With a sleek custom finish that’s fashioned on Duran Duran’s seminal Rio album cover, this John Taylor limited edition model embodies the personality and stylistic range of the band’s 1982 platinum-selling record.
Each bass is individually numbered and also includes a Hipshot Drop D Xtender key, an onboard Rupert Neve Designs preamp, a special string pack, spare cream pickguard, and a custom gig bag.
Limited to just 82 instruments, the Rio Dream Bass is modelled after the Dingwall NG3 that Taylor used on Duran’s 2022 studio album, Future Past, though with some design modifications to really hone in on his tone. As well as the ‘Rio Eye’ inlaid at the 12th fret of Dingwall’s customary multi-scale fingerboard, other specs include a Nyatoh body, a bolt-on maple neck and a Macassar ebony fingerboard.
The body also features a custom finish that takes its inspiration from Duran Duran’s Rio album cover. “John Taylor’s bass playing on Rio really imprinted on me how a bass should fit into a band mix,” said Sheldon Dingwall. “His basslines have always had a special combination of energy and elegance.”
“It all started when I was in Toronto about five years ago with a friend,” says Taylor “and he showed me a Dingwall bass on his phone. I loved how it looked and immediately said to Bernie Guerra, my tech, ‘You’ve got to reach out to these guys! Sheldon Dingwall is a real visionary.”
Along with the custom finish, top billing goes to three Neodymium pickups and an onboard preamp designed and configured in collaboration with Rupert Neve Designs, whose studio consoles have long represented the pinnacle of high-end audio engineering. With the Rio Dream Bass, the Rupert Neve Designs experience is available for bass guitar for the very first time.
“This project gave us a unique opportunity from an engineering perspective,” said Josh Thomas of Rupert Neve Designs. “We were tasked with combining our design knowledge with equalizer ‘tone’ controls specific to this application. That’s become the hallmark of this design. It’s about finding the right balance of performance specifications and essential results in terms of capturing John’s tone.”
The pickups are wired to a Quad-Tone pickup selector, a master volume, master tone and a 2-band active EQ that’s powered by the Rupert Neve Designs circuit.
The Rio Dream bass is fitted with an equally impressive accompaniment of hardware, including lightweight open-gear Hipshot tuners and Dingwall’s ‘Minimalist’ bridge.
The fanned-fret system facilitates the most appropriate scale length for each individual string. It’s a concept that’s applied across the whole of the Dingwall range. “I’m in love with this bass!” says John. “It felt so intuitive to me from the moment I picked it up, and immediately made me wonder why all bass guitars aren’t made like this. It just felt so good.”
Dingwall strings have been meticulously tested to maximize performance and deliver a tone that blends effortlessly with any style of music. We were the first company to design strings specifically for multi-scale instruments. Available in both nickel and stainless steel, our strings provide an even tension for optimal balance, letting you experience the warmest highs and the tightest lows possible.
Note: Basses are shipped with Dingwall Nickel Strings, and the limited edition Rio Dream packaging.