1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Dingwall ABZ Questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fragernackyl, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. fragernackyl

    fragernackyl Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2011
    Greetings! I have a Modulus Q5 that I really like, but I've been contemplating selling and replacing it. The main reason is that I find that the string tension from the 35" scale is too tight on the A,D and G strings making it very difficult to get good response when slapping, etc.

    I've been intrigued by Dingwall and the different string scales. My question for those who have played a ABZ 5 is: how is the string tension compared to other 35" scale basses? I realize the B will be very tight considering it's 37 inches, but how are the other strings? Can you get good response when slapping like you would on a 34" scale bass?

    Also, in regards to pups and pre-amp, I'm also very inrigued by the Dingwall's simplicity in their passive pups. How do you who own a ABZ like this system as compared to a bass with a pre-amp? How is the output? My Modulus is great, with barts and an OBP-3, but I find I'm always fiddling with knobs and I'd like to simplify.

    Anything else you can tell me about the Dingwall ABZ to help me fall even more in love with it would be awesome.

  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    The fanned frets are much better than a straight fret system in regards to string tension. Each string pulls the same tension. You can get lots of different sized strings that can give you exactly the tension you'd want from Circle K strings.

    I only play passive basses, but the ABZ can be ordered with a preamp, or you can always install one if you feel you need it. Honestly, it's a super versatile instrument considering it has one volume, one tone, and a 4 way pickup selector.
  3. CoarseBass


    Dec 28, 2002
    The nonsense begins already.

    As much as I want an ABZ, a set of lighter strings would be a massively cheaper solution.

    The ABZ will has a 35.5" scale length on the A, and a 34.75" on the D. So if you don't like slapping a 35" string....you're not going to like 4/5 strings on an ABZ.

    Lower tension/equal tension, etc are a function of string properties and scale length. You can set the ABZ up balanced, tight, loose, as needed, just the same as your current bass.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Of course just moving to lighter strings also affects your tone, timbre and the volume across the strings. ;)

    I personally like the fact that they play up the neck better than most 'straight fret' instruments. The B and E useable above the 7th fret way more than many 34 or 35 inch basses.
  5. fragernackyl

    fragernackyl Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2011
    Interesting. I've tried various strings on my Q5 and all have been pretty darn tight. Great sounding, just difficult to slap on a 35" scale (I am the only one who has this problem?) My backup bass is a G&L Tribby L2500 and it's WAY easier to slap on than the Q5.

    I've never been able to set up a 35" scale bass, with strings and adjustment, to get it super comfortable to slap on. It could just be my technique, IDK....
  6. CoarseBass


    Dec 28, 2002
    A lot of 35" scale basses also wear 24 frets, and lots of hardcore slappers like the tone from bouncing the string off a 20-21 fret bass.
  7. fragernackyl

    fragernackyl Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2011
    I guess I'm still looking for that "jack-knife" of basses that will do all I want.

    For those that have played both, which would you prefer: Modulus Q5 or ABZ 5?
  8. Have you considered a Super J or Super P? 22 frets and goes from 35" to 32" scale.
  9. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Yeah, it really seems like you're looking for a Super series Dingwall.

    While the Super series is considered short scale among Dingwall fans, it's actually just traditional scale. 32-35" means that most strings are about the same length you're used to, the 35" is the industry standard for a healthy low B (though 37" sounds better, why I own two long-scale Dingwalls) and the D and G strings are a bit warmer sounding.

    Go over to the Dingwall forums and see if there's anyone near your area with one (or a few). Dingwall fans are pretty welcoming when it comes to spreading the word.

    Both long scale and short scale Dingwalls will give you the string-to-string evenness in tone and tension that you're looking for. There is a variety of strings available for long scale Dingwalls so you can pick and choose until you get your preferred tension, and the Super series will take pretty much any string set you can find.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    ABZs are amazing instruments, but try a custom set of strings for your current bass first. Use a string tension calculator to figure out your current tension and modify from there.