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Dingwall, harder to play?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KingCrimson, Apr 27, 2009.


  1. KingCrimson

    KingCrimson

    Oct 6, 2008
    Those novax fanned frets, does it make the bass harder to play?

    I always liked the look of dingwalls, but those fanned frets look like they would interfere with playability. I do know how they balance tone and intonation though.
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Not in the least. In fact, they make it easier to play.
     
  3. KingCrimson

    KingCrimson

    Oct 6, 2008
    really, how so?
     
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Because the frets slant in the direction that your fingers really want to point, thus it actually feels better than a straight fret bass. Beyond that, I've never seen anyone pick up one of my Dingwalls and not be completely comfortable on it within less than a minute.
     
  5. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    IME, the Dingwall experience is not without its challenges. The left hand reach required to get to the first 2 frets on the lowest strings is a stretch that takes some getting used to, and the fanned fret system isn't very friendly for players that use chordal techniques, two-hand tapping, or double time bebop runs.

    Just like anything else, the fanned fret system comes with its own set of solutions and problems. The solutions that the fanned frets provide are considerable, and if you can get comfortable with the technical demands that accompany the FF system, it's worth exploring.
     
  6. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I could see how four finger chords might take some practice, but outside of that, it hard for me to imagine adapting to the FF a "demanding" chore.
     
  7. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    No sir.

    If you can reach F on a P bass you can reach the C on a Dingwall.;)
     
  8. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I utilize all of those techniques on a 6 string Dingwall.

    I'm not saying that it makes me awesome but with a little practice it does become a breeze.
     
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    IMO, terms like "easier" and "harder" are pretty relative and not universally definable, we all like what we like. The fact that Dingwall's current offerings vary considerably in overall string length from model to model is important to note as well.
    What I would say is this. Almost everybody who tries a Dingwall for the first time is amazed by how natural they feel and shocked from the lack of "getting used to it" that is required, but experience trepidation when looking down at the fingerboard, that passes quickly. I don't doubt that a player using heavy chording and/or all-out shredding in the upper register would need to familiarize themselves with the the angles. One gentleman who sat in on my bass has some trouble with the 37.5" B string on my bass, mainly because he was about 5'7" and had a pin in his left shoulder.
    I would most likely still like a Dingwall even if it had parallel frets. The quality of materials, design and execution is exceptional.
     
  10. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.


    Yep.
     
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Aren't they the whole point?
     
  12. Can I try out your rastaburst Dingwall for the next couple years? :D

    I use that bass for my computer wallpaper :cool:
     
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    See, the fanned frets get all the press, but what Sheldon and his shop does is a whole lot more. The precision of the build, the quality of the materials, and the engineering that goes into all of the parts and construction are unlike any other bass. So, no, they're not the point, but one of the features.

    Sheldon makes his own pickups, his bridges are not 'off the shelf' his electronics are not 'off the shelf and mostly custom designed, and many of the design features and the processes by which he does otherwise normal aspects of building are in fact, specific to his instruments.
     
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Any time you're in my area, I welcome you to come and try out my Z/V Rastaburst. Just give me a bit of lead time and I'd be happy to let you try it (but not for a couple of years ;)). You know, it's my computer wallpaper too!

    I need to take some more pictures of it again!
     
  15. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    After 5 minutes you won't even know the frets are slanted.
    Well, until you try and make chords in the upper register.
     
  16. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Lowphatbass mentioned reach on the B string can be an issue for smaller people. I would conceed that this IMO is the only issue with my DW AB1 (but not a big deal).

    I am 5'7" and I guess playing low C on the B string for extended lengths of time may be potentially uncomfortable. I rarely would play like that though.

    The fanned fret system took me literally no time to adjust to. Triads, slap with octaves, etc. were a breeze to play.
     
  17. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    It took me 10" to get used to my first Dingwall way back in 1999. I've been going back and forth between guitars and basses (scales varying from 24.75" to 36") but noithing feels more balanced, ergonomic and resonant than a Dingwall. And I do chords way up to 17th-19th fret
     

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