Thursday, 21 June 2007
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Before I proceed on the topic, I have to admit that I am NOT a competent fretless player (I do admit that I am a Dingwall addict though 8) ); on the other hand there are few things that can only be expressed on a fretless. Plus I am not in a GAS mood now. Just a thought for the future after my Artist Prima is done ("how many years must I wait, Sheldon???? ok, it worth waiting!!!") I have owned 2 fine fretless basses over the years but none of them was as balanced in string-to-string and across-the-board feel and sound as my DWs, let alone the fact that the neck on the Dingwalls fits me like a glove (I have tried many many basses, just to realize that I cannot find anything that is better and fits me better that Sheldon's art). My question is if I should be looking for an ABII fretless or a Prima one (5string of course). I tried the AB range only recently and I was blown away by the level of construction and attention that goes into the "entry" level of Dingwalls (I was sure it would be like that, but now I know for sure). I have not seen any fretless Primas flowing around (used Dingwalls are rare and hard to find), and I would like to ask the rest of the Ding-aholics to chime in their thoughts over my question (esp if one has tried both ABII and Prima in fretless mode).
15 years ago
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#6237
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Definitley with out reservation I would suggest purchasing a Fretless ABII-5F. Since you've been playing FF's you'll have no problem with the adjustment. My ABII-5F has moved in to the #1 position. It sounds so good and is easy to play. Having the bass boost is huge IMO when using the bridge position. I believe Sheldon has a Jatoba white plastic lined neck ready to go and he could get it to you in about 10 days. :o I have maple fretlines and they pretty much disappear in med low lighting, the side maple lines disappear completely. The only thing I would suggest is getting Sheldon to mark each fretline w/a 1/16" white plastic side dot so you have a reference in low lighting. The epoxy is hazy, not clear, so even with white plastic lines you might need the side dots. You can get a really cool standup tone in the bridge or neck position plucked over the 24th fret for the country/roots rock thing. There are 6-10 Fretless Dingwalls in the world and 2 are in the Houston area. Refer to this thread for a little more info. http://www.dingwallguitars.com/forum/vi ... sc&start=0 Payson :D
15 years ago
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#6224
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Hi BurningSkies. I never really thought of a Z2 fretless. When I really listen the differences between the Z1 and Z2 I will give it a thought. Hopefully in the near future :wink: . Right now IMHO I feel that the Prima is a touch more overall sounding compared to the Z1 which is more lively and spankier, really. Both the Primas and the Z's are the best basses I've played and owned. So my initial thoughts revolve around a Prima type sound on a fretless implementation. I think that the walnut body of the ABII would give the fretless a thick low and a high-mid growl complementing the sound of a fretless, whereas the walnut/alder Prima would give it a bit of an "air" on the high end of the sound. It would be interesting to have the thoughts of master Sheldon on my thoughts. I am very sure, that Sheldon must be very happy and reliefed that I am not thinking of placing another order very soon; he is still trying to recover from my ideas on the past and present orders :wink:
15 years ago
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#6223
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Fullrange- There are less than a handful of fretless Dingwalls circulating, so the liklihood of bumping into one is small (unless you live in Houston TX-which appear to have 2). I'm not aware that Sheldon has made a higher end model in fretless, but hes made a few ABIs, ABII, and SuperJs in fretless. Funksway and I both have fretless AB basses. As you suggest a Dingwall fretless is nothing but a great Dingwall bass w/ Mwah, all the evenness of tone, string-to-string tension consistancy, punch, playability is all there. Only thing missing are frets. Sheldons magical mix of epoxy coated fingerboards add a bit more sparkle than maybe your used to hearing onhis basses, but overall its really a Dingwall bass. If you are a competent fretless player, and your comfortable on the fretless- you wil have NO issue playing a Novax fretless. I've had my ABIfretless since 03, and I feel very comfortable on it-tone and intonation-wise-if I ever considered another Dingwall fretless i would order it unlined, it really is no different a beast. If you have any specific questions or concerns- besides how do i play it I'll gladly answer Hopefully Funksway(Peyson) will jump in
15 years ago
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#6222
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I personally would love a Z2 fretless. When I have my AB-1 in bridge setting, it sounds in my mind's ear like the tone I'd like to hear from a fretless...that sort of aggressive mid-forward spank. With a 3 band EQ I can only think that you'd have great control over the tone shaping. With the Z2 pickups together I imagine the series and parallel would give you that but with more meat and body. I'm not really even thinking about it with my Z-1 hopefully moments from construction, but when I do cast a glance at new instruments...I think of a Z2 fretless in candy apple green...and letting the shop pick the woods they think would provide 'THE' tone, since you wouldn't have to worry about the wood aesthetic under the solid color finish. In the past few months I've on occasion brought out my fretless Jazz to play and always want to put it down half way through the first song. It doesn't really have much of what I look for in a bass these days nor what I really want to hear in a fretless.
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