why that'd void the warranty but you can ask Boogie.

    Quieter fan with stock airflow makes them a typical amp fan sound vs, the stock quasi hair dryer sound. If you don't run yours hard or below 4 ohms, you can surely get away with something like 20 or less cfm and get the sound under 10 db on the fan specs, but that risk is all yours of course. Probably worst case would be thermal shutdown and you could then just try a higher cfm fan.

    I run mine often at high volume for very long periods at 2 or 2.67 ohms so I kept the airflow high.
    Never a problem. At home they're quiet enough not to bother me after the swaps.

    As others have said, in a bar or when you're playing at all but the lowest volumes it's a non-issue, especially in the combo which masks the noise a bit.
  19. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
  20. Buzz Grim

    Buzz Grim

    Dec 2, 2003
    I've done a lot of reading about this and unfortunately there are no clear answers. The manufacturers spec's are not necessarily dependable and quality control on these kinds of fans is not too good so there is a lot of variance from fan to fan even of the same model. The manufacturers also make up their own names for the type of bearing etc. so it's hard to know what you are really getting. The place to start for education is Silentpcreview.com.
    Most people seem to agree that a good sleeve bearing or Hydro bearing fan is quieter than a ball baring fan even when the specs are the same. It's not just the Db rating it's also the pitch and character of the noise that determines how distracting it is.
    The other problem with the Walkabout fan is that a good bit of the noise is vent turbulence which is mainly a function of Rpm's not bearing noise. Most of the really quiet fans run at low Rpm's. Silent Pc people often take a 12 volt fan and reduce the Rpm's and noise by adding in line resistors to lower the voltage to 6-7 volts.
    The Sunon fans that Boogie uses are not the quietest fans for the CFM they put out, but the main problem is that they run full blast all the time when most of the time they could be running at reduced RPM and still provide proper cooling. I'm disgruntled about this.
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