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Dingwall Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stone Soup, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    This bass, from another thread, sparked a question.

    Why is it the 8th fret is the closest to perpendicular and not the 12th? Does it have to do with an averaged natural hand position, or is there another reason?

    Just curious. :confused:

    P.S. I don't know how people play these things.
  2. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I think it's actually the 7th fret that's closest to parallel.

    If I have the story right, the testing of scale lengths produced the end product of what sounded best. So, it just happens to line up that way and I don't think there was any predetermined thought put into which fret lined up parallel.
  3. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    they play like butta , really .. like a dream and every note has it going on . It will bring a smile to your face .:)
  4. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I used "perpendicular" because there are no parallel frets. The 7th fret is the closest to perpendicular, to the edge of the fretboard.
  5. I believe it's because the 7th fret is closest to the direct middle of the fret board, so over the entire FB there is a smooth transition in fret direction. The 12th fret would only work if the FB extended to the bridge. 12th Fret is the middle between nut and bridge.

    If the 12th fret was the most perpendicular then the last frets would have to turn alot more dramatically then the first 11.
  6. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Whatever you do, don't play one. As well as being one of the most ergonomically designed instruments, flawlessly constructed and finished, they are highly addictive. No joke - I'm waiting for Sheldon & crew to build my fourth. BTW that is a beauty!
  7. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    If you hold a Dingwall in your hands, extend your index finger (as though you were doing a bar chord), and let your fretting hand/arm rotate at the elbow, you'll notice the angle of of your index finger through the sweep closely matches the alignment of the frets. Very natural-feeling, I'm honestly surprised that it hasn't become more popular.

    As long as the fret spacing under each string is still proportionate to the length, the system will work fine. Technically speaking, you could even make the zero fret or the bridge parallel if you wanted. But that would exaggerate the opposite end's angle so much that it would become awkward.
  8. jeffmensch

    jeffmensch Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cambridge, Ontario
    How about this if you're looking for an ergonomic option? It's available with fanned frets as well. Strange to look at, but very cool.



    Attached Files:

  9. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    I'm going to try and test drive some Dingwall basses next weekend , for whatever reason I find them to be the best looking basses going and I really like the fanned fret idea. Those things look very interesting as well, I'd love to try one.

    So far nothing can replace my Ibanez SR1400 in my hands but I will keep trying!
  10. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    It's really a very ez adjustment that most make instinctively. It is only that the roation of your fretting hand just doesn't have to be as severe, which makes a Dingwall more comfortable to play at the lower positions.

    When I play parallel fret basses, I simply rotate my hand until my wrist is nearly parallel with the neck, and that rotational position is constant up and down the board, whereas with my Dingwalls, the hand can remain in a less severely rotated position at the lower positions, and you simply rotate the hand a bit more as you move up the board and the frets become more parallel, and where it is also easier to get that rotation I might add.

    But believe me, you figure that out almost instinctively. You really don't need to think about it.

    What some people have difficulty with is the 37" scale on the AB's, Z's and Primas. If you are not comfortable with longer scale basses, the Super J or Super P will be nice and comfy.
  11. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
    You are correct Mehve. And the choice of the 7th fret was deliberate, not an accident. Here is a quote from Sheldon on the Dingwall web site:

    "We tested the "hinge fret" position in several places including the 12th fret. Although placement at the 12th makes the upper frets more easily adaptable, it makes the lower frets less so. My feeling has always been that the majority of notes that a working bass player plays are below the 12th fret so the 7th fret hinge position places the least angled frets in the center of the "money frets"."

    See the original conversation at this link. I have a couple photos there of Earl Pereira playing a Dingwall prototype with a 12th fret hinge point.

  12. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    the super J+P series actually feel like a shorter scale IMO. easy as hell to play and a neck to die for.
    if you play one , you need to prepare to buy one so be careful...
  13. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'm not yet an owner of a Dingwall, but someday I'd like to be, and have gotten to play one for a few minutes. It's actually a very easy transition. The only awkward aspect for me during my brief test drive was chording, which isn't really part of my playing style anyway.
  14. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    You'd be surprised. Mostly with their fingers, with some use of picks and thumbs as well (or so I'm told). :)

    I played 3 or 4 recently in a shop, just because the fanned fret concept intrigued me. I have to say that both I and my brother-in-law (guitarist and occasional bassist) came to the conclusion after trying them: it's weird that they don't feel weird.
  15. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Jeebus, GAS strikes again...

    I WANT a Super J!!!
  16. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
    Yes. The Super J and Super P are shorter scale. The G is 32 inches and the B is 35. Other Dingwall models go from 34 inch G to 37 inch B.
  17. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I need to find one locally to try.
    Dustin Judice likes this.