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Anyone played both a Dingwall and a Strandberg Boden bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lunatique, Sep 23, 2019.


  1. Lunatique

    Lunatique Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Lincoln, CA
    I've been lusting after a Dingwall or Strandberg Boden bass, as I'm fascinated by the multiscale design. I'm even considering selling my Bongo to fund this new acquisition.

    My main reasons for wanting a Dingwall is how in the video revies/tests I've seen, the sound is just amazing--clear, punchy, full, and that low B string is so articulate. The 37" scale for the B string is longer than most other companies' multiscale basses, as those tend to be only about 35" or so. And that beautiful Ferrari yellow finish with the black pickguard--just wow.

    My main reasons for wanting a Strandberg Boden is because of the uniquely body design that seems supremely ergonomic. I love the no-headstock design too--not aesthetically, but because I'm always knocking my headstocks into stuff and it's annoying. The bass is also incredibly light--the 5-string version a mere 6.5 lbs. It's multiscale but the low string is only 35 inches, so it probably won't have the same clarity as the Dingwall (my guess). The videos I've seen it sounds really good too (I like the Prog more than the Original, as it has a bit more gravitas).

    I have no access to either brands/models as I live in the Sacramento area and no one stocks them here, so I have to rely on research.

    Has anyone here actually played both and can give me some thoughts on how they compare (extra awesome if you have also played a Bongo and can draw comparisons to it too).
     
  2. redwood

    redwood Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    I currently own a strandberg prog 5, and recently sold my Dingwall ABZ 5.
    Here's my take:
    The Dingwall B is simply outstanding. I don't know if it can be beat. I always referred to it as the "voice of God." The rest of the bass can also be described as being near perfect. For me the issue was the 37" scale. It was a bit much for my old fingers. Mild arthritis. Also chording work above the 12th fret can be a bit tricky. Not insurmountable though.
    Mine was passive. The only mod I did was to change the bridge pickup wiring to series. Quick and simple mod which gave it a little more meat. The tone was very "p'ish" for the most part, with a fair amount of tonal variations available. I can't speak towards the active models.

    I had intended to stay with 34 scale instruments until I saw the Boden. This instrument really ticked all the bases for me. I've always liked the idea of a headless instrument. It just makes sense somehow. While the 37 scale of the Dingwall was a bit much for me the shorter scale D and G I was still wanting. To me, with my style of playing, the shorter scale to the D & G adds a bit more grunt to the sound. So the shorter overall fanned frets for the Boden was perfect. And after God knows how many hours playing it I am extremely happy with it.
    The Darkglass took a little bit to get used to, but I think it's a great preamp for the more aggressive music I've been playing lately. It's good in its own way for the mellower stuff as well.
    The weight is amazing. 6.5 lbs, and it still sounds like an instrument with plenty of heft to it. Very easy to play for hours on end.
    The Endurneck took as much time to get used to as when I first played on fanned frets. About 10 minutes. This feature I am in love with. My technique was good, but not great. But the neck shape promotes proper left hand technique which I am really appreciating. I have heard some people don't care for it. personally I love it, and I was always a fan of thin necks. Keep in mind I have extremely long hands and fingers, so your results may vary.

    Head to head, I personally prefer the strandberg. Although I wish the B was as good as the Dingwall. It's good, but not quite the same. Playability, comfort, weight, sound, standard strings (Dingwall strings are great, but I like options), for me all go to strandberg.

    My last point, my workhorse bass for the last 7 years is my Bongo HSP 5. Love, love, love this bass. Have hundreds of gigs with it. I'll never sell it. That said, it feels huge and unweildy now after getting used to the strandberg. I used to go back and forth between the Dingwall and the Bongo for gigs. I highly doubt I'll play the Bongo for quite some time.
    Our sound man is also a bassist (and a great guy). He has heard all three. After the first gig with the strandberg his opinion was that it blew the Bongo and Dingwall out of the water tone wise. Powerful and authoritative were his words.
    I trust his ears, and I absolutely believe him.
     
  3. Lunatique

    Lunatique Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Lincoln, CA
    Thanks for sharing your experience! The Boden is on top of my list of dream basses to have, but it's just a bit too expensive. Maybe later when they start to show up in the used market, I could afford one.
     
  4. redwood

    redwood Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Quite honestly, I don't think they're setting the world on fire. I got a good deal. I bet you can find a good deal as well.
     
  5. Dalton Hanson

    Dalton Hanson

    Oct 23, 2018
    Duluth
    Howdy!

    I haven't had the pleasure of playing the boden bass, but my main gig basses are both a Dingwall NG2 and a Bongo. Personally I gravitate towards the Dingwall for almost any situation, with the bongo being designated backup bass. The clarity you get out of that B on a dingwall is disgusting in the best way possible. The only issue I have with Dingwall is the lack of string makers who make 37 inch strings. The only companies I've found are Payson, Dingwall and Kallium.
     
  6. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Have you played a multiscale? Truthfully, I wanted to love it, but never could. Not for the sound, but for the feel of the fanned frets.

    /rick
     
  7. erhoth

    erhoth Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    I have the Strandberg original. I have owned 2 or 3 Dingwalls in the past. They do have the best b. Honestly I dont even notice the fanned frets on the Strandberg. Maybe because the b and g string are closer in length -it is not fanned as much? As far as playability and weight, I am digging the Strandberg. I get comments on the tone at every gig. It has all the features I would have requested on a custom build, multi-scale, headless, zero fret, birds eye fingerboard, flame maple, chambered body, active-passive w/ same output, and ergonomic. It is a very nice and well thought out bass. Love the weird neck shape thing also!
     
  8. redwood

    redwood Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    I'm curious if either of your Dingwalls had the Darkglass pre in them? Curious how you found that compared to the Nordstrand pre.
     
  9. erhoth

    erhoth Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    Sorry, but no. Darkglass was not out at the time.
     
  10. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    I've been fortunate enough to play both a Dingwall and a Strandberg bass around early May and I will have to vote on a Strandberg. The feel of the bass is just amazing compared to a Dingwall to where I couldn't wrap my hands around it and was extremely uncomfortable on my left arm (thankfully it was only a half hour gig when I borrowed the Dingwall).

    There's something about the Strandberg Bodens that makes my other headless basses take a back seat when I briefly tried them out at a music shop in San Diego. That's really unfortunate there's no music shops that carry Strandbergs around your area @Lunatique Have you researched Strandberg dealers around your area? That's how I was able to track down that music shop in San Diego and took the 80 mile trip just cause I was really eager to make the stupid decision and buy before trying one out.
     
  11. Lunatique

    Lunatique Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Lincoln, CA
    I did end up buying a Dingwall NG-2, since the Strandberg is a bit too expensive for me at this point--I'd have to sell all my bases to justify the cost, and I don't want to do that. So I'm going to try and wait and see if in a couple of years there will be some used ones available at a lower price.

    So far, I've getting getting on with the Dingwall quite well. The B string is indeed very tight and clear, and the fanned frets aren't much of a problem to get used to. The tonal options on it are nice too, with the two pickups and the Darkglass pre-amp/EQ.
     
    BurningSkies likes this.
  12. gadgetgirl

    gadgetgirl Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    East Coast
    Hi - What music store in San Diego carries the Strandberg bass?
     
  13. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Pitbull Audio
     
  14. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    Just ordered my Strandberg from Pitbull. That makes one less there. ;P And it was a NICE looking one. I'm very much looking forward to trying it out. While I've been using my Sadowsky WL5 and Fender P-bass with more traditional tones for most gigs the past few years, I'm curious as to how the Strandberg will fare being such a departure from my norm in pretty much every way.
     
    sonojono likes this.
  15. gadgetgirl

    gadgetgirl Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    East Coast
    Thanks!
     
    sonojono likes this.
  16. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Davenport, IA
    I've owned a few Dingwalls, and they have always been great. Never a Strandberg, but I went and saw Incubus last night, and Ben was rocking a 4 and 5 string Boden. It sounded absolutely amazing!!!

    I have no GAS left for Dingwall, but I'd kill for a Boden 5!
     
  17. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    I think he’s a Strandberg artist for them now. Pretty cool stuff!
     
  18. Lunatique

    Lunatique Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Lincoln, CA
    Man, you guys are making my GAS worse for a Strandberg. I love the Dingwall I got but my lust for a Strandberg is for different reasons the Dingwall can't satiate.
     
  19. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    I’m kinda 50/50 on a Strandberg. Especially when I ran into someone here that owned it for a month and returned it for come spec/QC issues.

    Here’s the source. #39
    Strandberg Boden Bass 5 Vs Kiesel Zeus 5 !
     
  20. There’s a big difference in the prices of both brands more affordable models. I happen to disagree with the reaching issues on the 37” scale. Dingwall actually did a really good job designing the basses so they don’t feel ridiculously long. I went from 34” Warwick thumb basses and musicman stingrays to the 37” and have no trouble. As you can see my left arm is actually bent at the elbow and my wrists are in comfortable positions. And I’m not crazy tall or anything I’m actually under 6’.
    9485BD31-4D90-4A5E-884F-F44801AE8D72. I was actually really excited about the Strandberg until found out the prices. If you wanted a shorter scale multi you can literally keep an eye out and get a used custom made dingwall super series for the price of the boden’s
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019 at 8:49 PM
    Scott McArron and sonojono like this.

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