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What's so great about Wal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rojo412, Apr 28, 2000.


  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I was paging through the inventory at Bass NW and they have a Wal 2 Octave. It's $3000 and I asked myself "Self, who in their right mind would pay this much for this bass?"
    It's all black, a bolt on neck. There's no beautiful wood top, no graphite neck, no layers of wood, no boats no lights no motorcars, not a single luxury. They are ugly as sin, but this one is especially lame. What's the deal?

    ------------------
    "I'm no hero. I just like to hit people on the head." - Nelson
     
    gebass6 and Amano like this.
  2. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Well, for one thing, the sound is pretty awsome. Also, at least when Ian Waller was alive, they were made individually and customized. I would never buy one without playing it, but I would love to have one, if I could afford it. Also, since they are made in England, they do seem to sell much cheaper used over there than over here. On the whole, I think they're quite rare in the US and that's what contributes to the high market price.

    By the way, I've seen the 4-string on the Bass Northwest site and agree that it's not a real attractive picture. Now that I think about it, that bass has been there for a long time, which leads me to believe that they're asking more for it than it's worth.

    I forgot to mention that, of course, to many there is a mystique associated with the Wal due to Geddy Lee's use of one throughout much of the 80's and 90's.

    By the way, here's a site run by one of the Wal guys you should check out for more information, if interested.
    http://members.xoom.com/walman01/wal/index.html

    And, if you ever come across a Wal 4-string for sale below $1800.00, be sure to let me know!!!

    [This message has been edited by Saint (edited April 28, 2000).]
     
    Jabba the bass likes this.
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I can imagine that the basses sound pretty good. But if the homely one featured on Bass NW goes for $3000, how much is the 6 string with the figured wood body and SimS LED's? How much do they go for in England? If you know, in $US, of course...

    ------------------
    "I'm no hero. I just like to hit people on the head." - Nelson
     
  4. Amoilbasso

    Amoilbasso

    Apr 22, 2000
    Florence
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rojo412:
    I was paging through the inventory at Bass NW and they have a Wal 2 Octave. It's $3000 and I asked myself "Self, who in their right mind would pay this much for this bass?"
    It's all black, a bolt on neck. There's no beautiful wood top, no graphite neck, no layers of wood, no boats no lights no motorcars, not a single luxury. They are ugly as sin, but this one is especially lame. What's the deal?

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    listen,man:I agree with the fact that that back model is not very attractive,of course!
    But I have tried some Wals,that were built with beautiful woods,and above all their sound was unique!I have tryed a lot of high-end basses,but just afew of them really left me something inside(in the ears,in the hart,and above all in the stomach) [​IMG]ne of this basses was the Wal(especially the fretless one).
     
  5. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rojo412:
    I can imagine that the basses sound pretty good. But if the homely one featured on Bass NW goes for $3000, how much is the 6 string with the figured wood body and SimS LED's? How much do they go for in England? If you know, in $US, of course...
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can imagine that the basses sound pretty good. But if the homely one featured on Bass NW goes for $3000, how much is the 6 string with the figured wood body and SimS LED's? How much do they go for in England? If you know, in $US, of course...

    A while back, Bruce Lindfield told me that he saw a couple of used Wals in London that were priced in the $1200-1400 range. I made some calls, but couldn't land one, and haven't really checked since.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes they are still fairly rare in the UK, but you do see them - although they go very quickly, so people must like them! I was in one shop one week and they had 3 or 4, but they were all gone when I came back a few weeks later.

    The Bass Centre in London is currently advertising a "WAL custom (wenge)" for £995.
    www.basscentre.com

    I'm not sure of the exact exchange rate, but basses seem to go for the same in $ as £s although it ought to be more like 2$ to the £. But it's difficult to know what to allow for things like import tax.
     
    ASQTec likes this.
  7. I've never played or heard a Wal bass, but I was told that Flea used one recording 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik', and I really like that sound. Does anybody know wether this is true or what?
     
  8. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by carl-anton:
    I've never played or heard a Wal bass, but I was told that Flea used one recording 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik', and I really like that sound. Does anybody know wether this is true or what?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'd never heard of Flea using one, but that's interesting. I thought he used a MusicMan on that album, but now I've got to go check.

    As for the Wal sound, if you've heard any Rush song recorded from around 1985-1995, you've heard a Wal.
     
  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    I thought Flea used an Alembic Epic bass on that album. He said something about his MusicMan not playing at the same volume all the way up the neck or something like that.
     
  10. Yeah, I also heard about Flea an the Alembic (Epic I guess), but I think it was on 'One Hot Minute' he used it. I read it in an online interview on bassplayers site (very nice!) The Wal information I got from a friend who read it somewhere (bass- or guitarplayer. I think if you listen to the sound on 'Suck My Kiss' it's not the sound a Stingray would give you, or what do you think? Since I've got a Stingray I would like that it could sound this way! Also if you've seen the 'Funky Monks' video or the 'Suck My Kiss' video you see Flea playing on some other bass than the Stingray. If you say that Wal-basses are bulky and ugly that must be the one!
    At least I know he uses the Stingray on 'Areoplane'

    Lars
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    If you want an example of a Wal player, there is Mick Karn - I really liked the sound he got on the later Japan albums like "Tin Drum". At the time I really wanted a fretless Wal like his, but they were about £2,000 in the 80s!! I bought a fretless Westone Thunder 3 instead - which did a reasonable imitation and only cost about £500. They are more reasonable second hand nowadays - although much sought-after by jazz/fusion players.
     
  12. nadjanda

    nadjanda

    Apr 12, 2000
    You should check out Sei basses that are also made in England. I know that Wal basses sound great but they are just sooo ugly. The Sei starts at £1400 which is about $2000 and this includes a seven piece neck through. They are very well crafted and sound great too.
    Check them out at www.seibass.demon.co.uk/
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have! I have visited the Gallery in Camden and the basement where they make all the Sei basses and tried a few of these. I talked to Martin Petersen - who runs this and makes the basses - about getting a custom 6-string made.

    They are custom-only though and it takes at least 6 months to get one made - but they are incredible value! A lot of the pros in the UK use them and you can get famous "cast-offs" - one of those I tried was made for Neil Murray - famous for playing in Whitesnake, Black Sabbath etc, but also in the Jazz-rock canterbury scene.

    I will definitely get one when I have enough cash....I usually buy basses on credit.
     
  14. I've found a 5str Wal for 1170$, seconhand here in sweden. :) The person who is selling it claims he bought it for 36.000SEK which is aprox. 3380$.
    I think I'm gonna' try it out as soon as I can.
     
  15. SquattingDog

    SquattingDog

    Oct 8, 2001
    Tennessee
    Justin Chancellor from Tool plays Wal basses.
     
  16. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Flea used Wals almost entirely throughout the recording of BSSM. He also used a Stingray 5 and a Spector. I have a DVD that's a documentary of the recording, so you see him playing each of the basses! "Give It Away", for example, was recorded on a Wal.

    The guys at Bass NW don't set the prices for consigned equipment...the owners do. I could bring in an MIM Fender Jazz and tell them to sell it for $6000. They may refuse me...but they may not. When the prices go down on a consigned item, it means that either Bass NW called them to ask if they should bring the price down, or that the owner called to have them bring the price down. That's how it works. For some used items, Bass NW buys the bass outright from the customer, so that the customer gets a smaller percentage of the profit right away, and the store has to sell it. I doubt this is one of those, because the price is so high.

    They had a Wal 5 string I considered buying over a year ago for ~$2200 that was worth every penny. They had a 6 string for about the same price. Both had completely figured woods. This 4 string is quite obviously overpriced.
     
  17. $3000 for a brand new Wal is about average. I'm not very fond of the looks of the Wals often referred to as Geddy Lee models. These are like the solid finished Wals Geddy used (the black one and the red one). Believe it or not solid colors, poly finishes, painted necks and gold hardware are extras and increase the cost of the instrument by a few hundred dollars. Most Wals are custom ordered but Bass Central for instance stocks Wals in the most popular configurations available. They aren't for everyone but I love mine. Worth every penny!
     
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Yep, after reading this I just went and skimmed through my video of "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", and he is in fact playing a Wal on a couple of tracks.
     
  19. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    who cares about looks? afterall, in the end, the sound is the only thing that counts! am i right?
    ive only ever seen a wal bass at a tool concert, lol. so i never saw it up close and personal unfortunetly. i once read a interview with justin chancellor (tool bassist) and he said uses a wal primarily because it gives more of a mid-range sound. now, i dont know if this is true or not. he said he had to get that mid-range sound to immitate the sound of tool's orginial bass player(i cant remember his name).
     
  20. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    i often check ebay for a decently priced 4-string wal. well heres a 5-string :( ebay look at this bass! it has cool fret markers that are L.E.D. ive only ever seen this before on limp bizkit's bassist.