Friday, 19 April 2013

Archive: Notes from Stephan's Database

Notes from Stephan's Database

Odd Quotes & Descriptions

More details about special Wals
W1111Trevor Raggatt writes: "Real audio clips of W1111 (and presumably other early JG's) can be heard on the Gordon Giltrap albums "Visionary", "Perilous Journey" and "Fear of the Dark" on and John Gustafson's early Wals can be heard on GG's "Live at the Oxford Poly" and "Peacock Party" on Amazon and on "Clear Air Turbulence" by the Ian Gillan Band, also on Amazon."
Bass of the month September, 2002: ""
Triple NeckThe original bass nowadays can be found in Hard Rock Cafe in New York. Live Chris Squire uses a copy by a japanes luthier.
The third neck was a 'normal' guitar neck and changed by Chris Squire into a three sets tuned in octaves.
Trevor Raggat (our man for the details) notes: "I only realised recently that on the original the centre pickup (middle neck, neck pickup) is mounted on a metal plate. (This means some photos show the replica.)"
According to Chris Squires Website the tuning for the triple neck is as follows: " Top Neck- AA,DD,GG Middle (fretted) Neck- E,A,D,G Bottom (fretless) Neck- E,A,D,G"
Steve Weston has a story for us: "For those of you who may be interested, I do know a little of the history of the triple neck. The Bass itself was originally owned and commissioned by Rick Wakeman. He was always looking for ways to upstage other acts and was at the time just preparing to record 'Journey to the centre of the earth' His Bass Player at the time was Roger Newell (now asst editor with Guitarist mag in the UK). According to Rog when I spoke with him some years back. Rick was, and still is very good friends with Pete Stevens, and between them they decided that a real show stopper would be a triple neck Bass. Twin necks (Guitar / Bass) were popular at the time so Rick being Rick wanted to go one better. Rog spent a lot of time with Pete working on the layout of the beast but a real problem which was never really solved was the weight. Apparently it was so heavy that it could only be worn for short periods. (this was another reason that Chris retired the Bass later). Apparently the copy was considerably lighter. Anyway to return to the story, Rog used the triple neck on the 'Journey to the centre of the earth album and tour' but although he hoped for a continuing association with Rick it wasn't to be since Rick rejoined Yes shortly afterwards and took the bass with him. As we all know Chris used it afterwards and eventually Rick gave it to him. As Rog told me, 'I was f*****g amazed. I loved that Bass since in reality it was built for me and I was so involved in the build. But since I couldn't afford it at the time it went out of my life, only to find that later Rick had given the bloody thing away. I was absolutely gutted' That's life as they say. As you correctly point out, Chris has given (on permanent loan) the Wal to the Hard Rock Caf� where it remains to this day If anyone is interested in further information don't hesitate to e-mail Roger Newell at Guitarist. I'm sure He would be pleased to answer any questions."

Archive: Stephan's Wal Database

Archive: Stephan's Wal Database

Some time ago a Wal enthusiast, Stephan Koesters compiled a database of Wal basses which lived on his personal space at his University's website (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg). Time passed and lives moved on and eventually the database fell into disrepair. Some of the data on here will likely be wildly out of date now (particularly the current ownership of basses). However, there's lots of useful info for dating your basses here - particularly the serial numbers and manufacture dates of a large number of Wals. So, in the spirit of wanting to preserve this information before someone at the University computer science decides to reclaim some defunct disc space the main page of the site is reproduced here. Hope it's of interest and use to you...


1970s Wal Pro Series Brochure

1970s brochure for Pro Series basses

This brochure was produced by Electric Wood in the late 1970s to promote the newly launched Pro Bass series. These basses included a number of pretty revolutionary features - particularly for a UK built production bass.

Among them were:
  • balanced XLR output as an option (this became standard on the later Custom Bass series)
  • sophisticated active tone shaping circuitry
  • carbon fibre inserts within the neck
  • heavy-duty die cast bridge
  • laminated necks...
Here are the brochure pages in hi-res...