Best known for his bass work with the likes of James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Phil Collins, Toto and Carole King, not to mention The Immediate Family, the Lee Sklar Signature is a result of our long-standing association with session legend Lee Sklar. “It was hard for me to find a 5-string I liked until I met Sheldon Dingwall,” says Lee. “The B-string is the best bottom I have ever heard – I think it is the additional string length that makes the difference. I will be playing these basses for the rest of my life.”
Tricked out with a modified Glockenklang 3-band preamp and a seriously well-appointed feature set, the Sklar Signature appeals to the working pro who needs to cover a lot of different stylistic ground. “For years I had been looking for a 5-string that actually had some clarity in the bottom end, and with Dingwall I found exactly what I was looking for.”
The Sklar Signature model is constructed using a unique dual-density construction method that couples a piece of northern ash with a piece of alder. However, rather than use an alder body with an ash laminate top, as is often seen on other instruments, we place the pieces side-by-side. The result is a ‘naturally equalising’ body: the higher-density ash accentuates the highs and gives power to the lows without affecting the treble strings. “The solidity and sustain we were looking for is there in the lower strings, and the warmth and sweetness in the top end of the treble strings is there too,” says Sheldon.”
The neck is constructed from five pieces of maple and features a two-octave wenge fretboard and 24 mandolin frets. “I have used mandolin frets on all my basses since the mid 70s,” says Lee. “I showed my old bass to Sheldon and he loved it.” The benefits are a more woody, less metallic tone, smoother glissandos and a faster feel.
The Sklar Signature has two Super-Fatty pickups paired with a Glockenklang three-band EQ circuit. The pickups have been made with an end-to-end hum-cancelling coil array with neodymium magnets and hardened steel poles. The coils are also noise-symmetric/tone-asymmetric, meaning that they boast near-perfect noise rejection along with increased low-end clarity. Lee chose these pickups as they combine clarity on the B and E strings with increased warmth and fatness on the D and G strings.
The pickups are wired to a 3-band EQ, master volume and a 4-position Quad-tone pickup selector that has positions for front pickup soloed, both pickups in parallel, both in series, and neck pickup soloed. Existing Dingwall users should note that this control is wired to Lee’s preference, which is to have these positions placed in a slightly different order.
The Hipshot Ultralite tuners are already lightweight, but we made them even lighter by shortening the string post. By countersinking them into the headstock and designing a shape that causes the string to sit as low as possible, we eliminated the use of string trees, which further reduces weight and improves tuning stability. The Sklar Signature is also equipped with a Hipshot extender key on the lowest string, which drops the B string down to a low A.
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