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WW100 a boomy mess at high volume

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by flatback, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    So I have been playing thru the WW Low power into a LDS 1x8 using the new Vektor pickup and sometimes another pick up too (into other channel to get more gain) and once I get the woods to 3 o clock (master) the sound turns into a boomy mess.
    On a lot of gigs this little rig works great, but when I need volume to cut thru (like last night in a very noisy room) the sound gets very messy when the amp is pushed. OK so heres the question: I have been reading about headroom and actual decibel gain and all that, but on a practical level, if I scrap the WW low power (100 watts) and get the new focus or a focus II (400watts) is that going to solve my problem? I am really hoping that being able to turn all the volume knobs (on the gigpro, the WWpreamp and the mains) down by half will get me (at high volume)what the rig sounds like at low volume. Will the Focus get me that much more? Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Without being in the same room it's hard to tell. When I use an amp, it's the Woods LoPower and a GK 112MBX cabinet with a Realist. I've had the volume on the pre up at around 5 or 6 with the master at around 8 and, to me, that's pretty ****ing loud. I have to futz with the sound an dgenerally end up with something that's more treble than I would usually play. but then again, it's louder than I usually play (****ing weddings).

    Where's your cabinet?
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Not sure if this has been discussed before but would it be possible to run the WW 100 into the Focus SA? From what is advertised, the Focus SA in combination with another AI head is ok and gets you more power.
  4. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I guess I would look at the cabinet and then the pickup before I considered the amplifier to be the problem in a case like this. Especially the WW; I've used the Lo-Power version myself for about seven years now without troubles, recognizing the fact that different combinations of speaker cab/pickup really get different results with this (or any) amplifier.
    The only time I really think the amplifier itself is definitely the thing to be changed (in the case of a high-quality component like the Woods) is when the speaker cabinet is poorly matched to it; my WW, for example, was a terrible match with an Acme B2 cabinet (which requires quite a bit of power), so I use an Eden WT400 with that cab instead.
    The other thing to consider is that some overall volume levels are just not realistic with certain rigs. My WW with a small cabinet is not the best thing to crank up to unreasonable levels, like with a too-loud big band or a rockabilly act or something. The Eden/Acme combination, however, works just fine in such situations (and is overkill in smaller ones). As always, finding the right tool for the job is the trick, and a 1x8 cabinet with a small amp might not serve to fight a loud room (which, in any case, is usually a losing battle).
  5. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    flatback, I do not think that you are using the MI-100 as it was intended to be used.

    I recently bought one and received the original instructions with it. Walter is pretty clear that unless you really have to, do NOT turn the master knob above noon.

    For lots of volume, I generally end up with the channel volume at 3 and the master at noon. That is LOUD. And this is with a LDS 2x8.

    Also, at high volumes expect to have to take off some bass and possibly low-mid. Your sound will suffer, but what do you expect? That's an issue with the capabilities of the cabinet, not the head.

    Ed seems to know what he is talking about. WW amps are not made to have the master cranked...
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I got a chance to A/B both my Walter Woods Ultra and MI 400 -8 with a Focus recently while Ken Jung and I were listening to it together. I have to tell you that, although this wasn't on a gig, we both felt that my bass, with
    a Realist, into the LDS 3x8 sounded better with the Walter Woods Ultra.
    That said. Walter Woods amplifiers don't have the Notch/Lo Pass filter that the Focus has, so you're not going to be able to find the offending frequency and control it without something like the Gig Pro.

    Since we have the same pre amp, it's difficult to know what to say here. I would try disconnecting one of the pick ups first to see it that helps.
    IMHO when you use both inputs on the same instrument to increase the gain, the amp has to work harder and distortion may be an issue. Increasing the power on that small a cabinet may help, but since it only has a single 8"woofer there is a limit to how much power the unit will take.

  7. I believe the biggest factor in boominess at higher volumes is low frequencies. When I had my newer Woods, rolling off the bass did not slove the problem. It took away the meat of the sound and still left the boom. That's why I feel the variable high-pass filter is essential. You know the AI heads have one. The Fishman Pro Platinum bass EQ/pre has it. Maybe you could try one.

    On the other hand, it could also be a function of the Vektor. It seems to me, anything boasting "mic-like" quality would also be prone to this.

    More and more, I am of the opinion that "my bass only louder" is impractical and unreachable. Instead, I am quite satisfied with an amplified sound that pleasantly compliments my acoustic tone, witihout perverting it. Let's face it, it's the sound of an amplified bass coming through a speaker, for better or worse. After a certain volume, it starts to sound "unnatural" regardless.
  8. This is an interesting point. I wonder if 2 channel amps are designed with the understanding that both channels could be fed simultaneously from essentially the same source, and how this would affect the power section, compared to, for example, guitar and vocal. Especially since we are talking about watt-sucking bass frequencies in both channels. In theory, would you have more headroom by mixing the two signals into one channel prior to the preamp section, or is it 6 of one and a half-dozen of the other?
  9. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I noticed that you said "very noisy room", now I'm assuming that that means people were talking quite a lot, and not listening to the band.
    If that was the situation, it's an losing battle. You could have a "SVT" or
    a Eden WT 800, and if the crowds large enough, and not in there to listen they will increase the level of their conversations loud enough to drown you out.
    You will undoubtedly be able to fix the bass response problem with a new amplifier or the gig pro, but the crowd, if it's reasonably large is gonna win the battle every time!!!!!
  10. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Thanks all,
    I have a gigpro for the Vektor that has a low pass filter on it and I had it on all the way. THe Cab may be 8ohms...least that's what it says on the back. Because it is so bright a cab I am really hesitant to roll off any more bass the I already have...no way I can run this rig at noon for the master...I'm going to try to run the cab as an extension of the GK112 just to see what that sounds like (with the solstice as pre) and how much gain that has...I think they are roughly the same watts. Ya know it mighta just been too damn noisy in that big room though cause i have played this rig with a loud band and cut like butta.

    Tbal brings up a really good point about the 2 channel thing..but I dont hear distortion with the added gain.Tbal what are you using now?

    I wish one of you other cats would try the Vektor though cause when you A/B it with the next best anything (FC, R, U, SCH etc.) it is just so much better a sound...and still pick up like enough that it has a lot of presence.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

  12. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Yea I know...but when you hear the Vektor next to the FC it just has so much more compexity without spreading too thin that I think that some of you cats at least ought to try it. I love the FC/mic blended sound and can't argue with it but the Vektor just has a unique sound....IMHo
    Cuppla weeks ago I threw on my old FC bridge just cause after a minute I alway doubt myself, and took it off again forthwith.Just sounded too conjested.
    ...course i opened this thread with a complaint of boomyness...
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I think more than anything you may be dealing with the fact that you can only move so much air with a single 1x8.

  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Is it possible that the speaker is bottoming out? I don't know the LDS 1x8 design, but a 12" speaker would probably be a lot more efficient, and would be an economical way to get a noticeable volume boost. If you are handy with a saw, I have a nice little DIY 1x12 design that uses a $48 Eminence 150-W driver from Madisound. I use it as an extension for my GK MB150E combo, and it is pictured in this forum with my failed attempt at a DIY power amp. Otherwise, the GK 1x12 is a good candidate.

    At the very least, trying the WW with a different cabinet would rule out the 1x8 as the problem.

    (If you really want the mouse that roared, I also have a 1x15 design that actually sounds good with URB).
  15. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    The more I think about it, I just wouldn't trust a 1x8 enclosure to handle any serious volume. IMHO even a 1x10 fares a lot better. I was very impressed by a Bag End 1x10 that I played through twice. And a 1x12... probably even better than the 10!
  16. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Ok so on the gig last night I fiddled with some knobs and realized (major DUH) that somehow the gain on the gigpro had been attenuated. So here I was cranking the amp way up into Plutoville when in fact it has plenty of umph (for the kind of gigs i am using it for)
    The 1x8 has lots of volume and I specifically moved away from the major schlep cabs (15's, 12's,) cause this little LDS is so sweet. (a bit harsh too...) but well when the EA 2x8 comes out I'm gunna start to sweat for it.
    Last night I had the 1x8 up on a PA stand and I have to say it is so nice not to balance it on a chair or to try and hear it when it is on the floor. The PA stand is as light as can be and fits right on top of the LDS (for the schlep...which has the fantastic removable cart feature)
    I really gotta get the AMT tho cause its gunna sound so good as a blend...
    played exhausting insensitive bebop last night, man I sometimes find it really hard to support these cats all night when they seem like they just aint listening (I've said to this drummer maybe too tree times now to listen to some Peter Erskine or Jack D or any modern drumming musician) This cat seems intent on @#%$ing up my eardrums.
    I tried to explain to him that the drummer is in control of the DYNAMIC LEVEL OF THE BAND AND IT IS AS IMPORTANT A RESPONSIBILITY AS THE TIME IS. If everybody is in the screaming range of their instrument ALL NIGHT LONG then that kind of limits what can be expressed...I made them pay me more just to put up with that.
    sorry to vent...
    Thanks for all the input and suggestions.
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Major Schlep Cabs? Now I really know that I'm living out in the sticks. Here, a major schlep is anything that won't fit into the humvee ;)
  18. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    But not at the cost of being "creative". I'm being sarcastic.
  19. Actually Ric Vice brought it up, but it made me curious. I haven't noticed any distortion, either. I'm using Realist/AMT > Focus2 > LDS 1x8 or VL208 for louder stuff.
  20. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Beers, double-check, man, I think you've got it backwards. Otherwise, I bet if you double-checked with Walter he'd say he had a typo.

    You want to set the PREAMP generally below 12:00. Much higher will tend to deliver a distorted signal, depending on how hot your pickup is and what you EQ is like etc.

    Run the master volume as high as you need to to get your sound out.

    I've run every amp I have owned since 1975 that way, including my MI-100.