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What is the secret to that Wal tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tekhna, Nov 13, 2004.


  1. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004
    It seems like most people agree it is in the electronics, so has there been any attempt to reverse engineer them? What would seem like it would give a similar tone for, well, less than the 7000 or so it is for a Wal.
     
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    That would be unethical in my opinion.
     
  3. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Hot new Behringer products :D!
     
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    You said what was on my mind. :D
     
  5. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    - wide-aperture pickups and their locations
    - low-pass filter electronics

    The pickup windings (eight coils under each cover, actually, a pair for each string) might have a lot to do with it too. My guess is the biggest factor is just the locations of those coils. I can't think of any basses that have the same pickup locations.
     
  6. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004

    There is nothing unethical about reverse engineering unless you are making a profit off of explicity copying them.
    But then again, do you have problems with pickups trying to emulate vintage Jazz pickups, or vintage P-bass pickups? That seems like a damned silly argument to make.
     
  7. Placement does figure into the equation, but perhaps a little less than one might expect. I had my first live session using the beech Mach III (as well as the fretless) today and while the altered pickup placement adds a little more snarl and punch, it's subtle. At the end of the day it's a Wal through and through.

    IMHO it's primarily the pups and electronics. For the pickups, each of the 8 poles (per pickup) is adjustable and can be fine-tuned for an extremely even response across all of the strings.

    For the preamp as you say there is a low-pass filter for each pickup and pulling up on the control engages a 10db boost at the rolloff point. I generally setup the sound wanted out of each pickup and use pickup balance like a tone control. It's actually very easy and extremely versatile, in fact the combinations seem almost overwhelming at first. There's also the "pick attack" which is an added narrow band of higher-frequency boost. There are lots of choices available, but it's a very easy system to use once you've had some time to familarize yourself.
     
  8. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004

    That beech Wal of yours is absolutely incredible. I wish one day that I could afford one, but by the time I could ever, I am sure they will be much too rare.
    There doesn't seem to be any turnover amongst Wal owners really.