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Dingwall Super J : Vintage + modern

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FCM3, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. After convincing Sheldon Dingwall 2 yrs and 3 weeks ago that he should consider melding the vintage vibe of a Fender J bass with all the goodies of an ultra modern Dingwall bass. I recieved my new Super J on weds (yup--waited 2 yr 3 week).

    I wanted to give a quick impression + picts and over the next few weeks i'll submit sound clips.

    So the bass is Sheldon's interpertation of a Jazz bass.
    Resonant Alder body
    Soft maple neck w/ carbon reinforcement w/ Maple fingerboard
    Short scale (34.75" E-33.25" G)- you can use any string type
    21 Banjo frets
    old school black fiber dots
    Ultra light HipshotBlack elephant ear tuners (reversed) w/ Drop D on E string
    FD-P "p" pickup (custom wound)
    FD-J "J" pickup (custom wound)
    U-retro deluxe preamp-custom wired w/ a 3 way passive
    High mass Dingwall Bridge w/ RMC piezo
    RMC polydrive, and buffer- 13pin out
    neck width 1.5" neck profile-custom

    First impressions- The bass is small and lightweight. Must weigh a bit under 8lbs, lighter and smaller than an Afterburner. The bass looks like a million bucks, deep rich paint, incredible woods, all the electronics look top notch and feel great. The neck profile is somewhere between a relaxed C, and a Dingwall (7-25 compound radius), it feels basically flat w/ a mild hump. i can wrap my fingers around the fretboard.
    Unplugged -the bass is extremely resonant, and lively. Plugged in, in passive mode the bass sounds like a Dingwall bass w/ slightly quicker decay; punchy, articulate notes, w/ a little more top end, quite different than a Z1 or Ab bass. The P-pickup tone was modelled after a 62 P bass, and its fat, punchy, and tight, the J-pickup was modelled after a 67 Jazz bass, w/ more of that Jaco "burp" added in. Very punchy, w/ lots of mids. In active mode the skys the limit. Its got a slap tone that cuts and sounds like a "perfect" jazz bass. The U-retro sounds great -it really brings out the nuiances of the FD pickups. I'm still try to figure out the mid sweep part. I've not had a chance to work w/ the piezos or run the vbass off it yet
    The bass has exceeded my every expectation, its just amazing to look at and even more amazing to play.

    Based on this prototype bass Sheldon Dingwall told me he will be making a production model of this bass, called the Super J.
    It will be available w/ a maple or morano fretboard. Either a P/J or JJ pickup arrangement, and will come passive w/ an Aggie OBP-1 as a option. Right now sheldon is planning to make 4 strings, but you should talk w/ Mr Dingwall about anything else.
    all I can say is WOW- an amazing instrument

    The 1st pict of of my actual bass
    the 2nd photo is the body during the test fitting, it doesn't have the U-retro or the piezo bridge installed

    Attached Files:

  2. this is the Super j production model....
    Notice the headstock is "Normal", and this instrument contains a J-J setup w/ Aggie OBP-1 preamp

    Attached Files:

  3. G.A.S.!!!!!!!
  4. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I was wondering what happened to this thread. That is one slick bass. One question: It looks like the bridge hangs off the edge of the body a little bit by the E string?
  5. on the production model, The E string kisses the end of the bass, typical Dingwall. You can make the dimensions of the bass smaller by using every inch of space. Believe me its not a problem
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    That bass gives new meaning to the phrase, "GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT".
    Congratulations! I will be ALL OVER the 5 string version of that when it comes out, I'm even considering a phone call and a "bribe" at this point!!
  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    As Ive already told you Frank, truely stunning. I cant wait for the sound clips :)
  8. Eggman


    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    Great bass Frank. I going to email Sheldon now!
  9. useless

    useless Guest

    Mar 11, 2004
    its great to see something that is traditional but not traditional at the same time! :bassist:
  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Would love to see a 5-string PJ version with a morado board...

  11. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I want to know how much they'll be going for. I've been gassing for another j-bass slapper forever, and this would easily be at the top of the list now that it exists. I just wonder if it's affordable.

    Maybe just an up or down compared to a new ABI would suffice :)

  12. FRANK,

    I HATE YOU!!

    :p :D :p

    I hate Sheldon too for giving me such serious GAS! :D

    I'm glad to finally see you are finally in posession of this mighty instrument. I know it has been a difficult wait. I definitely see one of those in my future!

    After that, I am going to come up with something so off the wall to get Sheldon to build for me that it will take three years!! How about a 8 or 12 string (octave) Dingwall :eek: :bag:
  13. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    That makes two of us, Mike. But, 2 years, 3 weeks? They don't have anything on you. That bass is going to be amazing, too. Eventually.

    Wow...This Dingwall changes things in my future, I think. That is a serious paradigm shift.

    Does anyone know what are the finish options are going to be? If that thing is available in surf green, I am a dead man.
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    A very reasonable question, I am not bagging on anyone hear at all...but...
    .....the word "affordable" is VERY relative, not only to different incomes and bank acount balances, but to our personal devotion to our craft. I find no fault at all in players that can make their "thing" happen at a lower cost, and there are plenty of them! I think it is difficult to put a price on a handmade instrument. If the determination is made that I need a certain level of tone and playability than I will make the needed sacrafices to get it, period...IMO Dingwall's products are a great value and investment, I think the fanned frets add to this equation. If you can find a way to get one of Dingwall's basses I would jump all over it!!
  15. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I figured mention of the AB would be indicative as to what I consider affordable. I already own several not so budget instruments. I understand money is no object in the quest for the best in tone, and happiness, but sometimes we all have to be a bit more reasonable :)

  16. I spoke to Barry Lamb in sales a few weeks ago about ordering one. He said they had no definite price yet, but it would most likely be in the same range as the ABII models. So My guess is you are looking at a list price of somewhere around 2 grand for a four string.

    I was all ready to place an order before I realized I need a new car. Oh, priorities. ;)
  17. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I agree, and would not only say that the AB is affordable, but a great value as well. My big point here was not at all meant to be at your expense, I REALLY mean that!! My point was that as the market for fanned frets increases, and the general bass playing public becomes more aware of the advantages and adaptability/playability of these instruments, the demand will increase, as it has been. It is becoming almost common knowledge that fanned frets are not "different", just "better". As I don't see Dingwall ever cranking out basses in China, now is a very good time...
  18. I'm not sure I can give you exacts on the price, but IIRC Sheldon mentioned the production Super Js will cost inbetween ABIIs and the Z basses.

    My bass cost because of all the custom work plus an expensive bridge/piezo setup. Since this was a working prototype; Sheldon had to R&D everything from scratch(took literally 6-8 months to hash out what the bass would look like, scale lengths, placement of neck into the body, etc.), make it CAD, create jigs, tool everything, and come up w/ the pickups, that in it self had alot of emperical testing.

    As far as color options, contact Mr Dingwall. I don't recall him saying 5 strings were in production today. who knows about tomorrow

    I agree w/ both lowphat and troll. The bottomline is if you believe it worth the $$$ and you can afford it- then you can afford the price. My bass instructor (Mark White) plays off the shelf Stingrays, and ATKs. He thinks my Dingwall collection is nice, but not for him. In his opinion, he gets the tone he wants from his hands and those instruments. His choice.
    So far the bass is everything I had hoped for, its tone, its playability. I wanted a workhorse bass, w/ tones of both a P bass, and a slap monsterJ. So far Sheldon was able to distill this into this bass. The shorter scale has been interesting.
  19. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    That is the weirdest Jazz bass ever!!!!

    I don´t know if I dig the look... it´s like if someone had fun with photoshop :rolleyes: ... but I´m sure it sounds and plays NICE!!!