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stu77

Wal custom MK1

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wow great story and very peculiar looking Wal.  would've ever thought of a banana Wal finish like that. congrats! looks like a 90's Wal....what year was it made out of curiosity

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Real shame about the paint job ... there may be lovely tropical hardwood beneath the banana milk!  Does it have facings or is it "just" solid Mahogany? 

Anyway, the sound IS THE THING and I'm sure it will sound fantastic.  Setup is a simple matter of turning screws and there isn't much to go wrong with the electronics.  Truss rod adjusted to give you about a business card thickness of relief.  Bridge height to get a nice low action according to taste.  Pick up height low enough to stop the strings buzzing the pole pieces but high enough to give some punch.  You can tweak the individual pole pieces of the (16!) pickups - to follow the curve of the finger board - but I'm dubious about the worth.  Certainly squirt some switch cleaner into the pots; take off all the brown plastic connectors that join the pcbs together and give them a squirt too before reconnecing.  Have a twiddle with the little blue "pre-set" pots that you can only get at with the cover removed - one changes the "pick attack" setting and the other sets the overall volume - but moving back and forth will clean them up.  And fit a new battery.  Oh ... some (particularly US based) Wal players reckon the electrolytic capacitors can start to leak and that not only spoils the sound it can damage the circuit boards; so have a look at the little black cylinderical capacitors and see if they are either bulging or leading sticky stuff .... if so, get the circuit boards off to Electric Wood ASAP.

.. and enjoy! :¬)

Welcome to planet Wal.

 

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13 hours ago, NickA said:

Real shame about the paint job ... there may be lovely tropical hardwood beneath the banana milk!  Does it have facings or is it "just" solid Mahogany? 

Anyway, the sound IS THE THING and I'm sure it will sound fantastic.  Setup is a simple matter of turning screws and there isn't much to go wrong with the electronics.  Truss rod adjusted to give you about a business card thickness of relief.  Bridge height to get a nice low action according to taste.  Pick up height low enough to stop the strings buzzing the pole pieces but high enough to give some punch.  You can tweak the individual pole pieces of the (16!) pickups - to follow the curve of the finger board - but I'm dubious about the worth.  Certainly squirt some switch cleaner into the pots; take off all the brown plastic connectors that join the pcbs together and give them a squirt too before reconnecing.  Have a twiddle with the little blue "pre-set" pots that you can only get at with the cover removed - one changes the "pick attack" setting and the other sets the overall volume - but moving back and forth will clean them up.  And fit a new battery.  Oh ... some (particularly US based) Wal players reckon the electrolytic capacitors can start to leak and that not only spoils the sound it can damage the circuit boards; so have a look at the little black cylinderical capacitors and see if they are either bulging or leading sticky stuff .... if so, get the circuit boards off to Electric Wood ASAP.

.. and enjoy! :¬)

Welcome to planet Wal.

 

Ah, just a plain mahogany body, no facings mentioned on the back of the plate and originally yellow from the workshop according to Paul at electric wood. I love it and i've got it pretty well set up now. It is a truly remarkable bass and I'm so happy to be a citizen of planet wal, I just wish my playing was up to the quality of the instrument :) . Thanks for the heads up about the capacitors, i'll have a check of the circuit. 

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UNIQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :-)

Re:  what the heck do all these controls do? :) 

Top Neck end is volume: obviously.  But pull it out and it boosts very high frequencies, gives a bit more "pick attack"

Top Bridge end is balance between the two pickups:  also obvious. 

The two bottom knobs are individual low pass filters for the two pickups, knob position sets the low pass frequency - so you can have bass only from the neck and full range from the bridge pickup (which is a popular Wal sound).  Pull out the filter knobs and it boosts the volume at the low pass frequency - and a bit below - also messing with the phase of the pickup so that some frequencies add and some subtract, all kinds of weirdness there; to be used with caution and discretion.   I only discovered recently, from a fellow Wal player, that setting the LP filter to 10 (full range) and pulling it out does boost the high frequencies a bit - should you need more twang.

 

Edited by NickA
old question

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The colour is amazing! 

I much prefer painted Wals (actually painted any bass really).

 I'd rather not have something that looks like a sideboard strapped to me... :D

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I have a great love of "sideboard" instruments.  I guess it comes from owning a double bass then being bombarded with Wals and Warwicks in my yoof.

All 4 of my basses (5 inc DB) are well worth a good polish :¬).  One day though, I will buy a Stingray, and it will be painted, preferably stealth BLACK with a black pick guard (and black gear)!  It's all a bit pervy, I know,  but each to his own ;¬) :¬)

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2 minutes ago, NickA said:

One day though, I will buy a Stingray, and it will be painted, preferably stealth BLACK with a black pick guard (and black gear)!  It's all a bit pervy, I know,  but each to his own ;¬) :¬)

Now that's something I can agree on.

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4 hours ago, NickA said:

UNIQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :-)

Re:  what the heck do all these controls do? :) 

Top Neck end is volume: obviously.  But pull it out and it boosts very high frequencies, gives a bit more "pick attack"

Top Bridge end is balance between the two pickups:  also obvious. 

The two bottom knobs are individual low pass filters for the two pickups, knob position sets the low pass frequency - so you can have bass only from the neck and full range from the bridge pickup (which is a popular Wal sound).  Pull out the filter knobs and it boosts the volume at the low pass frequency - and a bit below - also messing with the phase of the pickup so that some frequencies add and some subtract, all kinds of weirdness there; to be used with caution and discretion.   I only discovered recently, from a fellow Wal player, that setting the LP filter to 10 (full range) and pulling it out does boost the high frequencies a bit - should you need more twang.

 

Aha, now that is what I needed to know, thanks for the info. I've tried playing around with the controls and discovered some amazing tones but it's all been purely random chance. Now maybe I can see what really happens. One thing though, the top neck end control isn't a push pull on my bass or else it's seized (which is perhaps more likely). 

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I'll pile on to say 'wow', very nice bass you got. I like the color. Yup looks to be made after '89. 

The only control that doesnt have a pull up feature is the mixer pot. If one of your tone pots isnt pulling, then its stuck, which certainly can happen. I freed one of mine up by removing the knob up top and dribbling a tiny bit of Deoxit on a toothpick and carefully channeling a couple of drips down the shaft, reinstall the knob and work it in.

As for the eq controls, my normal playing style is leaving the knobs down 99% of the time, just filter off high end a couple of notches. I only pull up when I want something pretty extreme...my Mesa amps are very bright as-is, so very rarely do I go looking for more trebly. 

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8 hours ago, mikeswals said:

I'll pile on to say 'wow', very nice bass you got. I like the color. Yup looks to be made after '89. 

The only control that doesnt have a pull up feature is the mixer pot. If one of your tone pots isnt pulling, then its stuck, which certainly can happen. I freed one of mine up by removing the knob up top and dribbling a tiny bit of Deoxit on a toothpick and carefully channeling a couple of drips down the shaft, reinstall the knob and work it in.

As for the eq controls, my normal playing style is leaving the knobs down 99% of the time, just filter off high end a couple of notches. I only pull up when I want something pretty extreme...my Mesa amps are very bright as-is, so very rarely do I go looking for more trebly. 

Great, thanks for the advice on the sticky pot, i'll give that a try. I have a can of servisol switch cleaner which I'm guessing is similar to Deoxit? 

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On 1/1/2018 at 12:05, stu77 said:

Happy New Year to all Basschat members. 

Ok, so I’ve been dipping in and out of the site for the past month or so to see what’s what (and to read some very interesting / funny threads) but there's nothing new been added to the thread about the Wal and with no news from anywhere else I think it’s time I can actually call it my own. 

So, as promised (if anyone is still interested) here are some pics. As soon as you see them you may understand why I didn’t want to just post pics etc but rather wanted someone to come forward and say “is it serial number $%^$&* and is it such and such a finish?”. Being such a distinctive bass nobody could have guessed the details i don’t think so it would have been pretty apparent that they actually knew the instrument! I can’t imagine there are many like it out there?!!!

as I haven’t heard a thing from anyone about it or even a hint of a mention of it anywhere I’m really hoping that I’ll be it’s new custodian from now on but if these pics throw up any new leads i’ll follow them up for sure.

A little bit about the instrument. It was virtually unplayable when I found it; action was through the roof and the neck was so loose in the pocket it would move from side to side with little effort. I appreciate some people may have liked and played a set up like that (apart from the loose neck perhaps) but I got the feeling it hadn't been played for a while. It all just needed a little tweaking though and now it plays wonderfully, though it does still have some electrical problems. a quick once over by electric wood at some point will sort that I’m sure.

Ok, so over to the pictures to tell the rest of the story. Not a beautifully exotic wood faced instrument and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea (or glass of banana milk?) but…it’s….a….wonderful…..WAL (and definitely not something you ever expect to find at a bootsale so keep your eyes peeled!). 

DSCF6303.jpg

DSCF6304.jpg

DSCF6309.jpg

I'm sure that bass was in the Gallery once, many years ago. I'm sure I remember playing it, unless there's more than one that colour, which I would've thought unlikely. 

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On 11/01/2018 at 21:42, stu77 said:

Aha, now that is what I needed to know, thanks for the info. I've tried playing around with the controls and discovered some amazing tones but it's all been purely random chance. Now maybe I can see what really happens. One thing though, the top neck end control isn't a push pull on my bass or else it's seized (which is perhaps more likely). 

Are you on Facebook? Pop along to the Wal Bass Club there and join in the fun. There’s a sticky post which lists various players’ fave tone settings. A lot of good tones to try out as you explore the preamp...!

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On 12/01/2018 at 15:31, 4000 said:

I'm sure that bass was in the Gallery once, many years ago. I'm sure I remember playing it, unless there's more than one that colour, which I would've thought unlikely. 

Hmmm, that makes sense of something I’ve been pondering. Way way back, I recall being off work with a virus and veg-Ing in front of daytime telly. I remember seeing a Wal bass on (probably) Lorraine. Gareth Gates was trying to make a comeback and was doing his latest single backed by a “himbo” backing band who barely knew which end of their instruments they were holding. Except that “bass player” was “playing” a banana yellow Mk 1 Wal bass. I often wondered whether it really WAS and actual a real bass player or just a male model and,  if the latter, where the yellow Wal had come from/gone to.  I suspect we now know the answer.

What’s the betting Gates’ management/stylists popped down to the West End and Camden and rented some telegenic instruments for the hired totty to “play”. If they’d gone into The Gallery and seen that bass hanging on the wall it would have screamed TV bass”!

Never have managed to find a YouTube clip of that performance.

Back to the bass itself, I love that the yellow uses a white undercoat to enhance its brightness. Garish but in a lovely way!

Edited by TrevorR
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Well, what do you know... I’ve not searched for that track for ages but look what just popped up...

 

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7:29am... maybe I was getting ready to catch the train...

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And they keep on coming thick and fast...

 

 

 

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On 1/13/2018 at 19:14, TrevorR said:

And they keep on coming thick and fast...

 

 

 

WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!! that must be it but i'll contact paul and see if he knows of any other yellow ones as unlikely as that seems? so anyone know who this guy is and did he hire it or own it? you'd think from the many appearances that it may have been his own but then again maybe it belonged to the production company (you know their budgets back then) and that's why it's in limbo so to speak, company goes bust, no-one to actually claim it, office clearance guys come around and toss it in the back of the van?! further research needed i think. so what year was this and pardon my ignorance but what's the gallery (i'm assuming a shop somewhere down denmark street but it doesn't ring a bell)? nice one trevor for dragging up that memory from gawd knows where!!!? the mystery continues!

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.36.22.png

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ok, further to trevor's brilliant initial detective work i've just done a search for "gareth gates.......musicians, backing band, who played on...." etc etc and unfortunately so far nothing coming up? why is is that backing musicians don't get the credit they deserve sometimes? i guess if it was just a paid session then ok but they still should get a credit somewhere. anyway, i've even just emailed a guy selling a dvd of the 2003 concerts on eBay to see if the personal are listed! be great to find out who the guy is in the clips and see if he's still playing the same bass elsewhere (if he even is a bass player as trev suspected as well?). anyone with a gareth gates cd that lists the personal get back to me (anonymously if you prefer, haha).

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...........but then i just found this info and a pic of paul turner, so looks like maybe another dead end (is it me or is that jazz bass yellow as well?):

Sunshine

Bass – Paul TurnerConductor [Strings], Arranged By [Strings] – Nick IngmanContractor [Orchestra Contractor] – Isobel Griffiths Ltd.Guitar – Graham KearnsKeyboards – Peter GordinoMixed By – Jeremy WheatleyProducer, Keyboards, Clavinet – Mike Peden*Programmed By – Charlie RussellRecorded By – Martin HaylesWritten-By – D. Mar-Molinero*, S. Keith*

A-145090-1284909530.jpeg.jpg

Edited by stu77

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On 1/1/2018 at 12:05, stu77 said:

Happy New Year to all Basschat members. 

Ok, so I’ve been dipping in and out of the site for the past month or so to see what’s what (and to read some very interesting / funny threads) but there's nothing new been added to the thread about the Wal and with no news from anywhere else I think it’s time I can actually call it my own. 

So, as promised (if anyone is still interested) here are some pics. As soon as you see them you may understand why I didn’t want to just post pics etc but rather wanted someone to come forward and say “is it serial number $%^$&* and is it such and such a finish?”. Being such a distinctive bass nobody could have guessed the details i don’t think so it would have been pretty apparent that they actually knew the instrument! I can’t imagine there are many like it out there?!!!

as I haven’t heard a thing from anyone about it or even a hint of a mention of it anywhere I’m really hoping that I’ll be it’s new custodian from now on but if these pics throw up any new leads i’ll follow them up for sure.

A little bit about the instrument. It was virtually unplayable when I found it; action was through the roof and the neck was so loose in the pocket it would move from side to side with little effort. I appreciate some people may have liked and played a set up like that (apart from the loose neck perhaps) but I got the feeling it hadn't been played for a while. It all just needed a little tweaking though and now it plays wonderfully, though it does still have some electrical problems. a quick once over by electric wood at some point will sort that I’m sure.

Ok, so over to the pictures to tell the rest of the story. Not a beautifully exotic wood faced instrument and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea (or glass of banana milk?) but…it’s….a….wonderful…..WAL (and definitely not something you ever expect to find at a bootsale so keep your eyes peeled!). 

DSCF6303.jpg

DSCF6304.jpg

DSCF6309.jpg

Regarding your electrical problems I'd suggest having a tech replace all the electrolytic caps on the preamp PCBs. If you look at the circuit boards you may notice that there are components leaking a greenish substance, looks a bit like what you get from a leaking AA battery. Very simple job and only takes a few minutes for somebody handy with a soldering iron.

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17 minutes ago, stu77 said:

...........but then i just found this info and a pic of paul turner, so looks like maybe another dead end (is it me or is that jazz bass yellow as well?):

Sunshine

Bass – Paul TurnerConductor [Strings], Arranged By [Strings] – Nick IngmanContractor [Orchestra Contractor] – Isobel Griffiths Ltd.Guitar – Graham KearnsKeyboards – Peter GordinoMixed By – Jeremy WheatleyProducer, Keyboards, Clavinet – Mike Peden*Programmed By – Charlie RussellRecorded By – Martin HaylesWritten-By – D. Mar-Molinero*, S. Keith*

A-145090-1284909530.jpeg.jpg

That's Paul Turner's Alleva Coppolo. Olympic white, so just the lighting giving the impression it's yellow... and boy can he play it!

 

Paul Turner Bass.jpg

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