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So day in, day out we all post about what basses we're having the Dingwall shop build, or what basses our imaginations cook up. We discuss fancy wood, 76575 switching options, pickups, fancy finishes, and unique inlays.

But what I'd really like to know is what unique basses (either model/designs, one-off customs, or even Z,AB,J, or Primas of various kinds) does the guy who makes our dream basses want to make?

If the chains of our expectations were released and the backlogue of orders be-damned...what would be on the workbench? What woods, designs and finishes be happening? Or maybe its not basses at all? Possibly guitars?

:)
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Mark L Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":sgeke76c]"Citroen DS"

That was Dingwall Sales's car of choice for years.[/quote:sgeke76c]

Somehow that seems to make sense.

One more that moves me, the Citroen SM - too far ahead of it's time and too funky to last.


Mark
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IME and IMHO Jens Ritter is a great guy, a great luthier and his basses are up there with the best. My Custom Ritter Roya 5 is here to stay, but nothing can the place of my Dingwalls (in my heart and in my hands).
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To me, Ritter Basses look like playable art. I tried one out briefly once (I don't even remember the model). It seemed very nice, but I am not sure it would be worth the price for [i:90ttxhbz]me[/i:90ttxhbz].

I am always happy to know that I own the best basses I have ever played.
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I love Jens' work.
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":33m270he]I really like the Zephyr.[/quote:33m270he]

I think it does a nice job of combining sculptural elements with some nice tweaks for playabiltiy. The 'endless' fretboard is really cool, and the lower horn design makes it easy for reaching up into the highest portion of the fretboard. I also appreciate the clean lines of the piece.

At the same time, the shape and design is very specifically a 'Jens Ritter' design, meaning that while, it doesn't cop his other model types, you can still tell that it came from his mind.
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I really like the Zephyr.
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Fascinating thread - great question, BurningSkies!

[quote:6149frgl]"Are you interested in the aesthetic aspects, the tonal aspects or maybe the materials engineering aspects?" Mostly aesthetics. We've dialed in the tone end of things almost to the limit of my imagination. I need time to catch up. Aesthetics though, I don't think I've even begun to scratch the surface. [/quote:6149frgl]

One thing I most appreciate about my AB I is that the unique design is part and parcel of it's function, as well as its appearance. The fanned frets not only look cool, they help make the bass sound great.

The aesthetic elements of design have been misused by some builders, in my view. Whether in autos or bass guitars, if an aesthetic feature interferes with function, that is if it reduces drivability or performance of the car, or limits tone or playability of the bass, then I'm turned off by that feature.

I don't see any of that tendency in Sheldon's work. When form enhances function, it's a beautiful thing.

- Cliff
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":36q5fmh6]
"While the notion of instrument finishes have been brought up, have you been considering some alternatives, such as the applied finishes that Ritter has done recently or say what Trussart does?"

I'd thought of doing copper finishes on hardware and letting them patina naturally. Once I saw what Trussart was doing, I sidelined the idea since he's got it so dialed in. I'll keep playing with it though.[/quote:36q5fmh6]

I like this idea. I like the patina of worn and treated metals. Applied materials can be cool as well (think leaf silver, platinum, etc.). I find the aesthetic of victorian era scientific and mechanical objects to be particularly interesting (the combination of beautifully chosen and finished wood combined with brass, copper, and iron/steel. The combination of craftsmanship along with industrial materials creates a great visual harmony and friction (at the same time). Which is sort of where you're talking with the combination of aluminum with 'good wood' and integrating them.

[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":36q5fmh6]I haven't paid too much attention to what Ritter's doing. I love his shapes though, especially the Seal.


I'm aware of them and Jerzy too, but borrowing design ideas from other builders is more for the younger builders. I prefer to give them their space and I'll blaze my own trail.[/quote:36q5fmh6]

Hmmm. I wasn't thinking of it in tail chasing/idea stealing terms, more of as a look out at others who are trying to use new ideas and expand their instruments away from the traditional. For instance Jens has his own trip going in his past few concept basses:

His Zephyr:
[img:36q5fmh6]http://www.ritter-royals.com/bilder/instrumente/0546-zephyr/0546-zephyr.jpg[/img:36q5fmh6]
[img:36q5fmh6]http://www.ritter-royals.com/bilder/instrumente/0546-zephyr/0546-zephyr-detail.jpg[/img:36q5fmh6]
[img:36q5fmh6]http://www.ritter-royals.com/bilder/instrumente/0546-zephyr/0546-zephyr-body3.jpg[/img:36q5fmh6]

Sting:
[img:36q5fmh6]http://www.ritter-royals.com/bilder/instrumente/0541-sting/0541.jpg[/img:36q5fmh6]

The sting is gimmick-y to my eye, and doesn't look terribly playable, but I think its nice to see some risk-taking.

[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":36q5fmh6]
I'd like to marry polished aluminum with exotic woods, keeping an organic flow going. Carbon fibre and polished aluminum looks great. I fear that the CF look is getting dated though.

"I also will be interested in how you combine modern design aesthetic with the concept of 'high deco' era automotive and industrial design and apply it to a bass or guitar."

I think it's a natural. IIRC Joseph Figoni invented the "French Curve". Tools that Freddy Tavares used to design the Strat.

"Are you interested in the aesthetic aspects, the tonal aspects or maybe the materials engineering aspects?" Mostly aesthetics. We've dialed in the tone end of things almost to the limit of my imagination. I need time to catch up. Aesthetics though, I don't think I've even begun to scratch the surface.

[/quote:36q5fmh6]

Well, good design is good design. No matter what, it's timeless.
Also, for the record, I don't have much interest in carbon fiber or 'graphite' as a build material other than for its sculptural aspects. I would think that with your own CNC gear, you're ahead of the curve and could achieve much of the same without needing to resort to those kind of materials. I've never played an instrument that featured either of those that I really could appreciate.
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":25gr8i26]"have you ever though of trying one of those torzal neck basses?"
I haven't tried the torzal neck. I'd like to though. It looks like a real challenge to pull off.
I shared a ride with the Austalian guys who did the first version. Really nice guys. I forget the exact name of their company (Helix maybe), but Lace bought the patent and turned it into the Lace Helix.
[/quote:25gr8i26]
Have you got any plans in building Dingwalls with fanned frets and torzal neck?
I would like to have one. :)
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":30xw1gku]I think it's a natural. IIRC Joseph Figoni invented the "French Curve". Tools that Freddy Tavares used to design the Strat.[/quote:30xw1gku]
I'm a big fan of Freddie Tavares. I think that in the grand scheme of things, he is terribly underappreciated
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"have you ever though of trying one of those torzal neck basses?"

I haven't tried the torzal neck. I'd like to though. It looks like a real challenge to pull off.

I shared a ride with the Austalian guys who did the first version. Really nice guys. I forget the exact name of their company (Helix maybe), but Lace bought the patent and turned it into the Lace Helix.

"http://www.bas-extravaganza.nl/. "

I really like this guy's work.

"I've also been experimenting with a neck that uses a multi-lam sandwich that produces a concave neck profile." Is that like Steinberger used to do on his EUB? I thought that was the coolest.

"While the notion of instrument finishes have been brought up, have you been considering some alternatives, such as the applied finishes that Ritter has done recently or say what Trussart does?"

I'd thought of doing copper finishes on hardware and letting them patina naturally. Once I saw what Trussart was doing, I sidelined the idea since he's got it so dialed in. I'll keep playing with it though.

I haven't paid too much attention to what Ritter's doing. I love his shapes though, especially the Seal.

"What materials do you see yourself working in?"
I'd like to marry polished aluminum with exotic woods, keeping an organic flow going. Carbon fibre and polished aluminum looks great. I fear that the CF look is getting dated though.

"I also will be interested in how you combine modern design aesthetic with the concept of 'high deco' era automotive and industrial design and apply it to a bass or guitar."

I think it's a natural. IIRC Joseph Figoni invented the "French Curve". Tools that Freddy Tavares used to design the Strat.

"Are you interested in the aesthetic aspects, the tonal aspects or maybe the materials engineering aspects?" Mostly aesthetics. We've dialed in the tone end of things almost to the limit of my imagination. I need time to catch up. Aesthetics though, I don't think I've even begun to scratch the surface.

"I also assume that the works of BassLabs and Jens Ritter are on the radar too?"

I'm aware of them and Jerzy too, but borrowing design ideas from other builders is more for the younger builders. I prefer to give them their space and I'll blaze my own trail.

"the Muira, the first Supercar, the sexiest car ever."

+1

"Citroen DS"

That was Dingwall Sales's car of choice for years.
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":dsyx4hse]That's an interesting question. I'm so backed up I don't really think about what I'd like to do just for the fun of it.

I've been visualizing a singlecut for 2 years that I should be starting on soon. [/quote:dsyx4hse]

Till now I was saying that if I wanted a singlecut, graphite neck bass I would not come to you. Having said that, I am ready to test drive such a Dingwall. Rob Green (of Status Graphite) has briefly held the "Uber Alles" and he was amazed at how lively and vibrant it felt!!!
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":ak9lu5gt]I've been visualizing a singlecut for 2 years that I should be starting on soon. The original influence was the Spyker C8. Now I'm leaning toward French car designs from the 30's and 40's.[/quote:ak9lu5gt]

Don't forget about the 8 string :P

The middle one looks a lot like a Gittler with space shuttle insulation attached. Not too crazy about these ideas, really. They don't look so comfortable to play.

So, Sheldon reveals he's a car nut. Me too. I love the Spyker D12 Peking-To-Paris. In the mid-year french category, the Citroen DS is an odd-ball classic- not a comforting line on the thing, but you can't look away. And my favorite, the 70s AMC Matador coupe. I'm gonna get me one of those, with a 401!

If I were looking for design inspiration, I'd likley be influenced by Italian autos from the 60's and 70s. The first Countach, before they ruined it with all those ugly flares and wings, was spectacular. And the Muira, the first Supercar, the sexiest car ever.

Thanks for indulging me.

Mark
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":3rsdnuyo]That's an interesting question. I'm so backed up I don't really think about what I'd like to do just for the fun of it.

Off the top of my head I'd love to do something more adventurous like the Teuffel Niwa or Birdfish or artistic like the Pagelli bass.

I've got a Bigsby style vibrato worked out in my head. I'd love to have some time to put that together.

I've been visualizing a singlecut for 2 years that I should be starting on soon. The original influence was the Spyker C8. Now I'm leaning toward French car designs from the 30's and 40's.[/quote:3rsdnuyo]

I'm not surprised that you've got sights set on something more than just bright colors.

I'm interested in the direction you indicate. I really enjoy the potential for advancement in design. Are you interested in the aesthetic aspects, the tonal aspects or maybe the materials engineering aspects? I would guess in the end, its all part and parcel of the same thing. I also assume that the works of BassLabs and Jens Ritter are on the radar too?

What materials do you see yourself working in? What aspects of each of the designs that you list are you most interested in (they're all 'dream guitars' in a lot of ways)? I also will be interested in how you combine modern design aesthetic with the concept of 'high deco' era automotive and industrial design and apply it to a bass or guitar.

While the notion of instrument finishes have been brought up, have you been considering some alternatives, such as the applied finishes that Ritter has done recently or say what Trussart does?

Also, thank you very much for sharing with us!
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":3gke2qv8]That's an interesting question. I'm so backed up I don't really think about what I'd like to do just for the fun of it.

Off the top of my head I'd love to do something more adventurous like the Teuffel Niwa or Birdfish or artistic like the Pagelli bass.

I've got a Bigsby style vibrato worked out in my head. I'd love to have some time to put that together.

I've been visualizing a singlecut for 2 years that I should be starting on soon. The original influence was the Spyker C8. Now I'm leaning toward French car designs from the 30's and 40's.[/quote:3gke2qv8]

It's funny that you mention the Pagelli bass - that's one of my favourite designs. I've actually been working on a faux-headless fanned fret guitar based on the Pagelli bass that uses a modified Steinberger TT3 bridge. I keep coming back to the faux-headless design just like my first Dingwall :). I've also been experimenting with a neck that uses a multi-lam sandwich that produces a concave neck profile. This shape provides a nice thumb groove in the back neck and gives the feel of the thin neck or chunky neck depending on your hand position. The shape also makes for a very stiff neck without the need for additional reinforcement.

There's just not enough hours in the day to work on all the ideas that pop into my head. I really want to try some of the new natural fibre composite materials for necks and bodies. This is the same stuff that the Flaxwood guitars are made from. I just don't have the time to get into injection moulding tech right now.
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Since we started to talk about avantgarde-looking basses here's one from the top positions of my personal chart.
This can be found at http://www.bas-extravaganza.nl/.

I call it: "Paganini's last stand" :)

"Solenn"=sun? Is it similar to norwegian word "solen"?
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[quote="Nic DB":12fxtmev]Wow, there were some awseome basses there, I loved the fish one! Sheldon, have you ever though of trying one of those torzal neck basses?
http://www.berm.co.nz/cgi-bin/video/pla ... Li8pOa6zYk
http://www.littleguitarworks.com/torzal/
How about one of these with fan frets!!!!!!!!
N :lol:[/quote:12fxtmev]
The quintessence of :lol: I must say. Only this evening, at our stage, the famous "propeller-like fingerdoard" carefully avoided by a majority of a manufacturers. :)

It is my understanding that mathematically the task of building of a plane that would be parallel to a set of one-dimensional simplexes at different angles (in other words a fingerboard with strings :)) can be solved. The question is how they provide stability of a fingerborad in use?

I wonder too what would it could look like applied to fanned-fret system? Maybe a parallelepiped against a cube. :) :)

PS Is the man on that video Ed Friedland?
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[quote="Sheldon Dingwall":q3yu87lv]
Off the top of my head I'd love to do something more adventurous like [skipped] or artistic like the Pagelli bass.
[/quote:q3yu87lv]
Whoa! Pretty weird look. :)

Sheldon, BTW, what do you think about Carl Thompson basses?
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Wow, there were some awseome basses there, I loved the fish one! Sheldon, have you ever though of trying one of those torzal neck basses?

http://www.berm.co.nz/cgi-bin/video/pla ... Li8pOa6zYk

http://www.littleguitarworks.com/torzal/

How about one of these with fan frets!!!!!!!!

N :lol:
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That's an interesting question. I'm so backed up I don't really think about what I'd like to do just for the fun of it.

Off the top of my head I'd love to do something more adventurous like the Teuffel Niwa or Birdfish or artistic like the Pagelli bass.

I've got a Bigsby style vibrato worked out in my head. I'd love to have some time to put that together.

I've been visualizing a singlecut for 2 years that I should be starting on soon. The original influence was the Spyker C8. Now I'm leaning toward French car designs from the 30's and 40's.
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