Dingwall… should i go there?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TTA, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    9057718A-1469-4E41-A754-A6FFE51C6073.png 00989339-4D1D-4706-8096-BF99E4387DCE.png BF9DF235-446D-4170-9C10-A4BE1DB4F843.png 68D882A9-F399-499D-A41B-240CB631DFD8.png 1719213B-9D27-4002-8D4C-A3E228A3DE47.png
    The last bass in 5 string with white block inlays would be pretty sweet.


    so after pondering the concept of the importance (or unimportance) of mia in the current bass world… i figured maybe i would look at Canadian basses. Dingwall came up. I have also been pondering a 5 string… and if you go five, this seems to be the type of design to do it right.

    Aesthetically, The combustion looks nice (so do the p and j basses… but i might need to deviate). Also made in china. Heads up, if i don't like the look of a bass… i wont even consider it. a ric 4003 and a fender jazz are my gold standards. But with the chunky angled pickups, many knobs, fan frets, i will admit my brain struggles to handle it. But they have some sexy designs.

    I had a quick skim of a few parts of the dingwall thread, but i was wondering how others that got one, or tried one and decided against one… felt about them.

    Feel free to share your story/thought process.

    all of the below speak to me, but i admit i tend to j and p designs.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
    UncleBalsamic likes this.
  2. graphics1988

    graphics1988 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Ontario Canada
    I have had 5 Dingwalls (all CDN) in total. I have one left - Super PJ4. All passive - as I don't care for the preamp tones in the upper registers as much. To ME, it gets thin sounding - so i am out. Dingwall's playability are incredible - necks are perfect, small tiny frets feels sooooo good, neck dive on any model i have tried, is non-existent.
    Some people have a mind struggle, at first, switching to fan frets, and that is fine, but i think that is the minority of users. Personally I had next to none - a buddy of mine basically told me to play without looking at fretboard and adapt that way. Prob less than 5 minutes and a few dozen botched notes - and it seems like your fingers learn the slightly different shape spacings.
    Fit n finish are flawless on CDN models. I love the shapes and angles from an artsy point of view. Nice to be different some times.
    Gizmot, J R Knots, Lowendtech and 2 others like this.
  3. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I have never played, let alone owned a Dingwall. But I still would like to offer some observations.

    I have 2 5 string fan fret basses, both Brices. One is a headless 35-32 inch active and the other a 37-34 inch passive. I installed Dingwall strings on the 37-34 inch passive and my experience with that bass alone made me see that YES, a 37 inch B string is a wonderful thing! I'm not crazy about the tone of the 32 inch G on the other bass, so it will probably get sold at some point.

    I have no doubt that the electronics on any Dingwall is better than what I have, so I won't comment on that. My experience moving from parallel fret to the 37-34 was much easier than I thought it would be, although understand that I do not do much work at all at the high not end of the neck. But I would still advise anybody to try before making the leap, if possible.

    I do still mostly play parallel fret basses, but that 37-34 inch bass will be one of the last ones I ever get rid of... if I ever do!
    graphics1988 likes this.
  4. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    Another thought… the j and p basses are not as long scale. Are we partly defeating the purpose of the design doing this? I figure if you go in, you go all in.
  5. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    I need pictures! What kind of pricing were you looking at?
  6. Wretched Banana

    Wretched Banana

    Mar 7, 2020
    MA, US
    I got my NG3 a couple weeks ago, and I think my complete transition to fanned frets and the 37'' scale took about 18 seconds. The effect is entirely negligible below fret 15ish, and above that only becomes slightly odd if you're doing heavy chord work.

    The design does make sense even with shorter scale models. I've also been playing a borrowed Ibanez EHB1505MS to compare to the Dingwall, which is a 35''-33''. It's way better than my parallel fret 34'' EHB1505.

    However, with the Dingwall design I'm having different problems:
    - The fretboard radius is unexpectedly small at 9sometting''. I've just discovered that it makes a big difference, at least in my hands. I like'em flat. EHB is a dream to play at 19''.

    - 3 pup models force you to play over the pups at most time. Think permanent ramp, not much digging into strings possible. Combined with the radius, I find that a BIG problem on the G string, it's way too close to the pups for my liking and can't easily be fixed without messing up the otherwise wonderful action.

    - Because of the variable scale, you end up playing higher strings closer to the bridge. The G string I pluck almost right next to the bridge, which messes up my tone and technique.

    - I play a fair amount of fingerstyle metal and fret clank is a critical component of my sound. Guess what, it's pretty hard to clank those long and tight B & E even if you beat the poop out of the instrument. Surprisingly I have had very little success in getting a good metal sound out of the NG3. It plays a wonderfully smooth 80s Japanese city pop tho :)

    These above required some serious mental and technique adaptation, after 2 weeks I'm still not quite there.
    crguti, AlexanderB and Billyzoom like this.
  7. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    I am at a point in life where i dont play music for money, so i can afford what i want. I like experimenting and variety and all of this sounds interesting. You make some interesting points on the pros and cons of the fan design… mainly hownclose you are to the bridge when playing the g string. However… if your goal is to play the low notes, and you are willing to go this far to optimize the b… i think compromising the g in some aspects is an ok compromise.

    I might need a dingwall 5 string j bass as the china options dont give me the visual look i want.
  8. graphics1988

    graphics1988 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Ontario Canada

    This was all I could find at the moment. Prices vary when you option them out - Plus I am in Toronto..so CAD prices.
    ABZ%204%20Passive%20Trans%20Redburst%20Wenge%20Wenge%20Pearloid%20blocks%20Hipshot%20e.jpg IMG_0685.JPG IMG_0733.JPG 20150630_060832.jpg 20170201_205323.jpg 20170528_204634.jpg
    MattZilla, Hyball27, Mili and 2 others like this.
  9. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    very nice. I can get a combustion 5 like i shared in the first pic from l&m. Canadian dollars are how i roll but pm me if you feel comfortable to talk price ranges.

    The combustion would be near 3k all in (no hard case!). And that is their “budget” model. But would serve as a nice trial.
    graphics1988 likes this.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I say "go for it!!!!" but you probably realize that I'd say that and it shouldn't be a surprise.

    My most recent Dingwall is my first "Super" series...a Super-P with a P-Tone bridge pickup added. I got it about 10 months ago, and I REALLY like this bass. It's a great mix of the benefits of modern forward thinking bass engineering applied to a classic bass design aesthetic. I DO feel like the 32-35" fan works well...it rides the line between a tone that lovers of 'classic' basses will find comfy and the more modern tone and feel that Dingwall is generally known for.

    On top of that, the fit, finish and attention to detail is really excellent. Mine can retain an action that is lower than all my others, with a neck that has the least amount of relief...and even with a 1-piece neck has not shown any signs of moving with our fairly wide seasonal humidity changes.
  11. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    Do they do all bolt on necks?
    graphics1988 likes this.
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    I think the Dingwall design philosophy is founded on the concept that if there's the potential for a part to fail, it should be fixable and/or replaceable. The necks are bolt on but at very high tolerance, so they're a tight press-fit and the bolts are not into wood but into anchors that are mounted in the neck.

    The supers have an option for a multi-piece neck as well, if wanted.
    comatosedragon and MattZilla like this.
  13. mexicant


    Aug 28, 2012
    Mid Michigan,USA
    Why isn't anybody posting what they paid for their bass?
  14. graphics1988

    graphics1988 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Ontario Canada
    Probably cuz they range once you start optioning them out. 4 years ago, I could buy a Super PJ4 for around 4K CAD...highly doubt that is even close now. I'd say closer to 5 or 6K
    BurningSkies and mexicant like this.
  15. smurfco

    smurfco Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I really want a Super P.
    Snowglo and graphics1988 like this.
  16. ab2112

    ab2112 Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2015
    I have a Combustion and a Combustion NG3 and love both. Had a 6 way switch installed on the NG3 to open up more pickup combos. Both purple and sexy. Selling NG3 to have an AB built. The Dingwall Owners Club thread on here is also a cool place. They play and sound out of this world to my ears. All I need is my Dingwall and my Precision. DO IT.
    BurningSkies and graphics1988 like this.
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Pricing from a dealer on Import models is locked in and pretty much the same across the board. It also changes yearly, so unless you've bought it now 'what you paid' isn't probably what you will pay buying new.

    Pricing on Canadian 'custom' basses varies depending on how its optioned. But base pricing on current models is listed on the website or their facebook page.

    Some recent posts on their FB:
    AB1 Starting price $3980CAD
    ABZ Starting price: $3455CAD
    D-Roc custom 5 starting price: $4,880CAD
    D-Roc Custom 4 is starting price $4,725CAD
    Super J starting price $4680CAD
    Super P starting price: $3,980CAD
    ABII 3x 5 starting price: $4635CAD
    Z3 starting price: $6055CAD
    Prima Artist starting price: $16,500CAD

    A good reference for the import retail pricing:
    Basses - Dingwall - Page 1 - Bass Central
    MattZilla, graphics1988 and mexicant like this.
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Prices also have appreciated over the years along with changes in the hardware, electronics, woods and options; as well with higher demand.

    My first (new) AB1(Afterburner 1) was around 1600$ in 2005. There were no options besides color at that point. They were all passive and only 2 pickup. It's similar looking but a much different bass than offered now.

    So telling someone what my AB1 cost is pretty misleading in terms of 'what will it cost if I want to buy an AB1 today.
  19. lucas303


    Mar 11, 2019
    Dingwalls are excellent basses. I have an NG and I'll probably never let go of it. That said, they're not necessarily the be-all end-all of five string basses. Like any brand, personal preferences come into play.

    If you can afford it, though, I'd say go for it. They seem to move well on the used market so if for some reason it isn't your thing you shouldn't be out much. I will say that you need to give it a bit of time though because it can feel a bit odd at first (though there's plenty of people who feel at home on them the first time they play one).
    graphics1988 and BurningSkies like this.
  20. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I bought an AB1 recently and it's a great bass that gives some really nice options, especially the tone of the B string. Fit and finish is perfect and due to the 18 month wait list, you can sell for not much of a loss if you decide it's not for you.
    graphics1988 and BurningSkies like this.