Walter Woods? Or not...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Foxrock321, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. I looked up to see if this thread had been beaten to death but alas the search couldn’t find it.. The Walter Woods amps seems to be the holy grail of upright bass amps..even thirtyfive years ago the guys in college were coveting question is this, even though a new one can still be obtained (with a lot of wrangling) what commercial amp maker ( still in business) comes closest to WW’s little red box.? AI, Genzler, GK, Aguilar, Mesa, ???
  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    They might have been holy grail-ish at one point in time but the class D explosion has seen many other options hit the market. I haven't played WW's enough to make any useful comparisons although I did quite like the couple of WW's I got to use with the DB. What always kept me from buying one was his habit of removing identification from components to keep the design from being easily copied which also prevented easily repair by your local tech. Just seemed like it might be a pain in the long term and they never knocked me out enough to put up with that potential. My impression is Walter takes pretty good care of his customers but what happens when he's not around?

    I've really liked all of the AI's I've gotten to use. I liked the Aguilar TH350 and Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 heads I've owned through Genz Shuttle and Bag End cabs. Also liked the Markbass CMD 121 combo that was my last DB amp but it doesn't seem to have worked for everyone and there have been a couple of provided Markbass heads I really didn't care for at all.
    cdavisshannon and Foxrock321 like this.
  3. AI Clarus and the Mesa Subway D800 looks to be my front runner at the moment...Is the Genzler gear catching hold?
  4. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Don't know anything about the Genzler stuff. I did have a Mesa D800 that I only ever used with the Fender bass but from how it sounded I think I'd have been happy with it as a DB amp. I can also say that about my current class D Quilter BB800. That one though I think would be very much dependent on your pickup a well matched cab. With a Krivo magnetic p.up though it might shine. Honestly recommending an amp dedicated to DB use I'd really be looking at something designed for the DB with a high pass filter and EQ that can notch out problem frequencies without gutting your sound. Before I went the the Krivo mag amps designed for the BG were kinda hit or miss EQ-wise.

    A lot of it depends on how loud you need to be. The more quiet you are the better amps work with a piezo p.up.
    Foxrock321 likes this.
  5. Where do you find the Quilter Block stuff.?
  6. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I’m surprised that the EA Doubler hasn’t been mentioned:
    iAMP Doubler II - Euphonic Audio

    I’ve seen a few of the older versions offered in various places (TB, eBay, Reverb).
    Ric Vice, Foxrock321 and Jeff Bonny like this.
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Thought about mentioning EA but other than reading specs I have zero experience and figured someone would chime in.

    The Quilter website lists two dealers in Montrose and Denver (Wheat Ridge).
    Drum City Guitarland
    Montrose Music Store - Home
    I'd be real cautious about the Quilter. Doubt I'd want it without magnetic p.up or a parametric EQ and HPF in front of it. Unless you have a mag or would use it a lot with the electric bass I wouldn't bother. The magnetic pickup guy in me probably shouldn't have brought it up.
  8. The EU stuff looks interesting, and I noticed Gollihur let’s you try em for a 14 day audition..hmm
  9. I have two pu’s on my URB..fishman 100 and a Gage copperhead under the foot. Mixed together into a Radial Bassbone V2 preamp
  10. I've heard the Walter Woods gear and it's very good. For myself, I think Genz Benz gear is excellent for upright, and the new Genzler Bass Array gear looks even better. There's an acoustic Bass Array combo that looks amazing, or just one of the Bass Array cabs with a good hi-fi head. I play Uptons with their Revolution pickup through a Radial PZ-Pre.
  11. If any extant company has matched Walter’s amps for tone and reliability, I don’t know about it.
    Bassguyrob and Ric Vice like this.
  12. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    What took you so long? :D
  13. Walter was one of the first boutique makers, and he had a very close relationship with his customers. He had to do repairs on his stuff because he would shave off the parts numbers inside electrical schematics to keep other companies from copying his design. Didn't he think about patents?
  14. jkumnick

    jkumnick Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Southern Maine
    I’ve had a WW hi-power blue light amp for close to 20 years and it has never failed me or given any trouble. I also have an Aguilar TH350 and a Phil Jones D400. Both of these amps are very good but I think the Walter Woods has a richer tone than either of them. More depth.
    Foxrock321 and Ric Vice like this.
  15. Have you read any patent law? It ain’t what you think it is.
    Foxrock321 and Ric Vice like this.
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    A guy like Walter could easily go broke sueing a company like Behringer trying to enforce a patent. Shaving parts was a dealbreaker for me but in retrospect it was an overreaction. The amps sound great and were so far ahead of what anyone else was doing with solid state at the time they came out it's hard to blame him for protecting his livelihood.
    Foxrock321 and Ric Vice like this.
  17. They are amazing amps. I think you can get "close enough" for a fraction of the price these days and end up with something easier to service. Anything good around now is good because of the standard those amps set, however.
    A used AI Clarus can be had for $300-350, the lowest price I've seen on a WW is $1700. Having something easier to replace and service is a better investment.
    If you have the $$ to burn you won't regret getting one, but, if you are getting a good sound out of your bass without an amp, the newer, cheaper amps will serve you just fine.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Everyone above has given you excellent advice. I have a 1997 Walter Woods Electroacoustic Ultra High Power. It's only been out to Walter once for a repair, that I could avoided. Let's just call it "a user error". There are no Schematic's for any of his amplifiers, with the exception early MI-1008's and possibly the MI-225's. There is now a German amp service company who claims to have their own Schematic's for every different model of the Walter Woods. There is no way for an individual builder to effectively patten his designs unless he's also a patten lawyer or there's one in his family. Just my take however :) :D ;)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  19. Can't the "depth" be dialed back in with a good preamp?
  20. Still waiting for someone to put up an amp that comes closest to Walter Woods magic box..
  21. I've had my Electroacoustic Stereo (the green light with two independent but bridgeable channels) for twenty years of touring, local gigs, indoors, outdoors, you name it. The only issue I've had was that the indicator lamp went out. Walter immediately sent me a replacement resistor with an image of the PCB marked where to replace. This amp sounds better than any other amp I've tried. With that said, I am now looking to put together a second rig, and looking at other small form factor options like the Mesa D 800+ with a high end preamp like the Felix.
    Ric Vice likes this.
  22. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 13, 2021

Share This Page