Compact body and headstock - lightweight and well
Create a passive bass with greater tonal flexibility.
Unlimited upper-fret access.
To use only top quality materials and brand name
Capture the essence of a vintage tone but with modern
UNDER LICENSE FROM NOVAX GUITARS®
After years of building basses mostly using the
Novax® Fanned-Fret System™, but also some with standard
parallel frets, we've come to the conclusion that the use
of this technology makes basses better - period. The
tension and tone from string to string is more even and
low note definition is greatly improved. EQing a bass
whose strings are all of a similar tonal character is so
much easier than when the low strings have a darker
quality and the higher strings have a brighter quality.
Body woods – Dual density swamp ash core, optional exotic
One-Piece Flat-Sawn Hard Rock Maple
We take neck construction very seriously due to Sheldon's
extensive experience in guitar repairs coupled with our
geographic location. During his many years in the repair
business Sheldon constantly had to deal with humidity
related problems made worse by our extreme local climate.
Many of these problems could have been minimized through
simple design changes and materials choices. Touring
musicians are constantly amazed at how stable Dingwall
instruments are. Many state that their Dingwall necks are
as stable as their Graphite necked instruments.
We use only aged hard rock maple for our neck shafts. The
Afterburner is our first instrument to use a one-piece
flat sawn neck shaft. Experience has taught us the correct
way to orient the grain of the wood to maximize strength
(resistance to deflection from string tension). In most
cases this results in a neck that is actually stiffer than
a quarter-sawn neck
Here is another area where Computer Aided Design has been
a great help. An elliptical shape is the most natural
feeling, efficient shape there is. We used CAD to create
an ellipse that tapers equally down the entire length of
the neck shaft. It doesn't matter what position you are
playing anywhere on the neck, it is always extraordinarily
The Prima and Z-series necks are some of the thinnest,
most comfortable necks made. Due to our extra strong
truss-rod and carbon fiber reinforcement, they are
extremely stiff as well.
Pressure Fit, Double Expanding, Single Acting
The double expanding style is an industry standard.
However, our method of installation – taught to us by
Glenn McDougall of Fury Guitars, involves gluing the truss
rod into the neck under nearly 1000-LB of pressure. This
creates a coupling of steel to wood, minimizing dead spots
and increasing both sustain and harmonic content.
Adjustment - Hidden Plateless
The hidden, plate-less truss rod adjustment has always
been a design feature of Dingwall instruments.
The truss rod is the most commonly adjusted component on
most guitars, so access to the truss rod adjustment should
be as easy as possible.
While repairing guitars, Sheldon found that a high number
of guitars had either stripped or missing truss rod cover
plate screws. Besides which it usually took longer to
remove and replace the cover plate than it did to do the
actual adjustment. The Afterburner truss rod is so easy to
access and adjust, if needed, you could even make an
adjustment between songs. The irony is that Dingwall necks
are so stable, your truss-rod will rarely need adjustment.
The finish on a neck makes a big difference in the feel of
the neck. Most people prefer the smooth, natural feel of
an oil-finished neck. It has also been our experience that
an oil-finished neck is more humidity stable than a
painted neck (providing the fingerboard is not painted as
well). Even though oil provides less moisture vapor
protection than a painted finish, an oil-finished neck is
considered a balanced finish. In other words the
fingerboard side of the neck has the same finish and
therefore the same moisture protection as the back of the
neck. So the whole neck gains and loses moisture at an
equal rate. This is true of a neck that is painted both
front and back as well such as most maple necks.
Necks that are painted on the back of the neck but whose
fingerboards are oiled would be considered to have an
unbalanced finish where the moisture gain and loss will be
slightly more inhibited through the paint. Not much mind
you, but enough to make the neck less stable through
Flat, Counter Bored
The design goal was to utilize a flat headstock design.
Materials and labor savings are significant with this
design. The only problem was that a flat headstock needs a
string tree to create proper downward angle at the nut. It
took some creative thinking and custom made tuners to
solve this problem, but we feel we've come up with the
most elegant solution currently available.
The headstock features special counter bores that when
combined with our custom tuners allows proper break angle
at the nut.
Wenge is an interesting wood with alternating layers of
hard and soft wood (early and late wood). This gives the
tone a nice top end similar to ebony, but with the warmth
of Rosewood. It's a great all around fingerboard wood
Compound, 7-1/2” to 25”
We started with a 7-1/2” radius at the
nut. This is a very comfortable and familiar feeling
radius. Then using Computer Aided Design, we adjusted the
radius to match the increasing width of the fingerboard
while maintaining the exact same thickness under each
string. The latter point is critical to achieving a low
action. A side benefit is that the flatter radius at the
bridge makes right hand work easier and keeps the strings
a more consistent distance from the pickups for more even
Dingwall Designed, Custom Made
In order for our counter bored
headstock design to work, we needed custom made tuners
with shorter posts and a “semi-hour glass” shape that
forces the string downward as tension is applied.
Size, Novax® Fanned-Fret™.
Leland Sklar turned us on to small
frets. We use a size that is normally used on banjos. The
small frets intonate very precisely, feel sleek and have a
warmer, woodier tone.
3mm White Plastic Side Dots
Phenolic is long wearing and very consistent.
Neck Mounting Bolts
Large Head Machine Screws
In published tests, “Lee Valley Tools” showed the pullout
resistance of various wood screws compared to machine
screws properly installed in wood. The results were hands
down in favor of the machine screws and tapped threads.
We use machine screws with special large heads designed to
distribute the pressure in soft materials like wood. This
system is a little more costly and labor intensive to use
but results in an extremely strong neck joint.
BODY – DUAL DENSITY CORE, EXOTIC TOP AND BACK
Core wood – Soft Maple
We chose soft maple due to its
availability, low cost and great tone. The acoustic
qualities of soft maple are similar to alder but with more
sustain and a better B-string response
Top and Back Woods
Optional - AAAAA flame maple
OK, here we should have tried harder to save money, but we
have a weakness for beautiful woods. The Afterburner is
such a great instrument we felt it deserved the best flame
maple money could buy. When you pick an Afterburner up and
watch the flame come alive in the light, you'll be glad we
made the choice we did!
Through years of experience, we've come up with our own
blend of polyester and polyurethane paints that offer
great protection, great colors, and great tone. The bodies
almost look like they've been dipped in glass, yet the
finish is extremely thin allowing it to be acoustically
Strap Pin Screws
Extra Long, Aggressive Thread Design
Traditional strap pin screws are doomed to fail. For one,
most solid body woods are quite soft. Secondly, the screws
are inserted into “end grain” which has a hard time
“holding” a screw. Thirdly, the strap pin screw is
constantly being pulled on by the strap. This is why it is
quite common for strap pin holes to strip out. On the
Afterburner, we've come up with a solution. We replace the
standard strap pin screw with a longer much more
aggressively threaded screw designed for soft materials
that strip easily.
Dingwall Designed, Custom Made By Hipshot
Designed to be “set & forget” simple as well as featuring
a slotted string anchor system for fast and simple string
The Afterburner bridge borrows the stainless steel riser
screw system used with success in our high-end bridges. We
reduced the complexity of the saddles to a minimum, then
designed a unique base plate system to hold them rigidly
in place. By using stainless steel riser screws and a
tough Teflon coating on the bridge long-term corrosion
free performance is ensured.
Dingwall FD-1™, Custom Designed
& Manufactured By Dingwall Guitars™ And Fury Guitar®.
Dingwall has teamed up with Fury Guitar
to co-produce the FD-1™ pickups. These pickups feature a
vintage influenced tone with a pronounced “Bark” that
gives the sound an aggressive edge. The pickups have high
output yet are extremely noise and feedback free. To quote
“I also have a soft spot for
good-sounding passive basses, perhaps from having
owned and played some great ´60s Fender Jazz and
Precision basses. The passive electronics on the
Afterburner are just great, hum-free with very nice
sounding pickup combinations. I think the slap sound
in parallel mode is one of the best I ever heard. I
did not miss the blending pot.”
Mats Gronberg, Skarplinge, Sweden
The Afterburner is a passive bass with some very useful
controls. At the heart is the 4-position rotary switch
that allows both series and parallel tones without the
high frequency robbing effect of a pan pot. A push/pull
switch on the tone activates/de-activates the bluEQube™
for a broad selection of tones or a pre-set slap tone
bluEQube™ – Passive Mid-Contour
The bluEQube, when switched in, cuts the upper mids,
providing a modern “Hi-Fi” tone with a nice open acoustic
quality. This is also a great tone for slap. So you can
instantly go from a great vintage fingerstyle tone to a
great modern slap tone. We've been able to accomplish with
a passive circuit what would normally require a
specialized active system.
The Prima and Z1 features a unique
shielding system that features a CNC machined brass pan
with an integral ground buss near the output jack. All
ground wires are soldered to the buss (star grounding)
eliminating potential ground loops. The cavity walls are
lined with heavy aluminum foil and the cavity cover is
coated with high-grade conductive paint.
The Neutrik locking jack is one of the best ever made.
Rugged and beefy, we take great pride in the way we've
integrated this jack subtly into our body design.
Dingwall Custom Made Stainless
We've spent years fine tuning and
perfecting our strings. They only have to work with our
basses, so that allows us to really fine tune the physical
characteristics of the string rather than average them out
to fit the majority of basses. This means that our strings
reproduce every subtle nuance you will find in our
instruments. For the player that wants to experiment on
their own, there are several other manufacturers that make
strings that will fit our instruments.