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What's with The Walkabout?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jim Wheeler, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. I read many good posts about this unit.

    Please be specific and tell what it is you like about this unit.

  2. WesW

    WesW <><

    Jul 25, 2002
    Lynn Haven, FL
    That's easy, TONE!!!

    Seriously, it's a 13lb wonder - great tone, light weight, and I can over-power my 3 guitarists all playing through mesa's. The controls are simple, yet effective, and it sounds great.
  3. Thanks - and not busting your chops, but seriously: can you be very specific - beyond simple controls (how do you use them) and effective (?), and sounds great?
  4. WesW

    WesW <><

    Jul 25, 2002
    Lynn Haven, FL
    ok, ok, let me see what I can offer here.

    First - I love the tonal variety. If I want clear, clean sound, I simply leave the gain low - say under 9 o'clock, and for more power just crank up the main - this may be obvious to some, so sorry to be simplistic. There is no clip light or anything - so you're really hitting the pre-amp with all that juice if you want dirty - just crank up the gain. And this little guy has plenty of power. When I was looking, I A/B'd it against an SVT III pro - Ampeg, I think, which is supposed to have 350 watts and tube pre- and it's not even close.

    The controls are pretty simple and responsive - but not harsh. I usually play with the bass up about 1, the mids at 1 and the treble straigt up noon - and I like how you can play with the freq's on the parametric - tweak here and there and boost or cut a certain frequency. I get really good response and it does what I want it too.

    And my band always tells me to turn down - "But it's only at 2!!"
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i really wanted to like the Walkabout, and nearly sprang for one, but too many downsides.

    the tone is certainly great. has a smooth, yet nice clarity. nice tubey gloss to the whole of the sound.

    unfortunately, that's about it in terms of positives. of the few i've seen, most seem rather shoddily built. also, the faceplate and knobs seem a bit flimsy.

    but biggest disappointment of all was the EQ, which isnt nearly as powerful or as drastic as i'd like. i thought the parametric EQ was a nice touch, but it too is rather limited sounding. just doesnt sound very musical at all to me.

    e.g. cranking the bass added a woolly blanket over the sound, rather than a punchie low end authority. even when i tried to add some lower mids for that authority, it just sounded woolly. and adding in some high mids for clarity only made for a harsher sound up top.

    now with all this said, if i used the active input, and kept the EQ controls on the Mesa flat, while using my Sadowsky's onboard EQ, the tones were actually REALLY nice thru a pair of Bergantino 1x12s!

    also its 300 watts doesnt seem that loud at all to me. on two occassions with my own Clarus at a local GC, and while comparing the Walka with another clarus at Rudy's music, the clarus was oddly MUCHO louder.

    me thinks the mesa guys should head back to the drawing board for this one. i could find some tones, with some creative use of my gear, but i wanna buy a whole amp, EQ et al., and not just half of one.

    IMHO, there are WAAAAY better little boxes out there, like Eden's WT400 & WT550, EA's iAMP500, heck even the Clarus itself, and the future models from Epifani and Aguilar are all much better options than the cheaply built mesa.
  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    interesting point, Smash. maybe its just not a good fit for my needs.

    but contradictions, aside, the amp's EQ section isnt quite what i've found on the EA iAMP, Eden WT series, nor what's happening on my Aguilar DB680. again, just felt that the EQ wasnt as dramatic enough for me, nor was the semi-parametric EQ, as narrowly "Q'ed" the way i like.

    and, when i say "woolly" i'm referring mostly to the bass knob when in use. turning up the bass knob, suddenly lost that smooth clarity i spoke of before. i was hoping to still have that clarity, but with an added solid low end punch.

    and as for the Clarus reference, at Rudy's Music, i had tried both the Clarus and Walkabout parallelled into two Bergantino 1x12's. and yes, strangely the Clarus seemed a bit more louder.

    now, i'm prolly oversimplifying things, cause there's a host of things that could have been set them apart. but FYI, both were set flat, with no EQ'ing, and i was using my Sadowsky's onboard EQ. with that said, maybe the Walkabout, in its tonal repose, could have a naturally, slightly mid dipped voicing for that smoother, easier response, which makes it not as "inyourface" as the Clarus, which i find to be deadly accurate and flatly responsed.

    and unfortunately, the walkabout's i handled did seem a little shoddy. but then again, one of them was at a GC, so go figure. :rolleyes:

    all in all, in its price range and class, i MUCH prefer the Walkabout over similar products from GK, SWR, and especially that craptastic Ampeg Portabass head. with a few more tweaks however, i think it could be a bit more.

    heck, if Mesa went back, revoiced the EQ for a punchier sound, gave each frequency of the parametric EQ a slightly smaller "Q", and put it into a single rack preamp for bass, then they'd REALLY have something. :cool:

    hopefully, Tombolus will chime in, cause he's pretty happy with his Walkabout, and add yet another "informed" opinion.
  7. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I gotta agree with Joker, I found them a bit dissapointing. I heard them at NAMM (a bad place to hear things) and thought it sounded great, so I went to Gelb music (a nice store where people don't beat up the stuff) and was immediately turned off by loose and scratchy knobs. It did sound nice but I found the EQ to be weak.

    I ended up A/B'ing it with a more expensive Eden 400 through an Eden 2x10 and many Aguilar cabs playing a Lull and a Lakland and found the Mesa to sound good but the Eden sounded great. I bought the Eden which was odd as I went specifically to buy the Walkabout.

    So that's 2 of us :)
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    trust me Smash,

    i REALLY wanted to like it. especially after hearing, all the good things Tombolus was getting with his WB / Epifani setup, and a few other guys said they loved it with their aguilar GS112.

    but then again, cant go wrong with the gents who have been having success with it!
  9. You know, opinions are like rear ends, everyone has them.

    Both of you make legitimate points. In my case I found the WalkAbout very portable (due to its light weight), very well constructed (ease of tube swapping & great knobs/pots, and a total tone monster (clear and bell-like to a total tube grind). It's not as loud as I would like, but it compares to most other 300W amps... in fact it is louder than many. The only thing I didn't like was the new price. Because of the no (or very little) dicker price, it was a bit steep.

    Still, I compared it directly to an Eden WT300 (I live just down the road from them) and really wanted to buy the Eden, but couldn't get the tube grind out of it; or the volume. In the end I went with the WalkAbout and have NEVER looked back. Sure, I'd like a Walter Woods or maybe a full Aguilar setup, and I trully lust for a Trace Elliot V6, but I have to live in the real world and that makes the WalkAbout right for me!
  10. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I have looked at the Walkabout Scout combo with the 1-12 cabinet. I have never owned any boogie stuff, but a guitarist friend has the Roadking head and several different cabs and I have been very impressed. I play a variety of music from a church orchestra to a classic rock/jazz group and a maiden/metallica group.l usually play an Ampeg 115HP 225 watt combo at the church gig, and a SVT Pro 3 head with SWR 1-15 and 2x10 Goliath cabs for the other gigs. I have a Peavey Cirrus 6, a Spector 5, and a P-bass with flatwounds and 1/4 pounder pickups. I wondered if I could sell all the amps and cabs,and get the Boogie combo with the 1-12 extension cabinet for all the stuff I play. It would be much easier on my back :) but I can't really tell by playing it in a store and thats a big financial screw up if I'm wrong. What do you guys think? Is that a crazy idea from listening to too much Boogie hype?
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I must be straddling the line, here, because I love both my Walkabout and my iAMP 800, though admittedly they are very different beasts. Personally, I can dial in a tone more quickly with my Walkabout, though generally, I dig its tone set flat so much that I don't tweak it. The iAMP takes me much longer to dial in, but ultimately it is more flexible than the Walkabout. Actually, now that I have my Walkabout back (had a speakon speaker output and a 1/4" line output added to it), I may slave it off of my iAMP to use for a "dirty" cab, and use the iAMP to power a "clean" cab or two.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I liked the Walkabout I used to have. However, like Joker said, you boost the bass, and it really muddies the sound up. I kept if flat for the most part. I think that EA has a more musical sounding EQ. It is just different. Would I get a Walkabout again? Maybe, but if I can get an iAMP cheaper, I would definitely go that route. Versatility, sound, and power are all equal and in most cases better then the MESA.

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