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Dingwall ABZ vs. Combustion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by russpurdy, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    So I have decided that I love Dingwall basses. Played a few and they are great. They are also made just up the road from me. I'm gonna start putting a bit of cash away every month to eventually buy one. Realistically ill only be able to afford something on the lower end and can't decide if I want to go with a combustion (which I have played) or an ABZ which I haven't been able to play. Obviously I have some time to decide but I'd like to hear what you guys think. I played a lee sklar signature that I really liked the feel of but didn't care for the look of the body or the preamp. The thin neck was awesome though. I also played a combustion and really liked the tone (especially the new preamp bypass passive mode) but I preferred the neck on the sklar.

    There are things I like about the ABZ (body shape, passive pickups, made locally, c shape neck, satin finish)
    And there are things I like about the combustion (rosewood board option, switchable preamp, alnico pickups, cheaper)

    So which would you go for and why? Would you pay the extra $700 for an ABZ? I can get a combustion for 1200 vs an ABZ for 1900
  2. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Both are great basses. While I haven't played an ABZ (that I can remember), I do have a couple of AB's (an ABI and older ABII with no finish, or is it a satin finish... a non-poly finish).

    The Combustion definitely has a thicker neck back to front, more-so on the 2nd generation batches, than the ABs. I think that the Combustion is just more traditional sounding overall. The ABs have pretty hot pickups and you'd think they are active and are very powerful and authoritative, but have clarity.

    If the ABZs are anything like my older ABII, the wood just has a sexy and intimate feel to it. The AB line has an overall feeling of higher quality and fit and finish, which is not to say the Combustion feels cheap; they're just not equal in that regard.

    One of the good things about the Combustion is that it can serve as a platform for modifications. You can "upgrade" the pickups to FD-3's or change the preamp later if you want to fiddle with things.

    Would I pay the extra for the ABZ? Yes, if I decided I liked it better. But both are good choices.
  3. lposavad

    lposavad Supporting Member

    Ultimately, you need one of each. :)
  4. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Thanks guys keep the info coming!

    Yes, one of each would be great but it will be a stretch to afford even one. I have never owned an electric instrument worth more than a grand so this is a step up for me! I usually buy cheap and upgrade as I go.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Russ they commonly have ABZs at the North End L&M, if you want to try mine I have a passive four banger you can try out any time.

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