Sunday, 17 December 2006
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Hi Sheldon, The string gauges you've chosen to equip your bases with out of the factory are unusual, to say the least. I remember reading here on the forums that it ends up that 99 guys out of a hundred like them eventually, while there will always be an odd bird who wants to use a different gauge and manufacturer. This is in contrast to what Anthony Jackson did whe he took delivery of his 36" scale basses - we went with slightly heavier strings than the .045 sets he was using. I think he went to .106 to .032 for a six string contrabass set After some experimentation, I've decided I prefer the gauge you decided on for use on Dingwall basses. I like the "Stanley Clarke" style twang of the light D string, and I find that the entire set makes developing the new floating thumb plucking technique I'm working on much easier to master. If it's not one of those stories that spans over many years and takes hours to tell, could you reminisce about how you arrived at such unusual gauges for your house brand string set?
14 years ago
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#4981
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I have a question - I too like the Dingwall strings, but notice the B string seems to depart from the guaging pattern where the longer strings are guaged lighter than a standard set. Has anyone given though to using a .120" B string? I think it would make the set more balanced, and add some more clarity to the B. Going from a .095 E to a .125 B is a big jump.
14 years ago
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#4985
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[quote="jlaplante":1xl2vfi9]I have a question - I too like the Dingwall strings, but notice the B string seems to depart from the guaging pattern where the longer strings are guaged lighter than a standard set. Has anyone given though to using a .120" B string? I think it would make the set more balanced, and add some more clarity to the B. Going from a .095 E to a .125 B is a big jump.[/quote:1xl2vfi9] Fellas, I think it's a safe bet that Sheldon considered the string gauges very carefully, along with all the other countless details and variables that are mulled over during R&D. Mark
14 years ago
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#4987
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I remember talking to Sheldon (a long while ago) about his strings and he told me he had looked up the variables of the strings to arrive to the specific gauges (and core to winding ratio). I remember (quite few years back) when he made a change on the B string (to improve clarity and tone) I ordered the last old-style single B strings (just in case I did not like the "new" tone). I was more that happily surprised with the subtle yet present difference on the B string (I think I still have the old single ones laying in my bass room). I have to admit that Sheldon never has failed me in tone and product perfection (from basses to pickups to strings).
14 years ago
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#4994
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When was I first searching for a string manufacturer, I was turned down by most of the big name companies. This was a good thing, because it lead me to Kaman Musical String. Both the head of OEM sales and the head of production were bass players and immediately realized the potential of the Novax system. I gave them the scale lengths and they ballparked the gauges based on pure instinct. I was pretty happy with the first set. Of course over time as my ear and expectations developed, I/we found things to improve on. A local musician named Kevin Macza really helped me to develop my appreciation for the upper harmonicity. Over the years we've tried from .117" to .135" for the B, .095" to .105" for the E, .075" to .085' for the A and so forth. Oddly, the initial gauges still seem to be the best. I've got one more tweak that I'll be testing this year and if it works, it will go into production. If not, I'll edit this post :) Kaman eventually shut down the string division. The head of OEM sales was my US rep for a while along with Ashdown. The head of production went over to GHS and we went with him.
14 years ago
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#5565
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I posted about this like a YEAR ago, but as far as I can tell, the Dingwall gauges/scale lengths give even tension across the whole neck. There's a chart on the D'Addario website where they give an equation to calculate the tension on a string based on pitch, scale length, and "unit weight" of a string. A "normal" (45-65-85-105) set of bass strings has tension variances of 20-25 Lbs. The Dingwall set is all within 1-2 Lbs. Based on the feel of my Dingwalls, I used this same chart to figure out what would be a balanced set for my NON-Fanned basses. The gauges are 40-55-75-100 or 45-60-80-105. Interestingly, the pattern is in the intervals; G+15=D, D+20=A, A+25=E. Accordingly, B would be E+30. When strung with these gauges, the feel is very balanced and "Dingwall-like". John
14 years ago
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#5566
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Hey John, How balanced is the tone with those combinations?
14 years ago
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#5568
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I e-mailed Sheldon a link to the D'Addario PDF, and my spreadsheet where I looked at the specific tensions of Dingwall strings on Dingwall basses. But basically, Dingwall tensions range from 37.5 Lbs (B) to 41.8 Lbs (G) A normal 45-65-85-105 set has tensions of 42.8 (G), 51.3 (D), 48.4 (A), and 40.3 (E) So, if the Dingwall set was to be tweaked at all, maybe go with a SLIGHTLY lighter G (.042 maybe) and SLIGHTLY heavier E (.097). But basicially, Dingwall strings are a much better fit for his basses, and I think that if you put "normal" strings on a Dingwall, the feel would be WAY off. The other thing I've wondered about is if the even tension across the neck is part [impeccable construction being the larger part] of what makes Dingwall basses so darn stable? Is the neck less likely to warp and twist because of it? Seems probable...
14 years ago
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#5570
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Will there be different gauges available at some point? I just recently joined a band in which the guitars are tuned a whole step down. I love how my Dingwall feels in standard, but i'm not to crazy about tuning a full step down.
14 years ago
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#5593
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[quote="groovaholic":c41lb2bj]So, if the Dingwall set was to be tweaked at all, maybe go with a SLIGHTLY lighter G (.042 maybe) and SLIGHTLY heavier E (.097).[/quote:c41lb2bj] +1. I love the fact that the tensions in my dingwall are much more similar from string to string than on "normal" basses, but they're still not equal... the low B is significantly "floppier" (lol, I didn't ever believe I would use this word to describe a dingwall's B) than the G. I'd love to have a set where they would feel pretty much the same.
14 years ago
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#5594
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[quote="Dragonlord":2es5ir8k][quote="groovaholic":2es5ir8k]So, if the Dingwall set was to be tweaked at all, maybe go with a SLIGHTLY lighter G (.042 maybe) and SLIGHTLY heavier E (.097).[/quote:2es5ir8k] +1. I love the fact that the tensions in my dingwall are much more similar from string to string than on "normal" basses, but they're still not equal... the low B is significantly "floppier" (lol, I didn't ever believe I would use this word to describe a dingwall's B) than the G. I'd love to have a set where they would feel pretty much the same.[/quote:2es5ir8k] +1 Dragon. The DW's blows away 34" & 35" in tension, evenness from string to string and tone. If you only play DW, every once in a while you gotta pick up a 34" just to remember how relatively bad a 34" feels in comparison. It's funny but you're right about the Bstring. I don't think it's a guage issue, I think Sheldon did thorough research in that area. I think it might be the round core. It's nice and stiff for about 10 days to 2 weeks then it starts to slack off, more pronounced on the lower strings. But, even after 6 mos of playing DW strings it's still way better than 34" scale basses. So if you're testing string guages you would have to use them for more than a month to really feel how they end up. I have to agree, the B string feels like it needs to be changed sooner than the rest of the strings. I would like to see 2 sets of DW strings offered. Both the same guage but one being hex core or some construction factor that would increase tension for longer periods of time. There's is nothing better than a DW with fresh strings, period.
14 years ago
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#5595
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[quote="Funkshwey":2i7gor8n]+1 Dragon. The DW's blows away 34" & 35" in tension, evenness from string to string and tone. If you only play DW, every once in a while you gotta pick up a 34" just to remember how relatively bad a 34" feels in comparison.[/quote:2i7gor8n] You have no idea man, I played some Dingwalls several months ago but couldn't find the right deal until recently... which meant that I was stuck with my 34" Warwick Corvette all this time. Every time I played a Dingwall, I needed about 2 weeks to get over it and not curse the Warwick every time I picked it up and played that B! Before Dingwalls I always found my Warwick's B nice and tight, now I can't stand it...
14 years ago
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#5598
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[quote="Funkshwey":3cf3sg70]There's is nothing better than a DW with fresh strings, period.[/quote:3cf3sg70] May be a fresh (new) Dingwall with fresh Dingwall strings? :wink:
14 years ago
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#5600
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[quote="fullrangebass":2cxhcpcp][quote="Funkshwey":2cxhcpcp]There's is nothing better than a DW with fresh strings, period.[/quote:2cxhcpcp] May be a fresh (new) Dingwall with fresh Dingwall strings? :wink:[/quote:2cxhcpcp] That reminds me, I have to order another ABII-5 early next week. Maybe fretless.
14 years ago
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#5608
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[quote="metalstorm":vne4x28n]Will there be different gauges available at some point? I just recently joined a band in which the guitars are tuned a whole step down. I love how my Dingwall feels in standard, but i'm not to crazy about tuning a full step down.[/quote:vne4x28n] Hi Metalstorm, We've had next to zero requests for heavier gauges so will not be offering them anytime soon. However, read through the string section of the forum, typically most 5-string sets from other manufacturers will have a tighter feel to them along with a darker tone.
14 years ago
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#5716
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":p3dxzf23] Over the years we've tried from .117" to .135" for the B, .095" to .105" for the E, .075" to .085' for the A and so forth. Oddly, the initial gauges still seem to be the best. I've got one more tweak that I'll be testing this year and if it works, it will go into production. If not, I'll edit this post :) .[/quote:p3dxzf23] Anything to report on the tweak?
14 years ago
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#5718
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[quote="Funkshwey":2dysathu][quote="Sheldon Dingwall":2dysathu] Over the years we've tried from .117" to .135" for the B, .095" to .105" for the E, .075" to .085' for the A and so forth. Oddly, the initial gauges still seem to be the best. I've got one more tweak that I'll be testing this year and if it works, it will go into production. If not, I'll edit this post :) .[/quote:2dysathu] Anything to report on the tweak?[/quote:2dysathu] It works. We'll be phasing the new strings in over the next couple of months.
14 years ago
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#5724
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Hey Sheldon, What was the Tweak? TB
14 years ago
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#5726
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[quote="Texas Bred":129esv5f]Hey Sheldon, What was the Tweak? TB[/quote:129esv5f] We fine tuned the step lengths.
14 years ago
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#5750
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":bzlcium9][quote="Texas Bred":bzlcium9]Hey Sheldon, What was the Tweak? TB[/quote:bzlcium9] We fine tuned the step lengths.[/quote:bzlcium9] Closer to the saddles/bridge? Was it a tone or a tension tweak?
14 years ago
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#5828
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Is the tweak going to be that the 2nd wrap will now be making contact with the saddles in stead of the first? (B string)
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