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Is this thing a dingwall?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by quallabone, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    I just saw Earl from Widemout Mason play. When he first came out it looked like he was playing a stingray. Then I noticed that it has a single coil neck P/U as well. it also had the jack up by the bridge. To make it even stranger it had fanned frets with a musicman style headstock. I have a really bad picture of it on my computer if someone wants to see it. I couldn't get close but I'm almost positive that it said Dingwall on the headstock.
  2. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Yes, it is a Dingwall. I have known Earl for a few years and he has been playing Dingwall basses for at least 4 or 5 years. Dingwall's shop is located in Saskatoon.

    I had the pleasure of checking out the Dingwall shop a few years ago. Sheldon is a class act and a stand-up guy.

    Ps. if you see earl, tell him I said hello
  3. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    I know earl has been playing dingwalls for a while but I've never seen a dingwall that loooked like a musicman. Does Earl have the only one?
    Here's that extremely crappy blurry picture I took.
  4. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    And I live a good 10 minutes away from the dingwall shop. I've been told that sheldon is a very good guy. If he is indeed a good guy he'll shed some light on the Dingwall "musicman edition."
  5. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Looks to me like the bass is an MM, but it has had the frets redone, possibly by Dingwall in a fanned fret manner. Seems to look something like the Novax fender replacement necks.

  6. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    sounds like geoff is onto something. The clue for me was that the bridge is position perpendicular to the strings, where normal dingwalls have angled bridges.
  7. JJd2sc


    Jul 31, 2003
    Marietta, Georgia
    Fanned frets always do look interesting to me, do they play very differently?
  8. Also looks to me like a MM bass w/ a redone fretboard.

    Since the bridge is parallel and the head stock is definately MM style. I would guess the bass was a MM and that he had the fret board redone either by NOVAX or possibly by Mr Dingwall.

    Playing the fanned fretboard is the same as playing parallel frets, it takes abou 10 mins to get comfortable playing this board, and even better is the fact that frets 3-12 are pretty close to being parallel (fret 7 is parallel).

    On the other hand.... what is interesting is the pickguard (which looks like it came from the URGEII), and what looks like pickups w/ no exposed pole pieces. aren't the pickups not in the usual MM position? (particularly the bridge one)
    Also the arm bevel looks likes what I have on my Dingwall, and you can almost see the AB style body. Dunno
    time to Ask Sheldon
  9. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I think it's a dingwall, as it's got two FD-series pickups sandwiched where the MM pickup would go.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The headstock looks like a MusicMan, but the pickguard, pickup placement and bridge do not.
  11. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    It's one of two prototypes we built for the NAMM show in 1999. They're pretty trick. Both were semi-hollow, dual-density bodies. Both could be optioned with either a standard fretted neck or a slightly fanned version (34-35").

    Earl's version is the Deluxe model with 3 custom Bartolini humcancelling J-pickups (two are housed in the MM cover) wired to an interactive combination of 5-way and series/parallel switches. With the switching system plus a 3-band EQ, the tone options were pretty much endless.

    Just before the show the "Top Ten Gear Ideas of the Last 10 Years" article came out in Bass Player magazine. I really feel that article shifted people's thinking because the overwhelming attitude at the show was that our customers didn't want us to go down the "Retro" road and preferred that we stuck to our guns with the Prima and Z-series basses.

    Here's an attempt at a photo. If it doesn't make it I can email copies to anyone who's interested.


    PS: Dave, great to see you post! How've you been doing?
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Here's Sheldon's photo. Kinda cool!

  13. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I really like those, but the input jack looks funny, like it's facing the wrong way.

    But those are really sweet, give me a five string, and I'm all over it!
  14. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I think it's designed that way to have the cable going through the guitar strap, without a serious bend near the ends. Ibanez does it on some of their instruments too, IIRC.
  15. wow....go figure...retro-like Dingwalls.
    Complete w/ a Musicman 3+ 1 headstock.

    The basses look pretty cool and w/ all those tonal options i bet it killer to play.

    I do like the idea of a shorter scaled Dingwall (34-35"), but why the regular bridge?

    I guess someone can be a victim too their own success. Having the crowd know you only for your original idea concepts (Primas, zebras, etc), instead of being able to spread out and undertake whatever.

    I suspect by now if Sheldon made a Fender-inspired bass it would sounds like a Dingwall bass.
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Now that you mention it, I was under the impression that Ernie Ball had a patent on the 3+1 arrangement, and that no one else could use it.

    I'm interested in how that 5-way switch plus serial/parallel switches arangement works.
  17. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    Frank, I guess you'll be the first to know;)

    Regarding the 3+1 headstock, from what I've been told, Ernie Ball copywrote it rather than patented it. As I understand it, this provides a more lasting protection for Ernie Ball, but makes patent searches less effective for guys like me.

    All this of course I found out after the fact:(

    If we resurrect the project we will go with either a 4 in-line or a 2+2 style.
  18. Sheldon....ooops sorry for mentioning the headstock....
    you learn something new everyday.

    So may i ask.....
    why the regular parallel bridge on this bass? aren't you loosing out on scale length, or is it insignificant. I've seen the NOVAX neck fretboard installed on a few guitars (on their website) but do you really gain anything w/ that system and not get the extra 1"+ out of a angled bridge
    Just cuirous
    PS thought I'd add the fender dig in there...teehee
  19. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    If you look real close at the two bridges, you'll notice that the amount of compensation on the fanned-fret bass is greater than the amount of compensation on the parallel bass. By placing the perpendicular fret at the 12th fret and by keeping the scale length variance down to 1", the E-string saddle only has to move an extra 1/2" back. It's a tight squeeze, but it works.
  20. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    I'll be the first to admit that it's a complicated system, probably more than you need on a bass, but I used it on a Strat live for years and loved it.

    It works like this:

    In parallel mode the positions are from 1 - 5
    1 - Bridge coil alone
    2 - Bridge and middle coil in parallel
    3 - Middle coil alone
    4 - Middle and neck coil in parallel
    5 - Neck coil alone

    In series mode the 5-way in effect becomes a 3-way. Notice that 1&2 and 4&5 are duplicates.

    1 - Bridge and middle in series
    2 - Bridge and middle in series
    3 - All three in series
    4 - Middle and neck in series
    5 - Middle and neck in series

    If you flip the bridge and middle around, the #3 parallel position gives you more of a Jazz spacing (bridge and neck in parallel). This makes for a more confusing setup though.

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