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WW Ultra vs. Super

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


  1. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I did a quick comparison between a new WW Ultra and a Super, both made by Walter in the last 3 months. I used a Schnitzer & DeSola DB, Fishman FC, and an LDS 3x8 3 way. The band was low volume and the room was small. I switched back and forth over 2 hours, playing solo and with the group. All tone controls were at WW's recommended 'flat' settings. Volume controls were matched.

    As you might expect, there's not much difference between the two. But I did notice two differences.
    1) I heard the Ultra push more of the fundamental on the lowest notes of the 'E' string. It did so in a way that was artificial to the DB, but was the kind of thing you'd want in an electric band. This extra low-end was not as apparent on the Super making the Super more 'natural' sounding for DB.
    2) The Super seemed to capture more of the 'air' sound of the bass, that bit of acoustic sound that helps separate a DB from a BG. I've heard this called 'purf' elsewhere. There might have been a few other acoustic details the Super was better at reproducing too, but I didn't have the opportunity to figure out what they might be.

    Notes: I realized after this demo that these are the same kind of results I often got when testing high-end audiophile amplifiers. Many times a manufacturer had a line of amps separated by a small amount of money. In most cases, the 'little brother' amp was the better sounding one. Of course, when there was a huge leap in cost between the models in the line, the more expensive amps usually were a lot better. In the case of the WW's, the relative price difference is small. These results are the same as I got when running an AI Focus and an AI Clarus SL. I often found the Clarus SL better sounding - again my testing was at relatively low volumes only (jazz quartet in small room levels).

    Conclusion? I'm sure the Ultra has the extra headroom you'd need on a high-volume gig. And at that volume, the differences I heard would not be discernable. The Super does have a lot of juice and may be the better choice for tone. Your results may vary!
     
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Without bothering Walter, is there a list/brochure/whatever of what amps and the differences and prices that WW is building these days?

    I just can't imagine calling him up and asking for an amp and he asks what do you want . . . I don't know, what do you got? The Super, the Ultra, the Maxi, the Overnight . . .

    There must be some secret list somewhere.
     
  3. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Actually you could call him - he's very cordial and candid. At last look, Super - $1849. Ultra - $2249. 2nd day shipping adds a few dollars.
     
  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Thanks. I ordered the M-100 way back when life was in black and white and he used to have an ad (IIRC) in the back of the Rufus Reid book.