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Basslab vs. Dingwall

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by embellisher, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I am going to get a new five string in February or March, when I get my bonus for 2003.

    I have narrowed it down to these contenders.

    Basslab STD V


    Dingwall Afterburner II


    So, you people who have experience with both of these, which one should I get, and why?


    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    Bass Lab. Played one in Germany. It was cool! Tight, punchy and clear. It was, of course, lightweight and comfortable. Action was really low and the neck was straight. I would go for it! Then all you have to do is plug it into a Glockenklang! Other interesting German basses can be seen at www.lefay.de. The site is in German, but who cares. Those basses are really cool as well.
  3. JJd2sc


    Jul 31, 2003
    Marietta, Georgia
    Fanned frets always do look interesting to me, do they play very differently?
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Basslab. It's got that "love it or hate it" thing going on, and most who have played it love it. A bit like the Bongo you nearly bought.
  5. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I've never played a dingwall but based on my experience with the basslab I would say go with the dingwall.

    The basslab I played was stiff feeling, didn't sound all that great and felt cheap. It seemed like more of a novelty and was way overpriced IMO. A shame too because I like stuff that is different...
  6. cods


    Sep 16, 2003
    i've never played either, but i'll say the basslab.
  7. Dingwall
  8. I'm not sure...

    But I'm wondering, what's up with that last, crooked, fret that's under the B and E strings on that basslab bass?

    Is it there for... some... reason? Or is it just aesthetic?


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL

    IIRC its for added slappage assistance or something along those lines.

    as for which to get, go with the basslabs bass,its nice and smooth like your head :D
  10. LouisB

    LouisB Guest

    Aug 23, 2003
    Guernsey, UK
    It's just aesthetic, to flow on from the shape of the upper horn.
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Both use interesting concepts to push the envelope for bass design and construction. I've played a Dingwall bass and actually found it pretty easy to get on with the fanned frets. However, I'd certainly want to try a Basslab creation before parting with my money - the lightness alone appeals, I like the kooky looks and I've heard pretty good reviews of the sounds available.

  12. I'd say you need to play the basslab before you make a decision.
    I can only comment on the Dingwall since I have a couple. The Dingwall sounds like a articulate pronounced bass. Good mids, tight bottom.The new ABII are equipped w/ FD3 pickups, which I have not heard before. I have FD-1's in my Dingwalls and they CUT, very aggressive, tights mids, tight bottom and growly, Sheldon informed me that the FD3 have more pronounce bottom and top end (which must be amazing).
    Don't worry about the fanned frets, again they pose only a visual distraction, your fingers know where to go. plus the majority of your playing will be in the 3-12 fret range which is almost parallel.

    I can only guess that the basslab bass sounds different and you'll have to figure out what "your sound" will be.
  13. hanales


    Jul 12, 2003
    Youngstown, OH
    I've played both, FCM is spot on about the dingwall sound. The basslab sound has a ton of range thanks to being a hollowbody and the pickups it uses. You can probably find any tone you want on it. Yes, when you pick it up, it feels like a toy almost, but when you start playing it, it's really a dream come true. I am currently in lust with a basslab 6 myself that I am saving for.
  14. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Never played a dingwall yet but I've been pretty impressed with the basslabs I tried last february at the musikmasse.

    Lightest basses I've ever touched and a very wide range of tones in there.

    I'd go myself with a two soapbars configuration rather than the 3 pickups.

    Peace, JP
  15. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State

    The question I would ask is how do these basses compliment what you have or solve for what you need? I have not played a Basslab, but for me, I think the novelty would be short-lived.

    I have played Dingwalls, and the Afterburner would be on my short list if I werre gassin' for another bass. They are very well-made instruments and the Novax fretboard offers a different sound due to optimizing the scale length for each string. I hae found the fanned frets very easy to get used to.

    OT: I thought you were gassin' for a Nordstrand?

  16. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC

    with no doubt :bassist: :bassist:
  17. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Man.. That bass is like.. Woah o_0.. How much is it?
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member


    I was, but the reality of the price for the features that I want set in.

    I am probably going to get a Dingwall, because the upper limits of my budget are $2200, and the Dingwall is what fits best for that price.

    The Basslab would probably fit too, but if I buy the Dingwall, I will have a few $$$ left. And I can't play a Basslab first, since the closest one that I know of is in San Diego.
  19. I do have some experience to share on the Basslab instruments.

    To me the most important thing is the sound of a bass. They should have strong fundamentals ,be able to articulate my musical "vision", sound natural or organic to the ear, and sound as well in the recording studio.
    Next I look for form ,style, aesthetics,and purpose.

    Basslab instruments fufill all of theese requirements and pass with flying colors.
    The basses are very responsive to the touch and can transmit every nuance of your playing style.
    The pickups and preramp are very musical and offer a wide variety of tone shaping. You can have Heiko customiize the bass to your specs. The shape of the neck,radius of the board,soundhole,ect.

    The STD bass is like playing a classical instrument. The way it sits in your lap , the angle and clearance of the neck past the horn are all reminiscent of a classical guitar.
    When you strap it on you dont even know your playing a bass. No more back pains! No more worries about humidity.You may have to adjust how you hang your bass to find the most comfortable position for you.
    Its tone is quite remarkable and even across the strings. The low mids are focused, the highs sing with sweetness and the bass can play all styles of music.

    The L bow has more low end bottom and the Soul is a homage to the Jazz bass.
  20. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I just wanted to comment on a few things.

    I have not played a Basslab, so I will not make any comments towards them or on the other hand say that you should buy one over the other.

    Towards the questions of stability, perhaps the Basslab bass would be "more stable". However, this has been my experience with the stability of Dingwall's necks.

    I live most of the year in Kingston, ON on a peninsula on Lake Ontario (one rather large lake, in the Great Lakes for those who are unfamiliar with it). Out there it is typically about 70% relative humidity. Pretty nice for wood I suppose. I spent the past semester in Colorado Springs, CO. It is not what I would call the most humid place around. In fact I would say that it is probably about 40% relative humidity and at 6500ft the air is considerably less dense. I took the Dingwall with me, and there was no truss rod adjustment required. The bass is now with me in the far north of Canada (Rankin Inlet, Nunavut not that most people will know what I am talking about). In the house it is very difficult to keep the relative humidity at 30% (22-27% normally) even with our humidifier (I have never before seen one that big). The reason being that it is quite dry outside, but there is a 50C difference in temperature between inside and outside and sometimes it is as much as 70C. Still no requirement for a truss rod adjustment.

    I don't know why the neck is so stable, the laminations or the strangely inserted trussrod (see website) but whatever it is, the neck is stable and is certainly not something I would worry about. In fact with most high end basses, I don't think that neck stability is much of an issue.

    I know that noone was bringing them into question, but the stability comments about the Basslab I think are a non-issue. It should come down to feel and tone between these two basses.


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