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Walter Woods 101

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by emblymouse, Aug 14, 2012.


  1. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    :help: I've heard the legend of The Walter Woods Amp, but not much in the way of specifics. It seems unless you know a guy who has one there is no way to demo before plunking down $2000.
    I've figured out the different power/light correlations. The only descriptions of sound that stick with me are 'WOW' or some equivalent, and that it's a very uncolored amp. Does this = Hi Fi Modern? Hi Fi like tubes? Is there any other amp that lives in the same sonic space for reference?
    Also, every one I have seen has 2 channels. Is this so you can have presets for 2 instruments?( I hope so, because it's bordering on too many knobs for this mouse:meh:). I know these are used by DB players, I do already switch between BG and EUB with a BassBone. Would the 2 channel WW replace that function?
    And stereo? This is something I've never used and don't think I need to start. Can all these 2 channel heads run stereo and mono or are they separate designs?
     
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Wow is a good description of it's tone. :hyper: I have a Super and an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500, both sound Wow to me. :D It is more modern than vintage in tone, but it does have tons of bottom end that seem to go very deep.

    All modern WW amps are two channel only, I guess the single channel model was not ordered in sufficient quantities for Walter to retain parts for them. Think of all those knobs as being two amps in one case, one above the other, that should make it much easier for you to comprehend. :cool: yes, it will replace the Radial as the two channels are completely independent, even having their own effects loops. Mono is sufficient, no real need for the stereo model unless you are running a true stereo rig, sounds more like you are just using two different instruments.
     
  3. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
  4. I had a WW 100watt amp about 20 years ago and it was the best sounding amp I ever heard. Unfortunately I got in a situation I needed urgent cash so I advertised it in the newspaper. It was sold in 25 minutes of the paper hitting the stands!
    To this day I have never heard another amp that sounded that good.
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    QUOTE=emblymouse;13040509]:help: I've heard the legend of The Walter Woods Amp, but not much in the way of specifics. It seems unless you know a guy who has one there is no way to demo before plunking down $2000.
    I've figured out the different power/light correlations. The only descriptions of sound that stick with me are 'WOW' or some equivalent, and that it's a very uncolored amp. [/QUOTE]

    I really hate to tell you this, but the last price I’ve heard quoted, for Walter’s Electroacoustic Ultra (800-1,200 watts at 8 ohms) was $2,700.00


    At this point, a Walter Woods amp is not one of the new kids on the block anymore.It sets itself apart from the rest of the pack because of its Pre Amp voicing and midrange emphasis. It still weighs in at 7.5 lbs. but has a different sound than anything else on the market. Walter’s amp can be repaired and restored, when some of the newer micro amps cannot. It’s unique.



    Woods amps were specifically designed to be used for Doubling, the earlier MI series analog amps had different pre amp voiceings on Channel 1 vs Channel 2

    The stereo version can run in mono, the mono amp is just that a mono amp with two preamp channels

    Here’s a link to the TB discussions of Walters different models

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/walter-woods-amps-history-development-265259/
     
  6. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    Thanks for the replies guys. I will dive into that thread!
     
  7. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    ...at least until Walter buys the farm; then all bets are off.
     
  8. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    This has occurred to me:meh:. Not a minor issue if no one else can pick up from where he lets go.
     
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    From previous discussions with Walter, I believe he has a plan in mind.
     
  10. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Been using mine since 1995. All instruments, every style imaginable but country and bluegrass. I get so spoiled because since there is a lot of newer stuff out there I have owned a dozen other amps and except my Acoustic Image (that I just got a week ago) I have swiftly gotten rid of all of them. I'll keep the AI as a backup because of Murphy's law. Nothing else has made my instruments sound like themselves like the Woods. And nothing I have had can hold a candle to its power and clear low end. That said, it is not "transparent" to my ears. It is "colored," but not like, "gee, that sounds like a [Stingray, P-Bass, upright, etc.] played through a [insert amp manufacturer]," but rather, "Wow, that [Stingray, P-Bass, upright, etc.] really sounds its best!" And after that sound being my norm, I find myself dissatisfied with almost every other major amp brand I try.

    And FWIW when I got mine 1995, the Electracoustic), there were 4 different power levels, a 1, 2, or 4 channel version, mono or stereo amps. The stereo amps you could pan each channel and you can bridge them for earthquake type power (mine bridges at 1000 watts and I have blown speakers without even getting it warm).
     
  11. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    Thanks Tim, that does whet the appetite!
    It appears that this is an amp that resembles...nothing I've ever heard. Fascinating but scary if I can't try one. I certainly don't need 1000W but that's mostly what I see out there on the market, and the lower wattage models are not much cheaper, if at all. This could be one of those 'why did I wait so long!' things, or a real embarrassing leap off a cliff!
     
  12. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Even sight unseen, it should e very easy to sell at th same price you got it for.

    You just have to use it in person. It's not magic, just quality, and you can feel the handmade boutique-ness
     
  13. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    Ok I have an Ultra Blue Light arriving tomorrow.:)

    There is a 1/4" Direct out on the face. I take it I'll still need a direct box, right?
     
  14. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Unfortunately, that is the feature on that head that was not done right. At least not on the mid 90's era heads like mine. And Walter will tell you that. Mine has low signal and horrible ground loop buzzing. For a short time he was taking them back for modification by replacing it with a line level 1/4" out. Better off going through a box before the the amp (after your F-Deck, of course) or taking a line out from the effects send.

    Did mention the F-Deck is the most essential part of my rig?? :) if you are spending $2k+ On a head please spare the $70 and get one. You will not be sorry.
     
  15. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    D'oh! Just re-read your post. Then yes, you should have a fully functioning out and still need a DI.
     
  16. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    The line out never sounded right on those amps even after he switched to the 1/4". You can try it, but I'd run the DI before the amp. If I remember correctly I believe Walter recommended a passive DI when running out the 1/4".
     
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Yes, he does. The DI out on mine sounds fine, never had a problem with any PA system, ever.
     
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 Better to pretty much ignore that 1/4" out and just get a nice DI (active or passive) to use before the amp.

    Also, to the OP, I assume you read the posts in the mega thread about the 'magic knob'. That 'make-up gain knob' for the effects loop, for some reason that Walter won't exactly explain, really fattens up the low end of the amp when cranked. Nice extra little tonal control that works will with EB if you want a bit more booty down low.

    Finally, the Walter Woods (specifically, the newer Electracoustic models from the mid 90's on) is very 'tight and controlled' down low, and really wouldn't benefit significantly (IMO and IME) from an external hi pass filter. No need for that IMO with the Walter.

    To the OP, enjoy that head. It is still a first class unit, and as posted by many, has a unique tone that I've never heard in another amp (lightweight or heavy weight). Of course, only you will know if that tone fits your needs.
     
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 Another problem with the 1/4 out is that it's noisy, so running it FOH is sometimes a problem for the sound engineer.

    I think Walter had to do that to get the sound he wanted for the Double Bass where you don't need the extra kick, but it sure helps with Electric.

    ++1 as you once put it to me, they are a to polite at those frequencies for some styles of playing.

    If you're a doubler using two instruments on the same gig, It's as good as it gets IMHO.

    Ric
     
  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Hey Ric! +1 in that the entire concept of the Electracoustic line of Walter's amps is based on getting the best compromise tonally so that the amp works quite well with both DB and EB (hence the name 'Electric and Acoustic). Plenty of power for the loudest EB gig (i.e., it will keep up fine with most of the newer 500/600 watt amps... that 1200 watt power rating is a bit of a stretch IMO), but also that very transparent 'non goosed' voicing without a super extended low end or artificially goosed' top end that works VERY will with most DB pickups.

    IMO, definitely the best 'doubling' head ever produced. Two fully featured channels with separate inputs.

    The only reason I hesitate to recommend these amps to most TBers these days is that IMO the price/value is a bit out of wack. When you can get a Puma900 for $1,300 or a Glock Blue Soul for $1,600 (or for that matter, a Markbass LMIII for $500 or so), paying almost $3000 for a Walter Ultra means you REALLY have to want that Walter tone profile.
     

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