The Dingwall Z series has become an increasingly familiar sight within the bass world, largely thanks to breathtaking bass displays from the likes of Jacob Umansky (Intervals) and Jared Smith (Archspire). “My Z3 is the most versatile and playable instrument I’ve ever come across,” says Jacob. “It’s truly my dream bass. The team at Dingwall brought my vision to life in every way possible.”
Thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted to the highest standards, the Z encapsulates the very best our custom shop has to offer. It’s an astonishing example of both workmanship and artistry.
-5 and 6 strings
Years ago we were building the Z series from Northern ash, which is heavier and denser than swamp ash. The tone was extremely solid, but the bodies were heavy. We built a prototype out of alder and found the B string was lacking. Still, there was a sweetness to the treble strings that the Northern ash didn’t have.
Using the dual density concept from our Lee Sklar Signature and Prima Artist series, we tried making a body using Northern ash for the bass side and alder for the treble side. “I didn’t expect it to work as well as it did,” says Sheldon Dingwall. “The solidity and sustain we were looking for was there in the lower strings, and the warmth and sweetness in the top end of the treble strings was there too.” As a result, all of our Z series bodies are incredibly consistent in weight and tone with the added benefits of the dual-density blend.
The 5-piece maple necks feature a thin, flattened “C”-shape profile and come with wenge fingerboards as standard, though several fingerboard options are available.
Our FDV pickups are the evolution of the original Fury Dingwall pickups that were developed by Sheldon Dingwall and Glenn McDougall of Fury Guitars. They feature alnico magnets and are fully shielded for quiet performance. The internal coils can be pre-wired in either series (for stronger mids) or parallel (for scooped mids), or run through a series/parallel toggle switch for on-the-fly tone shaping.
The Z series is available as a passive instrument or with a choice of Darkglass or Glockenklang active electronics. With active electronics, the pickups are wired to three Dingwall-designed ‘soft touch’ control knobs giving adjustable bass, middle and treble cut or boost. The remaining controls comprise a Quad Tone rotary pickup selector and master volume.
The Z series comes with a full complement of Dingwall and Hipshot hardware. The Dingwall bridge is an adaptable design that allows you to set the string height and the intonation of each individual string. Once the string height and intonation are set, each saddle can be locked in place for perfect coupling, ensuring that the saddle never comes loose. We use Aircraft aluminum for the saddles, which is incredibly lightweight. The riser screws are made from 18-8 stainless steel.
We collaborated with Hipshot to modify their Ultra-lite tuners, which now feature a shorter notched tuning peg that allows for a proper downward angle at the nut for maximum sustain. A side-mounted Neutrik jack socket completes the instrument’s hardware.
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