Prima Artist

The Prima Artist is designed without compromise, fueled by our desire to present the best bass guitar to the world. It takes bass-building art and engineering to a whole new level. 

Dual-density body

The traditional way of combining body woods to control tone has been 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 tonal 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? 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 Walnut 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 such as Soft Maple for the treble side to bring out the resonance and warm up the highs without affecting the bass strings. The results are dramatic for such a simple idea – warm, punchy treble strings with solid snappy bass strings. 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.


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.


Prima Artist necks are laminated from 5-7 pieces of exotic wood.  We choose the woods for strength and tone first, then try to come up with a combination that either blends or contrasts nicely with the top and back woods.


The Prima Artist pickups feature an FD-3 treble coil with a custom-wound bass coil. The coils are noise-symmetric/tone-asymmetric, which means they maintain near-perfect noise rejection with increased low-end clarity.

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. The Prima Artist bass also features individual series/parallel switches so that the player can access these tones at the flick of a switch. The pickups are installed into wooden shells cut from the actual top and contrast layer of the body in which they will be installed.

Their tone can be best described as a convergence of the warmth and familiarity of vintage tones and the clarity and breadth of low-end not heard in a single pickup. They are genuinely one-of-a-kind pickups made in our shop in Canada.


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


Dual-density: Walnut on the bass side, soft figured maple on the treble side.
Body Core
Dual-density Prima select Figured Walnut / Figured Maple
Standard Top
Premium select top and back
Tone Chambers
Top Options
Top & Back Standard
Exotic wood contrasting layer option
Matching Wood Cover Plates
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.
Natural gloss


Neck construction
Prima Artist necks are laminated from 5-7 pieces of exotic wood.
Neck Carve
Thin, flattened C shape
Neck Reinforcement
Dingwall heavy duty truss-rod with carbon fiber bars
Headstock design – Angled (compound).
Headstock options
Matching veneer standard
Standard Fingerboard
Fingerboard Options
Maple, Pau Ferro, Macassar Ebony, Ziricote.
Fretless Option
Macassar Ebony with segmented-lines
Vintage small size 18% hard nickel silver fretwire
Position Markers and Inlays
Custom Smoke standard


Handmade Prima Artist pickups
Pickup Options
PA1 spacing is modelled after the J-style bass. The tone combinations will be familiar to anyone used to a J-style bass.
PA2 optional 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.
PA3 is a three pickup system that combines the Z1 and Z2 pickups. This system provides the ultimate tone-shaping versatility. Almost any bass tone you can think of is available at your fingertips.
Exotic wood shells, matching wood shells
Standard Electronics
Pre-amp Option
Glockenklang 3-band, Darkglass Tone Capsule and Rupert Neve.
Pickup Switching
Quad-tone pickup selector
Prima Artist control knobs are made from cutoffs from the actual body blank and so are unique to the instrument. They feature a brass insert with a set-screw and are finished for a perfect match to the top.
We use the Neutrik locking style, one of the market's best and most reliable output jacks. We take great pride in the way we've integrated this jack subtly into our body design. It's accessible yet unobtrusive.


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 a more even response.
B 37″
E 36.25″
A 35.5″
D 34.75″
G 34″
C 33.25″


Bridge spacing 5
18 mm – .709″
Nut width 5
45.5 mm – 1.8″
Neck thickness @ 1st fret
19 mm – .748″
Neck thickness @ 12th fret
22 mm – .866″


Hardware Color
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 balance
Dingwall Z Bridge
Strap Pins
Dunlop locking with “Reach Reducing” pin on back