We’ve built basses for Lee for over 15 years. They’ve become his main touring basses and one of his most used recording basses. For his signature model, we combined his favourite 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!”
Available in 5 strings only
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 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? This creates a body that balances the 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 body’s width. 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. The results are pretty dramatic for such a simple idea – warm, punchy treble strings with solid snappy bass strings.
We install Mandoline size fretwire in the Lee Sklar model. These are Leland’s personal favourite size frets.
They have a fantastic feel.
They are the woodiest 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.
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.
The Super-Fatty II is a re-design of the FD3 pickup with more windings for a huge, fat bottom end with a little bit of sparkle on top.
The Lee Sklar II features a 4-position Quad-tone pickup selector custom wired to Lee’s specifications. Its positions are Bridge, Bridge/Neck in parallel, Neck, Bridge/Neck in series.
The Lee Sklar III features a D-Roc rotary switch. Its positions are Bridge, Bridge/Middle in parallel, Middle, and All three pickups.
The Lee Sklar II uses a modified Glockenklang 3-band pre-amp. The midrange frequency is lowered to 250 Hz. The Active treble boosts as expected in active mode and cuts both actively and with a passive treble roll-off. When the pre-amp is switched to passive mode, the treble control acts as a passive cut. This is essentially like having two basses with two distinct characters. All the tone shaping capabilities needed from studio to stage.
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 subplate system.
Designed to be “set & forget” simple. Once the string height and intonation are set, the saddle is locked down to the subplate for perfect coupling. This also guarantees that the saddle never goes out of adjustment accidentally.
Aircraft aluminum is used for the saddles and subplate 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.
The double-expanding truss-rod style is one of the industry standards. Carbon fibre is standard on the Sklar.
“While repairing guitars, I found that many had either stripped or missing truss rod cover plate screws and found it frustrating that it usually took longer to remove and replace them than it did to make the actual adjustment.” The truss rod is the most commonly adjusted component on most guitars which is why all Dingwall basses feature an easy-to-access truss-rod.
For more than 30 years, Dingwall Guitars have been committed to shaping the sound of the most exciting and forward-thinking bass players on the planet.
Dingwall created the first string sets optimized for multi-scale. Dingwall strings have been meticulously designed and tested to maximize the ability of our high-performance instruments to create a tone that blends effortlessly into any style of music.
Dingwall strings provide the evenest tension for the most balanced feel and tone, letting you experience the warmest highs and the tightest lows possible.
Note: basses are shipped with Dingwall Nickel Strings