When I started my hunt for a good fretless bass, I had already been playing a fretted Wal for a couple of years, a solid ash model, originally made for my bass playing friend Martin Elliott.
At the time, I was looking to replace a cheap and cheerful Westone Thunder 1A fretless with something a bit more serious.
I opted for another Wal for two main reasons, one being that I was already comfortable with the string spacing and fretboard feel, so making the leap to playing fretless was, I reasoned, sure to be less problematic, and secondly, I was confident that in choosing another Wal I could be sure the craftsmanship and materials would mean I was going to find another really great instrument.
Wal basses have become very sought after in recent years, but at the time, a secondhand Wal could be found fairly regularly in the pages of Loot (…now replaced by Ebay and the like) for somewhere around the £400 - £500 mark, which seems amazing today given the prices they go for.
Made in 1984 at Electric Wood in the UK, my Wal fretless has a Brazillian Mahogany Core with American Cherry wood facings and an Indian Ebony fretboard.
XLR output socket next to the main output visible below the controls. This only works when there is a jack in the main output, it's very useful when recording for taking a signal direct from the bass.
Serial number on the backplate.
This is probably my most played bass, I used it almost exclusively for a number of years, below a selection of tracks, old and newer:
I am lucky enough to own three Wals, my most recent acquisition being another 80's era fretted which was previously owned by Jack Monck and given a thorough working out on The Incident tour and album with Porcupine Tree.
Bye for now,