1. Mats Eriksson
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  3. Thursday, 15 September 2011
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Hi there!
It's been a while.

Having searched the forum first, I think I have not found anything on this topic as of yet, not even suggestion to Dingwall or anything else. Please, if this topic has already been brought up, please show the link, it's unneccessary to start over all again.

Being the proud owner of a blonde Combustion since a year and a half, bought in Germany, I've slowly started to have some slight "wishes" or you know "if they only..." :-)

I don't know if this is a nitpick problem or if anyone thinks the same but:

1. The side marker dots on the fretboard seems to help only for the lowest b-string fret space. They doesn't show "right" for the strings way down (i e G-string). It's due to the eye and how they are aligning up when you look at them. It seems that they need to be placed closer to the fretwire on some instances, right in the middle on some instances, and then start to tilt over to the other fretwire as you go along across the neck.

Of course, I am one of these lazy **** who doesn't just listen, but actually look down to see where I am playing. Yes, a detrimental fault, filthy habit that I can't get rid of. It could be that I am wearing glasses too, but I've heard so from other friends who's trying it out, and finds the dots a little bit ... not off... but... confusing. Those that are in the middle of the neck and fretboard doesn't really matter, but the rest.

What do you think?
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TheGrandEnigma Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Hey Mats,

I see where you're coming from, but part of the purpose of the fanned frets is to be more natural feeling for the left hand. The dots IMHO are more for a reference point, not marking the actual location of frets. Even on a parallel fret bass since the lower frets are so far from your line of site, actual fret locations won't match up with the side-dots. It's just something you'll need to get used to I think, matching fret locations to dot locations. Interesting concept though. I'm curious to hear other opinions.

That said, not always looking at your fretting hand helps too! :P (A problem I struggle with as well.)
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Mats Eriksson Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Thank you.
Some sort of visual cue, that cheats the eye. The thing is that I discovered this ONLY when switching between regular basses and guitars and back to Dingwalls. I mean, way up there at the highest frets there's no room to "jinx" the side dots towards either fret, and up there it's right under your eye anyway. As for now, they don't really line up well, together with the on top of fretboard dots which are placed running all along with the g-string. On a regular fretted guitar/bass, the side dots line up just along the on top of fretboard ones. Just a thought, and wouldn't mind it if Dingwall incorporated it the next time around, or at least, as an option to the more highend models. Or 6 strings. I do think that on 4 string it is sort of useless though, but as more and more strings stacks up, 5-6 strings it gets harder to adjust to the visual cue of those side dots as they are placed today. Can't be that expensive to add or change in production. I mean, what's the point of side dots anyway, in that case, if you want to get used to the fanned frets, or any frets really, and do like the pros, don't look down and use you ears instead, and feeling of the fingers? Then you can skip fret markers altogether! Both the side dots, and on top of fretboard dots.

But of course, Dingwall wants you to play all Dingwalls all of the time. No need to switch between other brands. Especially non fanned fret.
When's your Ukelele due? :)
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TheGrandEnigma Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Oh, ok, that makes more sense. I haven't played anything but Dingwall basses in the 2 or 3 years since I got my Combustion. If you're playing lots of parallel fret instruments, I can see not getting used to the side dots. The whole 6-string thing I can see as well. My new-to-me AB-II 6-str is like that, but I'm still trying to get used to the extra string as well, so it'll just take some getting used to.

I don't know if your idea would work, but Sheldon told me once he had an idea but was too embarrassed to incorporate it into his basses, so he waited for YEARS before trying it. Now that he tried it (a long while ago) it's now standard on the higher-end models. This could be the same thing, not knowing what you have until you try it.

It might be more involved to change them though, since I'm pretty sure he has jigs for things like that and would have to make new jigs to try it, but you never know until you try, right?
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Mats Eriksson Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I do think that the reason that this came up, was that the on fretboard dots on the Combustion is placed somewhere between the D and G-strings. I e, they're all placed more "down" at the fretboard, in lack of better description. There must be something to this. Then, when looking at the side dots, they don't line up - so to speak - with the on-fretboard ones. On any regular fretted one, any dots - side dots as well as on fretboard dots - are lined up accordingly with basically the same distance to the fret behind and in front of them. Taking into account that the on-the-fretboard dot is considerably larger than the side dot.

I do think it'll work only on the first half of the fretboard though. And coming to think of it, it must be different, and depending on how tall or short a person is who's playing it. And if you have your bass low slung, or right under you cheek. So you're going to have a different visual clue or angle anyway, but so it is on regular fretted basses and guitars too.

Like, the super J (and similar) has large inlays instead, it really doesn't make sense there I think. But it's not only the Combustion that has these dots lined up along the D-G strings on the fretboard. Several models has these dots lined up running along the G-string.

If one should really go places with these "optical illusions" maybe doing them elliptical too, and of different size, so when you actually look at them from the side, they appear perfectly round and the same size? And scale them accordingly as you go up the neck? :wink:
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I mean, it's the same problem when people are playing headless. They just want that headstock as a visual cue. They're often completely lost and plays in B although they think it's in the key of A. And when I tell them, they'll get it. I can even tape/strap on a dummy headstock or something that resembles a headstock and they seem to automatically find their way around the fretboard again.

I don't have any problems, since I got used to it. But when switching around, from headstocked to headless ones, you'll just have to be vigilant/wary for quite a while, until you start to drop the thinking and looking. It's the same sort of visual cue, or optical illusion.

Actually, if there should be any fretless "fanned fret" bass around, I would think these side dots or LINES would be even more important to line up as an "optical illusion". Even on a 4 string. But then it gets too complicated, maybe more complicated than it needs to be.

And there's the ever ending question, of that either am I too un-embarrassed to "come out" with this, or that I am the only one who's having these problems, and not afraid to admit it. And when asking everyone else they say "it ain't a problem for me" but deep down, IRL, they're too embarrased to admit it publicly. You can never tell, can you? :)
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You're right about the "too embarassed" category - for instance I'm too embarassed to admit that when I get lost I look at the [b:1mmt547j]fretboard[/b:1mmt547j], let alone the side dots :D

Of course this has resulted in a lot of wrist pain because of the uncomfortable position I use to actually peek a look at the fretboard.

Hmm, I wonder if there's a market for see-through necks...
Nah. :D
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Mats Eriksson Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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:D See through necks... ha ha.. that was funny. Well, maybe there's a market?

Let's all get ourselves a "troll-nick" on this forum and do a poll/survey of how many of us really looks down and use these dots as a visual cue. Then it's anonymous, and will not reveal who's really behind those nicks. Avoids the embarassment side of things.

Like "Everything you always wanted to ask about dots, but were afraid to ask..."
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Well well, who'd have thought it, somebody did build a see-through neck [url:24eq29tf]http://www.strat-central.com/external/LuciteStrat.asp.htm[/url:24eq29tf]
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Hey, I know a friend who built a see through guitar way back. Even the neck including fretboard. I think even Dan Armstrong or Danelectro built one see through body AND neck bass. That example was a guitar. Let's make a first. Worlds first see through fanned fret bass neck.

But I don't know really how that would help the problem really.
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NaH Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[quote="Mats Eriksson":2az5cwfn]Actually, if there should be any fretless "fanned fret" bass around, I would think these side dots or LINES would be even more important to line up as an "optical illusion". Even on a 4 string. But then it gets too complicated, maybe more complicated than it needs to be.[/quote:2az5cwfn]

:idea: I was thinking of lines in that the top of the line is at the center (or fret - whichever you prefer) of the lowest string B/E, and the bottom of the line is at the center or fret of the highest string G. :idea:
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[quote="TheGrandEnigma":57ll7qd2]
I don't know if your idea would work, but Sheldon told me once he had an idea but was too embarrassed to incorporate it into his basses, so he waited for YEARS before trying it. Now that he tried it (a long while ago) it's now standard on the higher-end models. This could be the same thing... [/quote:57ll7qd2]

Has he revealed what that was all about, or is he still too embarassed? It WAS maybe about that, but it couldn't be otherwise it would be incorporated already. I don't know. But I agree, the higher end models are for real super professionals that doesn't look down anytime, so it's kind of futile to have any markers there at all.
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I am sure that Sheldon has some light to shed on this. Like, "We've thought about that a long time ago, but..." It would be great to see where the catch lied, or the caveat. There's probably something we've missed, or forgot. But right now, I can't really see what that could be. Need input from someone else.
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TheGrandEnigma Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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He told me the whole situation, but it's not my place to be giving away all of Sheldon's stories. ;)

If Sheldon found that your (or NaH's) idea for fret marking was good, I bet he would use it on all his basses. Maybe this is just something he's never thought of.
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Grand Wazoo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Play more, type here less! Concentrate more on what's in your head, and less about the neck fret markers. You'll get it.

Learn a scale, close your eyes, you've got it.

Next?
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Yeah that would be the way wouldn't it?
[b:2ykwnqg1]Why have A N Y fret markers at all then?
On any bass?
Or guitar?[/b:2ykwnqg1]

I do SWAP between instruments, with pararell, fanned frets, and even fretless, and that's only where the problem lies.

[quote="Grand Wazoo":2ykwnqg1]Play more, type here less! [/quote:2ykwnqg1]
Yeah, you're right, let's close down this forum altoghether, shall we? You couldn't type any less here if it doesn't exist, could you? Remove temptation today I'll say! :wink:
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[quote="TheGrandEnigma":2n3do3a8]If Sheldon found that your (or NaH's) idea for fret marking was good, I bet he would use it on all his basses. Maybe this is just something he's never thought of.[/quote:2n3do3a8]

It's just nitpicking. Getting *n*l about petty things. But it just dawned on me slowly as I went along playing different instruments. I know for sure, though, that I am not the only one. Since the high end models of Dingwall are aiming at perfection anyway, you might as well go along with these tiny and petty things.

That's why I think Sheldon already found out this idea by himself long time ago, but went "No, in the end it'll not work because..." and came up with reasons why it may be a good idea on paper/in theory but practically there was some other things in the way. It's just things like that - those reasons - I care to know about. I want input from someone else that says [b:2n3do3a8]"Hey, Mats, great idea, but you forgot about this..." [/b:2n3do3a8]and then elaborate on it. Of which I can't detect at the moment. I can't think that such an idea is that novel. In worst case, just make it an "option" and "custom" case, at added cost of course, if you'd like.

Or just the opposite, skip any fret markers if you want to strut about it, how cool you are with no dots at all anywhere on the fretboard.
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Grand Wazoo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Please don't get irate, fellow, most of the people here believe that there is nothing wrong with the way the fret markers are on the current production of Dingwalls. The reason is that most of the people here spends more time playing them. I am not saying we shouldn't discuss certain matters on a forum, far from but, [u:2nrebuob][b:2nrebuob]but[/b:2nrebuob][/u:2nrebuob] once you have made your valid point and some agree some don't, that should be put to rest.
[b:2nrebuob]There is no need to repeat yourself to oblivion, because chances are, the more you keep banging on about it, the more the subject becomes acid and likely to fall under the category of "pest"[/b:2nrebuob]

Peace out.
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