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Which bass gets the best Wal sound (without taking a second mortgage)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dbt25677, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Dbt25677


    Jun 9, 2013
    Been listenin' to Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which Flea recorded with a Wal MK II.

    Which bass could probably cop the Wal sound (without taking out a second mortgage)?

    I have a Jazz Bass, and it doesn't quite get it, but do you think a MM Stingray might get it? (thinking about the song Give It Away, link: )

  2. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I don't know if there is one. Wal basses are just that way.
  3. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Flea played a MM SR5 on *Funky Monks* on that same album.
    So you can directly compare both bass sounds using similar recording/production techniques.
  4. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    It sounds far more complicated within the mix - especially such a heavily 'produced' album like BSSM - but if you listen to the isolated bass track, you can replicate the tone more accurately thank you think. A lot of it is the right strings, tension and attack. A hot bridge pickup and just the right amount of overdrive and you're good to go.

  5. Systolic

    Systolic Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I'm an avid Tool fan and have been working towards those tones for a while. Had to get a T-40 to somewhat cop the Ric sound of Paul D'Amour. Justin Chancellor plays a Wal and i've tried many basses to get that tone. P's, J's, Rays, Spector, Warwick, Peavey, Ibby, Epiphone, Gibson....you name it.

    So...IME/IMHO: Some sort of Ray variant seems to get the closest for me. They seem to have the right midrange complexity for the sound and you kinda get that aggressive sizzle that, I think, makes a Wal stand out. If you can find and install one of those filter preamps that i've heard people talk about, you're probably gonna get close enough.

    Also, while not as close, a Warwick that has some big humbuckers seems to be the runner up with some careful EQ'ing.
  6. I read somewhere that Justin from Tool (famous wal user) had some carvin basses made at one point. Might want to check into that.
  7. I would say that Fleas sound on a Wal is not the sound I associate with them at all!! Listen to Percy jones (brand x) for a fretless Wal and Alan Spenner also (played on some Roxymusic).

    I always thought a Wal to have a woodier version of an MM Stingray or Sabre sound. The Warwicks of late 80s/early 90s did something similar.

    Until I heard that Flea had used a Wal on that album I would never have guessed!!
  8. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    G&L L-2000

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