Fake Wal Basses & Scams
Wal basses are in high demand. Prices for used instruments were pushed to all time high in 2007-2009 due to the rumours circulating about Pete's health. Wal Custom basses (Mk.I, II, III) were fetching $4,000-$8,000 USD at that time. This high value is exactly what attracts scam artists who will stop at nothing to part you from your money.

There is only one defence in the war against fraud and ripoffs. Educate yourself. Join one of the excellent Wal bass forums listed above. Learn the difference between various models and what makes these instruments so unique. The Wal community at large is well-educated and you can learn much. Many Wal basses spotted on Ebay and Craigslist are discussed at a very detailed level. Beyond this, the standard rules apply: if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

A Wal bass with replacement pickups and/or a different preamp is missing a good part of what makes these instruments unique. It will be an excellent instrument and will obviously say "Wal" on the headstock, but it will not sound anything like a Wal bass or ever be truly complete. Pete had very strong feelings about this scenario and did not provide replacement for an instrument that had effectively been neutered. You could not buy Wal pickups and/or the Wal preamp separately in the past. It is unknown if that will change in the future.

Good News
If you are dreaming of owning a Wal bass, these beautiful instruments can now be ordered directly from the shop! See the links above for more information.