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Wal build times / build times in general


40hz

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3 minutes ago, 4000 said:

By the time I got my Custom I’d already had a Pedulla, which I felt was noticeably better made, and by the time I got my Pro I’d had numerous modern boutiques. My custom Alembic made my Pro look like I’d made it.😉 The Pro sounded great though. 

You've had some amazing basses. Have you listed them on the "How many basses" thread. Just curios. 

Always fancied an Alembic but cost puts me off. I do however have a notion for another Aria Pro SB1000 either an original one or the re-issues are meant to be just as good.

Dave

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No, I haven’t. I think quite a few are pre digital photo so I’d have to sort that out, and some may not have been photographed at all (didn’t last long enough!), but I’ll look into it.

Thing is, for me, growing up there were only 2 basses; Rickenbacker and Alembic. I loved the sound and aesthetic of both, and tended to prefer the people who played them. Wasn’t really interested in anything else, although I did lust after Mark King’s Starchild Jaydee after first seeing that. Still do! I remember swooning over John McVie’s Alembics, but it was John Paul Jones’s 8 string Triple Omega Bec-Var (built by Bruce Becvar, formerly of Alembic) that absolutely slew me. 

I also told myself I could never justify the cost of an Alembic, but shortly before my 40th my dad took some of the family to the States. I went in Ed Roman’s and they had a stunning buckeye Burl Triple Omega Series II 5 string in (about £18k IIRC) and I decided that I’d finally get a custom built Triple Omega - cost just under £4K at the time - for my 40th, which I did. Eventually had to sell it because of my back problems but it was a wonderful piece of woodworking art.

Anyway, back to Wals, and apologies for the derail. I want another! I’d love to try one of Paul Herman’s ones. 

Edited by 4000
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2 minutes ago, 4000 said:

No, I haven’t. I think quite a few are pre digital photo so I’d have to sort that out, and some may not have been photographed at all (didn’t last long enough!), but I’ll look into it.

Thing is, for me, growing up there were only 2 basses; Rickenbacker and Alembic. I loved the sound and aesthetic of both, and tended to prefer the people who played them. Wasn’t really interested in anything else, although I did lust after Mark King’s Starchild Jaydee after first seeing that. Still do! I remember swooning over John McVie’s Alembics, but it was John Paul Jones’s 8 string Triple Omega Bec-Var (built by Bruce Becvar, formerly of Alembic) that absolutely slew me. 

I also told myself I could never justify the cost of an Alembic, but shortly before my 40th my dad took some of the family to the States. I went in Ed Roman’s and they had a stunning buckeye Burl Triple Omega Series II 5 string in (about £18k IIRC) and I decided that I’d finally get a custom built Triple Omega - cost just under £4K at the time - for my 40th, which I did. Eventually had to sell it because of my back problems but it was a wonderful piece of woodworking art.

Anyway, back to Wals, and apologies for the derail. I want another! 

Even just a list of them without pics if none available. Some of my pics were scanned photos or modern phones just take a snapshot of the photo.

 

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13 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

Even just a list of them without pics if none available. Some of my pics were scanned photos or modern phones just take a snapshot of the photo.

 

Yeah, will do at some point when I get chance. 

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15 hours ago, 4000 said:

By the time I got my Custom I’d already had a Pedulla, which I felt was noticeably better made, and by the time I got my Pro I’d had numerous modern boutiques. My custom Alembic made my Pro look like I’d made it.😉 The Pro sounded great though. 

I've had three Wals - one from the early '90's that was given to the guy I bought it from by Ian Waller, one from the turn of the century that I got direct from Pete Stevens, just after they switched to custom builds only (and was actually someone else's custom build, I just happened to make contact when the customer had said there would be enough of a delay before he could collect it for Wal to build him another one), and the latest from Paul Herman that I got last year.  All Mk II five strings, in an array of different woods

The first two have gone (one partly to finance the latest), and they both had fairly chunky necks.  The current one is much slimmer and quicker and a pleasure to play.  I'd also say that the finish is better - feels less plastic-y than the older models, although they were still well made and looked stunning.

What hasn't changed is the sound

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  • 3 months later...

Looks like there won’t be any more new orders being taken for the time being 😬

”Hi All  :Just the current status of ordering and pricing of new Wal bass

The demand for our basses continues to exceed our production capacity and our delivery time has now stretched to over four years. We cannot commit to prices that far in advance - current prices start from £6,950 + shipping. At this moment we are no longer accepting new orders until the backlog has reduced. Please let us know if you would like us to add you to our list to contact once when we are accepting orders again”.

(Taken from FB)

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12 minutes ago, Downunderwonder said:

I can understand a professional bassist wanting to get in on 'the best bass ever' but the rest must be wannabe dentists?

Have you ever been thinking about the word retro? How many people want something that was fab in their youth? And is it wrong? Now there may be the possibility, and one little company gets steady income. Nothing wrong with it, or what should we think about their situation, both buyers and the company?

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4 minutes ago, itu said:

Have you ever been thinking about the word retro? How many people want something that was fab in their youth? And is it wrong? Now there may be the possibility, and one little company gets steady income. Nothing wrong with it, or what should we think about their situation, both buyers and the company?

I am retro!

Small company obviously unwilling to expand its workforce instead cuts off orders to maintain sanity.

4 years worth of orders on the books ought to give plenty of opportunity to take on an apprentice or two.

 

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10 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Looks like there won’t be any more new orders being taken for the time being 😬

”Hi All  :Just the current status of ordering and pricing of new Wal bass

The demand for our basses continues to exceed our production capacity and our delivery time has now stretched to over four years. We cannot commit to prices that far in advance - current prices start from £6,950 + shipping. At this moment we are no longer accepting new orders until the backlog has reduced. Please let us know if you would like us to add you to our list to contact once when we are accepting orders again”.

(Taken from FB)

6950??.... I wonder what the profit margin is?  it would be good to see the company futureproof itself by delegating to a larger workforce and bringing the prices down a bit.  But having read this I'm just glad i managed to pick up a 1990 markii a few years ago. Stupidly i sold my first wal for  a few hundred quid in the late 90s because I needed the space thinking I will just pick up another later on since they are obviously not worth much, boy did I get that one wrong.

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I’ve always wanted one (from seeing Alan Spenner and Percy Jones using them in the late 70s). In fact previously, I wanted a Precision to sound like Alan Spenner. The Wal sounds great though. 

I still want one and failed to order one several times over the past 10 yrs or so, being distracted by various offerings by Musicman (which I was hooked on from hearing Bernard Edwards, Louis Johnson and various local bassists who bought them in the latter part of the 70s).

I fear the Wal is becoming unobtainium in newly built form (both in terms of price and build time) - which I would need to get the combinations I want - unless very lucky with a used one - presumably the prices of used ones will also increase? 

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On 13/05/2021 at 13:26, Musicman666 said:

6950??.... I wonder what the profit margin is?

https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/444788-experimental-prototype-bass-i-hope/page/9/#comments

There's a cost analysis, if you want to calculate the profit. I used the minimum wages £8.91, but do you think his work is worth some more, do you?

My guess is that the personnel at WAL can live with their work, but I doubt that's a gold mine.

Let's say they (I assume there are only 2 persons, and I have excluded all outsourced work) build 4 instruments per month, around 40 per year (holidays etc.). 40 x £7 000 = £280 000.

Subtract parts that may be something like £700 / instrument, round a little in case something breaks = £30 000. We have now £250 000 left.

The very low rental of the workshop is £1 250 / month = £15 000. £235 000 left.

Because the workers need to pay pension costs (£1 200 / month / person), insurance (£3 000), update tools (£ 1 000) etc. these yearly costs could be in the ballpark of £35 000. I need to point out that this is very rough guestimation and the costs are probably substantially higher. £200 000 left.

Divide this to two, and we get £100 000 per person, which is £8 300 / month and after taxes maybe £5 500 / month. Gold diggers? I might call them hard working men.

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2 hours ago, itu said:

https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/444788-experimental-prototype-bass-i-hope/page/9/#comments

There's a cost analysis, if you want to calculate the profit. I used the minimum wages £8.91, but do you think his work is worth some more, do you?

My guess is that the personnel at WAL can live with their work, but I doubt that's a gold mine.

Let's say they (I assume there are only 2 persons, and I have excluded all outsourced work) build 4 instruments per month, around 40 per year (holidays etc.). 40 x £7 000 = £280 000.

Subtract parts that may be something like £700 / instrument, round a little in case something breaks = £30 000. We have now £250 000 left.

The very low rental of the workshop is £1 250 / month = £15 000. £235 000 left.

Because the workers need to pay pension costs (£1 200 / month / person), insurance (£3 000), update tools (£ 1 000) etc. these yearly costs could be in the ballpark of £35 000. I need to point out that this is very rough guestimation and the costs are probably substantially higher. £200 000 left.

Divide this to two, and we get £100 000 per person, which is £8 300 / month and after taxes maybe £5 500 / month. Gold diggers? I might call them hard working men.

 it makes you wonder how other companies manage to turn any kind of profit at all?

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4 hours ago, itu said:

https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/444788-experimental-prototype-bass-i-hope/page/9/#comments

There's a cost analysis, if you want to calculate the profit. I used the minimum wages £8.91, but do you think his work is worth some more, do you?

My guess is that the personnel at WAL can live with their work, but I doubt that's a gold mine.

Let's say they (I assume there are only 2 persons, and I have excluded all outsourced work) build 4 instruments per month, around 40 per year (holidays etc.). 40 x £7 000 = £280 000.

Subtract parts that may be something like £700 / instrument, round a little in case something breaks = £30 000. We have now £250 000 left.

The very low rental of the workshop is £1 250 / month = £15 000. £235 000 left.

Because the workers need to pay pension costs (£1 200 / month / person), insurance (£3 000), update tools (£ 1 000) etc. these yearly costs could be in the ballpark of £35 000. I need to point out that this is very rough guestimation and the costs are probably substantially higher. £200 000 left.

Divide this to two, and we get £100 000 per person, which is £8 300 / month and after taxes maybe £5 500 / month. Gold diggers? I might call them hard working men.

If they’re VAT registered they’re also only receiving around £5850 for each £7000 instrument.

These guys do it because they love it, not to get hugely rich.

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8 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

If they’re VAT registered they’re also only receiving around £5850 for each £7000 instrument.

You just took over £40 k from their income. Bad boy!

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The interview in question no longer appears to be on line, but IIRC Simon Farmer of Gus Guitars once said that he earns approximately £10/hour making guitars after all his expenses have been taken into account.

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2 hours ago, BigRedX said:

The interview in question no longer appears to be on line, but IIRC Simon Farmer of Gus Guitars once said that he earns approximately £10/hour making guitars after all his expenses have been taken into account.

Which is about what I make doing a job I detest. 😂

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