Bass of the Week: Dingwall Z3
Known best for their use of the Novax fanned-fret system, Dingwall decided to capture classic tones with their Z-series. The Z1 set out to “capture the best qualities of the classic swamp ash tone” by placing their Super-Fatty pickups in the same relative positions as traditional designs. The Z2 then put the pickups closer together towards the bridge to get a classic single humbucker tone. This week we take a look at the Z3, which gets the best of both worlds by accommodating both styles with three pickups.
The Dingwall Z3’s three pickups are controlled with a 4-position rotary knob for switching between the bridge pickup, bridge and middle pickup, bridge and neck pickups, or just the neck pickup. They’re matched with an active/passive Glockenklang preamp that has either a 2- or 3-band EQ as well as switches for each pickup to toggle between voicings. When in passive mode, the Treble boost/cut knob acts as a passive tone control.
All Z-series basses are built with dual density Swamp Ash bodies, meaning heavier wood blanks are used for the bass sides while lighter ones are used for the treble sides of the instruments. Dingwall says the mixture adds tonal benefits while keeping all of the basses relatively consistent in weight and tone. The 5-piece maple necks feature a thin, flattened “C”-shape and come standard with wenge fingerboards, though several options are available. Of course, the Z3 uses the Novax Fanned-Fret System, which adjusts the scale of each string to provide even tension across the strings. Fretless is also an option. Hardware on the bass includes Gotoh tuners, a custom Dingwall-made bridge, and Dunlop straplocks.
The Dingwall Z3 is made in Canada and ships with a Dingwall gig bag. For more info, check out the Dingwall website.
Dingwall Guitars Z3 Bass Photo Gallery:
Dingwall Guitars Z3 Bass Specs:
- Body Core: Dual Density Swamp Ash
- Top: Choice of Woods
- Finish: Polyester
- Colors: Natural, Honey Amberburst, Trans Blackburst, Whalepoolburst, Trans Redburst, Greenburst, Stormy Monday Blueburst, Custom colors available
- Neck: 5-piece Maple
- Neck Reinforcement: Dingwall heavy duty truss-rod, Carbon Fiber spars
- Headstock: Compound Angled
- Standard Fingerboard: Wenge
- Fingerboard Radius: 190mm – 406mm, 7.5? – 16? Compound
- Position Markers: 3 mm pearl or abalone face and side dots with D at 12th fret and headstock. Bars or Pearloid Blocks available.
- Pickups: 3 Dingwall Super-Fatty’s
- Electronics: Active / Passive Glockenklang 2-band. Passive treble auto switches
- Electronics Options: Glockenklang 3-band
- Knobs: Dingwall Custom
- Jack: Neutrik Locking
- Hardware Color: Black
- Tuners: Gotoh
- Bridge: Dingwall Custom Made
- Strap Pins: Dunlop Locking
- Average Weight: 8.5 lbs