Z

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Specifications

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

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The Z model comes with a Dingwall branded Levys Gigbag

Body

Dual-density: High density Swamp Ash on the bass side, low density Swamp Ash on the treble side.

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Body Core

The use of high density Swamp Ash on the bass side increases sustain, clarity and punch of the B and E strings. Low density Swamp Ash on the treble side keeps the G and D strings nice and warm sounding.

The dual density concept used in the Lee Sklar and Prima Artist series was such a success it led us to trying it in a slightly different way on the Z-series bodies.

Swamp ash is a highly sought after, great sounding wood.  The problem for luthiers is that it is also very inconsistent weight wise.   Not only from board to board, but from one end of a board to the other!  This is why you see such a variance in the weights of swamp ash basses.

Using our dual density concept we separate the dense, heavy blanks from the lightweight ones.  The heavier blanks get used for bass sides only and light ones get used for the trebles.  Not only does this provide the tonal benefits of the dual density system, but also all of our swamp ash basses are very consistent in weight and tone.

Standard Top
N/A
Tone Chambers
N/A
Top Options
Yes
Exotic wood contrasting layer option
Yes
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

We have a huge range of available colors. Please refer to our photo galleries and price list for available colors and styles. Please note that for colors to be as bright and punchy as possible, pre-bleaching of the wood is often necessary.

Pickguard Options
N/A

Neck

Angled headstock, 5-piece laminated maple - Wenge optional.

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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 most reliable. Years of experience have proven this design to be extremely stable and reliable while minimizing dead spots.

We offer a 5 piece laminated wenge neck as an option. Wenge is also very stable. A wenge neck will be roughly 50 grams heavier than maple with an open grain feel. The tone is similar to maple but with a slightly snappier response.

Neck Carve
Thin, flattened C shape
Neck Reinforcement

The double expanding truss-rod 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 in the Z models.

Headstock

Headstock design – Angled (compound).

If you build a fanned-fret neck with a traditional headstock angle there will be an odd looking triangle between the nut and the end of the fingerboard.  It will also be difficult to position the treble tuners close to the nut for a compact headstock and best balance. We figured out a better way.

If you look closely at the angle of our headstock, you will notice that it’s actually a combination of two angles.  This adds considerable complication to the construction process but enables a perfectly linear string path to the tuners, compact design and no telltale triangle behind the nut.

All Z-series headstocks feature a matching face veneer cut from the same veneer as the top for a perfect match.

Headstock options
Matching veneer
Standard Fingerboard

Wenge is an interesting fretboard wood due to the alternating layers of hard and soft grain (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.

 

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
Maple, Birdseye Maple, Pau Ferro, Macassar Ebony, Ziricote
Fretless Option

Macassar Ebony with edge lines. We prefer the warmth of tone and beautiful look of Macassar Ebony for a fretless fingerboard. To guaranty buzz-free performance regardless of temperature and humidity changes, we install short fretlines on the edge of the fingerboard only. Thereby eliminating any chance of buzzing caused by the fretlines shrinking or expanding from the fingerboard surface.

Fret Options

Vintage small size 18% hard nickel silver fretwire. Lee Sklar turned us onto the benefits of small frets. The advantages are a more woody, less metallic tone, smoother glissandos and a faster feel. Our standard size is “banjo” size. This is the same size as you’d find on most guitars from the 50’s and 60’s. Although its size is smaller than standard bass fretwire, its service life is about the same.

Position Markers and Inlays
3 mm pearloid face and side dots with D at 12th fret and headstock. Bars or Pearloid Blocks available. Speedo Bars.

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

Z1 spacing
The Z1 pickup spacing is modeled after the J style bass. The tone combinations will be familiar to anyone used to a J style bass.

Z2 spacing
The Z2 spacing features two pickups grouped together in the sweet-spot.  The tone is more focused in the mid-range than the standard spacing. This tone will be familiar to anyone used to a MM SR tone.

Z3 spacing
The Z3 is a 3 pickup system that combines the Z1 and Z2 pickups. This system provides the ultimate in tone-shaping versatility. Almost any bass tone you can think of is available at your fingertips.

Exotic wood shells, matching wood shells
N/A
Standard Electronics
Active/Passive Glockenklang 3-band. Hybrid active/passive treble.
Pre-amp Option
Dark glass Tone Capsule
Pickup Switching
Rotary pickup selector, Series/parallel toggle switches
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.

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
19 mm – .748″
Bridge spacing 5
18 mm – .709″
Bridge spacing 6
18 mm – .709″
Nut width 4
42 mm – 1.65″
Nut width 5
45.5 mm – 1.8″
Nut width 6
55 mm – 2.2″
Heel width 4
59 mm – 2.32″
Heel width 5
71 mm – 2.8″
Heel width 6
87 mm – 3.43″
Neck thickness @ 1st fret
19 mm – .748″
Neck thickness @ 12th fret
22 mm – .866″

FROM THE BLOG

Sometimes nature cooperates. Check out how the grain seems to flow around the pickups as if it were water. The unique color and figuring in buckeye burl is natural. We’ve added no dyes or enhancements… Just love:)

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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We’ve held off building 6-string versions of the Z3 until now. This new bass marks the first of the new design and will soon be in Tokyo in it’s new home.

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