Walter Woods versus Acoustic Image

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Aarongermain, May 4, 2005.

  1. Aarongermain


    Apr 27, 2005
    Anyone had a chance to compare the Walter Woods to the Acoustic Image amp? Pros and cons?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Pros of WW:
    1. higher power available (1200 watts vs. 600 watts)
    2. stereo amp available
    3. true 2 instrument channels (AI has a bass channel and a mike channel)
    4. buying one makes you a cult member :D

    Pros of AI:
    1. cheaper
    2. easier to buy (no waiting for Walter to build you an amp)
    3. XLR DI out
    4. notch/HP filter useful for feedback control
    5. mike channel available (useful for solo/duo gigs or if you mike your bass)
    6. onboard reverb available (useful if you also play guitar or use for vocals)
    7. easier to get repaired (WW circuitry is a closely guarded secret using many parts he makes himself!)
    8. combo amps available

    AI is talking about having two true instrument channels in the future...if there had been a real 2-channel Focus available when I bought my WW a few years back I would have gone for that instead.
  3. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    In my experience, with my bass and fingers, the Woods sounds so very very very very very very much better than the Acoustic Image. In every room/hall in which I've had the opportunity to compare them, the AI has come out on bottom.

    Watch the space below for the exact opposite opinion...

    (I should say that Brian's list of "pros" for the AI are nothing to shake a stick at--many's the time I wished I had an XLR DI, a notch filter, a mike channel, a built-in speaker, and all of that stuff...but the Woods sounds better.)
  4. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    As happy as I am with my Focus. (I am happy) brianrost is
    correct. The Woods has a more complex sound, and is
    sonically more versitile. My Woods amps have been the
    most reliable gear I've ever owned. If I had the money, I
    would own one in a heart beat. Very musical sounding.
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Now another $60k question: Which bottom sounds best with the Walter Woods amp?
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Another thing thing in comparison: The preamp on my newer WW is far more flexible than the pre on the AI. A 50% turn on the AI knob is achieved with about 15 degree turn on one of my adjusters. Note that I didn't say 'knobs' (for fear of delivering such a succulent straight-line). But, with this power comes some frustration as it takes a lot of practice to get control over the pre -- too many choices. But, on the good side, when amplifying simple devices (like a slab), you can pretty much run the sucker flat.

    As far as bottom, the choices are almost endless and it depends on what you're doing. For Slab for reasonably loud to soft gigs, I have a 15" Bag End. For bass (and this works well for slab as well) I have one of the newer Ampeg Portabass 12" cabinets. While traveling I've used a few dozen other cabs and some were nice and some were 75 cubic foot goltiaths meant for slab and I was pretty much able to get a usable sound all the time.
  7. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I saw a used Ampeg PB10 at a music store last week for $199. I almost bought it but didn't. I did pick it up and it is light. 20lbs!
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    There are a couple of guys in town here with the 10". I've always had my best luck with 12" speakers and I'm happy with my purchase. 10" speakers always seem to need a lot of compensation with the tone knobs to get a decent tone, where I would rather use the knobs for fine tuning.
  9. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I remember what you had said in your PM's when I asked you about the Ampeg and that's main reason that I didn't purchase it. I may go for the 12".
  10. The Woods can run anything ,but the 2 things you need to figure out are: How loud do I need to be?
    What kind of sound do I want? [Natural,shorter decay,]More modern[*80's standard,Long sustaining notes]
    An A/B test between cabs like 12's,2x10's, Bose, etc will reviel a whole lot.if you can try on the gig even better.
    Both are real good amps for Uprite basses.
  11. Where can Walter Woods amps be ordered from? I'm guessing from the previous posts directly from him, but is there a website or brochure that can be ordered to get some options. I've seen a few on ebay but that is all I could find.
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Call him on the phone and he'll send you the catalogue.
  13. Would someone be so kind as to PM me WW phone #. Thanks in advance.
  14. They are both excellent. People will say one sounds better - it's really a matter of personal preference. Features or characteristics which might be pros for some could also be cons for others.

    Some of my comparisons are in the Focus thread. I had a chance to A/B them for a while, and basically came to the conclusion that for my purposes the Focus was preferred. However, that was not my initial reaction. It took a while to get used to the sound of the Focus. Here are some of the differences:

    1. Flat, neutral, uncolored sound. Some might say sterile. For many, this is preferred for DB. Also considered by many to be warm, tubelike.
    2. Subtle EQ, except for the High pass filter, which can be drastic, but effective in reducing boominess for DB

    Woods (the newer electrocoustic models):
    1. Kind of a zing to the sound, with a bit of high frequency emphasis (IMO), as well as a fat low end. This seems to be suited for BG, and some might like it for DB too.
    2. Flexible EQ, including semi-parametic mid control. Drastic tonal adjustments are possible, including the "send mix" pot to add lower mid girth. This could be a pro or con, depending on how handy with EQ one is.
  15. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    FYI - I tried the 12" Portabass cab. Didn't like it at all in comparison testing with my trio and a DB. And that was back when I was using much lower fidelity cabinets than I'm using now. But, I remember Adrian Cho saying that the 10" was quite good. And I believe this might be a case where smaller may be better. If you can, try both before you leap.
  16. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...or, you might be like me, who just went to a 12" inch Portabass cab and a Clarus 2-channel head after DECADES in the cheap amp wilderness. I'm so delighted with how it sounds (and how light the rig is) I could practically sh*t.
  17. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I got the WW ultra high and the Focus and the Woods is more flexible and gets a better sound (to my ears) with both upright and electric. The Focus does sound very good but it doesn't have as "open" a sound as the WW. With electric bass the Focus sounds a bit sterile where the WW has more character. Both amps are great though and very portable. The switch that lets you use 115/230 is invaluable for me.