What do you know about Dingwall?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by calebplaysbass, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. I am a young kid who works a low paying job in that horrible year that i'm taking off between high school and college and getting a life. I am planning on going to college for bass and other music related stuff so i want to buy a high end/pro level bass before i go way into debt for college. This means that i really have no idea where i'll end up as far as music goes...i could end up in some sort of jazz quartet or in a 7 piece death metal band...i just don't know.

    i'll need something pretty versatile and so far i'm diggin the jazz. I own two fenders(a hand-me-down MIM Fender and my MIK Jazz 24) and i like them but there's just something missing. I just can't get "THE sound" no matter what i'm playing.

    so i was thinking maybe a sadowsky or even a Modulus would do it but lately i've been really intrigued with there Dingwall Super J's(i think that's what they're called). The whole varying scales thing really sounds cool and i was wondering if anyone knew anything about them or maybe knew something that would work for my situation better.

    I'm open to any and all suggestions and prices(i have a year to save my money with no bills to pay). ANY help is appreciated
  2. Out of curiosity, what is "the sound" you are after? Also, what amp/strings are you using?

    Dont know much about dingwalls i'm afraid, although the fanned frets are both cool and scary looking...
  3. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Don't worry about the sound, worry about your chops. Your Fenders will be fine for quite some time. If buying something made you a great bass player, everyone here would already have it.

    If you are going to be laying down some money for college, make sure you can make the most of your experience when you get there. Spend your money on lessons now. If you are digging jazz, fine... buy most of Jamie Aebersold's books and CD's.

    Learn everything you can about every kind of music that interests you. That means melody, harmony, rhythm, history of and the key players. You can't know too much!

    Get your time together. The incoming student who can lay down a groove, keep steady time, knows styles will get more attention open more doors than the kid who owns a ______ (fill in the name of whatever bass you want).

    Learn to read music so well people will think you're fakin' it.

    Know something about DB.

    You can't practice too much. You can't have a musical experience that isn't useful (yea, somethings might get close to sucking, but you can learn what to avoid in the future). When someone asks if you are available the answer is aways YES... unless you have a prior committment to play music some place else.

    Duke Ellington once said, "A musical decision outweighs any other decision".

    When you think you know enough..... that's a good sign it's time to really get working.
  4. Outstanding advice from BassChuck!
  5. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I agree, but the question was about the Dingwall Super J.

    Before I say anything let me make it very clear that I'm not a Fender fan. I've always seen them as overpriced for the middle of the road instruments I believe them to be. Then, a few months ago, I had the good fortune to play around with a prototype Super J in Sheldon's shop. I was fully and completely blown away. It was incredibly easy to play just like any Dingwall you'll find (you won't even notice the fanned fret system after a few minutes) and it took me all of a few seconds to find the tone I was looking for. Right there I vowed that if I was ever going to buy a Fender, it'd be a Dingwall.

    All that being said, there are some very experienced Dingwall players here on the boards (even a few who own the new Super Js and one who's got the original). I'll let them give you more thorough information, but my official recommendation is that you can't go wrong with a Dingwall.

  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    This will come as no surprise to anyone here, but I'm of the opinion that Dingwalls are some of the finest and most forward engineered instruments available.

    I also believe that the entry level models are an extremely good value for the quality of instrument you get.

    If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask or PM me...

    ...also you should take a look at the website and maybe post your questions over on the Dingwall message board. You'll get replies from players AND Sheldon himself answers most questions directly.

    The super J is a nice way to get a vintage vibe with some of the benefits of Dingwall's design. I personally haven't played it yet, but I'm sold on his 34-37 scale basses for the even string tension all the way down to low B.

    In summation:

  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    The Dingwall Super J is awesome. Frank (FCM3) has the prototype bass, and helped in developing it with Sheldon as a customer. It sounds good, feels good, looks good, what more do you need? :)

    Also, check out the forums here for more information:

  8. I have to say that was some stellar advice from Basschuck...
    The bottomline is get more comfortable on playing bass and being a bass player, and the gear will follow.
    I say this as someone who gets lessons from a bass master, meaning he can take pretty much any bass (you name it) and make it sound like him playing, not the killer X brand bass. He laughs at my basses

    That said, your question is about the Dingwall SuperJ bass. So I'll recommend you look at this thread first, because it really spells out the concept and shows a bunch of picts.
    The SuperJ bass is essentially a modern interpertation of what a Jazz bass should be. Mr Dingwall melded the vintage vibe (and tone) w/ all his modern goodies (the Novax fretboard, high mass bridges, hot passive pickups) and came up w/ the bass. It feels like a familiar jazz bass w/ extras. The neck is superfast, the fanned fret board is very easy to navigate (it will actually take you longer to read this thread than it will to feel comfortable on the bass-there should be no scariness associated w/ the fanned frets), and the controls and electronics are incredibly musical and versitile. You can get everything from a Jaco-esque burp to a full thick Jazz tone. The great thing is that there is NO dead spots or string tension issues, every note rings clear and authoritative. Also there are NO string issues on this bass...everything fits. Its just a great package:smug:

    The SuperJ's sound different than the Dingwall Afterburners due to the shortened scale length and special wound pickups, but i would also recommend you consider the Afterburners as they sound very modern.

    The first question is...what is that tone you hear in your head. Bright and authoritative, or vintage, thumpy, etc, and how can you define it

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  9. Well first let me just say that i know that owning a better bass won't make me a better player. I understand the value of lessons in theory, reading music, etc. The whole point of me wanting a nicer bass is the fact that i know that i am going to go far into debt as soon as i start college due to the vast amount of student loans i'll have to apply for. So i figured that i might wanna buy something nice while i have no bills to pay and can buy cool stuff.

    But that said, a few of you have asked what tone i'm looking for and it's kind of hard to say. I'll occasionally get calls to play for various sorts of music. Sometimes i play with my friends punk band and sometimes i'll play some funky stuff if it's really called for...mostly i just play stuff at my church and need a sort of even tone. Clear lows that can cut through a mix and full highs that aren't piercing to the ear(i cannot achieve this balance on one of my fender's...it's either one or the other). So mostly i need something that can be pretty versatile.
  10. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Then I would deffinantly see about getting a Skjold. You may have to up your pricetag a bit to get one of his actives, but his active basses are by far the most versatile basses Ive ever heard. Combine that with playability to match just about any top maker, and looks good to boot, and you got something really special.

    When I think of Skjold basses, first thing that comes to mind is versatility.

    Now having said all of that, I have never played an active Dingwall and they may do just as well, I just have no experience to comment there. I love my AB-I and would never in a million years get rid of it. But being passive, it doesnt have a ton of tonal variety. It does what it does extremely well, and has 3-6 tones you can pull out of it, but I wouldnt call it versatile. The Super J may be more so, but I dont have much experience with that either as when I played Frank's, It was unplugged and at a gtg. Pete seemed to get some great tones out of it, but Im not sure if he was looking to dial in what he likes, or checking for what all it could do. Plus Frank's Super J isnt exactly representative of the production models as he has quite a few bells and whistles, including piezo pickups in the bridge.
  11. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Well, I got my hands on a Afterburner II which has an active preamp on it, and I have to say in combination with the BlueEQube you have alot of versatility in tone. I'm looking forward to trying out a Super J after spending some time with the Afterburner II.

    As others have said, the fanned fret looks scarier than it actually is. It felt very comfortable to me, and fit my hands real well. The only knock would be playing chords in the upper registers, but it's not that it's impossible. It just feels different than I'm used to. Besides that, the fanned frets are very comfortable and easy to get used to. If you don't look, you'll find that your hand will know where to go.

    The great thing about the Dingwalls are the many innovations that are on it. The multiple scale lengths mean that each string has even tension and feel. Nothing feels floppy on the AB II, and every string feels tight and rings with authority. The bridge is solid and allows for asmuch sustain as needed, and it's comfy enough to mute with your palm if needed. The tone is absolutely incredible, and the playabilty exceeds to tone.

    The other little things like the magnetic cover for the battery compartment and Neutrik locking jack are not just cool, they're handy.

    I think the Super J would be quite versatile in tone, if the pickups are anything like on the AB2. It also has an Aguilar OBP-1 w/ passive tone for more tonal flexibility. And if that weren't enough, they have a 4 way rotary switch to switch pickups and that includes putting them in parallel or series.

    Basically, the Dingwalls are designed from the ground up to make an innovative and enjoyable bass. Sheldon has succeeded.
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    My name is Burning Skies, and I endorse this message.