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Dingwall pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by emjazz, Jun 4, 2005.


  1. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I see that Dingwall pickups are now available through best bassgear now. Take a look here:

    http://www.bestbassgear.com/dingwall-pickups.htm

    Anyone have any experience with these? How would you describe the tone? What preamp have you used with them?
     
  2. martens-koop

    martens-koop

    Oct 10, 2002
    Saskatoon
    [i work for dingwall, so I will get that out of the way, and hopefully not break any rules.]

    at the shop, we install aguilar preamps, both the obp-1 and the obp-3. the obp-1 (to my ears) has a warmer almost tubey sound. the obp-1 is treb bass boost only... while i prefer the sound of the obp1 treble and bass boost over the obp-3 treb bass boost, I have to say that I really miss having the ability to cut the tone, as well as the mid pot.

    on the other hand, I almost always play with the eq dead flat (I've had every dingwall pickup that we've made in my bass, and I've preffered them all flat...) this leads to the question: why get a preamp for these pickups at all? I dunno... I guess I just prefer a preamp... even if I never use it, its nice to know that its there... I'm getting a new Dingwall Prima Artist built soon (like maybe between now and the 22nd century) it will have the latest model dingwall pickups in it, and I've really contemplated going passive with the bass, but I keep on thinking that with a piezo bridge setup, I'd really miss it later on if the bass had no eq...

    I'm sure that as long as you don't "cheap out" on the preamp you'll be happy with just about anything you throw in it... I would definately go 18volt though... the improvement in headroom (in my opinion) is well worth the struggle of trying to fit two batteries inside a small compartment...

    anyways, have a great day...

    jmk
     
  3. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Man, what I wouldn't do to get my hands on a Dingwall 6er! :bassist:

    With the explanation written at the bestbassgear site about the pickups I'm very, very curious to hear these.

    JMK, preamp wise you may want to speak with Mike Pope about your needs when you have a new bass made. I have a feeling that his preamp would be great with these pickups. I'm also curious about the preamp on the D-TAR website here:
    http://www.d-tar.com/eclipse.shtml
    I have a good feeling that it'd be a great way to get a signal boost and mix a piezo, such as in your case. It looks like you can add eq modules as well. It sounds like the Dingwall pickups have plenty of volume on their own so an outboard pre could be a great answer. I've always been intrigued by the Pensa preamp that has bass boost and treble cut/boost. My first choice would probably be the Pope preamp though. He can configure it any way you need.

    Now to get my hands on some Dingwall pickups!
     
  4. cfraz

    cfraz

    Mar 28, 2004
    Hey, this is very interesting news; I had never seen Dingwall pickups available before. I just got an Afterburner I with the FD-3 pickups. I really like the sound, which of course comes from the entire package, but I think a lot of the character of the Afterburner comes from the pickups.

    There is lots of "cut" in these pickups, they sound really good when playing alone, and really, really good with the band. They seem voiced to hit that magic zone between nice deep bass tone, but kinda indistinct and mushy, versus clear clear but no bottom end.

    I find that these pickups really highlight the "touch" you use when playing. Use a harder attack or maybe a bit of fingernail, and the crispness really comes through. Use a bit more flesh in your pluck and the sound is very round.

    No trouble keeping up with two screaming guitars and a wildman drummer for the rockin stuff. Roll off the tone control (AB I has passive electronics) and you get a fat bottom that doesn't turn into indistinct mud (this has to be owing to the longer scale lengths, in part).

    Compared with my Pedulla Rapture with a single Bartolini active pickup, the FD-3's are more aggressive sounding, and they also have higher output (yes, higher than the active Pedulla). I was talking with our sound guy this morning after church, and he said compared to the other bass player there, who uses a Cirrus 5, he can run my bass louder in the mix, without it seeming to be too loud. He said it's not the volume, it's the tone quality.

    The only downside to the FD-3's that I've found so far is they can pick up a bit of noise. I generally keep my fingers on the strings between songs to mute the not loud, but noticeable hum that is otherwise picked up. I'm currently on a quest to find a way to eliminate that.

    - Cliff
     
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The description on the pickups holds pretty true to what I've found with my AB1. They are slightly hotter than others, and I find 3 of the 4 pickups settings on the selector switch produce pretty 'traditional' sounds. The 4th setting (series) on the other hand sounds much more modern...high output, with both booty on the bottom and sparkle on top, and lots of punch.

    The AB1 doesn't have a preamp, but I don't feel like I'm missing it in the least.
     
  6. Having not played the FD3 specifically, but the description seems about right from what I've heard other players. I can tell you from playing FD1, and FD-Js, the overall quality is xcellent. They have a high output, a wide tonal character, and are very mid-filled.
     
  7. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL

    JMK, Can you compare/contrast the FD-3 with the older Barts? I have a '99 Z1, Bart pups w/NTMB 9v pre. I'm most interested in the volume difference (as I'm sure they sound great) as I had a bad experience when I plugged my bass in for the first time at my church and my buds laughed me to scorn when my bass had almost no output compared to the church bass, a Cirrus 4. As a result, I maxed the preamp gain and now it'll keep up (the Cirrus is 18v) but I can't play passive anymore. If the output of the FD3's was that much higher, I could probably get away with turning the pre down so I could switch between them at will. As of now I don't have that option, and I'd like to keep it open.

    BTW, I too like the EQ flat, but 'cuz my strings are aging I give it a tad more highs and add some bottom for more body. Overall though, I like the tone of the Barts.

    Cfraz,

    I take it the FD3's are singles? My Bartolini's don't hum at all. I find the Barts behave similar to what you described; very sensitive to touch. A result of the long scale, maybe? They (or maybe this bass) exposed a lot of poor technique on my part.

    Funny that you have a Cirrus at your church as well... I like the tone of our Cirrus, it's a great bass. I play for my church's song service and also for our rock band. I've had nothing but compliments on the tone my Z1.

    Best regards,

    Eric
     
  8. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    cfraz, the noise you're hearing is electrostatic buzz and as you noticed goes away when you touch the strings. We can make the pickups quieter, but we lose a lot of top-end when we do that.

    Razman, we've never compared the FD-3s to a Cirrus so I can't comment on the two outputs. I will say the FD-3s have significantly more output, clarity and range than the stock Bartolinis. The stock Barts are more polite sounding, FD-3's more aggressive and more capable of getting a vintage sounding fingerstyle tone and a modern sounding slap tone.

    These comparisons are to the Bartolinis we were using, not Bartolinis in general. Bill's a wizard and can wind for any tone he wants.
     
  9. Eggman

    Eggman

    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    I just replaced the stock Barts in my Prima with FD3s that Sheldon sold me. Also replaced the blend with Sheldon's 4 way pickup selector. Even flat, there is an appreciable increase in output and clarity. I am liking my Prima a whole lot more now - tone wise. It has always been killer feel-wise.

    Thanks Sheldon!!!

    PS - Hey Sheldon - how goes my new Super J???

    Eggman
    (Bill)
     
  10. cfraz

    cfraz

    Mar 28, 2004
    Singles? As in single coil vs. humbucker? I don't really know.

    Yea, I think it's the whole package - change the pickups and there is a difference, but the bass's basic character still comes through. Definitely agreed on the technique aspect, too. If I had to sum up the difference between my AB I and all other basses I've played (granted, not very many), I'd just say "it sounds SO live."
    I got to play the Cirrus a couple weeks ago; very very nice bass. I like the neck shape on the AB I a bit better, more of a flattened D profile compared to the Cirrus' more V shape. Also the finish on the back of the neck seemed to grab a little - maybe its owner just has sticky hands :) I liked the control knobs on the Cirrus - kind of a rubbery finish on I think plastic knobs that made it easy to grab and set without looking.

    Tonewise, to my ear, the AB I wins easily with its greater clarity and note definition, not that the Cirrus is any slouch at all on those points.

    - Cliff
     
  11. cfraz

    cfraz

    Mar 28, 2004
    Ah, that makes sense. And after having experienced that top end that just loves to be spanked, I wouldn't want to lose it for the sake of a bit of hum on unattended strings. I'll have to admit that there was more than the usual potential for electrostatic interference; they had a bunch of tv's on stage as a tie-in with the theme of the sermon. One of the gutarists had a Variaxe that he could not play because it buzzed so loudly.

    - Cliff
     
  12. martens-koop

    martens-koop

    Oct 10, 2002
    Saskatoon
    this is as objective as I can make it. (yeah right!) I find the tone of the FD-3's to be like a porsche compared to the Cadilac of the old Bartolini's we used to use... the bartolini's are nice. we've done upgrades on a lot of basses, and I usually play a few notes on them a bit so I can get a feel for the change that the customer will experience. I wouldn't ever complain about the tone of bartolini's (keep in mind, my experience with Bartolini is limited to the models we used at the shop and one or two others that I've put into my own side projects) But when ever I swap out a bartolini and put in an FD-3, I keep surprising myself. supercharged, aggresive, Like a european sports car.....

    I often play the "number of the beast" to check out the "metallability" of the bass, and then the same walking bass lines from the only jazz song I know (billy's bounce?) to check everything out electronically string to string... (sheldon does the actual set up and dialing in...whatnot) the thing that I really notice about the pickups is that they are smooth and creamy but really aggressive as soon as you start digging in...

    it's all subjective though, and everyone's experience will probably be different... someone else might hear the same thing and wonder why I get the sports car inspiration rather than the rocketship feel that they might get... (by the way, did I mention that I'm a spaceship superstar?)

    the best thing to do would be to get a bass that you've played for years and then swap pickups in and out so you get a feel for what different pickups sound like in the same bass...

    have a great day..
    Jeff M-K
     
  13. This sounds very exciting! Will this pickups work on a bass with string spacing of 76 mm at the bridge and 74 mm over the bridge pickup? Fingerboard is flat i.e. no radius.
     
  14. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    This is good news for a lot of folks Id imagine. The pickups are a good portion of the dingwall sound I believe, and I dont think many people will be dissapointed in the least to give them a try :)
     
  15. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Thanks for all the great input. I'll probably upgrade them eventually, but right now I can't justify the expense. Maybe in a year or so, or on the off chance I find a used set (if you have one available, let me know). Since I have no way of comparing them, I'll probably have to just jump in with both feet--that's what I did anyway when I got my Z1, and I haven't looked back since.

    Thanks again,

    Eric
     
  16. Razman

    Razman

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Our cirrus has a rounded neck profile, but it is just a four-stringer. I love my Dingwall's very thin, flat neck. The controls of the Cirrus have the best feel I've ever seen on a bass, and the volume works like a real volume--it is totally linear, versus most other pots that only work the last quarter of turn--and yes, the knobs themselves feel great.

    As for tone, the Cirrus has more of an aggressive growl to it, but my Z1 still sounds great. Maybe the FD3's are what I need...

    Peace...
     
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Guess I'm gonna bump this thread, since it's the only one that came up on a search. I've decided to roll the dice and order a set of FD-3s from BestBassGear. I've got a 5 with a set of Bart soaps that I just can't seem to get a tone I'm happy with. It's warm and pleasant enough, (actually very warm), but just not right for me. The Dingwall pups seem like what I'm looking for, and (after talking to Sheldon to see if it's an option) I went with the 4-conductor wiring option so I can go series/parallel with each pup (Sheldon, that order for the 4 conductor set from BBG is probably me ;)).

    Nothing against the Barts, but they just weren't working for me. Anyone that might be interested in them, PM me...I know there are a lot of Bart lovers out there. Will post a comparison when it's done if anyone is interested...:eyebrow:
     
  18. Hey Marcus,

    Please give us an update with your results.
     
  19. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    OK, I've had 'em in a couple weeks now, so I feel I can talk about 'em.

    First off, there was a problem with the wiring (this was not Sheldon's fault, BTW). My tech had it hooked up and working, but it was not right and was behaving very odd. Funny thing was, they sounded pretty good, but were not humcanelling and VERY low output. Sheldon helped with a detailed wiring diagram, and all is well.

    Magnetic paper shows they are a spilt design (like a P-bass)but with the treble side (D & G) closer to the neck (THANK YOU! That has always bugged me about the P-bass pup; it makes the top 2 strings to thin compared to the E & A.

    OK, how do they sound? (This is always fun). I would describe them as fairly even sounding (in terms of balance), and a more-or-less single coil sound, but just a bit fuller and beefier. Not like a P pup, or even a soapbar. More like a J with just a touch of bottom added in. Bright, but not too much. Very musical and nice presence. If you can imagine the warmth and roundness of a Bartolini, but then add some more (well I wanna say brightness, but a better word would be "there-ness" as in, it's just more "there") and a tighter more responsive tone, I think you would have it.

    These are some of the best 5 string pickups I've ever heard. My current fave is Aeros (which are just a wee bit too active-y sounding, but very good still) and these pickups are every bit as good. Maybe better. Nice and warm when you play soft, plenty of edge when you dig in.

    It's almost as though you had a dynamic EQ connected to them, that would back off on the high end when you play soft (like for a ballad), and then kick in the edge when you wanna dig in. It's actually a very cool thing. There have been times when I almost thought the tweeter was off because it was so round, but then we go into a slap tune or even something just harder, and bam, there it is, which from a mix perspective keeps your tone a lot more consistent.

    Very good stuff; I am seriously considering another set. Sheldon gave me the 4-conductor version, so i can go from parallel to series, but I must confess, it was probably not necessary. I use parallel probably 90% of the time, but it's nice to have the option tho.

    Not exactly cheap at $250 for a set. However, you get what you pay for and bass pickups are no different. Quality is gonna cost ya, there's just no way around that.
     
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Glad you like them...I find they're definitely the most dynamics sensitive pickups I've played.

    ...now that you've has a bit o' Dingwall, aren't you at least curious about getting the 'whole package'?