Sunday, 19 April 2015
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Hi all! Another blasphemy thread here, or whatever. Since Ibanez anounced at the NAMM 2015 that they will make 5 and 6 string fanned fret basses, which are already available, I wonder what you people say about this? Is it going to be a disadvantage to Dingwall, increased competition, or ease off the load? FWIW, my personal opinion is that from now on and forever - if everyone else jumps on the fanned fret bandwagon - Dingwall will forever be the fanned frets bass that everyone else would be measured up against. That's their yardstick. And of course, while Ibanez will not be anywhere as good as any Dingwall, I think Ibanez - due to their increased availability throughout the world, would offer customers of TRYING A FANNED FRET OUT first. I e they try the Ibanez out in a store, but once they've decided, they - maybe - go for a Dingwall anyway. Ibanez have one cheaper Korean model (along the Combustions price tag) and one more expensive Japanese one. They seem to have closed a deal really allowing for use of the name fanned frets, so they must've struck a deal with Novax, in one way or another. What are your opinions on the recent Ibanez venture into fan frets basses (8 strung guitars as well) ?
6 years ago
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#28217
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I think having the Ibanez offering is great, both for them and for Dingwall. It's really a validation of the engineering concept. I think you are correct with your assessment... more people will get to try a fanned fret bass and learn that the adjustment is really easy. The Ibanez is also a little different scale length (slightly longer than Dingwall 'super scale') and if i'm not mistaken the fan is not as pronounced. For me though, the Ibanez finish is not my favorite, and the 16.5 mm string spacing is a deal-breaker... I prefer 18 or 19.
6 years ago
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#28218
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I don't think those basses can compete with Dingwalls in offer right now. The price is way off. But I do wish they do well, in spite of my skepticism. That would introduce many more people to the concept, eventually other manufacturers would look into it, and bass guitars in general would benefit from it. Dingwall too, of course, given that people are so often reluctant to order without having played one.
6 years ago
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#28220
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I thought about getting an 805FF while I waited for my Dingwall NG-2 to come in, but a few things turned me off about it. 1) the scale length is 35.5 to 34. I've got 2 Ibanez BTBs (both 35" scale 5 strings) and I feel that spending the money on a fanned fretted instrument is kind of pointless when it's only 1/2" longer than the scale lengths I'm currently running when I'm getting 37" in a Dingwall. 2) My Ibanez BTBs are 19mm string spacing. 16.5 is a definite no go for me. I had a Warwick Corvette Rockbass with 16.5 and I loved the tone, but that 16.5 was not for me. 3) I've heard people not too happy with the pickup tone. It's got Bartolini BH1s, which I've never heard so I can't really say if I like the tone or not. My Ibby 785BTB has Bart MK2s which sound awesome.
6 years ago
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#28221
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Edit: double post
6 years ago
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#28222
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It could be a little bit of both; good for Dingwall to have a major manufacturer having a fanned fret instrument in the hands of more people who may do some research and find that Dingwall is the premier source for fanned fret basses. On the other hand, it might take away some sales. I suspect that even the Ibanez will be low in volume compared to many of their other models. Internet sales aside, retailers will have to stock them to get them in the hands of players and potential buyers. Most retailers are conservative in their stocking, so it will be interesting to see how well they are received.
6 years ago
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#28223
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Interesting points everyone. Thanks. This is what I've heard too, that it is "no use" having to have a "shorter fan" like going from 34" to 35,5" only. They could've pushed the low b up to at least 36" while they were at it. But then again I think they thought about finding the right length to b-string. If they kept it at 35,5 most string sets would fit anyway, without having to hunt down for special sets, at extortionate prices. Also I think they could stay with ordinary pickups without having to slant them too much. They can keep a) string sets b) pickup sets for 5 string and keep it at that. The string spacing is rightfully another thing, hence they could keep their pickups. They are very narrow, those Ibbys anyway. Even Steinberger headless and the like, wasn't that narrow. When you stick thick gauge strings on such narrow spacing it will get crowded and less space for sure. And for slap, pop and thumbing, I think too narrow spacing are detrimental. Everything is a matter of honing, and getting used to, but to get used to fan frets is enough. For some reason, I can't think of that narrow spacing would be a disadvantage on fan frets only. It all adds up as you up the neck and the fan spreads out more. Leaving less space between the strings would mitigate the total reach, so to speak. One thing's for sure though, but something we can never be able to prove is, I think that Ibanez surely wouldn't have plunged into this, if it wasn't for Dingwall. They just must've leered at Dingwalls booth on music trade fairs, and on the net. Dingwall paved the way, and still, forever will be the yardstick that any other fan fret bass would be measured against. I think too, it will be a twofold advantage. It could be like this, that people trying out fan frets, JUST to see if it'll fit them, buys an Ibby instead, but due to - OR THANKS TO - the widespread availability of Ibbys in general, making it more available, are going to put [i:1xygss6x]even more[/i:1xygss6x] people into a "Dingwall" wish too. You lose some, but you gain something else as well. I e that those customers that Dingwall loses to Ibanez, is made up for the availability of the concept as such. Because I am sure there are a lot of people trying the Ibanez out, but then goes for a Dingwall instead. Even if it's not even close in quality or appearance. It's the fanned fret thing they'll check out, moreso than anything else. It wouldn't matter if it was a Dingwall or Ibanez, Novax they tried out. It's [i:1xygss6x]just [/i:1xygss6x]the "fan fret" thing.
6 years ago
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#28224
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A couple of additional comments: On the scale length, while I agree for my tastes, long scale Dingwalls get the most from the fanned fret system, the Super J and P series themselves are only 32-35" scale and they seem quite popular. Also, you will still get (some of) the benefit of more even tension across the strings. Secondly, one of the things I still find hard to get used to, even after 7 years of nearly exclusively playing my AB1, is the string spacing. It's possible Ibanez will pick up a new market of players who prefer narrow spacing (eg. ex-guitarists). I won't be swapping my Dingwall anyway!
6 years ago
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#28226
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I've always liked Ibanez necks but the sound of most models is usually disappointingly bland to me. The Nordstrand big singles help the models that have them but then you have to put up with hum if you want more than the sound of two pickups at the same level. The 16.5 mm spacing is too small for me even for finger style, never mind slapping and popping. And the finish on the fanned fret models? Maybe they look better in person. What I've seen in photos looks like the basses were half way through a refinishing when they went out the door. (I know, that must sound really catty of me.) If players generally find the Ibanez fanned fret models to be mediocre, it could be more of a problem for Dingwall than if they produce a line of winners. Some might dismiss fanned frets all together after trying an Ibanez. Still, I will give them a chance if a local store ever stocks one. Two or three times I have taken an Ibanez home only to return it a few days later after comparing its sound side by side with my other basses, especially my Dingwalls. Ibanez makes good basses, I just never really connected with one.
6 years ago
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#28227
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I briefly considered the Ibanez FF before buying a Combustion. The 16.5mm spacing doesn't bother me. I don't slap and don't have much difficulty switching between basses with narrow and wide string spacing. After a few minutes the muscle memory returns and takes over. I haven't seen an Ibby FF in real life, but the photos I've seen make them look butt ugly. The deciding factor, for me, was the longer scale of the Combustion. If I'm going to go fan fret, I might as well do it right.
6 years ago
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#28228
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Not to mention, who wants Medium Frets? So used to banjo and mandolin frets now.
6 years ago
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#28232
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I think another thing that turns me off from getting the SRFF, is the way they cheaply slapped a nut onto the fretboard and kept the fretboard square. This just drives me nuts that the lines don't follow the frets. [img:30uj73q7]http://www.gak.co.uk/rs/pictures/tn2_115061.jpg[/img:30uj73q7] There's a couple of people with in depth reviews of theirs. One guy has several Dingwalls and says that while the SRFF806 is great for the price, it's no Dingwall. The first guy said the finish was worse in person. He actually stripped it down and redid it himself. http://www.talkbass.com/threads/ibanez- ... t-17224698 http://www.talkbass.com/threads/ibanez- ... t-17237810
6 years ago
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#28233
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Funny. I like that grey stain finish. But the nut set me off from the first time I saw it.
6 years ago
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#28234
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It's a great way to save money, but a production bass with that nut should cost below $500.
6 years ago
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#28235
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Well it looks like they're saving some money by going with a SoundGear neck but changing the fretboard with the fanned one. So they'd be using production pieces already in existence.
6 years ago
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#28236
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Soundgear basses are all 34" scale, I think. Unless they released 35" SRs recently. But anyway, these necks are different as they have a 35.5" string and it seems like the bridge is at the same location in the body as on their 34" models. Still, not enough to warrant such a price difference.
6 years ago
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#28238
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I've tried it now yesterday in a local music shop. It's fairly priced and it looks exactly the same as their other non fanned frets models. But the narrow strings spacing is a bit of a "stretch". I even know of regular 6 string electric guitars that has wider spacing at the nut. It should be compared to a Combustion and nothing else by Dingwall. FWIW the Ibby is better balanced. It has a little more "junk" thrown on the body side. It doesn't tip over at the headstock side, when sitting down without a strap. Still don't like that they put the battery dept in the middle of the body at the back. While nothing aestethic, I would love to have it inside the control cavity instead, as I suggested in another thread, questioning why all manufacturers doesn't do this instead. The Barts seem to be from a six string bass but I don't know. They're slanted but has enough magnetism and outer limits to really pickup one more string. They're long "single coil" sized ones. Don't know at all if they're single coils. They have rails inside at least. Regarding finish, wood, it's not exclusive to the FF. If you don't like the SR series at all from the beginning (regardless of fan fret or not) then this is of course not for you. I didn't mind the bare wood body, with only slight waxing or oiling or whatever they do. You could produce a lot of variations on sound from the PU's, but it is some sort of "high end" sound, without ever nailing a certain vintage P or J sound, or a MM sound. It's something neither nor. However, the B-string rings and sustains clearly and doesn't pickup vibrations from the other strings. This sympathetic droning of the b-string is prevalent on most all other regular scaled 5 strings basses. Since it is more taught on a fan fret, it isn't as prone to "rumble" about. I thought that this would be a liability since the b-string had 35,5 scale length only. But so does Dingwall too, to an even greater extent. The balance in sound between the strings were as good as it can be, but I doubt that you can go up in gauge in strings that much on this bass. It had very light gauge strings on. Action very low, and on the b-string a bit too low since it had fret buzz - even fretting out completely - on the top fret at 22-24 fret. I told the shop about this, and they said they should change it. Maybe change out the b-string which was the only string on the bass that was tapered. I find this a problem with all 5 string basses (which hasn't anything to do with fan frets) that the low B is always a problem setting rigth action because the bridge saddles are not manufactured to allow for greater adjustment for thicker gauges. You hit the bottom, the lowest floor on the b-string saddle and then still it is set too high. Which means you only can change the string out to one with a tapered or open core. I still found it a welcome addition to the Ibanez range, and of course the fanned fret concept. A few nags and nitpicking remarks here and there, but then, we're all spoiled (and then some) with Dingwalls, so you can't help yourself comparing them to Dingwalls, and since we have to, it will be the yardstick, and so, we're more prone to detect details that differs. THE MAIN THING though, is that I think it's kind of lame of Ibanez that you have to loose some of the features of the higher end basses just to get a fanned fretboard, it may not cost them any more to install the frets at an angle yet they leave out the features that you would be getting on a lower cost bass with straight frets. Sort of.
6 years ago
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#28240
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[quote="Acid666":2w9do1ux] [img:2w9do1ux]http://www.gak.co.uk/rs/pictures/tn2_115061.jpg[/img:2w9do1ux] [/quote:2w9do1ux] This is a perfect picture of a fretboard that is used to anything. Agree, that it is a little too much cheapskate. They would be better off with a pararell nut like this at the end of the fretboard (or beginning) [b:2w9do1ux]BUT a fanned zero fret instead![/b:2w9do1ux] I don't know how the more higher end prestige series solves this. But this pic reveals some nit picking problem that I even have with all 5 string basses (including Dingwalls),[i:2w9do1ux] with a 2-3 system of tuner at the head.[/i:2w9do1ux] I e 2 at "the top" and 3 "underneath" so to speak. I would much likely to prefer having a 3-2 system, with 2 underneath and placed closer to the body. As it is now, I have to stretch quite a bit to reach the A-string tuner. Even on this Ibby with a 35,5 fan at most. I think it's more easier to have more on top (or really, at the left side of the headstock) than underneath. You have to twist your palm a bit more and then shorten the actual reach, when reaching for those tuners underneath. This is more a personal anatomy thing, but if you're 5.7 like me, we're on the shorter range of having to feel comfortable with any instrument that is a 5 string bass and above. A 6er would be a no no for me. That's also why I think some manufacturers, are resorting to headless too, because when it becomes an extended range bass, such as a 7-8 string, the headstock turns just too unwieldy in terms of weight balance, and ergonomics when trying to reach for those outmost tuners. Or those basses are just left to a niche demographic of only very tall persons with long arms! :)
6 years ago
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#28242
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I don't have any problems with the 2 + 3 headstock tuner alignment. I think it is what makes logical sense on the Dingwall basses and it goes with the overall flow of the basses. If you had a 3 + 2 arrangement, the headstock would have to be larger (longer) and make the bass too long. In fact, the A-string tuner would be even further out and harder to reach.
6 years ago
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#28243
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[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":kh4p19eu]I don't have any problems with the 2 + 3 headstock tuner alignment. I think it is what makes logical sense on the Dingwall basses and it goes with the overall flow of the basses. If you had a 3 + 2 arrangement, the headstock would have to be larger (longer) and make the bass too long. In fact, the A-string tuner would be even further out and harder to reach.[/quote:kh4p19eu] Exactly. 2+3 is way more compact.
6 years ago
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#28247
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Well on this Ibby the headstock doesn't follow the fan, with the fretboard being shorter at the g-string end. Since the fretboard is actually an equal length you can design or form the headstock to have three tuners underneath at a closer reach than the rest. I do have problem with this on ALL 6 string basses, but it's there I've discovered this too. That the "third" tuner on the upper side is still more easy to reach than that "third" on the corresponding side underneath. I e when both "3's" are placed equal further apart.
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