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Hey all you Dingwall owners out there do you like it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmeknik, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. I am posting this thread because I am recently fascinated by the Dingwall basses but no stores in the Detroit area have one for me to go check out. I am interested enough to travel a ways to see one but thought I would post this question to the forum So what do you owners OR others that have actually played one think of this bass. I am most interested in its multiple scale lengths and fanned frets. Please include the model as the high end and low end priced basses apparently differ in quality so please share your Dingwall experience.... Is the string to string tone balance as good as advertised? Ect,Ect,Ect...
    Particularly interested in the combustion (the lower priced imported version) as it is closer to my budget.
  2. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I believe there's a couple of Combustions in the classifieds. For the price, you're better off buying one and seeing for yourself.

  4. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    Does Tom Bowlus have one? I think he lives in Ohio.
  5. Green1


    Sep 23, 2010
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Not to deter you from the Combustions, but I would spend a little more and get an ABZ.
  6. juggernaut7


    Nov 11, 2009
    I agree with green1 I would check an ABZ too but to be honest I have to say the Dingwalls have the best B string I have ever heard. That's why I'm going to be sellin my AB1 and headin for maybe Z3 country. Honestly check them out ....but through a good amp.
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't have a Combustion, but I have three other Dingwalls and love the heck out of them. I'm always up for a hang (though finding the time is another issue... :meh:). Still, if you're going to be in the northern Ohio area and want to check them out, drop me a line. :cool:
  8. JohnnyB53


    Nov 1, 2009
    It's not just the B string, it's every string. I never heard such articulation and clarity on the B and E strings. When playing a Dingwall you quickly notice that all strings "pull" at about the same resistance. The perceived string tension is very uniform compared to any single-scale bass. The advantage also shows itself on the G string. On a Dingwall the very low strings are significantly longer than a traditional bass guitar and the G string is shorter, making for more even string-to-string timbre. IME, even on 34" scale 4-string basses the G strings sound different from the other three. On a 5-string the low B tends to sound soft and indistinct unless it has taper core construction.

    Even then, the Novax fan fret system--at least as realized on the Dingwalls--trumps these other compromises. I found that the fan fret layout is not difficult to get used to. Take a look at a Dingwall fretboard and you'll see that the frets don't fan very much from the 5th to about the 15th frets, and that's where most bass players play most of their bass notes.


    I don't have a Dingwall yet but I've tried out a Combustion in a shop and it's haunted me ever since.
  9. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Dingwall makes a very comfortable bass. I wasn't much impressed with the tone from the Combustion, but I'll write that off to having played it through a Line6 1x12 combo and the fact that it's the "budget" line - I've heard many amazing Dingwalls.
  10. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    I could be the lone voice of dissent here, but I found my AB-II to be *okay*. The E- and B-strings on my other basses (US Spector, Roscoe, and Warwick Thumb) were just as tight/tighter and sounded a little bit better to my ear. That said, the neck was incredibly comfortable, craftsmanship was impeccable, and woods were gorgeous. Great instruments, just not for me.
  11. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    I've been very interested in these basses for some time and been gone throug a lot of threads. You are not alone! Like you say they are great, but not for everyone. I have tried a Combustion. Liked the string balance and the playability. Didn't like the sound. Gonna try an ABI soon. I hope I'll like the sound, and the playability even more (it has a different neck profile). Then I'll know what my next bass will be (ABZ6). Then a cab and I'll be set for a long, long time!
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I bought an absolutely gorgeous AB-II 5 a few months back. I thought the tone was exceptional. The rotary PU selector is very cleaver and offers a nice selection of diverse, usable tones. The Glockenklang preamp is very nice and has all the bells and whistles to make it as functional as possible. Just a few weeks later I picked up a Super J5 as a compliment.

    There is no question that Dingwall is absolutely at the very top in craftsmanship. I have owned a bunch of different small-shop basses, and the guys at Dingwall compete with anybody.

    I don't know that I have any comments about the "tightness" of the B and E (although the string feel is excellent) but the real amazing thing about the Dingwall is the tone "balance." The notes everywhere on the neck are remarkably consistant in tone, texture and balance. It's very impressive.

    All that said, I sold both and went back to Sadowsky. The downside of Dingwall, especially the ABII, is the tighter string spacing, small fanned frets and a thin, petite neck all combine for a VERY unique feel and playability. I personally don't think the fanned fretting is a huge deal, but overall the neck is totally opposite of the 19 mm spacing, wider neck of a 34" Sadowsky 5. It was totally a preference thing. I went with convention in this case.

    I do think I would get used to the feel, but I think I would have to go "all-in" with Dingwall. I don't see myself capable of switching back and forth with all of the on-the-fly site reading that I do.
  13. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    I own most Dingwall models, and in most cases more than one specimen of each model

    Tonal balance is really exceptional across the board and across the strings. That goes for all models
  14. brocco


    Feb 27, 2010
    I gig 2 or 3 times a week. I own (8)really nice basses and use them all.But I must say my Combution 5 is getting the most playing time.Clarity ,tone, in TUNE,String tension,no dead spots and build quality are fabulous.By the way my #1 4 stringer is a Tune TWB43....best 4 I have played hands down ;)
  15. DONZI97


    Dec 24, 2008
    Algonac Michigan
    Let me know if you find one to try out somewhere, I am kinda looking at them too. I have a stingray up for trade, and if i end up with a combustion I will let you try it out, I do live the next town over from you.:)
  16. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I have an ABI, ABII, SJ5 & Combustion and have tried a Z3 and Z2. They are all exceptional basses. I would say that the Combustion sounds more traditional overall compared to the other 34" to 37" scale length basses, but it is still a really good bass.

    As most have listed above, they have exceptional B-strings, amazing string-to-string balance, are ergonomic, balance really well (on a strap and on your leg), have great intonation, sound really clear, etc...

    Most that buy sight unseen are not disappointed.
  17. I got my first Dingwall (Combustion) just before Christmas. I did manage to try a Dingwall briefly 12 years ago but at that time it was out of my price range. However, I knew that if I ever had the opportunity to purchase one I would do it at the drop of a hat. Yes the Combustion is a Dingwall entry level bass but I have been blown away with its playability, sound and comfortable feel both sitting and standing.

    After 38 years of being a weekend warrior it is the only bass my wife has ever commented on the sound. She was blown away at how much I could change the sound just by moving my right hand position.

    As for the fanned frets there was virtually no adjustment at all. I don't do much playing above the 14th fret which where the frets really start to become more pronounced.

    Go for a Combustion & I believe you will become hooked.
  18. thumbs&fingers

    thumbs&fingers Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Earlier this year I purchased (sight unseen) a dingwall Lee sklar (candy green). I really enjoy this bass and have been gigging it in my band doing rock/pop covers. I have small hands so the thin neck and fanned frets are excellent for me. I sold my Fbass BN5 (great bass) because I just couldn't do 2 or 3 hours comfortably with its neck and string spacing. The sound is extremely flexible via the rotary pickup selector. Its like having 3 basses in one. YOU will fall in love with the b string, its a game changer. I say this having owned about 12 other basses from the boutique and big manufacturers. The quality of my dingwall is on par with the other boutique basses I have owned. This bass has worked for me because it was made with some out of the box features that appeal to me. Some of those I have requested on custom build from another manufacturer I am awaiting. I am no pro but I have owned a lot of basses and talked to a lot of the guys that making them. The dingwall has put me closest to what I have been searching for in comfort, playability, weight, and sound. I am a fan of the Hi-fi sound and 5 string tone.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    If you pluck near the bridge (I use the floating thumb technique in that area) or anchor on the bridge pup, you'll strike the D and G (or C on a 6er) right at the saddle--- this was a major problem for me w/ my Afterburner 5 and 6er. I also had some left hand cramping from the extreme stretching while playing the B and E in the 1st position.

    But, design obstacles aside, Dingwalls are the best sounding ERBs out there IMO/IME.
  20. Yeah the picking hand required some adjusting. However, its not that difficult to do.

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