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Dual density body ala Dingwall

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by LowGrowl, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. LowGrowl


    Jan 20, 2011
    Mexico City
    Thinking about this that I didn't know :bag:

    From the Dingwall website:

    Northern Ash on the bass side adds great sustain, clarity and punch to the B and E strings. Alder on the treble side keeps the G and D strings nice and warm sounding.


    I wonder if this kind of wood combo could do any impact in a non fanned frets bass... Someone has made something alike with a regular J or P?

    What do you think?

  2. I doubt it makes a difference on any bass.

    awilkie84 likes this.
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Even with individual saddles I find it hard to believe it would do much. But who am I to say...
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Why don't they just be honest and say they did it because it looks cool. No need to blow smoke up my back side about changing the tone of individual strings by the wood the saddles are mounted to.
  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    That must be one very confused A string....
    joselorellano likes this.
  6. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    Pure poppycock marketing, even if the builder actually believes it to be true.

    He does build some awesome basses regardless though.

  7. Actually, the Lee Sklar models get solid colour finishes, so it's not done for looks. And if Leland likes it, I'm not gonna argue.
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Then its done for no other reason other than pure marketing and salesmanship.

    For the record, they should finish it a natural color because it does look pretty cool.
  9. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Will the B have more sustain, clarity and punch than the E because because it has more Ash on its side?

    Will the G be warmer than the D because it has more Alder on its side?

    Will the A alternate between the two?
  10. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Total BS.
  11. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    I want a dual density fretboard too with my fancy new body. rosewood on the D and G and maple on the B and E with even 50-50 rosewood and maple for the A!
  12. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    Wow, you guys are a tough crowd;)

    I don't know how you'd prove or disprove this claim scientifically except through experience with as large a sample group as possible.

    Within this particular model family we've built a hundred or so with northern ash bodies, several hundred swamp ash, a hundred or so northern ash/alder. I feel pretty comfortable with my understanding of which variables make what changes - again, within this model family. Dual density and dual species bodies do what we say they do. No more, no less, no BS.
  13. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    Don't sweat it, Sheldon. Most of the guys on this site seem to think wood makes no difference at all on an electric bass. This opinion amazes me considering how all of the top luthiers says it does matter. But what do they know;)
  14. eloann


    May 14, 2012
    You mean like this one ?


    I'm not sure I'd hear a difference and I too think there's a marketing side to it, but Dingwalls are incredible and I have enough respect for Sheldon not to doubt he genuinely believes in this concept.
  15. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Ignoring the fact that the different species of wood are glued together, would not the logic of this require a different species of wood for each string to gain the most advantage of the effect?
  16. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I love your basses Sheldon, and have respect for you as a builder. I think that what the critical thinker has challenges with, is the definitive nature of the expression of what consitutes a well-educated guess and informed opinion versus scientifically proven facts. The quoted statement in the first post is written with a level of confidence that is more consistent with marketing than with scientific method. In the least, the descriptor words themselves would be difficult to operationally define: "sustain, clarity, punch, warm". I think only a fool would doubt the quality product you make, but there are a lot of people who would need to review the research methods before being convinced of the definitive nature of those claims as they are worded for the marketing aspect of the brand. For what it's worth, I also think your branding and company presence as a whole is pretty stellar in my own opinion. :)

    And that my friend is because "talkbass" is not an entity. It is a forum in which any person who registers may offer their opinion. As the sample group of members and contributors from a worldwide base has grown, it has inevitably included a cross-section of the world populace, including other builders with varying experience, engineers, research scientists, doctors, lawyers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. These combined experiences and consequent discussions start to form collective consciousness about particular aspects of experience. The lengthy, lengthy discussions on tonewoods for those who care to read, have guided many to "tonewood agnosticism" ([sup]TM[/sup], Beauchene Implements :) ), as it's the middle ground and holds the greatest parcel of the bell curve.

    Not "all top luthiers" would make the statements about tonewood, that's a bit of a weak argument and difficult to prove (e.g. who would be included and excluded and why?). At any rate, the weight of an argument should rest on it's merits rather than an appeal to authority in my humble opinion...
    tfernandez likes this.
  17. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Down the rabbit whole again...... :meh:

    I'm not willing to address this endless debate as the truth almost always falls in the middle, but I'd like to know what "top" builders say wood does'nt matter? I'm not sure I've ever heard a "top" builder make that claim.
  18. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    What effect will the glue line have on the A string?
  19. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Tell me, If a blind test was done between two identical basses, except one was dual density, and one was solid ash, or solid alder. How many out of 100 will be able to tell them apart by listening. I'm guessing the result would come out to be somewhere around 50%. I know it is a top quality bass, but I have a hard enough time believing body wood maters at all, much less, two different body woods under different strings making any difference.

    On a more practical note, have you had any problems with the glue line becoming visible through the finish when the basses suffer a severe humidity swing? It seems like the two different woods might expand and contract at different rates.
  20. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Banned

    Feb 20, 2012
    Associate to Scomel Basses
    I've never heard a builder of merit claim wood doesn't matter. It seems to only be claimed that it does not matter by those who want scientific proof that it does. I don't need science to tell me what my ears hear after over 30 years of experience. I don't need to ask Fodera, Dingwall, Smith, etc... why different woods sound different, it's good enough for me that they simply say that they do sound different and effect the tone which also follows my own opinion. If you can't hear a difference, you are probably better off. You can go to home depot and pick up any sort of "mutt" wood you like, glue it all together, and be pleased with the outcome. That's not say the muttwood bass can't or won't sound good. For those who can hear a difference in alder/ash, walnut/mahogany, building instruments that way would be a crap shoot whereas building with woods that produce tones they are familiar and keeping consistent weight ranges within the species allows a builder to build an instrument that pretty well matches a particular tonal goal. I know this line of argument will go nowhere, as I'm well aware everyone has their mind made as to where the tone comes from in an electric instrument, but thought I'd share my thoughts anyway:)

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