Fanned Fret Bass: Dingwall NG2 5 or Kiesel VM59K Vanquish

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Viking, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. I`m tossing around the idea of getting a fanned fret 5 string. From what I`ve seen in videos, both sound and look good. I once owned a Dingwall Afterburner 1 and I found the stretch at the lower frets (particularly the B string) to be a bit awkward. The Kiesel may be better for me as the scale length is not as long. It would also be cheaper. What would you guys choose and why?


  2. Bump.
  3. Dingwall. Because.......CANADA!
    kobass likes this.
  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    The NG2 is identical to the Afterburner as far as the stretch at lower frets. HOWEVER, this is not an uncommon complaint, so Dingwall started adding a second straplock recessed into the back of the bass that makes the bass hang more to the right, reducing the "reach factor". The original strap location is still there, too.

    I know this is done on the current Afterburners, but I don't know if this feature is included on the NG2. Easy enough to add, though.

    I don't know about Keisel's stuff personally; their designs have always been kind of a "close, but not quite my thing" thing.......... and, at least as far as I know, they're only doing fanned frets on the Vanquish, which is not my thing at all.

    If it matters to you, I think the Dingwall will hold it's value better, too. Carvin/Keisel is pretty famous for, shall we say, becoming "surprisingly affordable!" in the used market.....
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Dingwall all the way.

    Have you looked into the Super series at all? It's a shorter scale length that feels downright compact when compared to the long scale models.
    Ikkir likes this.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    If you want to get the benefits of a fan, you really need the 37" scale. Anything less will get wolftones. Heck, even some 37" B strings still have wolftones.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I also feel that it makes no sense to get a fanned fret bass unless it has a scale enough to really give you the benefit of fanned frets. My choice would be Dingwall.
    Ikkir, DiabolusInMusic and Wisebass like this.
  8. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are tonal and ergonomic benefits to fanned frets.
    IronSpatula and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  9. whirledpeas

    whirledpeas Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sittin' Here in Limbo
    Yep, even in the Dingwall "medium scale" Super Series models. However, the longer scale models are probably better for lower tunings, etc.
  10. It`s not the arm reach, it`s the finger spread at the first fret that makes it an issue for me so I`m not sure the additional straplock would help.
  11. Does that mean I should avoid the Super series?
  12. How much scale do I need though? The Carvin has a 36" B string. Not bad!
  13. Thanks for the opinions folks, keep `em coming. I`m hoping someone who has experience with both basses will chime in (I know, it`s a long shot!)
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    IMO, no. Wolftones are mostly pronounced on the upper fret regions of the lower strings.

    I do prefer the long scales myself, but I own and love a Super J5 too. If the long scale was too much for you I'd suggest checking one out. If you don't like it you can always flip it for pretty much what you paid.
    phishaholik and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  15. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Hmmmm....... if the issue is finger spread, I don't know that the difference between 36" and 37" scale length is going to help much.

    But just to help evaluate.......... I've got a spreadsheet set up to calculate fret slots -
    Distance from fret 1 to 5, 37" scale = 7.21"
    Distance from fret 1 to 5, 36" scale = 7.01"
    Distance from fret 1 to 5, 35" scale = 6.82"
    Distance from fret 1 to 5, 34" scale = 6.63"

    To me, the difference isn't any big deal 'cause I don't really recall a whole lot of material that requires chromatic runs on the B/E string in first position at a speed that necessitates one finger per fret.
    Bass Viking likes this.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I’m no expert, 36” may be enough. I was thinking about Ibanez which only to 35.5”. I still like that Dingwall goes to 37”. I know the one time I played a Combustion, it was quite comfortable for me.
  17. whirledpeas

    whirledpeas Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sittin' Here in Limbo
    Only if you aren't interested in the P bass perfected. ;)
    kesslari likes this.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Depending on your playing style, fanned frets can be less ergonomic. The fan makes certain things more difficult.

    Not at all. Most players will never play their B string above the 5th fret, Dingwallers included. As @Dave W mentioned, the added length is really for the upper register. Most players are fine with a great B up to the 5th fret and, on a good 34" B, you can definitely get up to the first octave before you get wolftones. A stiff neck really helps reduce the overtones, in my experience.
    ajkula66 likes this.
  19. That 1 inch difference might be just enough. I played the Ibanez fanned fret 5 string and it was comfortable, the Kiesel is only half an inch more.
  20. Minus


    May 22, 2011
    I have never played a Dingwall, however I do have a Kiesel VM59K Vanquish. I notice very little if any difference at the lower frets compared to my standard 34" 5-strings. The strap button on the upper horn sits about at the 12th fret which works real good for me. My Vanquish has a birdseye maple fingerboard and 5-piece neck and cost a bit under 2k.
    Bass Viking likes this.
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