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40hz

Wal build times / build times in general

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I made enquiries at JayDee a while back, and they were quoting 16 months build time, with the explanation that there's only a handful of people working there, the waiting list for other instruments, as well as the workload for setup's / repairs etc.

JayDee are not Wal, obviously, but assuming that Wal are providing a similar service with setup's and repairs, and that there's only a handful of people (if that) working there, it does go to explain the lead time.

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10 hours ago, 40hz said:

It is a huge sum of money. Knowing our luck, we'll place an order and Wal will introduce an import line for half the price. :D

Trust me that is NEVER going to happen!

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10 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

Well (Wal). Before Mr Herman took the ropes, there was a mention of the UK PRS distributor Headline taking over the brand.

Within the discussion was an “SE” type line. And I think that’s where the talks fell apart.

 

Yes, ultimately Pete didn’t trust them not to keep on diluting them... a Wal with Duncan Designeds, generic preamp and a Schaller bridge would be a fine bass but not a Wal. Paul’s simply not interested and is hugely protective of the brand and hand building to his own high standards.

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1 minute ago, TrevorR said:

Yes, ultimately Pete didn’t trust them not to keep on diluting them... a Wal with Duncan Designeds, generic preamp and a Schaller bridge would be a fine bass but not a Wal. Paul’s simply not interested and is hugely protective of the brand and hand building to his own high standards.

That’s good to know 👍

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, chris_b said:

This.

I get that these basses are very special, but, as an ex owner of Wal mk2 and mk3 5 strings (bought second hand), when it comes to the gig they are just another bass. They have to feel right and sound right. They are a lot of money and a very long wait only to find out you really wanted something else.

I'd buy a second hand Wal to work out what playing one on a  regular basis is like. After 6 months you might change your mind about some important bits. Then look at your need to drop a small fortune on a new one.

This is very sage advice @chris_b. Any Wal will sound like a Wal with the wood choices changing the aesthetics and giving subtle modifications to the tone. But at heart... it’s still a Wal - the important elements are there.

So, if  you want a Wal then buying second hand is a very good choice. I love my Wals but I’d find it  hard to justify paying the new price - although I appreciate the economics of what Paul is doing with just him and an assistant (only him during lockdown), hand crafting almost every element and outsourcing only a few elements (mostly to his own bespoke specs) and giving the wood elements longer to rest/settle/season than most between operations. His order book is very healthy and so I would reckon build times and prices are only going in one direction.

So if what you want is a Wal then second hand is a really good option. If you MUST have a Wal with THAT wood, THAT custom neck profile, THAT colour tuners, THAT finish etc etc then you are self selecting commissioning a new bass at full price with a 30+ month lead time. It’s a choice.

Keep an eye out here for them coming up for sale, similarly on Talkbass and if you’re on Facebook I moderate the Wal fan group on there. A lot of basses get offered there before BC, TB, Reverb or eBay.

 

PS yes, the neck profile is a bit unusual and certainly not like a P or J but I find it really, really comfortable and easy to play both thumb around and thumb behind (even with my wee, stubby fingers).

Edited by TrevorR
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PPS buy second hand and then subsequently sell and you’ll probably make money, not lose it the way prices are going, even second hand.

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I played one back in the 80s...loved it. Stopped playing at the beginning of the 90s.

When I started playing again I bought a Pro, sold it then some time later bought a Custom. I didn't get on with either - wouldn't want to have taken the hit from buying a new one.

There are many other great UK based luthiers - worth checking out their wares if you don't want to wait. If your heart is set on one built to your spec, then you'll have to part with the requisite pictures of the Queen and wait....

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I think I’ll pursue a used one - an 84 would be YOB - at least then the hit will be minimal if my memory betrays me and I’m not as in love as an owner as I was as a temporary custodian.

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Posted (edited)

So on the general question of build times extending (in general) I don't know if anyone's suspected that this may have been affected just a bit (or maybe a great deal) by Covid. 

On the question of prices, as we know there is an economic crisis in most industries and everywhere in the world - as a completely unrelated example, I like making pasta sauce but for about six weeks or two months couldn't get hold of either pasta or tinned chopped tomatoes - I can get both now but the tinned tomatoes are now £1 per tin - I seem to remember them being 30 odd pence a tin not long ago - hmmmm I wonder why 🤔

So I'm not entirely sure why everyone has overlooked or is surprised the supply and pricing of our favourite instruments have not remained immune from these unprecedented external influences? 

Ps I've also been thinking of ordering a Wal and it too will have to be a mk1..... the mk2 and mk3s are wonderful basses but for me a Wal is a 4 string mk1, no matter how irrational that idea is 😬 Looks like I'd better hurry up and place an order!! 

Edited by drTStingray

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PS if I bought used, it would have to have exactly the spec of @TrevorR 's Wal with book matched ribboned top (in fact if I ordered a new one I would ask for exactly that!!). 

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Posted (edited)

I got my new Wal delivered in April

in answer to the OP, the price was agreed based on the going rate two years ago when I placed the order and delivery time was more or less what was estimated at that point

The payment was £1k when I placed the order, £1k when work started on the neck a few months later, and the balance due when it was finished - I could have paid it off over the waiting time if I’d wanted to do so, and for me it worked because it meant I didn’t need to save up the whole cost of a new Wal at the outset, I needed £2k and then had two years to find the balance

For me it was about having exactly my spec - Birdseye maple facings, fretted ebony board, no dots.  I’ve owned two Wals before, one from Ian Waller’s time that I got second hand, and one from Pete right at the point that he switched to custom orders only and it was one that somebody else had ordered that he could let me have straight away (rather than waiting a whole six weeks!). They never felt quite like they were “mine”

They all sound(ed) like Wals, but the new one has a significantly thinner, faster neck, and in fact I sold off the Waller era one to finance the new one (at a profit) because much as I loved the look and sound, it was pretty chunky to play

if you fancy a new one I’d suggest contacting Paul to discuss the spec, and getting the order confirmed and the deposit paid as soon as possible, just to bagsy your place in the queue

Edited by Monkey Steve
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14 hours ago, chris_b said:

This.

I get that these basses are very special, but, as an ex owner of Wal mk2 and mk3 5 strings (bought second hand), when it comes to the gig they are just another bass. They have to feel right and sound right. They are a lot of money and a very long wait only to find out you really wanted something else.

I'd buy a second hand Wal to work out what playing one on a  regular basis is like. After 6 months you might change your mind about some important bits. Then look at your need to drop a small fortune on a new one.

Problem is you’re now looking at £4500+ used. 

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22 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

I have ALWAYS wanted a Wal for my 40th (in 4 years).

Mrs Travis (who is fit and supportive) has said it absolutely can happen.

But I’ll most likely be buying used - otherwise the order will have to go in next year.

it's my 40th in 4 years too! Shall I start saving for a secondhand Navy blue sadowsky PJ ?

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18 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

it's my 40th in 4 years too! Shall I start saving for a secondhand Navy blue sadowsky PJ ?

Haha. No mate - it’s like an old friend already. Well...by my bass standards I’ve been committed For more than 3 months - so...

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Posted (edited)
On 26/07/2020 at 06:40, spectoremg said:

#eliteistcodswallop 

 

Some of the sniffiest, most elitist and looking-down-noses-at-other-instruments attitudes I've seen on Farcebook have been from Spector owners**. #ohtheirony 

Is there anything you do actually like?

 

** not all Spector owners, obvs.

Edited by Rich
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10 minutes ago, Rich said:

Is there anything you do actually like?

Spectors with EMG’s I’m assuming? 😎

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On 26/07/2020 at 11:47, TrevorR said:

Yes, ultimately Pete didn’t trust them not to keep on diluting them... a Wal with Duncan Designeds, generic preamp and a Schaller bridge would be a fine bass but not a Wal. Paul’s simply not interested and is hugely protective of the brand and hand building to his own high standards.

I seem to recall that Pete wasn't very well. It would have been easy for him to just walk away, so good on him to stay focussed on the integrity of the brand in those difficult times.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

it's my 40th in 4 years too! Shall I start saving for a secondhand Navy blue sadowsky PJ ?

Would yourself, @AndyTravis and one or two others be what is colloquially called 'statistical outliers' amongst us more elderly members? 😬 you're making me feel positively ancient which I do (achingly so) anyway after playing two 1 hr sets Saturday afternoon for the first time since March!! 

Ps the Sadowski's absolutely wonderful, Musicman sublime but Wal is er well, sort of exquisite!! 😊

Edited by drTStingray
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7 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

Would yourself, @AndyTravis and one or two others be what is colloquially called 'statistical outliers' amongst us more elderly members? 😬 you're making me feel positively ancient which I do (achingly so) anyway after playing two 1 hr sets Saturday afternoon for the first time since March!! 

Ps the Sadowski's absolutely wonderful, Musicman sublime but Wal is er well, sort of exquisite!! 😊

Scary to think that I think when I registered for basschat 13 years back I would have been mid 20s ...
It’s been weird having all these older folk with disposable  income selling things for secondhand prices to upgrade the starter basses to being in the position to buy those expensive instruments myself. But it’s been fun, I’ve tried everything I want to try, know what I like and for me personally know that gear is not the thing holding back my musical genius... it’s time, talent, practice, commitment and ability

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21 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

I think I’ll pursue a used one - an 84 would be YOB - at least then the hit will be minimal if my memory betrays me and I’m not as in love as an owner as I was as a temporary custodian.

An extremely sensible approach.  I've had a couple - you may have played the fretless 4 and fretted 6 Andy - both Paul Herman period I think?  After loving Wals since the late '70s (I used to play the Pros in Barrett's in Manchester when the latter, as distributor, had a shop full), I found that owning them didn't really live up to my expectations.  Still absolutely gorgeous basses and beautifully constructed, but I think my tastes must have changed

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1 hour ago, chris_b said:

I seem to recall that Pete wasn't very well. It would have been easy for him to just walk away, so good on him to stay focussed on the integrity of the brand in those difficult times.

Yes, it was while he was getting increasingly ill... but it was his and Ian’s legacy!

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