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Walter Woods Ultra: First Impressions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tritone, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Today was the first real chance I have had to really see what the little box could do! I used it in rehearsal with my classic rock band (2 guitars, bass, drums). I played two basses through it. First was my Elrick Gold Standard 7 (Bart pups and pre, Lakland Medium Gauge SS strings, with LaBella Hard Rockin' Steels for C and F). The 2nd bass was my Lakland 55-94D (Bart Pups and pre, Lakland Medium Gauge SS strings). Both basses have have swamp ash bodies topped with maple, and maple necks.

    I played the WWU through WBS 2X12 Neo cabinets (each 4 ohms). I played through a single cab at 4 ohms 1200 watts, and through both cabs utilizing a series cable (allowing for 8 ohms at 800 watts). I ran the amp flat, although i did have the "magic knob" maxxed.

    Before I go on with this, I should probably preface this by saying that I have played through a number of different systems over the years. Although I have enjoyed many, I have never found anything that was truly satisfying to me. I guess the Thunderfunk TFB-420 has come the closest (I have two, but I have to sell my spare... I'm still gonna use the one I'm keeping!!), but I had heard so much about Mr. Woods amps, I felt that I needed to give one a try.

    So hence, my first impressions:

    In general, I'd have to say that this amp absolutely blew me away. There was a depth to the sound that I had never heard before. The lows (which were felt as much as heard) blossomed nicely without booming, and the highs were never strident, even with hard popping on the C and F strings on the Elrick. Both basses were rendered "honestly", and I can say I know what both of them "really" sound like now. The WWU allowed the characteristics of both of them to come through, and it was startling to be able to really hear the differences between them.

    What surprised me was the "tubeness" of the sound. When Walter told me that his goal was to provide tube-like warmth in a solid state amp, he was not joking. The sound was not "colored" per se, but it was warm and full. I guess the only way to decribe it would be "rich in harmonic content". My basses sounded alive.

    The Lakland seemed to fair better than the Elrick, sounding quite "buttery". I only used very slight bass and treble boost on the Bart pre, and the resulting sound was deep, yet focused with a glassy sheen ( :confused: I hope that makes sense....). To me, the amp seemed to make the electronics in the bass disappear. This is the sound I have been searching for for over 25 years.

    The Elrick was definitely more "modern" sounding. This bass is more mid-pronounced than the Lakland, and this shone through like a laser through the WWU. The sound was not bad, but it did require more EQing to the Bart pre (compared to the Lakland) to compensate. I have no doubt that when i have a little more time to dial it in, the Elrick will be kicking butt!

    The big thing I came away with was that you will get out what you put into the WWU. My bandmates and I were astounded at the ease in which it reproduced the lower register of both basses. There was a presence to the sound that allowed me to easily balance the 2 guitars and drum kit (1200 watts of power didn't hurt either ;)).

    All of this is in a small, two channel, 7 pound package. Amazing. The Walter Woods Ultra truly is a remarkable amplifier, made by a remarkable person.

    Thank you Mr. Woods!
  2. Waabs

    Waabs Employee, Musical Instrument Retail

    Aug 1, 2004
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Very cool, Mike. Bet you'll dig it even more on gigs...especially when it comes time to load-out! ;)
  4. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Somehow I new you would find all of this to be true. Great guy that Mr. Woods.
  5. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Thanks you guys, it's great to be part of the "WWU club"! , And Carl, my aging lower back tends to agree with you!! :D I know I keep repeating myself, but I am absolutely stunned by this thing!