Lee Sklar Signature

We’ve built basses for Lee for over 10 years. They’ve become his main touring basses and one of his most used recording basses. For his signature model we combined his favorite features and woods to create a bass with a unique voice that is both powerful and clear. We selected finishes to reflect Lee’s love of Hot Rods. If we were to choose one word to describe the Lee Sklar signature model it would be “Stunning!”

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Specifications

* While our website is under construction this information is subject to change. *

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The case is a Levys Dingwall Gigbag made in Canada

Body

Northern Ash on the bass side adds great sustain, clarity and punch to the B and E strings. Alder on the treble side keeps the G and D strings nice and warm sounding.

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Body Core
The traditional way of combining body woods to control tone is to laminate horizontally. For example laminate a thick maple top on a mahogany core to increase the brightness of the mahogany. This system works well to alter the tone response of all the strings as a group. However, our experience with the Novax Fanned-Fret ® system has opened up a whole new way of thinking about an instrument. What if we could take this concept one step further by focusing on the needs of the bass and treble strings separately? In effect creating a body that naturally balances tone between the bass and treble strings. At the time this had never been done before.

To achieve this naturally equalizing body we turned traditional thinking on its side by laminating across the width of the body. This allows us to use a higher density wood such as Northern Ash for the bass side to accentuate the highs and give power to the lows without affecting the treble strings. We then use a lower density wood (Alder) for the treble side to bring out the resonance and warm up the treble strings without making the bass strings sound muddy. For such a simple idea the results are pretty dramatic – warm, punchy treble strings with solid snappy bass strings.
Standard Top
N/A
Tone Chambers
N/A
Top Options
N/A
Exotic wood contrasting layer option
N/A
Matching Wood Cover Plates
N/A
Finish
We use a special polyester that’s been formulated for electric guitars. It not only looks great, but it sounds great too.  The bodies almost look like they’ve been dipped in glass, yet the finish is extremely thin allowing it to be acoustically transparent.
Colors
Candy Apple Red, Candy Blueberry, Candy Green, Candy Tangerine, Chrome Blue
Pickguard Options
N/A

Neck

We take neck construction very seriously due to our extensive experience in guitar repairs coupled with our geographic location and corresponding extreme climate. We’ve experimented with many different lamination and have found a 5-piece maple construction to be among the best.

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Neck Construction
We take neck construction very seriously due to our extensive experience in guitar repairs coupled with our geographic location and corresponding extreme climate. In my years in the guitar repair business I constantly had to deal with humidity related problems made worse by the huge temperature and humidity swings of our local climate. Many of these problems could have been minimized through simple design changes and materials choices. Touring musicians are constantly amazed at how stable Dingwall instruments are. Many state that their Dingwall necks are as stable as their graphite necked instruments. We’ve experimented with many different laminations and have found a 5-piece maple construction to be among the best. Years of experience have proven this design to be extremely stable and reliable while minimizing dead spots.
Neck Carve
Thin, flattened C shape
Neck Reinforcement

The double expanding style is one of the industry standards.  However, our method of installation – taught to us by Glenn McDougall of Fury Guitars, involves gluing the truss rod into the neck under almost 1000-LB of pressure. This creates a coupling of steel to wood, minimizing dead spots and increasing both sustain and harmonic content. “While repairing guitars, I found that many guitars had either stripped or missing truss rod cover plate screws.  I found it frustrating that it usually took longer to remove and replace the cover plate than it did to do the actual adjustment.” The truss rod is the most commonly adjusted component on most guitars, so access to the truss rod adjustment should be as easy as possible. All Dingwall basses feature easy to access truss-rod adjustments. Dual carbon fiber reinforcements are standard.

Headstock
Compound angled
Headstock options
Matching finish
Standard Fingerboard

Similar to Ebony in tone, but with a very striking grain pattern. The color is typically slightly darker than milk chocolate with black grain swirling throughout. When available it can be ordered with a mix of sap wood, which adds a cream colored contrasting stripe along the edge.

Wenge (Wen-gay) on Lee Sklar Signature, Z Series, Afterburner I and Afterburner II
This is an interesting fretboard wood due to the alternating layers of hard and soft wood (early and late wood).  The hard grain gives the tone a nice top end similar to ebony and the soft grain adds the warmth of Rosewood.  It’s a great all around fingerboard wood.

Morado (More-ah-doh) on Super J
Morado is another name for Pau Ferro. This wood has a nice tight grain structure for a smooth look and feel.  Its tone is similar to ebony but slightly darker. It’s color ranges from golden-brown to orange-brown to milk chocolate with a slight purple hue. It is one of the most stable exotic woods meaning you won’t have to adjust your truss-rod very much with a Morado fretboard.

Maple on ABZ
Maple has a nice snappy top end that really enhances the attack of the note. We now finish our maple fingerboards with satin polyurethane. To maintain stability, we also finish the neck shaft with the same finish.

Fingerboard Radius

Fingerboard radius – compound, 7-1/2” to 25”

You can build bass fingerboard with either a single radius (cylindrical) or a compound radius (conical). We offer both types.

On our Canadian made basses we do the more complicated compound radius. We like it for a few reasons:
- We can have a very vintage feeling 7-1/2” radius at the nut for comfortable play in the lower frets.
- We can also have a much flatter radius at the bridge to make play easier for the plucking hand.
- The flatter radius at the bridge keeps the strings a more consistent distance from the pickups for more even response.

Fingerboard Options
N/A
Fretless Option
N/A
Fret Option
We install Mando size fretwire in the Lee Sklar model.  These are Leland’s personal favorite size frets.  They have an amazing feel – almost fretless like.  They are the most woody and smooth sounding frets available.  Their service life is very good. Depending on playing style, you can expect 5-10 years of use per set.
Position Markers and Inlays
3 mm pearloid face and side dots with Pearl D at 12th fret.

Electronics

The Super-Fatty pickups including the shells are made right in our shop here in Canada.

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Pickups

The Super-Fatty pickups including the shells are made right in our shop here in Canada. They feature an end to end humcancelling coil array with neodymium magnets and hardened steel poles. The coils are noise-symetric/tone-asymetric, which means they maintain near-perfect noise rejection with increased low-end clarity. They have been designed to combine Super clarity on the B and E strings with increased warmth and Fatness on the D and G-strings.

Their tone has been described as very clear and transparent on the bottom and very smooth and punchy on the top.  They they have a natural overdriven quality when pushed hard that is similar to a vintage tube amp.

They feature 4-lead wiring which enables the internal coils to be wired in either series for strong mids and high output or parallel for scooped mids and normal output.

Pickup Options
N/A
Exotic wood shells, matching wood shells
N/A
Standard Electronics
Rotary switch
All Dingwall basses (except Combustion) feature a 4-position rotary pickup selector. The pickup combinations are bridge pickup soloed, both in parallel, both in series, neck pickup soloed.

Pre-amp

In the past we’ve used Bartolini, Aguilar and now Glockenklang pre-amps.  These are all top-notch, high-quality pre-amps. What we like about the Glockenklang pre-amps is the smooth and subtle tone shaping and the Active/Passive treble control. We’ve spent a lot of time perfecting the natural tone of our basses so that they don’t need a lot of tone adjustment. The Glockenklang really fits well with this philosophy. The Active treble boosts and cuts as expected in active mode but when the pre-amp is switched to passive mode, the control is switched to a passive cut control. This is essentially like having two basses with two distinct characters. One active and one passive.
Pre-amp Option
N/A
Pickup Switching
Rotary pickup selector.
Knobs
We looked for years to find a control knob we were happy with. We eventually decided to design and manufacture our own control knobs in house. These knobs are exclusive to Dingwall guitars and feature a sleek design that blends perfectly with the overall design language of our basses and match the pickup shells perfectly. They feature a soft-touch forumla for extra comfort and grip.
Jack
We use the Neutrik locking jack because it is one of the best output jacks ever made.  It is designed for use in studio consoles where reliability is a must.  It’s not an easy jack to install in a guitar, therefore you don’t see them often. We take great pride in the way we’ve integrated this jack subtly into our body design. It’s accessible, yet unobtrusive.

Hardware

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Hardware Color
Black
Tuners
Hipshot Ultralite tuners are an open-back design made from billet aluminum for minimal weight. Reducing weight at the headstock makes a big difference in the way an instrument balances.
Bridge

At Dingwall, we take our hardware pretty seriously. Nowhere is this more evident than our bridges. The Prima Artist and Z-series basses feature Dingwall designed individual saddles with a countersunk sub plate system.

The saddles feature a unique pin system that anchors the string by utilizing the hole in the ball. This eliminates any stress points on the string where it wraps around the ball.

Designed to be “set & forget” simple. Once the string height and intonation are set, the saddle is locked down to the sub plate for perfect coupling. This also guarantees that the saddle never goes out of adjustment accidentally.

Aircraft aluminum is used for the saddles and sub plate as it is lightweight and has a wonderful ring (Aluminum is the material of choice for vibraphone bars. The riser screws are made from 18-8 stainless steel. These screws will virtually last forever.

Strap Pins
Dunlop locking with “Reach Reducing” pin on back

Scale Lengths and Dimensions

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Scale Lengths

B
37″
E
36.25″
A
35.5″
D
34.75″
G
34″
C
33.25″

Dimensions

Bridge Spacing 4
N/A
Bridge spacing 5
18 mm – .709″
Bridge spacing 6
N/A
Nut width 4
N/A
Nut width 5
45.5 mm – 1.8″
Nut width 6
N/A
Heel width 4
N/A
Heel width 5
71 mm – 2.8″
Heel width 6
N/A
Neck thickness @ 1st fret
19 mm – .748″
Neck thickness @ 12th fret
22 mm – .866″

FROM THE BLOG

We got our pilot run of the new Version 4 Voodoo Saddles back from anodizing today. We’ve removed the pin system and went with a simple cup to hold the ball end, smoothed and rounded the surfaces but left the texture as close to “off the machine” as possible to preserve the

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This is one of the colors we thought of originally for the Lee Sklar model. It took a few tries to get it right but I think we’ve got it down now. We’ll also try this color on some Combustions in the near future. Check out the photos here at the bottom of the LS Gallery page.

Lee just sent us some cool photos.

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