Tuesday, 10 February 2009
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Hi guys, I sent Sheldon an email on this, but thought I would also ask the forum for real-world experience. I play in a cover band and currently use 2 Dingwalls: a Z3 and an SJ4. I have the SJ4 tuned down 1/2 step (to Eb) and it is working fine. I have the Z3 at regular tuning and switch between the two instruments depending on the songs. All of the switching is getting progressively complex and so we are contemplating tuning EVERYTHING down to Eb. I am concerned about the integrity of the B holding up when down to Bb. I am also wondering what long-term adjustments (i.e. intonation, string gauge, etc) should be made to make sure the bass sounds as good in Eb as it does in E. Any and all suggestions would be most helpful. I am especially concerned about this because an SJ5 is about to replace the SJ4 in the rotation and the B string will be a concern on that instrument as well. Thanks! Rob
12 years ago
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#12253
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I have been tuning in Bb my "Uber Alles" for the past decade (with many times changing over to B and Bb, even Ab sometimes) and the neck and tone have not suffered a bit. Some of my Dingwalls are permanently tuned in Bb, while others rotate between B and Bb (some even Bbbb=Ab!!!). Even my SJ4 (as well as my SJ5) rotate between normal and half-tone-flat witout a sweat and no tone loss. Congratulations Sheldon!!!
12 years ago
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#12255
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I have had my old "Prima5Basic" tuned down 1/2 step for over a decade as well, it's not even an issue as far as the Bb holding form, period. With fresh strings I've tuned my B down to Ab and the fundamental is clearly perceived on an open slap, provided I'm playing through a rig that can handle it. A couple of tips: Set-Up....kind of obvious on this one, but anyway, you may want your action a tad higher, also with slightly less tension on your neck a slight truss adjustment may be desirable and the intonation will have to be dialed-in as well. Not so obvious.....depending on your playing style you may want lower your pick-ups a tad if you're concerned about the the strings(particularly the Bb)chewing-up the covers.
12 years ago
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#12256
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We tune down a half step in both my bands, and have done so in one band for years, to help with vocals - a half step can make all the difference. After playing regular basses, I was eager to get my first Dingwall so that the longer B would still sound good detuned. It does, with no adjustments necessary, even on the SJ4. I even use a low A some on the sixer and the fives, and it still feels good, but that's about the limit. All of my Dingwalls are played, and rested, detuned 99% of the time with no issues. Mark
12 years ago
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#12257
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I would imagine that Dingwalls would excel in the detuning department. The only instrument I can imagine doing it as good or better would be a carbon graphite neck and not necessarily for the sound, but for the neck stability and action (but I'm just guessing here - I have no experience with them).
12 years ago
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#12261
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[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":2ni8a53p]I would imagine that Dingwalls would excel in the detuning department. The only instrument I can imagine doing it as good or better would be a carbon graphite neck and not necessarily for the sound, but for the neck stability and action (but I'm just guessing here - I have no experience with them).[/quote:2ni8a53p] I have a graphite necked PJ. It seems to tolerate detuning a little better than my regular ones. Mark
12 years ago
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#12262
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I've owned more than 8 graphite necked basses (and another 4 graphite necked guitars) and I can say that Dingwall necks are behaving virtually the same with those necks
12 years ago
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#12265
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[quote="guitarded":10y9ttir][quote="Smallmouth_Bass":10y9ttir]I would imagine that Dingwalls would excel in the detuning department. The only instrument I can imagine doing it as good or better would be a carbon graphite neck and not necessarily for the sound, but for the neck stability and action (but I'm just guessing here - I have no experience with them).[/quote:10y9ttir] I have a graphite necked PJ. It seems to tolerate detuning a little better than my regular ones. Mark[/quote:10y9ttir] My regular wood-neck, Fender-style, parallell-fretted basses, that is. My Novax P bass has no problem with detuning due to the 35 inch E. Mark
12 years ago
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#12273
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I couldn't tell you from model to model but I've always been under the assumption that my neck is reinforced with graphite or some sort of composite.
12 years ago
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#12370
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll give it a go with no adjustments and then tweak as needed. Much appreciated! Rob
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