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Your WAL, how does it look and sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, May 8, 2003.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    I am a BIG fan of WAL basses. i can not afford done, but i love how these basses are built, sound and look.

    So i open this thread looking for some information and related pics about your WALS.

    I'd appreciate some information about how you could describe the sound of your WAL. If you have a 5 string please tell me about the low B sound too!

    thanks a lot

    ps i know.. i know... you WAL players are SOOOOOOO lucky!!!
  2. Used to have two 5 strings a white fretted with an all walnut body and a mahogany body, flame maple with wild finish facings fretless.

    I loved the sound of both but the fretless was my fav. I found the low B on both to be very good.

    I do not have any pictures as I have sold them both, but there is a picture of the fretless in the Wal site.

    www.walbasses.com look under past bases of the month November/December 2000.


  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I'm a big fan, and I've had several of Wals:
    --a MkII (24 fret) fretted 4 with walut facings and gold hardware
    --a transparent red 5 with olive ash facings, ebony board and chrome hardware
    --a MkI (21 fret) fretted 4 with wenge facings and chrome hardware
    --a MkIII 4 with shedua facings and gold hardware
    --a fretless 5 with walnut facings and chrome hardware
    --an all-black MkIII 5 with ebony board and gold hardware

    You can see a picture of the two MkIII's over on the Wal site under Walnuts (http://walbasses.homestead.com/Zimmerman.html), and photos of a couple of the others over in Steph's Wal database (http://www4.cs.fau.de/~koesters/Privat/Wal/walspec.html). The MkIII 4 is my favorite, and it's the only one I currently own. (It's also in the Wal shop being customized with flamed redwood facings and gloss finish at the moment, but that's another story....)

    All the Wals I've owned have a sort of characteristic low-mid growl with lots of articulation, but there were definate differences between different woods and finishe The natural satin-finished ones with the rosewood boards tended to have more of a low-mid focus rather than a really deep sound, with the highs a bit compressed. The walnut was a bit warmer sounding, and the shedua and wenge a bit harder and punchier. The two hard-finished basses (red and black 5s) with ebony boards retained the mids, but were deeper and tighter on the low end, and more open on the top end--a little less growly and more modern sounding, but still with that Wal "cut" that you could hear anywhere in the mix.

    As for the low B, it was fine on all three of the Wal 5's that I've owned, especially with the right strings (MTDs for me).

  4. Mike pretty much nailed describing the Wal tone. They are definitely well made and attractive looking (to me at least). I love my Mach III 5 string (see my avatar). It has figured maple facings and a rosewood board. There is also a good picture of it at www.walbasses.com .

    I've also just purchased a Wal Mach I with Honduran Mahogany facings. It should be arriving next week. You can see it on that site. It was the bass of the month in March 2003.

  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Jeff, you got that Honduran mahogany one? Cool--it was a beauty. I'll be curious how you find the tone compares to your blue 5...

  6. Jeff

    Just looked up your new Wal on the walbasses.com

    It looks an absolute peach. Can you post a review so we can hear your thoughts on it.


  7. Thanks guys. I'll post a review/comparison as soon as possible.

  8. Mike, interested to know why you are replacing the shedua facing with flamed redwood gloss. Could you let us in on the "other story" and also what you expect the redwood will do to the tone.

    thanks, Max
  9. Here at last is a photo of my Wal to go with my earlier post[​IMG] :D
  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska

    I loved the way the MkIII bass felt and played, but I really wanted something that fell between that tone and the tone of the black gloss 5 that I owned that the same time--more open highs and deeper lows than the satin-finish shedua, but still with some woodiness.

    Also, shedua is a fairly common Wal facing, but it's not really my favorite to look at. After 6 of them I just felt like I wanted something a bit unusual as a "keeper". A friend and fellow Wal-nut had sent a big piece of flamed redwood over to Pete Stevens for a special (yet to be finished) "25th Anniversary" bass, and there was enough left over for a couple of sets of facings. I saw one of them on Wal page August 2002 "Bass of the Month" and just loved the way it looked, and my friend graciously offered to let me use the other set and to make the arrangements with Pete if I chose to have my bass redone. (He'd also sold me the bass in the first place, so he knew it well!)

    It was just kind of a unique opportunity, especially since there was another person willing to carry the bass over there for me on a trip. Still, I've been without my baby for several months now, and I miss it!

  11. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    You guys are giving me Wal gas again! :p
  12. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    sweet bridge design!

  13. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    this one looks TWEED!!!


    nice stuff!

    me want!

  14. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Hey Jeff ya gonna let me take that baby for a testride?:D :cool:
  15. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    Please keep these beutiful pics coming. I love the looks of all of them.
  16. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    matthewfoote: that's a nice burst.

    i think WAL does the nicest burst finishes. not TOO dramatic.


    mmm. me want!

  17. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    matthewfoote: Thats yours? Lucky sonofa...:) I've seen that one before on the Past Bass Archive and I fell in love with the finish instantly :) I'm buying a pre-made body and having a fretless neck made for it in the future and I'm hoping that I can get a finish similiar to that.
  18. Hi Guys,

    unfortunately, I got rid of that bass about 18 months - 2 years ago, due to it's weight and my bad back.

    I really regret selling the bass as it was a real looker and the fretless tone was supurb, especially as my back is now better after a couple of operations.

    From talking ot Gard, I gather that Pete Stevens has remembered how he did the burst and is or will be making another in the near future.

  19. As promised, I've only had the Honduran Mahogany faced Wal Mach I for a few days and I haven't had a chance to play it with a band. In fact I just restrung it last night and did a very quick setup on it (additional tweaks will be made over the weekend) so these are just my initial thoughts. Take into account that I'm comparing a satin-finished 4 and hard-poly finished 5 string.

    I love the looks of this bass. The Mach I body is not as comfy as my Mach III and it has a slight tendency towards neck-dive but certainly not to an exteme. The Mach I's neck is in perfect condition and has a very pronounced (to me at least) V shape to it whereas my Mach III has a nice C shape. The neck width is very similar to that of a Pbass neck. Fretwork is excellent as you would expect and I'm adjusting to this neck's different feel as I play it more and more.

    Well, I don't have the way with words that Mike Z. has but hey, this bass is a Wal and it has that Wal sound that I love so much. I tried my bread and butter settings that I use on my 5 with the 4 and I have found that the 4 is more open/aggressive sounding than my 5 which leans towards a more focused/modern sound. It has a very pronounced low-mid gruntyness to it and I've found that some EQ settings that I don't like on my 5 work great on the 4 and vice versa. My thoughts are that this has alot to do with the finish differences between the two basses. I'll give you guys more info after I get to play with a group.

    To be continued...............

  20. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    You mean, you don't run off at the mouth like I do. ;)

    Thanks a bunch, Jeff! I look forward to hearing more after you've played it with the band.

    I have one specific question about those settings that seem to work with one bass but not the other--a specific setting, in fact. On my hard-finished 5, I could roll the tone controls all the way down to 1.5-2 and get a really deep "dub" sound that was still very solid. With the satin-finished basses, if I rolled the tone down that low, the tone started to sound a little "choked", because those dominant midrange frequencies were getting cut and they didn't seem to have those "lowest lows" that the hard-finished 5 did, even when playing in the same note/fret ranges.

    I don't know if it's because they were 4's, or because they were (mostly) lighter than the 5, or because of the finish--I'm curious whether your two basses can shed some light on that.


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