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Ant_On_Bass

So has anyone cloned a Wal?

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Atlansia made single pickups, but they haven't been available in ages.

bartolini made J-pickups with quadcoils in the past, but I haven't seen them since late 90's or so.

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16 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

See the first time I was actually 'blown away' by a sound was the hexafuzzz on the original Roland Guitar Synths like the GR300 (was that the blue one)? Where the sound from each string was taken, buffered, distorted and then put together, it got rid of a lot of 'noise' and gave it an amazing sound.

I had a loan of one of those in the 90's - amazing sounding things - the filter options were pretty basic but you're right - the raw tone was nuts.  Really clever 'instant tracking' because it was the sound from the pickup, just wave shaped.

On 28/09/2020 at 00:33, NickA said:

I don't honestly know what the advantage in all those separate coils really is.  Anyone?

I think the idea is that there is more clarity as there is less crosstalk between strings but without having played with one I can't verify.

I was wondering about exactly that question here:

Where there are a couple of 8 coil MM pickups listed.

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I owned some Wal's and even a 4 strings fretless MKI in the early 90's that I bought back twice as I loved the totally unfaithful and unclear sound coming out of this bass.

The Wal has a unique sound that you like or hate, but it's certainly not a clear one thanks to the pickup(s), but can be tweaked so much through the filters based preamp that you might think it's clear. And to add some fun to this, it can become a real nightmare live or in the studio if you or somebody touches the knobs by accident.

To get back to clarity and sound as a Wal pickup is a humbucker it senses the string at two different points, hence creating some phase cancellation, so absolutely not a clear sound. Furthermore, there's some crosstalk between strings as the mini humbuckers per string are then wired in parallel at the output, so the other strings magnets do sense the adjacent(s) string(s).

An Alembic or a Leduc with the dummy coil and full single coils pickups has a real clear, precise and defined sound. And if you like the filters based preamp then go for an Alembic. It will be clear, with the less possible crosstalk thanks to the low power magnets used in the single coils pickups.

I do love both sounds, but they are, strictly speaking, totally opposite and mismatched a lot according to what I'm reading here.

Clarity and absence of crosstalk also come from your playing technique and your ability to mute the unplayed strings...

Edited by Hellzero
Sentence missing
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1 hour ago, bloke_zero said:

I had a loan of one of those in the 90's - amazing sounding things - the filter options were pretty basic but you're right - the raw tone was nuts.  Really clever 'instant tracking' because it was the sound from the pickup, just wave shaped.

I think the idea is that there is more clarity as there is less crosstalk between strings but without having played with one I can't verify.

I was wondering about exactly that question here:

Where there are a couple of 8 coil MM pickups listed.

Very interesting. Need one day to get something like that and add individual buffers to it, see what comes out.

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On 28/09/2020 at 00:33, NickA said:

The Wal pickups do have separate coils for each string (two for each string in fact), but they are not then separately buffered; they are connected in parallel within the pickup.  The earlier Pro IIe basses had the option to switch the coils in series or parallel (there is a little switch on the pickup body), but it was dropped on the Customs (don't know why).  So the individual coils do indeed load each other (string to string).  

As you say ... just like having individually buffered active pickups (like the MECs in my Dolphin). 

I don't honestly know what the advantage in all those separate coils really is.  Anyone?

Are you sure about this?

My Wal 5 is a midi bass version which normally would have required an additional pickup (a la Roland hex) so as to provide a separate output from each string but the Wal pickups were deemed to be appropriate so the bridge pickup ( with one set of raised pole pieces) also doubles as the hex pickup.

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56 minutes ago, EMG456 said:

Are you sure about this?

My Wal 5 is a midi bass version which normally would have required an additional pickup (a la Roland hex) so as to provide a separate output from each string but the Wal pickups were deemed to be appropriate so the bridge pickup ( with one set of raised pole pieces) also doubles as the hex pickup.

I thought that the Wal MIDI bass used the fret sensing system developed by Steve Chick?

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59 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I thought that the Wal MIDI bass used the fret sensing system developed by Steve Chick?

They do.

This is becoming a kind of non sense thread with truckloads of TB like posts.

Edited by Hellzero

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Here's a photo of the guts of a Wall pickup :

WAL_pickup_inside.jpg.6aa5162c07756c29a424e47005e5998a.jpg

Nothing really amazing : 8 coils wired in parallel and series.

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6 hours ago, BigRedX said:

I thought that the Wal MIDI bass used the fret sensing system developed by Steve Chick?

Yes, the circuit made between the string and the fret segments determines the midi note sent out so no delay whilst the system tries to work out the pitch.

The hex pickup senses how hard the string is played for midi velocity information. 

6 hours ago, Hellzero said:

They do.

This is becoming a kind of non sense thread with truckloads of TB like posts.

Mmmm.

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6 minutes ago, EMG456 said:

The hex pickup senses how hard the string is played for midi velocity information. 

Did you see the photo of a naked Wal pickup a bit above ? It coud be used as a hex pickup if each and every coil was completely separated, buffered and self treated, which is not the case as it's a classic humbucker, not designed as a hexaphonic pickup.

Please wake up, there is nothing magical or mysterious about Wal...

Sorry to ruin your myth.

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16 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Did you see the photo of a naked Wal pickup a bit above ? It coud be used as a hex pickup if each and every coil was completely separated, buffered and self treated, which is not the case as it's a classic humbucker, not designed as a hexaphonic pickup.

Please wake up, there is nothing magical or mysterious about Wal...

Sorry to ruin your myth.

Not my myth- the late, great Pete Stevens told me that they were able to dispense with the separate hex pickup because the Wal pickups used individual coils for each string. The pole pieces nearest to the bridge on the bridge pickup are raised up. This may well be a different arrangement to the standard Wal pickup- I don’t know- but I can assure you that the Wal Midi Bass certainly knows which string you are playing even on open strings which do not use the fret sensing circuit at all.

By the way, I don’t believe I made any claim that Wal basses are “magical or mysterious” and I’m perfectly awake thank you, albeit going to bed shortly. 😉

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1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

Please wake up, there is nothing magical or mysterious about Wal...

Apart from the ever increasing prices!

 

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.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
As English not being my first language I misunderstood something, which I now got, hence why the original post was deleted and it is now just a dot.
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.

Edited by NickA
...thereby rendering my reply pointless and confusing!
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18 hours ago, EMG456 said:

Not my myth- the late, great Pete Stevens told me that they were able to dispense with the separate hex pickup because the Wal pickups used individual coils for each string. The pole pieces nearest to the bridge on the bridge pickup are raised up. This may well be a different arrangement to the standard Wal pickup- I don’t know- but I can assure you that the Wal Midi Bass certainly knows which string you are playing even on open strings which do not use the fret sensing circuit at all.

By the way, I don’t believe I made any claim that Wal basses are “magical or mysterious” and I’m perfectly awake thank you, albeit going to bed shortly. 😉

Early versions of the Wal MIDI bass sported a separate pickup for the MIDI part. On later versions it appears to have been incorporated into the standard Wal bridge pickup. Since the pickup portion of the MIDI bass is simply there to sense whether or not a string has been plucked it can be quite rudimentary. I don't know for sure, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that an extra set of individual coils (individually wired) have been fitted onto the pole-pieces closest to the bridge for the MIDI triggering (hence the raised pole-pieces) and the rest of the pickup is just a standard Wal one.

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16 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Early versions of the Wal MIDI bass sported a separate pickup for the MIDI part. On later versions it appears to have been incorporated into the standard Wal bridge pickup. Since the pickup portion of the MIDI bass is simply there to sense whether or not a string has been plucked it can be quite rudimentary. I don't know for sure, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that an extra set of individual coils (individually wired) have been fitted onto the pole-pieces closest to the bridge for the MIDI triggering (hence the raised pole-pieces) and the rest of the pickup is just a standard Wal one.

Like I say, I don't know the detail, just what Pete told me on one of my visits when I was buying the bass.

It could well be as you say but I have to say that the actual bridge pickup sounds pretty much as you would expect a Wal bridge pickup to sound and it does that whilst simultaneously in use for the midi side of things.

I've never looked in detail at the electronics (just works) but I'll have a wee look about next time I change the battery and see what I can see without disturbing anything lol.

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EMG is correct, the rear pickup wiring is Teed into to provide the open note and velocity. 

I too have a Midi 5, and before this I had a Midi 4, and I disassembled them (for check-up, cleaning) and saw the wiring harness tapped into the stock pickup. 

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Unless you're going to use similar pickups (Rautia) and preamp (ACG) it's not going to work. I think even the ACG preamp (EQ001) goes up to about 6kHz so is more like an Alembic filter than a Wal. Plus, he hasn't sold them for at least a year as I asked when they'd be back in stock as I had an idea for a project.

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1 hour ago, Wolverinebass said:

Unless you're going to use similar pickups (Rautia) and preamp (ACG) it's not going to work. I think even the ACG preamp (EQ001) goes up to about 6kHz so is more like an Alembic filter than a Wal. Plus, he hasn't sold them for at least a year as I asked when they'd be back in stock as I had an idea for a project.

Hi

The Lowpass Filter on the EQ01 Goes up to 3.5kHz it is the Highpass filter that goes up to around 8k/Hz. There maybe a limited run of the 02 preamp but exactly when I don’t know with the current situation making get what I actually need pretty difficult. 

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31 minutes ago, skelf said:

Hi

The Lowpass Filter on the EQ01 Goes up to 3.5kHz it is the Highpass filter that goes up to around 8k/Hz. There maybe a limited run of the 02 preamp but exactly when I don’t know with the current situation making get what I actually need pretty difficult. 

Yeah, I figured it was something like that Alan. Also, apologies, I took in the frequency range with the high pass filter. Not taking into account that you could just turn it off.

Personally, I think your uber series with the multi coil pickups have the low end of a Wal with the top end of an Alembic. Great gear squire.

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Hi
 

Thanks for the kind words  

Using just the lowpass filters on the DFM/MC combination covers pretty much the same range as the Wal. The sweepable Mid/Treble goes beyond the range of the filters up to 5.5k/Hz so does not go up quite as high as the Alembic but does add control above the range of the Wal. 

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On 26/03/2013 at 21:26, Ant_On_Bass said:

I'm Interested to know if anyone has managed to clone a Wal or at least clone the pickups? I really love the way they sound but could never afford the prices these go for, so was just wondering if anyone has managed to get a replica made and whether they do actually sound like the original?

Ive made the pickups but with different magnets

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