Gigging the Wunkay

OMG!!! Mode, that is. This is the forum for a true G&L monster, the L-1000. Simple, passive, and huge, the Wunkay speaks volumes for the G&L sound.

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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby derick » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:10 am

deltafred wrote:The coil without the OMG cap will have (about) the same amount of hi frequency content (treble) as a single coil on it's own.

The coil with the OMG coil will have it's treble very much attenuated by the OMG cap but will retain its bass content.

Put these 2 in series and you have a bass boost, you are effectively doubling* the bass output voltage** while keeping the treble output voltage at single coil levels.


Thanks for posting, this is exactly what logic and my ears are telling me. I don't perceive a doubling of the bass, but it is definitely a boost and not merely an aural illusion. Even a 1% increase in bass output without a corresponding increase in treble would meet my definition of "bass boost."
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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby deltafred » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:04 am

derick wrote: I don't perceive a doubling of the bass, but it is definitely a boost and not merely an aural illusion.


deltafred wrote:*You are doubling the voltage not the the volume because of the non linear way our ears interpret sound pressure waves and waves of differing frequencies - Google "Fletcher Munson curves" for more info.


To get double the volume you would need more than double the output voltage. There isn't a single ratio because it varies with frequency, starting volume, and probably the biggest variable - the listeners interpretation of what "double the volume" actually is.

Let's just say the bass is louder in OMG mode (and if you like the sound of it then use it).
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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby Ken Baker » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:51 am

Had a GREAT wall of text and lost it. Damn....

derick wrote:Yes, I do grasp what you are saying.


Okay - thanks. I wasn't sure you could tell which way I was heading. It's also that I typically don't write these things just for one person, but any lurker that comes along and wonders what we're talking about.

Ken, this would not approximate the OMG mode, because we are only hearing the capped coil, not the capped coil in series with an uncapped coil. Here is, I believe, the disconnect in this discussion. We are using different baselines. I am using the 1K single coil position to compare OMG to. The delta here is greater output with a disproportionate increase in the bass response. This fulfills my definition of "bass boost."

You are, as near as I can understand, using full blown raw coils-in-series output to compare OMG to. With that baseline, yes, you are experiencing a "big treble cut." But since that switching option is not available on any known factory 1K, that seems like a difficult and problematic argument to make.

Where is the flaw in my logic?


None. Poor analogy on my part. It does show that you can sink off a boatload of treble with such a cap, but little else. Sorry.

I think what's happening is that we're coming at this from differing angles and viewpoints.

Despite what G&L may call series mode, it isn't bass boost because there is no gain manipulation going on. Flipping from parallel to series increases the overall output of the pickup using normal electrical principles. With no filtration, like a standard L-2000, that output increase is full range. But because our strings are big & fat and cut a big swath through the magnetic fields of the pickup, we tend to focus on the low frequencies. Then there's the amplifiers and speakers we play through that are bass-centric (mainly the speakers), and we perceive this increase in output as an increase in primarily low frequencies. Playing through a PA cab can change your outlook on this. Anyway, the big take-away here is that series mode affects the full frequency range of the pickup. You could string the instrument with guitars strings and series mode will be louder - even the high E.

A bit of an aside. My extensively modded L-2500 has all the G&L preamp and controls removed. As such, in passive mode signal goes from coil select to pickup select to volume to jack. Dirt simple and no filtration of any kind anywhere. The difference between parallel and series is HUGE. Full range huge. Played through a regular amp & cab and one might think I boosted the bass. Unplug from the amp and plug into something HiFi, like that headphone amp, and the full range of series mode becomes apparent

MFD pickups have a lot of midrange and top end capability. Left to their own devices, they can be pretty bright and series mode exacerbates that brightness because its effect is full range. So a cap is placed between one coil and ground to sink off the high frequency output of that one coil. The two coils in combination are still outputting huge full range sound but we're sinking off part of the treble from one of the coils. The end result is that the unfiltered low frequencies are now of greater volume than the remaining treble frequencies. The low frequencies are not louder than they were before the addition of the cap, but appear louder because the treble is reduced.

If the concern is the terminology used, "bass boost" vs "treble cut", then the difference is between Market Speak and Tech Speak.

    Market Speak: G&L "Bass Boost" makes the low end sound louder. More booty-shaking thump.

    Tech Speak: G&L "Bass Boost" makes the high end sound quieter. Less of that distracting treble so I can better hear that booty-shaking thump.

The other part of tech speak, especially in the context of bass guitars, is that "boost" more accurately describes an active (pre)amplified system. Here, the low frequencies (others as well) can be electronically boosted to levels greater than the native output of the pickup. They can also be "cut" to less than native output. This is where the term "boost/cut" comes from when talking about active basses.

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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby Ken Baker » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:57 am

bdgotoh wrote:I had no idea the Cafe Walter was out of production! I have two that I use all the time.

Is the new version supposed to be better somehow Ken?

[Edit] never mind, I just got the scoop from his website. Smaller with an internal battery will be great for my travel one. The one I leave at home plugged into the wall will remain unless he improves the tonal characteristics somehow.


He's had v2 in development for a while. I think the amplification section is done. Where he's been having trouble is the power supply. He wants to run the device and charge an internal Lithium Ion battery concurrently. Looking at his Facebook page, it appears he may have it figured out.

I have one of the originals, SN 104, and it goes through batteries pretty quickly. The HA2 is definitely on my watch list.

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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby derick » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:00 am

Ken Baker wrote:
Despite what G&L may call series mode, it isn't bass boost because there is no gain manipulation going on. Flipping from parallel to series increases the overall output of the pickup using normal electrical principles.


Okay, so you are saying that an increase in the total bass output of the pickup, when compared to the single coil setting, is not a bass boost, because the bass output is not greater than the total bass output that the pickup is capable of in series mode, which incidentally is a setting that no factory 1K has. I got it. The good news here is that we don't have to change the OMG acronym to WRJKO (We're Really Just Kidding Ourselves,) which is what I thought you were saying at first.

But, the really interesting takeaway from all this is, I will now have to experience the full blown series humbucking output of this pickup. Like the guy in the first Dirty Harry movie, I gots to know.

So, I'll take the least original wunkay that I own and clip one side of the OMG cap, bend it slightly away and wrap the cap in tape. This will give me a switch for parallel humbucking, single coil, and series humbucking, or OMG squared. (Yes, I know that it isn't actually squared.) Damn, this is exciting. I'm sure Leo had a very good reason why he didn't do this originally, possibly because he was trying to make a Super P bass and explore an enhancement to the basic single coil sound, which in my mind is very much what OMG is.

A bit of an aside. My extensively modded L-2500 has all the G&L preamp and controls removed. As such, in passive mode signal goes from coil select to pickup select to volume to jack. Dirt simple and no filtration of any kind anywhere. The difference between parallel and series is HUGE. Full range huge.


If you would add a single-coil switch to that bass, I would be very interested in your experience/opinion with that setting. But yes, this is close to what I will have with my simple mod as described above, with just the neck pickup. I'm leaving the tone controls in, using an unsuspecting someone else's amp I am sure that I will need to roll off something.

EDIT

Okay, so I have performed the above modification my beat-to-shreds but very light and kick-ass ash/maple '82. This bass came from LA and the metal parts that haven't been replaced have plenty of corrosion. I think of it as being played by a surf band that actually played in the surf. Anyway, Yup, plenty of output. I haven't turned it up very high because I prefer my pictures to stay on the walls. However, the single coil mode is still more trebly than the "new" raw series pickup position. Yes single coil sounds kind of thin compared to series, but single coil still has that P-bass "thing" going on. This is first impression sitting in my office but I have just been informed that I am the host bass player on a jam on Wednesday night, so I will be using my Gallien-Krueger 700RB II through a reconed EVM-15L in a TL606 cabinet and report back on my experience. Maybe I can get someone to play this bass so I can hear it out front.
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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:55 am

Ken Baker wrote:
Despite what G&L may call series mode, it isn't bass boost because there is no gain manipulation going on. Flipping from parallel to series increases the overall output of the pickup using normal electrical principles.


derick wrote:Okay, so you are saying that an increase in the total bass output of the pickup, when compared to the single coil setting, is not a bass boost, because the bass output is not greater than the total bass output that the pickup is capable of in series mode, which incidentally is a setting that no factory 1K has.


Close, but no cigar. I'll re-word your statement above to accurately reflect what I'm saying:

    Okay, so you are saying that an increase in the total output of the pickup, when compared to the single coil setting, is not a bass boost, because the output is not greater than the total output that the pickup is capable of in series mode, which incidentally is a setting that no factory 1K has (Actually, it does but it has that pesky OMG cap).

This is a little better.

I got it. The good news here is that we don't have to change the OMG acronym to WRJKO (We're Really Just Kidding Ourselves,) which is what I thought you were saying at first.


I think we should standardize the phrase "OMG Mode" rather than "Bass Boost" for the L-1000 and L-2000 basses with the cap(s). It's modern vernacular and not inaccurate.

So, I'll take the least original wunkay that I own and clip one side of the OMG cap, bend it slightly away and wrap the cap in tape. This will give me a switch for parallel humbucking, single coil, and series humbucking, or OMG squared. (Yes, I know that it isn't actually squared.) Damn, this is exciting. I'm sure Leo had a very good reason why he didn't do this originally, possibly because he was trying to make a Super P bass and explore an enhancement to the basic single coil sound, which in my mind is very much what OMG is.


The general feeling is that Leo was exploring a lot with the capabilities of the L Series pickup. Yeah he did some single coil stuff with them (and series OMG) but none of that stood the test of time and is no longer around from the factory.

A bit of an aside....


Yes, this is close to what I will have with my simple mod as described above, with just the neck pickup. I'm leaving the tone controls in, using an unsuspecting someone else's amp I am sure that I will need to roll off something.


Be sure to dime both the bass and treble so that you are hearing the full range of the pickup.

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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby derick » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:14 am

Ken Baker wrote:Close, but no cigar. I'll re-word your statement above to accurately reflect what I'm saying:



Okay, once more into the breach. How's this?

    Okay, so you are saying that an increase in the total output of the pickup, when compared to the single coil setting, is not a bass boost, because the output is not greater than the total output that the pickup is capable of in series mode without the cap, which incidentally is a setting that no factory 1K has.

I think we should standardize the phrase "OMG Mode" rather than "Bass Boost" for the L-1000 and L-2000 basses with the cap(s). It's modern vernacular and not inaccurate.


That works for me. I promise to never use the term "bass boost" again. Darn, I just did.

The general feeling is that Leo was exploring a lot with the capabilities of the L Series pickup. Yeah he did some single coil stuff with them (and series OMG) but none of that stood the test of time and is no longer around from the factory.


So this was experimental stuff, or was there more single-coil stuff on the L Series pickups that made it into production?
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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:03 pm

derick wrote:Okay, once more into the breach. How's this?


    Okay, so you are saying that an increase in the total output of the pickup, when compared to the single coil setting, is not a bass boost, because the output is not greater than the total output that the pickup is capable of in series mode without the cap, which incidentally is a setting that no factory 1K has.


I can work with that, though I should have added parallel to when compared to the single coil setting. But that's nitpicking myself because we never really discussed parallel mode.

So this was experimental stuff, or was there more single-coil stuff on the L Series pickups that made it into production?


Most everything Leo did was experimental because he was always pushing the product forward. The guy was a grand tinkerer. I would look at single coil mode (at that time on the L-1000) as being a bit of a Precision clone thing than anything else, but that's just my opinion. I'm sure he played with using the other coil in the pickup as a single as well. In the end though, the L-1000 was his last iteration of what a Precision could be if he was still doing the Precision. It really is a Super P. Of course, there's the Legacy Bass (now LB-100) and the SB-1 that are also in that Precision vibe but closer.

Once the L-1000 was discontinued, single coil mode in the L Series pretty much disappeared but was not forgotten. Kurosawa wanted it in the Japanese L-2x00 basses, so Paul developed what we now know as the "K" model. The pickups are a wee bit different with the blue ground lead, but are otherwise vanilla L Series. Pretty much concurrent with that was the dev work that DavePlaysBass did on single coil, which became the basis for most single coil mods using non-K pickups.

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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby derick » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:41 pm

Ken Baker wrote:
I would look at single coil mode (at that time on the L-1000) as being a bit of a Precision clone thing than anything else, but that's just my opinion. I'm sure he played with using the other coil in the pickup as a single as well. In the end though, the L-1000 was his last iteration of what a Precision could be if he was still doing the Precision.


I agree with this assertion wholeheartedly. The L-1000 was Leo's ultimate realization of his Precision Bass. You can argue that his earlier designs were better, or that more modern basses are better, and maybe you're right. But, the L-1000 is where Leo took the concept, and it is where his development of it ended. He took it no further. His later single-coil designs were market driven and backwards looking, not an additional evolution.

There are a lot of people on this planet who value Brands and Labels more than they value the people who created these brands and labels. Personally, I am glad so many people feel that way, it allows me to buy these fabulous instruments for $550 to $950.

So, to revisit the question, "Is a Wunkay redundant?' I would argue that, to a bass player, Leo Fender's final iteration of his Precision Bass could never be redundant.

Unless you happen to have too many of them.
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Re: Gigging the Wunkay

Postby derick » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:08 am

Played last night with my "Super OMG" modded L-1000. Since the .1uf cap is out of the circuit, third switch position is full-blown series humbucking which is the highest output that the L-series pickup can produce.

I had to back off the volume 20-30% and the bass 30-40% to achieve some kind of "amp-parity" (if that's actually a thing,) with single-coil mode. Full series is certainly a very huge tone, and very usable. However, OMG mode to me is an enhancement of the single coil (P-bass) tone and the Series output goes well away from that, while the stock OMG is still very related to the single coil sound. IMO. So, I've ordered another switch and I will wire it so that I can A-B Full Series with stock OMG. I already think I know what this will tell me, but it does reinforce the theory that with the L-1000 Leo was going for a "Super P" bass, which is a target that he nailed.
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