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Dingwall passive or active?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mexibass, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    Hey guys, I'm about to order my first Dingwall. Still thinking if it's gonna be an ABZ6 in Natural finish or an AB1-5 string in Ferrari yellow, both would come with a wenge/wenge fretboard-neck combo. Both would have almost the same price tag. The thing is that I'm considering adding a Glockenklang 2 band pre amp, but it costs $300 more, and my budget is kinda tight, let's say that I would like to keep this around the $2.5 mark, and with the preamp my budget would be considerably surpassed, so my question to all Dingwall AB owners out there is this:

    Does the preamp make a huge difference tone and permorfance-wise? Is it worth it?

    I own passive and active basses, I'm aware of the differences between one and another, I just would like to know the opinion on this particular pre from those that have been using it on their AB Dingwalls for a while.

    I've heard and read that passive AB's don't even sound that "passive" as one could think.

    Hope I can get some input from the TB Dingwall community.

    Thanks a lot!
  2. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    You can always add an aftermarket preamp, often for significantly less than $300; the 4-way switch on the ABZ provides a LOT of tonal possibilities too, it's more than likely you won't miss having a preamp at all ;)
  3. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I've got preamps in both of my Super P/J's. Aguilar in one, Glockenklang in the other. Both are super nice preamps, and Sheldon does a killer job integrating them into the basses. That said, I almost never turn them on. The passive sound is very good.

    I bought both the Super P/J's used so I didn't have to make a choice about whether to go active or passive. I'd been a dedicated active J bass player for many years so getting a passive P was a revelation. I messed with the preamp quite a bit and finally found I liked the passive mode better. I dial the preamps to give a little bass boost if I want to kick in something different, and to keep any sudden changes to a minimum if I should accidentally engage the pre amp by pushing the volume knob down, or hitting the little switch.

    On my AB six string it's passive and I love it. I do had the blueqube switch and that adds quite a bit of range on the tone knob, but I mostly play without the blueqube engaged and with some tone rolled off. There's a huge range of tone.

    I'm really into the six string at the moment but I think the AB five string is just the sweetest bass. Very light, super easy to play, killer B string and a perfect neck.

    The Ferrari yellow kills.

    Looks like your toughest choice is five or six string.
  4. mexibass, we had similiar dilemma about dingwall, I was also considering about 6str ABZ (natural ash) or 5str AB1 (ferrari yellow alder) with wenge-wenge neck setup :eek:

    I prefer passive for dingwall, just to keep my tight budget, and +1 to MDbass, you can always add an aftermarket preamp when you had more budget to spend..
  5. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    Well, the problem is that in this part of Mexico it's kinda hard to find someone reliable to do this kind of mods, so an aftermarket preamp wouldn't be much of a real option here, and even if I could find a good tech, I'd end up paying more than $300 for sure, everything is way more expensive here, both parts and labour.

    But I'm happy to confirm that most Dingwallers I've talked to say that passive Dingwalls sound just about right and punchy!

    On a related note, I'm sorry you haven't sold your Combustion man, it's a good looking bass and I'm sure that the mods you performed on it are killer. GLWYS!
  6. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    Same here, an aftermarket preamp it's not an option since it'd be more expensive than the Glockenklang.

    So, I'm guessing you got the ABZ6 in natural, is this right? you got any photos to share? I'm trying to picture in my mind what a natural finish, wenge/wenge combo neck would look like, but an actual picture would definitely make this way easier ;)

    The ferrari yellow, on the other hand, has already been used and it definitely looks gorgeous, although I've never feen a fan of solid colors, but this combination is amazing!

    Attached Files:

  7. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    Hey man, thanks for the input! And yes, going 6 or 5 string is also a tough choice, since my first goal for this bass is to use it as my main instrument on my solo project, for which a 6 string would fit better IMO. I've already got my Pedulla Rapture 5 strung E-C for this purpose, but I'm not really in love with its sound.

    Nevertheless, I've gotta always pay attention to the bugdet issue. Is as simple (or complicated, depending on your point of view) as this: if I want a 6'er, then it can't be a AB1, if I want the Ferrari yellow (since this colour can't be applied to ABZs), then I have to settle for a 5 string.

    God, I can't seem to make up my mind LOL!
  8. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    Completely agree. I've got an AB2 5 with the Aguilar preamp, and I also almost never use it - the passive sound is great.

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