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walter woods question

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by shwashwa, Mar 13, 2006.


  1. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    quick woods question. i've had mine for about 11 years now. it's a 2 channel mono amp. 2 inputs, 2 pre gain controls, 2 eq sections, 2 effect loops and 2 master volumes which all go to the same speaker outs. question is, can i use this like a blender with 2 pickups at once? i do ocasionally use it that way, but it seems that if i plug into the top channel and play for a while to get my tone, and then plug into the bottom channel, the volume and tone characteristics in the top channel change slightly. it seems like it's sucking some power when using both channels at once. i can easily compensate for this by turning the volume up alittle, but i was just concerned that i may be using the amp in a way that it's not intended to be used. is this normal performance or should i stop using it this way?
    thanks
     
  2. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    They sound like they are out of phase. Use a preamp with a phase reversal switch on one of the pickups and that should make it work.
     
  3. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    awesome.... so you're saying that i can use the woods in this way if i want?
     
  4. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I've done it a lot. That's why there are two channels. I wish Walter would have put a phase switch on one of the channels for just that problem.
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The older Woods two-channel heads did have phase switches. I own an MI-225 with one.
     
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Uncle Toad,
    Yep, not only did Walter ditch the DI out's he also took of the
    phase switch. It's a major bummer.

    Ric
     
  7. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Yea I tried to harass him about that. I suggested he dump the fx loop, bring back a single phase switch on just one channel and put in a studio quality DI. He just said he had no intention of redesigning it or modifying it as he's back-ordered perpetually on the model he's making now.

    I may have someone else modify mine at some point to do just that. It would mean I could dump the Raven pre and the DI and all the associated cables from my gig rig.
     
  8. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Better yet......find ONE pickup system that sounds great and makes you happy, use ONE channel on the Woods, and purchase a PASSIVE, jenson transformer epuipped D.I. such as the Radial JDI. An awsome and flexable D.I. box worth more than it's street price. ($180) I imagine that the features of this D.I. could add $3-400 or so to the asking price of any amp. And sound engineers seem to LOVE them, taken directly out of the amp.

    That's how I've been doing things since I was fortunate enough to get one of Walter's amps. (ULTRA) It sounds so good, that I understand why he doesn't want to change anything. I think a phase switch could be the source more problems than it MIGHT solve. And I trust Walters wisdom in not including it in his design, for whatever reason.
     
  9. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I disagree. I don't see how a phase switch can cause ANY problems. It CAN solve a whole mess of live sound problems. Every top of the line preamp used for acoustic instrument amplification has that option on it for feedback control, except his.

    I use some pretty excellent top of the line stuff. Mixing the AMT mic with the Full Circle pickup is really the sound I prefer. The full circle whether by itself or in tandem with the AMT sounds best phase reversed. I may change my mind on that if I ever get around to using something else that I haven't tried or that comes up in the future, but so far the direct/mic combo is really compelling to me. Admittedly it's the Full Circle's problem that require phase reversal not the WWU. Fishman has chosen not to address that because their preamp, which they suggest to use with their pickup, has a phase switch.
    Walter is brilliant but not faultless. He is done redesigning his product. He has ceased R&D not because his product is the perfect acoustic instrument amp but because they are finally selling like crazy. They never used to until the Ultra model, so he kept tweaking them until they did.

    He told me he didn't have enough room for the phase switch, DI and the fx loop in the box he had been using. He didn't want to change the size of the box so something had to go. Most sound engineers prefer to take a Direct signal before an amp so that if the amp fails they still have sound front of house. Walter felt the DI wasn't needed because of that. He also said he had phase switches on his amps for years and nobody knew what to do with them. Probably true.

    When he designed this version most bass amps had fx loops but not phase switches. They were also used by electric bassists not acoustic bassists. He took his focus off the DB player and centered on the EB player. Bigger market, bigger money. His R&D suggested compromises on the DB players priorities to sell more product. That's smart.

    If you take a poll of all the DB players using his amp You'll find the fx loop goes largely unused. In addition hardly anyone uses his amp without the send mix pegged. That amp could be redesigned to get rid of those things and put in phase and DI components. The DI component could be passive and put in the front of the amp so that it would function with the power off. But that favors the acoustic player over the electric player and that's just not good business.

    He knows all this too and told me he has no plans to modify his current design or offer any different options. He can't keep up with demand on the current model so He doesn't feel He has to move forward with any more changes. Ever. I don't fault him for that. He can retire on this one.

    I don't buy into the deity worship people get into over him. His amp is my current favorite bass amp side by side with the SVT as my two all time favorites in the history of bass amplification so far. It is not the best possible DB amp. It's not designed that way anymore. That doesn't mean somebody can't design a better one. At some point somebody will.
     
  10. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    i have to admit that i like his older models better than the one that i have now...
    uncletoad, you made a comment in your last post about the send mix being pegged. what do you mean by this? for years i have noticed that the send mix changes the sound coming from my amp, which doesnt seem to make sense . i thought it was only for the 1/4 inch "di' that's on the front panel, but you can definately hear it change the tone....
     
  11. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    My WW amp is an 80's model and it has a phase switch on one channel. I hadn't used it until recently, when I started messing around with PU combinations. I believe it has an FX loop and an input for one of those special Alembic (why?) type jacks, and of all these features, the phase switch is of the most use to me. I like bare bones amps, and never use the bass and treble boost/cut switches. Actually, I leave it pretty much flat, and adjust the mids just a bit to fit the room.
     
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The REAL function of the send mix is to allow mixing in some of the original signal with the signal fed into the FX return. For whatever reason, turning it up when you DON'T use the loop adds a low-mid boost (i never use the loop so I don't know if you still get boost). Without looking at the circuit I couldn't begin to explain why, but I'm sure it's an accident of the design...something to do with impedance or phase matching.

    Anyway, once I heard about this (here at TB in fact) I started messing with it and now usually turn it up all the way on the BG channel. If the room is muddy I'll set it lower. I never use it on the DB channel.

    As far as Walter optimizing the amp for BG, the older ones had different EQ voicings on each channel and I think it really does sound better for DB. Right now my Electracoustic is my main amp and my old MI-225 is my backup but I'm thinking about changing that.

    The phase switch on the old heads is ONLY on one of the channels. I think it's there for stereo applications and unfortunately it's on the channel that sounds better for BG than DB so it's not useful as a feedback reduction feature. I never use the +/- tone switches since the boost and cut was way too extreme.
     
  13. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    One pickup sysyem will always deliver ONE consistent sound from playing situation to playing situation. Blending different pickups will always need to be BLENDED. And the blending ratio always changes from playing situation to playing situation. Phase problems/issues aren't always COMPLETELY 100% solved by the flicking of a switch. Depends on how your ears work, and what level of fidelity you are satisfied with I suppose.

    My personal choice is to eliminate the blending puzzle and concentrate on the making of music. Personal opinion.


    And the truth is that Walters amps do ALL sound different. That's because he makes them all himself. I've played a few that didn't light my fire, BUT the owners loved them to death. If you are fortunate enough to get yourself one that sounds great for you..don't let go of it.....if you don't like it.....they are easy to sell, and someone else may feel it is the best amp they have ever owned.