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Basstasters new feature: Dingwall Afterburner II

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vanselus, Jun 8, 2005.


  1. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Howdy folks. Just a quick note to let you know that there's finally something new on the site for your listening enjoyment. A really nice piece from Dingwall.

    http://www.basstasters.com/

    This one was quite a surprise to me, both how easily the fanned frets are to navigate (effortless, once you stop looking down) and how the string tension and tone really does seem more even as you cross strings. Whether you buy into that or not, the general tone of the bass was pretty incredible. Very articulate, yet warm and punchy at the same time. I found it very easy to fly around on the fingerboard, with more articulation than normal, akin to an MTD, but not as bright and stringy. Awesome slap tone, and easy to dial in other very useable sounds with that nifty little p/u selector knob. Unlike most basses that cut through really well, the Dingwall recorded very well too - the freq response seems really even to my ears, nice and warm but without a lack of high end - no clacking frets though. I can see why Sklar plays one.

    The only thing I noticed in a band setting (practice) was that it was a bit TOO articulate for my normal gig. I normally use my Sadowsky PJ which fits the bill perfectly, but the Dingwall just cut right through and made itself heard, but not in the nasal midrange way like most of us are used to. Most of the time that'd be a great thing, but it just didn't work too well for this. However, crank the bass knob, turn on the blueQ switch, front pickup only, and it was very useable. Just not as perfect for the application as the Sadowsky. The only other thing that I found less-than-optimal is that there's no passive tone (which I crave). No way to roll off highs if they're a bit too bright.

    A funny side note about the fanned frets: at the high end, if you bend a string one way, the bend is very pronounced, the other, hardly noticable. It's intuitive if you think about it - but a funny side effect of the fanned frets! Of course, the opposite is true at the 1st fret. Don't anyone fear the fanned frets - the only time I stumbled was at the very end of the fretboard doing chords - then the angle gets much harsher. In the course of normal playing, I didn't even notice - and I was very surprised that I didn't.

    All in all, a very nice bass. Dingwall is extremely underrated, and I can't BELIEVE the street price on this beast is $2500 NEW. I've had basses that were $2500 USED that weren't anywhere near this nice. Fit and finish to a T, and Sheldon seems like a very honest, dedicated luthier with gobs of talent.

    Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions, and hope you enjoy the sound clips.

    http://www.basstasters.com
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Glad you enjoyed your experience. Always nice to have another preaching the Dingwall gospel :)
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks for the feedback (and clips), Todd. We really appreciate your efforts - even though they have contributed handily to emptying my wallet! :rollno:

    Tom.
     
  4. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Juneau - Pleasantly surprised to be singing the Dingwall gospel. Not just another bass that happens to have fanned frets, to be sure!

    Bowlus - takes one to know one, bro! Too bad we don't live closer - can you imagine the combo of cabinet-man and the basstaster?
     
  5. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I think if everyone who was intimidated, or not sure could try one out, they'd have a similar opinion to you and you'd see a lot more Dingwall's in high places so to speak.

    Then again I dont mind being in a semi exclusive group that knows something the rest of the general public may not :)
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    It's be madness! Sheer madness!!! Oh, and I am quickly becoming Ampman and PreAmpman, too! :cool:
     
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Nice even review...I'd like to see one for the passive model too. Those pickups are great without a preamp as well.

    Lovin' mine more everyday.
     
  8. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    I'd love to as well - petition Mr. Dingwall! :D
     
  9. Tfunked

    Tfunked

    Dec 30, 2003
  10. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    Thanks Todd, you've done a great job.

    It would be interesting to try an ABI since they have a passive tone. I'll see what I can do.

    Out of curiosity what style of music did you feel the Sadowsky was better suited for?
     
  11. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Im curious about that as well Sheldon. I bet whatever the ABII wasnt as great at, the ABI will fill the need hehe.
     
  12. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Great, thanks!

    I have to be careful on that question not to say something I don't totally mean (and avoid implication). To clarify, it's not that I'm saying the Dingwall DIDN'T work - but that I preferred the Sadowsky for that music. The band is "Ian McFeron" (www.ianmcferon.com) and the music is a little folky, dylan-esque, with some poppy blues thrown in. We're played on our local AAA station (dmb, jack johnson, jason mraz, etc), if that give you any idea. The drummer and I like to play pretty lightly, with a lot of subdued activity since the rest is pretty "singer-songwriter" in the hope that we're adding some interest to the background. In that respect, the lines I normally play became much less "in the background" - not a bad thing :D I just prefer a little bit more thud and less clarity for that group. I think the bubinga/wenge probably has a big hand in that, for when I play my wenge-necked MTD in that band, I come away with the same conclusion.

    As an interesting side note, the use that immediately came to mind when I was playing the Dingwall was the psychedlic rock band I used to play in. The sweet midrange, deep lows, and snap to the highs was EXACTLY what I always was trying to coax out of the Elrick. Half Phil Lesh-y vibe, half Mike Gordon - I love Gordon's tone. Maybe that was the problem playing the Dingwall in Ian's band - it's a bass that's just too darn musical for playing Dylan-esqe stuff!

    Hope that helped, it's so hard to put sound into words... :D

    Thanks again Sheldon, I (and the whole community) really appreciate you taking the time and energy out of your busy day to send me a loaner bass.
     
  13. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Oh and one point that I forgot:

    Keep in mind that I was using the bass flat, only using the p/u selector for tone. As I said in the earlier piece, when I turned on the blueQ switch, added a bunch of bass with the Aggie preamp, p/u selector on front - then the tone was very p-bassy (with way more balls) and worked quite well for Ian's band, although still very articulate. More of a Lee Sklar-ish tone, supportive and smooth while still being articulate.
     
  14. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Yeah the ABI will have a standard tone control, so youll have treble rolloff that you dont have on the ABII.

    So I bet it would fit into the mix better with neck pup soloed or in parallel config, with a bit of tone rolled off. I bet it would fit that bands needs to a T like the Sadowsky. Being passive it wont be as in your face as the active one, and with a little tone rolled off, you've got basically the same thing as boosting the lows in the end on the active, but with a bit less volume and bit more warmth Id imagine.

    The link to my recording project is in my sig and was recording DI with an ABI if you'd like to maybe compare tones to what you have there with the ABII.
     
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    You guys are killing me with GAS.

    [edit: keep up the good work!]
     
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I like the mid scoop switch on the AB1 for just the thing you're trying to describe...when we do a slower number, like a ballad, I flip up the BluEQube, and it puts me back into the mix, and is a lot more comfortable for that kind of material.

    One of the long time players I know (has a 59 P and a 63 Jazz, both bought in the early 60's) picked it up and flipped the pickup selecter a few times before hitting the parallel setting, and to quote him, "ahhh, there's the sound...that's the magic".

    I personally switch between neck alone and series when I want something aggressive that's not necessarily bright.

    I also think that the AB1 passive thing might be a nice addition to basstasters since the pickups are now commercially available, and you could probably get a good picture of both passive and active tone between samples of both models.
     
  17. Very nice man! I like that Dingwall!

    Very nice work on the site too, keep it up!

    P.S. One thing I'd like to see on the basstasters site, and I don't know if this is the wrong place to discuss this or if it's already been discussed, is more common cabinets such as Ampegs, Edens, etc along with the "Audiophile" cabinets you already have. Just IMO.
     
  18. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Well, unfortunately it's not "you guys" anymore. Josh moved to California a couple years ago so it's been just me lately. Pretty much ever since the huge preamp showdown.

    Glad I could give you gas!
     
  19. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    It has definitely been discussed, but thus far it's been impossible to get these companies to loan some gear. I talked to Warwick and Ampeg at NAMM and they both sounded interested, but after the show all emails and calls go unanswered.

    If anyone in the TB community has cabs that they'd feel comfortable loaning, let me know. I'm near Seattle.