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Dingwall from Bass Central - WOW!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jeff Rader, May 21, 2004.

  1. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I had the chance to play this bass a couple of weeks ago in Orlando. It belongs to Jim Lucas (great player!). He purchased it from Bass Central. What an outstanding instrument! I've played several Dingwalls and continue to be impressed with the workmanship, playability and tone. And, that "B" string - WOW! Super articulate. I really like how the fanned frets seem to sit more naturally under my fingers.

    I've been itching for a 6 string to round out my stable. Looks like it will be a Dingwall.

    Gard, we'll need to talk!

  2. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Sweet instrument! I just played my first Dingwall yesterday at the new Atlanta Bass Gallery and was very impressed with what I saw.

    It was amazing just how easily I adapted to the fanned frets.
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I've never actually played a Dingwall. I gotta say, just as a first impression, that's a pretty wierd looking bass. I mean, fanned frets, pickups at odd angles, odd body and headstock shape, it's definitely different. How hard do you think it would be to play a Dingwall after having played "ordinary" (linear) basses for thirty years?
  4. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Much easier than it looks. Takes about 2 minutes. Your fingers will go to the right spot - it's your head that has to get adjusted! Start off by not looking at your fingers.

  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I was in the same boat (although it's closer to 18 years). But, it really wasn't that difficult at all. In less than 5 minutes, I was playing chords up and down the neck and grooving along on the low strings while carrying on a conversation. :bassist:
  6. I tried one out at Club Bass a couple of weeks ago - it was sitting there on Dave's wall, and I just had to find out how it felt. I was amazed at how "naturally" it played (i.e. I didn't feel anything was different from a feel prespective), particularly where I spend most of my time on the neck (2nd to 10th frets).
  7. munkyboy


    Feb 1, 2004
    I like the looks, but i'm sure i've read somewhere that they have a model with more of a vintage vibe. hanv't seen it tho.
  8. All of Sheldon's models are on the website - pretty hard to imagine a fanned fret bass having a vintage vibe, but the pup placement on the Z2 makes it perhaps a little more conservative looking?

    Dingwall Basses
  9. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    I have never seen or played one but can anyone tell me what the purpose is to having frets at an angle like that? Is it easier to play?
  10. The purpose is to optimize intonation and string tension, which are imperfect on a conventionally fretted instrument. Notice that the scale length is significantly different for each string on the fanned fret basses, whereas on a conventional bass a single scale length applies to all strings.

    I'm sure someone else can explain the physics behind this better than I can (I'm an engineer, and can't put things in plain english at the best of times! :D ), but that is the poop in layman's terms.
  11. WoW...thats an awesome Afterburner II.
    Like everyone else I intially thought that those fanned frets were gonna be a problem. They ARE not, it took me about a full 10mins to feel prefectly comfortable and do everything on my Dingwalls basses that i could do on a parallel fret bass. I rountinely switch back-n-forth between a parallel fret bass and my Dingwall w/ no problems. You should try playing my Dingwall fretless bass. :smug:
    On Sheldon's insert card w/ the bass he writes (I'm try to paraphrase a bit), "just close your eyes and let your fingers go. You fingers will know where to go, the fanned frets are merely a visual distraction"
    I find the Novax board better on my wrist, and honestly the fanning is so slight where most of us play (the 7th fret is parallel), thats its no big deal. Just way up high and down low require a quick peek.
    Unfortunately the Dingwall website get updated every bi-centennial, and doesn't reflect all the instruments Sheldon makes or sells.

    As for why the Novax board is used read here

    Munkyboy-be patient, a vintage inspired Dingwall is near
  12. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Whoa. I can't do that on any bass, so you're way ahead of me. If I try to talk to someone, I have to synchronize my words to the beat. ;)
  13. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Jeff -

    You were HERE and didn't come to visit us???


    Yeah, Jim's a great guy, we refer to him as the "Will Lee of Orlando"! (i.e. he can play ANYTHING) He was just here a bit earlier buying a gigbag for the bass in question - which is indeed a very impressive bass!

    ...you know where to find me :cool:....

    ...like yourself, I will own one of these, and soon....
  14. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Yeah, I know. I was at conference and just couldn't get away (Jim's band played at one of the dinners). Guess I'll need to plan a follow-up trip back to Orlando!

  15. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Yea, I really want a Dingwall also... Eventually ofcourse, and I have played them, and after playing a Standard Fretted bass, and the Fanned bassed, I can tell you it feels MUCH more NORMAL fanned then standard...

    BTW they look "Exotic" not wierd :D

    Good Times

  16. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    You just HAVE to be the guy with the cool basses that everybody talks about at the DFW gatherings, don't you??? ;)

    That's cool, I hope you get it, dingwalls ae really special.
  17. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Don't know if it's me, but I do think I have a couple cool basses!!

    How many DFW gathering have there been? I've only been to one. Send me an email the next time, will ya?? ;)
  18. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    your nordstrand had some toungus wagging last year, did you ever manage to get the drool off of it?

    We have only had one gathering, there was talk about having another one soon, but I'm not sure who was going to pick up the ball and run with it.