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Fanned fret \ \ \ | | | / / /

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mr M, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. Is it easy to get used to? Is there a cheap bass with such construction? I searched the previous threads (OK I admit I haven't read all :) ) every one who tried it, says nothing bad for fanned fret system, is there any disadvantage apart from getting used to it? Is there a better explanation for the meaning of life apart from 42 :D ?
  2. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    While I can't speak for everyone who's tried them, I love my Dingwall Zebra 5. I've had it for several months now, but was comfortably acclimated to the fanned frets within the first...oh... three notes.

    The fanned frets LOOK intimidating, but are extremely easy to adapt to. The benefits: nice, even sound and a phat, tight, bright B string. I've got a Fodera 5 with the extended B option, but I think the Dingwall has the tighter, bootier B.

    Dingwall introduced a passive Afterburner model a while back, but I've only seen one (on the BassNW site months ago). Other than Dingwall and Ralph Novak, I'm not sure who else is building fanned-fret basses.

    One potential drawback: depending on scale length, you may find limited choices for strings and string gauges. I recently restrung with Dingwall strings, and will stick with them:lively sound, silky feel and the right tension.

    Hope that helps a little. Feel free to email if you'd like!
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    i played a Dingwall at a music store about 3-4 weeks ago. I didn't really have a problem with the frets. It was a nice bass, but i didn't have $1,500.
  4. @PoT: A Dingwall for $1500? Was it a used one? I don't have $1500 either.

    @Low Ranger: Thanks for your comments. I'd like to learn also if you faced any intonation problem. And I wonder if you have what you can do? I think you can't change the bridge position if you want to correct it by yourself, so should you send to the manufacturer in any case that may happen? And how's the harmonics? Thanks again :)
  5. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Nope...... 42 about covers it. :)
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Hey PoT, was that Danny's Music in Everett? If so, that bass has been there FOREVER.
  7. what's bending strings like on fanned fret basses?

    I have a nightmarish vision of bending the string one way causing a huge change in pitch, but the other way causing no change at all....
  8. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    no, it was/is at Guitarville in shoreline/Lake Forest Park. It used to be "Al's Guitarville," but that is what it was called 20 years ago, or so i heard.
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    yeah, it was used, but their were no problems with it.
  10. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    Hey guys, no intonation problems at all with the Dingwall. In fact, it's one of the better basses I've played with regard to intonation. It was a little out when I received it, but a quick tweak and it's been stable since. My Zebra is approximately 1993 vintage, so it's got the early bridge... looks intimidating, but it's completely easy to use.

    Now that you've asked about bending, I'm going to have to try it! Your question made me realize that, for some strange reason, it's the only bass I own that I DON'T do string bends on. I'll repost after I find out!
  11. Does it take so much time to bend strings :D . Just joking, your comments are highly welcome LowRanger. I'd still like to ask again if you can fix intonation problem by yourself or you should take to a luthier or to the producer? I mean is the bridge all fixed or adjustable? Thanks again....
  12. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Just for those interested, the guitarist Charlie Hunter who plays an 8 string guitar (3 bass strings, 5 guitar) uses a custom Novak made axe. They look beautiful. The link is here:

  13. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    I knew I forgot to do something!

    I tried string bending, and... it doesn't sound any different to me at all. Maybe I didn't bend 'em enough, but the fret contact area is pretty small (I think mine has mandolin frets), so it was a non-event.

    I'm still thrilled with my Dingwall!
  14. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I have a Dingwall Z2 5-string, good to finally see someone else who has a Dingwall, must be the $$$ or maybe they are a little low profile. Anyway, I agree with Lowranger, the frets are really easy to get used to, I find they follow the natural arc of my hand as I move around the fretboard. I find that for bends, you kind of have to relearn them. If the frets are near |, then it is no problem, if they are / (nearer the nut) then you have to concentrate on bending mostly downwards, and if the fret is \ (nearer the bridge) you have to bend more upwards. It take some getting used to, but it really isn't all that difficult.

  15. LowRanger


    Dec 24, 2000
    Hi DingZ2, nice to see there are at least two of us!

    Mr. M: yeah, I was playing a slow blues... sorry it took so long. DingZ2 said it perfectly.

    I don't know about the newer bridges, but the older bridge on my '94 is completely adjustable, no problem at all.
  16. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I am not sure how adjustable the intonation is on the new bridge (if it is in fact different). I know that it can be adjusted, but I believe it is fairly difficult and the bridge locks up tight when it is set. This has to do with the fact that the only string I believe can be used on the bass are the actual dingwall strings (I may stand corrected, but I have never seen a 37" scale string other than the dingwall). One thing that I do like is the string attachment. I never noticed it until I changed strings, but the strings are so easy to change, because they just sit on those pins that go through the metal hole on the strings. I don't have my bass with me here (makes me angry), but I am going home this week, so I will check to see if I can determine if it would be possible to change the intonation myself. (Though I won't because it came set up beautifully, except for a bit of neck adjustment that was needed, but the humidity change can account for that, from Edmonton (Dry) to Kingston, On. (too humid). But I've seen worse changes moving my older basses.)

  17. thanks for the info, guys.

    this is along the lines of what I suspected.

    strangely the string bending issue hasn't been covered in any of the reviews of Dingwall basses I've read:mad:
  18. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I would think that right hand tapping would be super hard, as the frets are curved oppositely to the curve of my right hand. has anyone tried?
  19. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Per chance does anyone know if Novak makes a Piezo bridge? Fanned Fret/w Peizo? Aw man...
  20. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Dingwall makes a bass with a piezo bridge and the fanned frets. However, I talked to Sheldon Dingwall about it and he said that the piezo bridge would have to be quoted, so I think that makes it kind of expensive. The way I see it is that it is a custom option on a custom bass, so that means $$$. But they do make it, so if you are willing to pay the money, you could get one.


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