I received my Combustion February 2015. Immediately I was impressed, I had played an older Dingwall model several years ago and knew I liked them. I got to have a play in the shop through a Genz Benz and was immediately impressed though there were a few minor issue which I will discuss below.
1. Playability/Set up.
First thing that has to be said is that the Fanned frets are largely a non issue, you don't need to change your play style or put any extra thought in when playing. There was some slight problems with fret buzz out of the box but this was easily cured with a quick set up and all the tools needed were provided. I can't really knock Dingwall for this and the Combustion is supposed to be their entry level model and is made in China for the most part with only a finishing done in Canada.
The 37' inch scale can be a stretch when requiring fast playing on the low strings. It's not unusable by any means but it can make things difficult.
The strap buttons however are not ideal, I'm sure calmer player would have no trouble but for me, the way they are angled can cause straps to slip free. I bought some Jim Dunlop Straploks, problem solved.
The finish is as you expect from a mid to high end instrument, every thing is bolted down securely and no unexpected rattles from the tuners or bridge. The paint doesn't chip under stress, its seems to crack slightly when hit, which is far less noticeable and even then only the most childish on onstage stunts have caused 2 minor injuries.
The pick guard is slightly off on its fit, bowing up between a couple of screws, but it is not immediately obvious and I have seem worse cases on similarly priced items.
Upon the first restring, one tuner was slightly loose but just needed a half turn with a screwdriver to fix and was not noticeable with the strings under tension.
3. Sound Quality
The sound is great, no dead spots and lovely even tone across the strings and up and down the fret board. I didn't need to adjust the pickups up or down and the intonation was bang on, only needed adjusting after my own changes to cure the fret buzz.
The 4 way pickup selection gives you nice variation, and having series and parallel options really opens up the options. The parallel option is however much punchier than the other 3 and if you forget to change settings when you need to a mid song swap will stick out, so be aware.
The 3 band EQ has just the right amount of adjustment, letting you change the tone enough to suit different styles but being narrow enough that you can really fine tune it.
I cannot think of any reason not to pick up a Combustion. I read back this review and kind of feel I've been needlessly petty in my criticism. I have used this bass for both covers Gig's in little pubs to the most extreme of Metal Gigs played from atop speaker cabs and it hasn't failed me, but buy locking strap buttons for it.
Dingwall Combustion 2014/15 Model
The 2014/15 model Combustion from Dingwall. 5 string fanned fret bass with active circuitry.