Dingwall Combustion 5 displacing the one I said I'd never sell?
I played and committed to buy (after leaving and thinking it over) a Dingwall Combustion 5 string yesterday. I'm a worship player these days and like to play a 5 string 80% of the time. The other 20% I play my assembled by me Fender P bass that has a J J pickup config.
Came home last night and played my '98 Stingray 5H which to this point has been my #1 for the past few years. It is the bass I've publically stated has cured me of GAS. But what got me looking is my disappointment with the B string, it is not as dramatic as I think it should be for those sustained low notes. So I'm set to buy the Dingwall and contemplating if I should keep the Stingray or not. I don't live in house where I can keep many basses so storing lots of them is not something I'm super excited about.
I've been through many basses in the last 5 years and the Stingray is the only one I've ever really stuck with. I'm looking for some support from other Dingwall Combustion owners to tell me once I buy a Dingwall there is no looking back and I won't regret selling my Stringray 5H.
I started off with an ABZ, which I let go for a Super P. I don't foresee ever getting a non-Dingwall 5-string. However, more Dingwalls is another story.
For the record I've never owned a Stingray 5 but played quite a few. Never touched a Combustion.
Easy choice for me as I don't care for the EBMM ergonomics. I've owned both and much preferred the Combustion 5. I've given up on fanned frets thanks to some minor loss of functionality in my left hand following surgery.
If it means anything, my buddy / drummer, Roger, used to ask for the "white one". Proof of the pudding is in the pie.
I like the ergonomics. It's a tad bit heavy though.
Nice looking bass BTW.
I have had my Combustion for just over 2 years now. My earlier go to bass was a Gibson V 5er. It took a while for me (about 6 months) but today I can say I am done with my Gibson as main bass. The Combustion is now my baby and used at every gig. I own 8 basses but the Dingwall is my clear favorite. Love it.
Dingwall Combustion 5er
1974 Fender P fretless w/maple neck
1987 Gibson V 5er
Franken P w/reverse headstock (Mighty Mite lefty neck on Ebay/Squire body)
Squire VM Jazz
Micheal Kelly Dragonfly fretless 5er Acoustic
Dean EAB Acoustic
$10 Bridgecraft junk bass from CL I have been tinkering with... (my "test bed" for all new ideas...)(presently tuned BEAD)
The band I am performing in has 2 guitarists both with Line 6 Variaxes. They are going through a phase where if a song is to hard for the singer we go down a half step (or more...) and try again. I am presently carrying 5 basses to gig due to all the odd tunings :rollno: All they need to do is push a button between songs (to change tuning) where I must change basses :eyebrow: In honesty they are having a blast watching me switch basses like I can't make up my mind what I want to play...
This means I bring one 5er in standard tuning (Dingwall Combustion) (most songs)
one 4 string in standard tuning (Squire VM Jazz) (several songs)
one Fretless 4 down a half step (Eb standard) (1974 Fender P fretless) (2 songs)
one 4 string down a whole step (D standard) (Franken P with reverse headstock) (one song)
one 5er tuned down a half step (Bb standard???) (Gibson V 5er) (one song)
I could eliminate 2 of these and run with 3 but some songs are just a lot more fun/easier to play in the original hand positions... Other songs just need the low root note, examples; song played in the key of Eb, song originally recorded in the key of A but we do it in G and has a rif that is more difficult to play in G, one song was recorded with a 5er that was tuned down a half step (singer can't sing it up a half step reliably), lastly we do Free - Alright Now and I can play the middle part very well on a 4 string but have always struggled to play it on a 5er SO one more bass (fretted 4 string...)
I am having a blast but my car is so full my GF is getting worried that if I need another tuning she may have to find a ride to the gig........ :D
But back to Dingwall's....
Dingwall just came out with a Combustion with the neck pickup butted up against the bridge pickup, which can cop more convincing Ray tones. It's the NG2 model.
I don't own a Combustion but....I did have a mid 90's SR5 that I played for about 6 years on and off the road. After getting my Warwick Dolphin I quickly sold it and never looked back. Just letting you know you can let it go and things will be alright! ;)
I really dig those Combustions and would love to add one to the stable someday.
Thanks. I sourced one locally. It certainly looks like one could lead to another. :-)
I don't know what Sheldon calls this shade of green, but these are also available in Ferrari Yellow and Red. If you e-mail or telephone Barry Lamb (Dingwall sales representative), he can answer any questions you may have.
Four of my five instruments are Dingwalls. I play 'medium scale' Super J's & P's when helping to raise the praise. Nothing else even comes close. The fifth instrument? An '85 MIJ medium scale precision that will eventually be liquidated or given to an aspiring young bassist...
side note: win!, win! win! win! . . . win!
(Or you could trade me that medium scale in exchange for a like-new squier VM Mustang (sunburst) + some cash....
Then spend that cash on some SX models... you could end up with maybe 3 basses to share with aspiring players.)
5 happy people instead of 2!
Gotta love some 4 string "Pareto optimization"!
I'm not in a position where I can own/justify having a lot of basses, when I do buy one it's after a lot of research/reviews and playing them. I tried out a Dingwall years ago (1998) and fell in love with it but it was out of my price range at the time.
I've had my Combustion for 3 years now and haven't found anything that would make me want to switch (except another Dingwall). I actually use the B string quite a bit, there's just some riffs I find more comfortable or easier to play in a higher position.
When I do there is virtually no tone difference between say an F# 7th fret B string and 2nd fret E string. When you play the open B string it just sounds like thunder to my ears with no ugly overtones.
I'm assuming the one you're looking at is a newer one (C2) with the active/passive switch. This would have updated pickups and electronics from mine (early run) which will give you a lot of options. The EQ is very responsive and unlike most basses I've played a small cut/boost is very effective.
Go for it, you won't be sorry.
The Combustion will make you want a made in Canada Dingwall, only because you'll be so amazed at how f****ng awesome your Combustion is, you simply won't believe they could get any better (and yet, they do).
Buy the Combustion, but keep the Ray. The Combustion is indeed a fine bass, but I think the Ray has a sound all its own. Perhaps you will be able to achieve a Ray-like tone on the Combustion, but to my ears, the Dingwall is more hi-fi and doesn't have quite the punch the Ray is capable of. The Combustion 37" B is great -- although I think the Lakland 35" scale B is better -- but you will have some adaptation to do to that scale length. It won't take long, but until you're used to that extra 2", keep the Ray.
I bought a Combustion almost 4 years ago and liked it, but eventually traded it for a Lakland JO5, Lakland being my favorite basses in almost 50 years of gigging. At that time, Sheldon was developing extra B string magnets to bump up the response of the B string. I don't know if they newer models now come with a beefed up pickup. Mine weighed 9.5 pounds -- not too heavy -- and balance was not a problem. The neck was good, but nor as comfortable as the asymmetric necks on Lakland fivers.
Here's my review of the bass from 2010:
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