Dingwall Afterburner I or II?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Palomorado, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. I've decided that once my new Chapman Grand Stick arrives in December I am going to sell my old 8-string Stick and get a Dingwall.
    I just don't know if I want the Afterburner I or II.

    Now, I have always been big on passive electronics and was wondering if that was an option on the II. I know that it has an active bypass switch so that is not a huge issue.

    The biggest question comes in the wood. The I is soft maple while the II is a walnut/bubinga combo. Does anyone here have experience with both (especially both in passive mode)?

    Any help would be great. I am excited about this but juts need a little info on the two models.

  2. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    The ABII basses have a more three dimensional quality to their tone. Slightly more airy and acoustic like.

    ABI's sound a little more rugged and traditional.

    Both basses have a lot of "wire" and growl. The ABI has the ability to cut treble for a deep throbby tone.

    I hope this helps.
  3. Yeah... what Sheldon says (since he builds them)
    his description of the ABI is right on, its a very versitilebass -playable for every situation. Great low end, thumpy w/ no muddiness. Growly, and present in the mix.The mids are excellent and the cool part about his basses each note is very pronounced & articulate. For a passive bass, its sounds extremely active.
  4. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Id say if you dig a passive tone, just go with the ABI. It has that passive sound, while being as loud as most actives Ive heard. Sheldons pups have anout 50% hotter output than most other (passive) pups Ive heard.

    However I have never played an ABII, so I dont have any experience with them, all I can say is the ABI wont let you down :)
  5. klorence


    Nov 21, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've got a AB-II 6-string, mahogany body/bubinga top/bubinga neck/wenge board. (Sheldon, you may remember upgrading the preamp for me.)

    I'm using the preamp upgrade even more than I thought I would, both in active & passive modes. It's great to be able to quickly dial in different sounds and adjust them for the room you're in on the fly.

    I agree with how everyone's describing the passive tone. Really excellent. To me, the active tone is also superb, and it's nice to cut & boost when you need to.

    I've found it also goes to tape extremely well; very studio ready, studio friendly. Plug straight in & go.

    Not sure what the AB-I weighs, but I can say my II is extraordinarily light, which is definitely a bonus.
  6. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I think mines weighs about 8 lbs.
  7. Hello fellow TBers. It has been a while since I have posted anything (medical school has a tenedency to keep one busy). I may be able to add a little more comparison in a few days. I currently own an Afterburner I five string and I have just ordered an Afterburner II six string from the good guys at Bass Central.

    I have owned my ABI for over a year now and I absolutely love it! I would agree that it has that raw passive tone yet it has tremendous output for a passive. In series mode, it has about the same output as my EMG J equiped Jazz bass, and a little less in parallel and solo neck/bridge modes. Also, if you use the blue EQube, it gets a very modern "active" sound. My band mates are always commenting on how well it cuts through the mix, and it is virtually noise free. If I was forced to only play this bass for the rest of my life, I would still be very happy. The quality of this bass is second to none, and the service (Hey Sheldon!) behind it is even better.

    The ABI was my introduction to the wonderful world of fanned frets and now I feel it is time to move to the next level. I have been drooling over the ABII's since I first laid eyes on them and finally gave in today. I bought the ABII site unseen, so maybe that will give some idea of the impression the ABI has made on me. If you all are interested, I will post some comparison comments this week.
  8. The AB II is here !! :hyper:

    I took it out for its first test at practice last night. I must preface this comparison with the fact that my new bass has the FD-3 pickups in it and my old AB I has the FD-1 pickups, so any differences in tone may have as much to do with the newer pickups.

    Palomorado, what I can say so far about the passive sounds is that the walnut/bubinga takes everything i like about the maple and adds -er too it. I find it deeper, brighter, sweeter, fatter(sp?). I believe Sheldon's term three dimensional really sums it up.

    This bass is also a little heavier, but it is a six, so it has a little more wood in it too. I also like the oil finish on this bass. It is very smooth and silky and seems like it will show less crud vs. a high gloss finish. On the flip side it probably won't stand up to as much abuse as the poly finish, but I am very careful with my instruments anyway.

    After playing them both, if I had to choose between the two basses, I would definitely choose the AB II. But that is a personal preference, and both basses are excellent. With either one you will get a highly versitile, top notch instrument with incredible customer service behind it, if you should ever need it.

    The word from Sheldon is that the new Afterburner I basses will be fitted with the newer FD-3 pickups, so that could change the tonal characteristics a good bit. There has been a link floating around here to a site with some sound samples of the FD-3 pickups in a fretless Afterburner (I believe it is an AB I). You should check those out as well. http://www.dingwallguitars.com/FD3/

    Best wishes
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Any more input on the differences in tone vs. relative value?
  10. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I go back to the Sheldon makes them, he knows best, I own both, If you like to play passive, I'd just get an AB-1. It's obvious if you like active. They are both fine basses. My AB-1 is whale pool blue, I think it's prettier then the Pomelle Bubinga, but that one has a Real nice piece of wood for a top.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Well, the ABII is reputed to have a more complex mid...but there are a few things to mention.

    First off, since the thread started, ABIs are alder bodied.

    Also, the AB2 is active, but when you switch it into passive it loses its tone control.

    The AB1 IS passive but when set in series pickup mode, often fools people into thinking its active.

    I agree with the above post. I like the maple top compared to the bubinga top on an aesthetic level.
  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    So the AB I is now Alder instead of Curly Maple?

    The AB II is either Walnut or Mahogany?

    Would an AB I with an Aguilar DB924 be really close to an AB II?
  13. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Either way would be a good choice IMHO.

    I might lean toward the ABII w/ the active electonics though.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The top option is still the same, for the flamed/curly maple...just the body is now alder rather than soft maple. My AB1 happens to have a 3pc body.

    I believe that the AB2's being built now are Walnut bodies with bubinga tops.

    You'd be best off asking your question about the Aggie to Sheldon directly over at the Dingwall message board.
  15. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    according the site its soft maple.
  16. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I just got done ordering some of these. Based on the info that I have, the ABIIs have a walnut body. Bubinga is also used as a supporting wood in the ABIIs.
  17. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    Our website needs some TLC.

    The bodie core wood for the ABI is Alder. For the ABII it's Walnut. We use 2 or 3 piece depending on quality available.

    Necks are all 5 piece laminate on all of our basses.
  18. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    5 pieces of the same wood, or with stringers, etc?

    and alder is a huge improvement. very cool.

    cos the maple on my ibanez has great mids and highs, but is COMPLETELY lacking low end wise.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Necks are 5 pc. maple.
  20. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Huh? On the website it says AB necks are 1 piece. I asked about getting a five piece neck & you said Dingwall dosen't on the AB1 or 2s.

    If this is true, the website definitely needs to be updated. In my process of figuring out if I want an AB1 or AB2 I feel it took too much searching to get answers on what Dingwall offers right now. If the options on the 2 models were stated more clearly on the website I think you guys wouldn't be answering as many questions. Not trying to mean at all Sheldon, just constructive criticism.:)

    I just ordered a Dingwall AB2-5 from Terry @ Cabs Unlimited.
    Highly reccommended! Best service & definitely the best price in US & Canada.;)