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Dingwall Voodoo 5-String


Bartolini

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Dingwall Voodoo 5-String

Reviewed January '96 & January '97

Canadian luthier Sheldon Dingwall was the first manufacturer to apply Ralph Novax's fanned-fret system to bass. Dingwall's Voodoo 5-string features a 37" scale length on the B string and 34" for the G; this gives the B amazing depth and clarity while keeping the familiar tension on the G. The Voodoo Bass makes our list for its innovation and great B-string sound.

 

http://archive.bassplayer.com/z1999/9901/gear.shtml

 

HOW THE HELL IS THIS PLAYED?

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Apparently it's fairly natural to play as the fanned frets fall very easily under your fingers, particularly in the lower positions. The only problems I can see would be certain chord voicings at the top of the neck. Having said that, I wouldn't want to try a fretless one.

 

Alex

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Bartolini, how's this?

.

http://archive.bassplayer.com/gifs/9901/dingwall.gif

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You can see more at the Dingwall site:

http://www.dingwallguitars.com/

 

You see these show up in on-line stores sometimes, though most often it's their "Afterburner" model. This model costs less (due to some changes in production) and was developed after that BP article. There was an Afterburner review in the last two years, but I don't think it's available on-line.

 

I played a Dingwall once. Unfortunately it was at a time when I was still playing my Gibson 30.5" scale, so 37 seemed out of control. And I didn't have enough time to really adapt my fingers to it, but I started to get the feel of it a bit. What I could see and hear is that it's an excellent instrument. The sound, wood, construction, etc. were all the best.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I've played a couple at stores. It actually feels quite natural, although it's a bit disorienting to look at the figerboard for a bit, and large position shifts are a little harder.

 

The B string was incredible, though....it was as taut and clear as the G...

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I've played all kinds of prototypes at Ralph Novak's shop. One friend of mine has two guitars that Ralph builit. And of couse Ralph is the builder of the instrument that Charlie Hunter plays.

 

If you don't look at your hands, it's quite easy to play a fanned fret instrument, very natural feeling. And of course it sounds and feels great. Every string rings clearly and every string has the same tension which doesn't really seem like it means anything until after you have played it.

 

But I don't have the nerve to get one...especially since I switch basses a lot.

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Tom, how'd u attach a pic like that in a post?

 

BTW, I'm still not convinced how one'd play a Do re me fa so la ti on this fret board. Do'u have to stretch u'r fingers longer when come down the scale? Or is the fret board a fan shaped in section, so in the plan form you see it like distorted? :idea:

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Bartolini,

 

As to playing a scale, you might have to pivot on your thumb (to give your fingers more "reach") on the low frets, but further up it's almost the same as on your bass. The fanning almost matches your fingers natural positions.

 

Here's what I did to get the photo in.

1. I went to the BP site you listed. I right clicked on the Dingwall photo and it "Properties". That gave me the specific name of the photo.

2. I highlighted the address of the picture and copied it (like cut and paste)

3. In my post, I went down to the buttons below the text screen and clicked the "IMAGE" button.

4. A new window pops up. I pasted the photo address in there, and hit Enter (or click OK).

5. MOST CRITICAL - I pressed the "Preview Post" button to see if the photo came up OK. If not, you can edit out the special UBB code to remove it.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Within the past few issues of BP magazine there was a review of the Dingwall Afterburner. Sounded like a nice bass. If I have a moment, I'll dig back a couple of issues in my "BP library" and let you know which one and what of value they might have said.

 

I have never played one. I would think getting used to the fanned frets wouldn't be too bad.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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