Friday, 17 August 2012
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Hey, I have been drooling over Dingwalls off and on for awhile and decided to finally join. Some TBers may recognize my name, I post in the effects section way more than anywhere else though. So anyways, I am really interested in trying a fan-fret bass. Obviously a Combustion is the gateway. Currently my main gigging bass is a Big Al SSS 4. I have owned 5ers but it has been awhile. Do you guys think I would be biting off a lot to chew switching to fan-frets and a 5 string at once. I am in college so keeping the Big Al and buying the Combustion are not really an option curently. I really gig about 2-3 times a month lately because school is getting busy, so if I plan right I can have a bit of time to adjust. Also, I tend to like modding things. How good of a modding platform is a Combustion? From simple stuff like new tuners, pickups, to parallel/series switches & active/passive switches? Oh yeah, could a Dingwall bridge from another model be installed easily on a Combustion? I have a Roland VB-99 and curently use a Roland GK-3B pickup. Is there room for the GK-3B between the bridge pickup and the bridge? Thanks for any help. edit: I realize that the v2 Combustion has an active/passive switch
9 years ago
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#24373
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I honestly think you will find the switch to fanned frets far easier than you think. As a very long time parallel fret player I was comfortable within 5 minutes (seriously). The consensus as to the biggest adjustment for fanned frets is if you play a lot of chords above the 12th fret (I don't generally play many chords) which is where the fanning becomes more pronounced. I had a lot more adjustment time & effort switching from 4 string to 5 string. Took me a while to get used to the bottom string being a B string and not an E string. AS far as Mod's go, I can't really speak to that. I have the C1 version and my only mod was adding the B string booster kit. Everything else about my Combustion is perfect for me & the styles of music I play. The C2 version already has the B string booster as standard and combined with the active/passive switch the C2 may be your best introduction to the Dingwall line.
9 years ago
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#24374
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Thanks SpecialBlender. Interesting what you said about chording above the 12th fret. I definately have some parts where I am chording above the 12th, or doing my quasi finger picking, but not enough to scare me away. How growly would you say your Combustion is? I know that is real subjective question. My bass tone needs that mid heavy growl. I went from a Warwick Corvette (that I modded a bit) to this Big Al, both are growly but in different ways. I also use an Orange AD200B head so I get a lot of growl from those tubes.
9 years ago
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#24376
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Here's a good example of a modded combustion by forum member Bocete: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRL64CJJR_s If you can't tell, he moved the neck pickup towards the bridge one to achieve a MM kind of sound.
9 years ago
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#24380
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That bass sounds really nice. I would definately need to hear what the Combustion sounds like with my rig before moving pickups.
9 years ago
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#24385
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I have a Combustion [i:3ebjehrd]and[/i:3ebjehrd] a Big Al 5. I thought the Combustion would end up being a cheaper version of an Afterburner, but I have found that it's its own thing all by itself. It's not cheap, it's just less expensive than the other models. It sounds more traditional overall, but still benefiting from the clarity of the extra scale length. It could be a platform to MOD (you could upgrade to the FD3 pickups to get a more aggressive sound), but I think it sounds really good the way it is. The hardware is good as well, so while you could upgrade, it doesn't [i:3ebjehrd]really[/i:3ebjehrd] need it. As to the comparison to the Big Al; I don't know if I would say it "growls" more. The Big Al really has that nice P-Tone with the middle pickup soloed and it has that aggressive sound with the back two pickups with all the buttons up. I find the Big Al sounds really good in headphones, but it hasn't quite translated as well to a live setting for me. If you're getting your growl from the Orange head, I think the Combustion will be fine. The string spacing and neck (v.1) on the Combustion is comfortable, so I don't think it will be a problem to transition. You might feel a little bit of the extra length to begin with, but if you're like me, a lot of your playing will be in the parallel area of the neck anyway. Plus, you'll find that fretting the B-string higher up on the neck is much more useable than most other basses.
9 years ago
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#24394
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Thanks for chipping in Smallmouth_Bass. Yeah, I love both of those tones on my Big Al too. I played a show lastnight and got the usual compliments on my tone from other musicians. I definately think just getting a Combustion into my hands will give me my answers. I know there is a v1 on TB for pretty cheap. I just don't dig white basses, even though it looks pretty good with the Baltic Amber pickguard. The bass has a couple of dings ( :lol: ) with paint missing on the back, towards the bottom of the bass. If it stays a bit longer I might scoop it up and have it refinished. I would still want an active/passive switch, as well as adding a 4 way rotary knob. I think between those 2 mods (or 1 mod if I get a v2) would make replacing the Big Al easier. If I do all of that, why wouldn't I buy new? The only advantage would be a custom color, and I do like the factory Candy paint jobs.
9 years ago
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#24399
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One more thing about the Combustion; it has a fairly substantial neck. It's fairly thick back to front and a little more so on the v.2 than the v.1. It is still comfortable, but some may consider it chunky. I love white basses! I really like the Candy Tangerine finish too. I am surprised at how much I like my Candy Apple Green one. It really pops on stage.
9 years ago
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#24403
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Great questions! Following are my opinions . . . [quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] Obviously a Combustion is the gateway.[/quote:3vc5b08i] Exactly what I decided a year ago. [quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] Currently my main gigging bass is a Big Al SSS 4. [/quote:3vc5b08i] I've been a dedicated EBMM player since '99 (until last September - now I play my Sterling on a very limited basis) I don't think the Combustion has the tonal versatility [b:3vc5b08i]or [/b:3vc5b08i]the growl the Big Al does, BUT I would rather have the Combustion over the Al any day. The fanned frets and that 37" B string just create a whole new class of instrument. I prefer the sound and feel of the Combustion, though I don't love the chunkier neck. It's not bad, though.[quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] Do you guys think I would be biting off a lot to chew switching to fan-frets and a 5 string at once.[/quote:3vc5b08i] No, I think that's the best way to go! I have been playing 4-strings,and the occasional 5s for over 30 years. It took me most of the last 10 months to get comfortable with my DW 5. The fanned frets are really easy to adjust to EXCEPT above the 12th fret, for me. I had my ABII customized to have extra markers put above the 12th fret so I can find my positions fast. Now I can do things with my Dingwall I could never do with any of my other basses.[quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] I am in college so keeping the Big Al and buying the Combustion are not really an option curently. [/quote:3vc5b08i] Total immersion is the best way to go. Switching back & forth will take longer anyway. [quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] Also, I tend to like modding things. How good of a modding platform is a Combustion? From simple stuff like new tuners, pickups, to parallel/series switches & active/passive switches? [/quote:3vc5b08i]Me too. The Combustion is a great modding platform. I had everything planned out as to how I was going to mod my combustion, when I realized all the work and $$ I would be putting into the project would go better toward an ABII, which I got. All depends on your cash flow, though.[quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] Oh yeah, could a Dingwall bridge from another model be installed easily on a Combustion?[/quote:3vc5b08i]I don't know [quote="Deltaphoenix":3vc5b08i] I have a Roland VB-99 and curently use a Roland GK-3B pickup. Is there room for the GK-3B between the bridge pickup and the bridge? [/quote:3vc5b08i] I have a set of those, too. The answer is yes (I have a GK-3B on my ABII). Hope that's helpful.
9 years ago
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#24408
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Wow, thanks guys! I am really feeling pumped up about switching over to a Combustion. Chunky necks don't bother me really. I have been thinking about putting some of those vinyl faux block inlays on the neck, at least while I am learning the neck. I am definately at a crossroad. There is a v1 for sale cheap on TB, so I could be playing a Combustion quickly. I tend to mostly buy my equipment used. The first thing that I would want to do is have the bass painted, boom, I am pretty much at the price of new without an active/passive switch. The only advantage would be having a completely custom color. Then again, buying a brand new bass sounds really cool. I just need to track down one of the color schemes I like. Luxury problems, eh? edit: The way my budget looks modding a Combustion is more do-able than getting a more expensive model. Get the bass in hand, and piece by piece get it done. I have 16 hours this semester so I will have minimal time to work for extra money. I really am thankful for all of the input.
9 years ago
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#24409
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Knock up TheGrandEnigma here on the forum. He has a Candy Apple Green one for sale.
9 years ago
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#24410
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I PMed him, thanks. I am about to put my Big Al up for sale I think :shock:
9 years ago
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#24412
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[quote="Deltaphoenix":2mserkbb]I am about to put my Big Al up for sale I think :shock:[/quote:2mserkbb] I seriously doubt you'll regret it.
9 years ago
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#24416
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The Big Al is a nice bass too. Do you have to sell one to get the other? Maybe you should overlap a bit?
9 years ago
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#24420
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Well, I either have to sell my Big Al or my Roland rig (VB-99, FC300, stand, GK-3B and cord). I also have a Peavey MidiBase and stuff in a rack that go with it. Considering the rarity of the MidiBase, I am least likely to sell it. The Roland does ALOT, although I could get another eventually. Big AL is first on the chopping block, Roland stuff is second. IF for some unlikely reason I don't love the Dingwall, I know what the Big Al offers me.
9 years ago
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#24441
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I got my first offer on the Big Al...
9 years ago
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#24443
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[quote="Deltaphoenix":3ptf07f4]I got my first offer on the Big Al...[/quote:3ptf07f4] That was quick! But then again, that's a pretty sought-after bass.
9 years ago
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#24447
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I sold, packed and shipped out my last Fender jazz while I was waiting for UPS to deliver my first Dingwall, a Super PJ-4. The fanned fret idea just felt right, I couldn't find a Dingwall in the area to test drive, so it was the blind leap for me. Never looked back. First afternoon with the bass out on the deck, not even plugged in I could tell that all the usual frustrations (anemic treble strings, weak low notes, clunky feel) were gone for good. I picked up a used AB-1 fiver a few months later. That was the first five string that lasted long enough for me to get used to a fiver. The fanned frets? No issue at all, except the reverse slant way up high takes a little getting used to. In return the sounds are well worth it, crystal clear chords, solid sweet single notes. The extra string? No getting around the new "grey areas" and the stupid brain farts of having a new string that makes your right hand believe it's an E. It just takes some time to get the new info ingrained. In a year, a four string will feel weird and incomplete. Don't over look the Dingwall 4 strings either. Interesting side note, I found getting used to a six string was easier than the fiver, and added all kinds of cool easy to reach high stuff and more complete chords. Watch the TB classifieds, your Dingwall will pop up soon enough.
9 years ago
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#24449
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[quote="singlemalt":nr83f215] The fanned frets? No issue at all, except the reverse slant way up high takes a little getting used to. [/quote:nr83f215]+1[quote="singlemalt":nr83f215] In return the sounds are well worth it, crystal clear chords, solid sweet single notes.[/quote:nr83f215]+1[quote="singlemalt":nr83f215]The extra string? No getting around the new "grey areas" and the stupid brain farts of having a new string that makes your right hand believe it's an E. It just takes some time to get the new info ingrained. In a year, a four string will feel weird and incomplete. [/quote:nr83f215]+1, and some of us adjust slower than others. It's taken me almost a year, and I'm [b:nr83f215][i:nr83f215]still [/i:nr83f215][/b:nr83f215]not used to my "A" string being in the middle- but I'm getting there.[quote="singlemalt":nr83f215]Interesting side note, I found getting used to a six string was easier than the fiver, and added all kinds of cool easy to reach high stuff and more complete chords.[/quote:nr83f215] That's something I never even thought of. Before now.
9 years ago
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#24451
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Yeah, well, that six string... I pulled it out just this afternoon to see how the Payson's were feeling to me. (they still feel and sound great.) I've been playing the SJ 4 exclusively for the last five months, since it fits the band's material the best. No call for a B string and even less call for high notes, but that's country. They shot the last bass player who tried a sixteenth note. I've been warned :shock: So the sixer, man, that's a lot of strings! And with the super low tension TI jazz flats on the four string it was like getting out of a cushy old Caddy and strapping on a Ferrari. We're going to have to set up a regular six string "date night". It's a lot of bass. The string spacing is the biggest difference. Going to the tighter AB-1 (18mm) after playing the SJ's (19mm) and adding two strings, plus the stiff Payson "racing suspension" and rounds wounds, well, it wasn't pretty. Let's just say the grey areas are back again, like fog, or smoke or something. All this is further compounded by my daily wrasslin sessions with the upright acoustic. Talk about a long scale and wide string spacing!
9 years ago
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#24453
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[quote="singlemalt":epyjwh7v]Going to the tighter AB-1 (18mm) after playing the SJ's (19mm) [/quote:epyjwh7v] I always swore I'd never go to 18mm, but that's what the ABII has. I'm learning to love it, just give me time. I gave up the acoustic upright about 30 years ago. I'm just too lazy. I do love my Barker Vertical, though, which is a 34" upright hybrid fretless 4-string with a flat bridge. When I played country (though it really was alt-country) I mostly played 4, but they'd ask me to play 5 occasionally. I specifically remember them insisting I play 5 on Paradise (John Prine). I remember us really doing that song justice.
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