Sunday, 08 May 2011
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So I've had my Combustion for a couple of weeks and finally got to play it the last couple of nights. I bought it used and I believe the last guy had the action jacked up way too high, so that's got to be addressed. I'd been practicing with it quite a bit and read about it, but after four hours a night apparently there really is some new streching going on in the wrist and tendons! I'll get used to that with use I'm sure. Over all it went very well for the most part. Soloing on the upper octaves was a little hit miss, but I squanked through it once I realized auto-pilot was no longer my friend! One question I do have- I've read various threads about the Dingwall "tone". And not surpirsingly, very few of them are consistant with one and other. The tone I like is some what equivalent to plucking a string on a grand piano. From that I can subtractively mix just about any tone I need. What I got was a punchy sound but it was very rolled off on the high end. This was running direct through a SansAmp, in bypass, into a pair of JBL 4702 and a small sub. I wasn't getting and "shimmer" from it. No string click, pops, fret noise or attack when I want it. Adding additional eq'ing didn't bring it out- it just wasn't there to be had despite trying several different p/u and tone combinations as well boosting highs on the board and the pre-amp. One possibility, having purchased it used, it that it needs new strings or a new battery. The strings really don't seem that bad. I've certainly played on worse strings! The battery is an easy one and I'll do that first, but before I go spending hundreds on strings I wanted to know if I'm trying to get something out of it that the instrument isn't voice for. Don't get me wrong! I love the bass and it's not going anywhere. The other question I had was that I was wondering if it's possible to get the pick up covers rescreened or replaced. There fine now, but my playing style seems to wear through the logos and I like them to be all pretty and stuff! Thanks for the advice.
11 years ago
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#20495
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You need to try the Payson Fanned Nickel Steel Strings. ; )
11 years ago
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#20496
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Aren't those full-range speakers, meant for PA use? How does it sound through a proper bass rig? The Combustion should do everything you want. Don't underestimate the difference new Dingwall strings will make. It won't cost you hundreds. Let us know how it goes.
11 years ago
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#20497
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[quote="Mark L":3hqiw9p4]Aren't those full-range speakers, meant for PA use? How does it sound through a proper bass rig? The Combustion should do everything you want. Don't underestimate the difference new Dingwall strings will make. It won't cost you hundreds. Let us know how it goes.[/quote:3hqiw9p4] Playing through a fullrange PA system should give him the ability to get a super clickity annoyingly trebly tone.
11 years ago
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#20498
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[quote="Funkshwey":1vy39l4l] Playing through a fullrange PA system should give him the ability to get a super clickity annoyingly trebly tone.[/quote:1vy39l4l] That was my point. Running direct I should be able to get all kinds of clickety sounds. Not that I want all of it. It's like the pre-amp has a really low low pass frequency filter on it. No clarity or definition. But if I'm running in ears or wedges without an amp and cab, some of that definition would good to have. The hundreds I was referring to was me trying out many different sets of strings looking for a set that would work. I'm not convinced the on board is running full range.
11 years ago
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#20499
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[quote="trevcda":1pfhhxjb][quote="Funkshwey":1pfhhxjb] Playing through a fullrange PA system should give him the ability to get a super clickity annoyingly trebly tone.[/quote:1pfhhxjb] That was my point. Running direct I should be able to get all kinds of clickety sounds. Not that I want all of it. It's like the pre-amp has a really low low pass frequency filter on it. No clarity or definition. But if I'm running in ears or wedges without an amp and cab, some of that definition would good to have. The hundreds I was referring to was me trying out many different sets of strings looking for a set that would work. I'm not convinced the on board is running full range.[/quote:1pfhhxjb] I did an audition where I had to play through a Mackie 3 way powered speaker (mono) and thought, this is going to be cool. It was not cool at all. I couldn't do my thing. Honky, clickity, trebly and nasally. It was a Clay Walker type country thing, so you can see how this was the opposite of what the situation needed. New Strings and a real bass rig is what you need, and I highly recommend the Genz Benz Streamliner 900. http://genzbenz.com/?fa=detail&mid=2663&sid=675&cid=95
11 years ago
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#20500
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[quote="trevcda":333utptr][quote="Funkshwey":333utptr] Playing through a fullrange PA system should give him the ability to get a super clickity annoyingly trebly tone.[/quote:333utptr] That was my point. Running direct I should be able to get all kinds of clickety sounds. Not that I want all of it. It's like the pre-amp has a really low low pass frequency filter on it. No clarity or definition. But if I'm running in ears or wedges without an amp and cab, some of that definition would good to have. The hundreds I was referring to was me trying out many different sets of strings looking for a set that would work. I'm not convinced the on board is running full range.[/quote:333utptr] The only other thing I can think of is that you accidentally plugged into the low pass part of the x-over on the pa speaker cancelling out all mids and treble. Great for reggae.
11 years ago
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#20503
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There in lies the problem- I can't get "Honky, clickity, trebly and nasally" even if I put the dread mid scooped smiley face on it. It aint there! No hiss, no string noise, no buzzing from bad dimmer packs, etc. If have plenty of "real" bass rigs around- an Ampeg 2x10 floor wedge and amp rack, a Mesa 6x10 and amp rack and a Bag End 4x10+2x18 stack and amp/pre-amp rack are what I use most often. But for fly in dates where I'm at the mercy of what ever POS backline has been provided I bring a SansAmp as a DI/preamp. I also use it for the acoustic duo without an amp, as I did this weekend, directly into the PA. The crossover was not the issue as it sounded fine on guitars and vocals. I can't always rely on an on stage amp and speakers for "the sound". I need it to stand on its own. By the way thanks, Funkshwey, for your insights. I guess new strings are next on the list. Peysons or custom Dingwalls? And why? [i:1u19gj7d]Edit- Just read through the link in your sig.[/i:1u19gj7d]
11 years ago
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#20507
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Keep in mind that the the Combustion provides a "Dingwall / EMG" vibe. You [u:4bji24vs]do[/u:4bji24vs] have some control over the treble center freq. via DIP switches within the control cavity. This may make a difference but the results will be subtle at best. JOOC, have you run your Comb 5 thru a conventional / known quantity bass rig? If so, was there any improvement or did you still experience the high-end loss? Riis
11 years ago
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#20508
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I haven't yet, but I had a Brian Moore 5 with me and it was unbearably clickety run through the same signal bath. The PA I used is a known quantity and provides all the upper end I could want, more than I could possibly get from the small tweeters in my rigs. I'll have to pull a rig out its cases this week and give that a try as well. Is there a manual that addresses the internal settings on the Combustion? I've got to reiterate here, that I'm not at all disappointed with this bass. If that's the Dingwall sound, so be it. It will work well in over ninety percent of the gigs I do. But on some I want more attack, bell tone and, occasion, some precussive clicks and pops. I've got basses that will do that, but frankly I'd rather be able use the Dingwall on all of them!
11 years ago
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#20510
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I was going to point at the Sansamp until I read that you had run another bass through the same rig. I've seen those boxes get wooley sounding when the battery is low on power. Both my MXR M-80 di + ( which won out over the sansamp paradriver) and my FEA Labs compressor will kill the tone if the batteries are below 8 volts. I keep a little multi tester in my bag, to check that stuff and cables and outlet voltage. Along with a outlet tester that checks for polarity and grounding. $20 bucks worth of insurance. I would still guess battery problems. Change the batteries in the bass, and hook it up to some know quantity amp, then A/B it with your other bass. I know that's a repeat of what you already did, but if you still have problems after that, you can be pretty sure it's the bass. Do you have a headphone amp or any type of practice rig you travel with? Maybe check it with that. I don't have a combustion, but all of my Dingwalls have tons of highs and high mids in the passive modes and they are super charged with the preamps engaged. Something isn't right with what you are describing. My Dingwalls sound bitchin even with totally dead strings. As for strings, if you like stainless the voodoos are cool, for nickel try the Paysons, they fit perfectly and sound great. The Paysons let me get the action on my six string lower than it's ever been, even tuned down a half step, with no rattle or buzz. They are a very cool option that has just been introduced. Good luck!
11 years ago
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#20519
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Fresh strings, fresh battery and a setup. The Combustion pickups have a smoother tone naturally but you should be able to get the piano tone with just the above changes.
10 years ago
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#20812
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First full band gig tonight with no changes made to the bass to get a baseline comparison. Played through a dedicated rig and still no definition, as expected. And it's defintelely had the action raised as it was a little rough on the fore arm tendons. But I stuck with it thorugh the show. I've got a brand new set of Dingwall strings from BassNW and it's headed to my guitar tech next week along with a link to the the set up page for a full adjustment. A quick question before I turn it over though; is there an easy way to tell if it's had the B string booster installed and do I really need it? The serial number is something like 176 if I recall. Obviously cost isn't an issue, but while it's at Frank's, I'd like to add this if it's needed before I have it set up. Thanks again for the advice.
10 years ago
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#20813
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Send an email to tech at you know the rest.com with your serial number and we'll look it up. Also if you're looking for the most piano-like tone - which the Combustion wasn't designed for - you might want to wait a week or two for us to get the Master Volume, Rotary Switch electronics kit together. We've tested a prototype and it gets the Combustion as close to a piano tone as you can get. It's a pretty cool upgrade. If you're interested, mention that in your email too and we'll put you on the list.
10 years ago
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#20814
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Hmmm, when's that available? :)
10 years ago
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#20820
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In a few weeks. We're waiting on some custom knobs right now to make it happen.
10 years ago
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#22756
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And I'm back! Just got my bass back today after an extended stay at the guitar hospital. Numerous issues resolved, bringing it up to what I'd hoped for from the begining. Starting with new strings and a new fresh battery, a complete set up and a few key replacement parts and we were able to undo everything the previous owner had done to this poor bass. Not only does it play like a dream, but it sounds exactly like I was hoping it would. A big thank you to Sheldon and all of his crew for going way beyond the call of duty to help Frank and I get this together. Looking forward to next weeks show!
10 years ago
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#22759
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[quote="trevcda":1vcg5csq]And I'm back! Just got my bass back today after an extended stay at the guitar hospital. Numerous issues resolved, bringing it up to what I'd hoped for from the begining. Starting with new strings and a new fresh battery, a complete set up and a few key replacement parts and we were able to undo everything the previous owner had done to this poor bass. Not only does it play like a dream, but it sounds exactly like I was hoping it would. A big thank you to Sheldon and all of his crew for going way beyond the call of duty to help Frank and I get this together. Looking forward to next weeks show![/quote:1vcg5csq] Good to hear.
10 years ago
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#22762
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[quote="trevcda":1e4acz3d]And I'm back! Just got my bass back today after an extended stay at the guitar hospital. [b:1e4acz3d]Numerous issues resolved[/b:1e4acz3d], bringing it up to what I'd hoped for from the begining. Starting with new strings and a new fresh battery, a complete set up and a few key replacement parts and we were able to undo everything the previous owner had done to this poor bass. Not only does it play like a dream, but it sounds exactly like I was hoping it would. A big thank you to Sheldon and all of his crew for going way beyond the call of duty to help Frank and I get this together. Looking forward to next weeks show![/quote:1e4acz3d] Which corrective measure had the most influence on the tone issue? Riis
10 years ago
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#22766
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Whatever Frank did to fix the electronics was huge. I'm not sure what he did but it opened up the upper frequency response that had been missing. New strings didn't hurt either!
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