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SteelandBassPicker Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Step One:

Throw away the SKB Freedom case that came with your Dingwall. Eventually it'll just fall apart, or the lid won't stay up and it'll "munch" your guitar as you pull it out... Happened to me twice now already, and I'm not too happy about it.
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reddavid Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I suspect the 'dents' in the neck came from 'case crunching'. I'm very careful now whenever I open/close the case. I like the protection of a hardshell case. What's a good alternative that's light weight, close fitting, good storage, functional, etc.? I thought about the 'Dingwall' gig bag. That would be cool, but the shipping is almost as costly as the case. :cry:
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BurningSkies Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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The Kiwi shoe polish works great. I use it every once in a while and keep it light when using it. It doesn't take a lot, and too much will lead to build up and a stickiness to the neck. I would also suggest rubbing the back of the neck out A LOT after waxing to make sure all residue is gone. Make sure you wash your hands very well when you're done waxing, as any handling after the fact will just transfer wax residue.

Also be careful of that signature on the headstock. It's just paintpen with no finish over it, so it can smudge if your not careful. Once when I had waxed the neck, I had a bit of wax residue left on my hands and it DID smudge the signature a little bit. :cry: Not noticeable from a distance, but I can tell!
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groovaholic Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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FRETBOARDS: I'm a big fan of Teak Oil for fretboard care.

Teak oil is popular among boat enthusiasts for protecting their hardwood from the elements--moisture and salt. It goes into the pores of the wood and strengthens them.

I've been using it on fretboards for about 10 years now (a quart can lasts FOREVER) and after a while, it seems to cut down on seasonal shrinkage and swelling.

NECK DINGS: Rather than just sanding and removing wood from the neck, I prefer this: If you have a smoothing (beaver tail) tip for your soldering iron, you can soak a cloth in water and place the wet cloth over the ding, then touch the soldering iron to the cloth.

The idea here is to force steam into the compressed wood fibers and make them swell up. Once the wood is back to its original dimensions, let it relax for a while then sand lightly and refinish as needed.

STRAPLOCK SCREWS: I've had GREAT success with 1.65" x #7 trim head stainless deck screws. The small head fits into Schaller and Dunlop strap buttons, but the threads are big and aggressive, as Sheldon recommends for the end grain that they go into. Plus, the screws are stainless, so they are good quality metal and never going to rust or corrode. Unfortunately, they only come in 1 Lb boxes, so I have A LOT of extras. Let me know if you need some.

PICKUPS: I swapped the FD-1 and FD-3 pickups in my 2 Dingwalls. I explained it more in-depth in another thread, but that was a good project too.

1 THAT DIDN"T GO AS WELL... I was having trouble on my Z2 with bumping the volume knob while playing and turning myself down. I don't even HAVE a volumen knob on my Afterburner. So, I thought that I'd switch the locations of the volume knob and pickup selector on my Z2.

The pickup selector has a larger shaft than the volume knob, so I had to enlarge the hole for it. I used a drill for this and had some finish chipping.

If I'd been smart about this, I would have placed masking tape over the hole on the face of the bass, used a circle template to mark out the needed diameter on the tape, and then used my Dremel--push it through the tape into the existing hole and gently grind out to that outline.

On a positive note, I like the new layout much better--the pickup selector is the only control I ever use on the bass (I never turn down and the bass doesn't need any EQ) and because it has detented positions, I never knock it out of position through incidental contact.

-John Jungblut
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lomo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I still trust my babies only to a real luthier for anything but basic stuff. However I'll swear up and down by real lemon oil for both fingerboards and necks. BUT it's gotta be 100% pure lemon oil (which eliminates 95% of products labelled as "lemon oil").
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groovaholic Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Exactly! The VAST majority of products sold as lemon oil are primarily detergent and lemon-scent. So, most lemon oil is nice for cleaning the fretboard, but not for protecting it.

When I was working at Guitar Center, we always seemed to get in instruments with dried out rosewood fretboards (the lack of humidity here in Denver seems to have that effect) but all we had was lemon oil, which made the fretboards look nice for about an hour, then it just evaporated.

I brought in some teak oil and the guys were all blown away by how well it soaked into the wood and gave it a nice shine.

That said, when we got trade-in instruments that were grubby, lemon oil worked well to get the funk off the fretboard.

But I'd still follow-up with a protective oil; teak oil, linseed oil or Tru-Oil, although I prefer teak oil because I've found the others to be more likely to get "gummy".

John
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reddavid Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Good tip groovaholic, went out on my weekend home depot run, and got a pound box of 1 5/8 #7 square drive stainless steel trim screws. They've got a nice thread - and long. More drilling, but they are secure (for the strap lock pins). The bit that comes with them doesn't bottom out the screw! I had another that was a tad longer - to get the screw tight. Then i found an old file in the toolbox that has a square, narrow point on it. Fit perfectly into the square drive screw, and one final tightening. Then I got to practice with no one in the house. Good vibrations... :lol:
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Mark L Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Well, they don't look like much yet, but these are the shells to my new FD-3 pickups for my Voodoo 6 string, to replace the Bartolinis. FrankM has said that Barts hold these basses back. I realized that is true when I took delivery of my AB1 and got a load of the FD-3s. Sheldon will "Zebra" the shells, then finish in Whalepool to match the bass. Can't wait to get 'em. :D

Mark
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metalstorm Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I added a ramp and soon to have a D-Tuner courtesty of Sheldon/
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Mark L Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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New FD3s for my Voodoo. The bass is in Canada getting spruced up by Dr. Wood. Yeeehawww!!

Mark
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BurningSkies Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Wow. Those came out awesome! can't wait to see them in your bass!
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Razman Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I need to find some teak oil. I used Formby's to polish up my piano two days ago, and yesterday it looked only marginally better than it did before I treated it. I'll keep the lemon 'snake' oil for cleaning gunk off my friends' neglected guitars they bring to me to fix up.

Another tip for the back of the neck: after the Kiwi neutral is buffed out, use some pure carnauba wax. Not only will the scent match the eye candy that they are, but it makes the already sleek back of the neck that much more smooth and fast. I used to use it on my billiard que and it worked wonders.

My $.02...
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Franco Bollo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I did this back in December, but thought that, at the risk of being branded as a heretic, I'd post a note in this thread.

After having the AB2 for almost a year and using it as my main gigging axe, I finally could not ignore the fact that the one thing I missed was a mid boost. Most of my other fretted basses have a John East J-Retro or U-Retro with a sweepable midrange. I had seen on another forum that John would put together a custom unit with two sweepable mids and since the AB2 has four holes I figured why not. I also asked John to use the same switches that Sheldon uses, as I think they look better and feel a bit beefier than the switches that John normally uses.

The two mids have different but overlapping frequency ranges. One is 100-1000 Hz and the other is 150-3000 Hz, both boost/cut. Bass is boost only and treble is boost/cut. It also has a bright switch that is activated by pulling out on the treble pot.

Definitely a +/- result. What I gained is much more flexibility in tone shaping. The two sweepable mids really give many options, and the bright switch adds a nice top end, good for slapping/popping (which I do on maybe 3 songs at the most). What I lost is a little signal/noise. Not that the East preamps are noisy, but the Aguilars are dead quiet. I also lost the series pickup option (but I can blend the pickups however I want), and the BluEQube, which I really never used.

All in all I'm happy with the result, but am glad that the Z1 I have on order will have the OBP-3 preamp with the mid control.

[img:2lnugfjk]http://www.liveactionhero.com/franco/Dingwall_Retro.jpg[/img:2lnugfjk]
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fullrangebass Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I am a borderline case of being called heretic too 8) , but please understand that the Dingwall, oops, the dogma I meant, remains the same, but it was the Barts being replaced :wink: .

I hope that my Ding-aholic addiction makes you a bit more sympathetic over my actions

I know that the pics are a bit moved, so am I :wink:
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Zac Hammons Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hey guys,

This is my first post in quite a while. I am glad to see things are still going strong. My schedule has been so hectic that I have had little time for much of anything. I have been eyeballing this forum fro time to time, checking on the new developments of the Super J 5 etc. etc.

Anyway, this is a cool thread. Though Sheldon's basses come stock leaving nothing for most mortals to desire, there are those of us who are just compelled to tweak and modify. The big problem with modifying these basses that they are so unique, it is difficult to find aftermarket stuff that will actually fit.

I have owned my ABI for around four years I guess, and I have changed the electronics a few times and have settled on a setup I am very happy with. A couple years ago I added an Aguilar OBP-3. I drilled a couple extra holes for this, but I believe you can accomplish this instal using the stock holes if you get creative with stacked knobs. Also the OBP-3 only requires one 9V which will fin inside the control cavity. Originally I used a blend knob in place of the 4-way, but I missed the extra highs robbed by the pot, so I changed to a 3-way toggle.

Also, I experimented with SD Bassline active soapbars, which were nice and studio quiet, but they lacked the agressive bite of the FD1s, so out they went. I have concluded that the FD1 is my favorite pickup ever, and I wish they were still an option.

In hindsight, I don't know if all this was necessary, because most of the time I leave the preamp set flat, or I use a little mid-cut for slap. The main advantage I have found is that I do have control of my sound when I need it in certain venues or when stuck playing direct. And the buffer in the preamp allows me to use long cables without signal degradation.

At this point I have resolved to leave my bass alone unless something breaks. I also have a jazz bass that I experiment on now. Ironically, I just installed pickups and a wiring harness in that bass from HAS sound, which uses a 5-way rotary with series-parallel and a push/pull passive tone/mid cut very similar to the bluEQube. Go figure;-)

Fullrange, what do you think of those Villex pups? I was going to try them but gave the HAS sound split Js a try first.
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fullrangebass Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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The Barts were not allowing the bass to speak it's voice properly (compared with my other Dingwalls). I tried to keep the bass as mod-free as possible. This type of Voodoo has a different sort of sonic identity cause the pickups are "slanted" (bass strings have more meat and a touch less definition compared with the higher strings IMHO). It is the only Dingwall, in my herd) that the very same set of notes played in another position and combination of strings sounds quite different (not a bad thing, just different).

We all know that a string on a Dingwall bass is more "balanced" with the others and the longer strings have more "harmonic content" than a 34"string (excuse my un-scientific terms) and I wanted a pickup that was flat enough (but not indifferent or plastic sounding) to allow the bass as well as the string to speak.

I have been very satisfied with my other Villex loaded basses (both in terms of output and tone, as well as manipulation of the sound) so I ordered a pair for my Voodoo. You can read my very thoughts in my review of Villex pickups on talkbass (it is this very bass that got the Villex pair). I went with a concentric vol/vol, mid control and once I do not use the tone I had the Passive booster installed later (again reviewed on talkbass).

I am very happy that the Voodoo was elevated to the level of my other Dingwalls, once the original Barts were replaced. Extra thanks go to Sheldon that informed me of the size of the original pickups (so i could order the exact replacement)

As far as sonic samples I have to admit that my pc has crushed badly 3-4 times since Christmas (losing a motherboard and hard discs more than once), so hopefully my soundcard fairy will allow me to re-record the lost tracks this week (if the pc does not deside otherwise)
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  1. more than a month ago
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Dragonlord Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Having played the bass with the barts and with the villex, I have to agree with all of the above. Comparing the bart equipped voodoo to fd-3 equipped dingwalls left something to be desired, it felt like a level down - still great bass, just a level down. Now it's up there with the rest. Awesome pickups. The bass now became very punchy and feels like that old wet blanket was removed. Biggest difference was on the high mids and highs, the villex really opened up the sound there, with the barts it sounded muffled. Compared to the fd-3s, if a comparison between different basses can tell us anything, they seemed probably punchier, but the FD-3s had more detail and "richness". The villex were more old school. Still, different flavors of amazing.
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Zac Hammons Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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That's interesting. I may give the villex pups a try in my next project.

I have never been a fan of Barts. They are too subdued for me. In certain basses they seem to work well though, just like some basses sound good with EMGs.
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lowphatbass Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I am also much happier now that I've replaced my Barts in my good old Prima5. I opted for the FD-3/OBP-3 combo. I also wanted to do as little modification as possible. The Pups dropped right in of course, the rest was a little different. Control wise I left the three knobs, I'm set-up with V, V, Bass/Treble. The mid is controlled by a mini-pot set-in backwards and can be adjusted with i mini screwdriver through on of the existing three holes in the control cover that the original battery box was riveted to. I get a lot fair amount of crap for this but can get by beautifully with one mid setting for the whole night and when it comes to recording I can tweak instantly, but seldom need to do so. I can usually predict the amount of mid needed for the session and haven't gotten any complaints yet.
I'm pretty old fashioned in running separate volume controls for each Pup, but I love flexibility it gives me and I am comfortable with it.
The FD-3's really warmed this bass up, it is very natural sounding. Pushing 18v with the OBP-3 I can still shake floors and shatter glass whenever needed.
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DeepDee Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Simple tip for all Dingwalls with Glockenklang electronics:

The battery compartment is made to hold two batteries ( the former used Aguilar preamps were driven by two batteries), the Glockenklang only needs one battery.

Remove the foam besides the battery and place a new battery beside the connected one.
It's the best place for the backup.
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