Wednesday, 13 June 2012
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Perhaps you have heard the saying that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, my necessity may result in an invention of interest to Dingwall fans. You see, due to myriad potentially conflicting emails with Sheldon and Dingwall Sales over many months on the details of a Super P/J 5 and my unusual request to have series/parallel switches on each pickup (yes, on a P), I got a little surprise when the photos of my bass appeared in my inbox. As you can see below, the P of my P/J looks a little different from others you may have seen. [attachment=1:8xdjo216]CM Body Shot.jpg[/attachment:8xdjo216] [attachment=0:8xdjo216]CM Full Shot.jpg[/attachment:8xdjo216] After a quick email that basically said "Help!", both Dingwall Sales and Sheldon went out of their way to figure out a solution, because we sure as heck couldn't re-route that top. Here I should also point out that I ordered this top in natural with the comment that I was worried that the beautiful reds of #1167 might fade over time/get masked in the finishing process--leading to another "brown redwood"--and would a [i:8xdjo216]very[/i:8xdjo216] light red boost be possible? After looking at the assembled bass, Sheldon chose to shoot it amber/red to address my concerns, as well as an odd contrast between the redwood and the ash, and, while my initial reaction to the photos was "Wow, that's a fire-engine-red J bass!", both my wife and I now absolutely LOVE the result. All you red bass/colored figured wood haters should feel free to pile your scorn and derision on my Earth/Fire Super J. We can take it. :wink: So where do you all fit into this? Well, it's all in the fit. You see, as an alternative to starting fresh with a new bass (which was quite generously offered), Sheldon got the idea that maybe the FD-5P elements could be squeezed into the Super Fatty shell (despite the extra windings), and, after a little experimentation, apparently they can. Now, because the pickups have to set for about a week before they're ready to be installed, the audio tests haven't been conducted yet, but, if they prove successful, you [i:8xdjo216]may[/i:8xdjo216] be seeing a new pickup offering. Yes, the treble side is shifted toward the neck, the aperture may be a tad smaller, the pickup isn't in the exact sweet spot, and you lose the P aesthetic, but it might be of interest to some of you J/Z1/Z3 owners out there. If it works, yours truly will be the guinea pig for this "Stealth P." Stay tuned. Oh yes, and then there are those two pushbutton series/parallel switches--something else we came up with during the process. You're just getting all kinds of gifts, aren't you? :D Anyway, many thanks to Sheldon "Finishing Genius" Dingwall and Dingwall Sales "Not Him Again!" Lamb for all their fantastic work and for putting up with all my emails and special requests! AM
9 years ago
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#23905
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That is one hell of a bass! The contrast between the body and neck is great!
9 years ago
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#23906
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Wow, that is one sweet bass, hope its all you hoped for.................if not any donations will be greatly accepted :lol:
9 years ago
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#23908
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I hope the audio tests exceed expectations. Brother, that is a seriously beautiful bass and I don't care for red all that much! I'll be checking in for future developments. I am semi-patiently waiting for a similar instrument to be completed in December... 8)
9 years ago
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#23909
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Great looking bass. Very interesting. . . Can we get a headstock shot?
9 years ago
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#23910
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Thanks for the compliments. As for donations...let's see.... Pulse? Yup. Fingers? Still warm. Nope, I guess this one's staying! :wink: Now, as for a headstock shot, here's an informal one from production. I like the scallop's setback from the edge of the head, as well as the use of purpleheart (I believe) as a nicely defining border. It's more of a blood red than the body (at least when lit by a close flash), but given the differences in finish, it's impossible to match them exactly. The birdseye maple fretboard is exquisite. [attachment=0:duub3l89]CM Headstock.JPG[/attachment:duub3l89]
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9 years ago
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#23911
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this is beyond beautiful-no words for this bass.
9 years ago
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#23991
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Must...get...jaw....off...floor... :shock:
9 years ago
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#24205
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Well, the Super "P"/J arrived Monday, but, without an opportunity for an "honest" shot in natural light, I've got no pics as yet, so no bass, right? Thoughts so far: 1. The "P in a J" neck pickup is very solid and punchy, with excellent tone. I'm not enough of a connoisseur of P tone to make any pronouncement as to authenticity (there will be an A/B test with a high-end P in the near future to determine the delta), but it's a win in my book. It seriously kills through a Mesa M9 and a Berg AE410. Oddly enough, I apparently need to explore EQ on my ShuttleMax 12.0 with Berg HT112ERs, as flat it's too bassy for my taste (not a problem with my fretless J or Steinberger Q4, both with EMGs). Of course, the ERs certainly don't "hold the bass back," while the upper-mid hump of the Mesa/AE410 combo de-accentuates it. Could be that the SM 12.0 is acting up, too, after being dropped (in its bag) recently. 2. The custom series/parallel pushbutton switches for each pickup are [i:33n49saa]very[/i:33n49saa] useful in balancing pickup output and creating multiple flavors within each setting on the rotary pickup selector. 3. The 35" B string is a lot better than the flabby 34" on my 1987 Ibanez...but it's still not as "snappy" as I'd hoped. Not criticism--physics is physics, and I didn't have a chance to try out a Super J before ordering--just a reason to buy me a 37" at some point. :wink: I should point out that the B is very useable, and I'm glad I got the 5-string. I just hoped for a bit more of the "piano tone" the long-scale basses are known for. 4. The active and passive settings on the Glockenklang really do sound alike until the passive tone control is brought into play with its classic sound--very nice implementation of that. 5. The Dingwall benefits and features that people have trumpeted for years are all completely true--light weight, good weight balance ([i:33n49saa]very[/i:33n49saa] slightly tilted toward the headstock with the fulcrum just behind the horn, but completely unnoticeable when playing seated or standing), evenness of string tension, evenness of volume across the strings and up and down the neck, cleaner glisses and reduced "pressure bends" on smaller fret wire, smooth and solid controls, fantastic fit and finish, etc. 6. Confession Time - I was a bit worried that the angle of the pickups would make using them as a thumb rest somewhat uncomfortable/unstable, since you're balancing on the corner of the pickup, rather than lying flat on the pickup edge parallel to the strings. I clearly overanalyze things--it hasn't been an issue. 7. Speaking of worries, the common one regarding the fanned frets prompted me to check my rate of adaptation from the start. For me, and keep in mind that I was using a shorter scale Dingwall, there was no perceptable difference from the 3rd and 15th frets (index finger at the octave), and I had no problem playing by feel in that range from the beginning--the angle of the frets was relatively similar, perceptually, since non-angled frets appear "angled" from one's viewpoint when you get closer to the head. The frets immediately outside that range took a little bit of attention for the first half hour, and I still sometimes doubt my placement and look. High on the neck, I still tend to misfret if I'm not looking (even if I've anchored my index finger at the right spot), and that's after a couple hours of playing. Chords get all botched up. Practice will improve things, but I tend to play in the open and 3-15 range, anyway, so the immediate effect is negligible. 8. The colors of the bass are darker than they appear in the "glamour" shots. The neck, especially, which is highly figured and more of a golden color than the bleached look in the photos. You'll see. I still think that those shots should go in the gallery in the next website update as another example of Sheldon's exceptional finish work. Not that I'm biased or anything. 9. I [i:33n49saa]really[/i:33n49saa] like the Levy's gig bag, although I've been using a gig bag for 22 years with the Steinberger, so I'm accustomed to them. 10. I need to make slight adjustments to reduce fret buzz--undoutedly due to humidity change. Better read those adjustment threads carefully, so I don't botch anything up. Long post and occasionally OT--sorry.
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