Dingwall Combustion 5 String Reviews 5

The Combustion is Dingwall's Chinese-made active bass. Made in China but finished in Dingwall's Canadian shop. Dingwall basses use the Novax fanned fret system to provide equal tension over all five strings. The neck is multiple scale -- 37' B, 34' G. This necessitates slanted (fanned) frets for intonation. Mine is an Olympic White Alder body with five piece maple neck and maple board, optional Baltic amber (brown and black pearl) pickguard. Two-band preamp, Dingwall pickups, Hipshot ultralight tuners.

Purchased from Basscentral in Florida with the excellent assistance of owner Beaver Felton. $1,300 shipped with gigbag and optional pickguard.


The Combustion is very well made and holds its own against many USA made basses and the Lakland Skyline models. Fit and finish is excellent, as it sound. It's a very hi-fi sounding bass. Set flat using the supplied Dingwall stainless strings, it gives nice definition without being to clanky or zingy. Action is low and requires some adjustment to right hand technique if you're used to heavier strings and higher action. The neck si slim and fast -- very much in line with the neck on my Lakland 55-94, which is my favorite neck. Dialing out a bit of the neck PUP gives a very pleasing Jazz bass tone but with slightly more bottom end. The fanned frets require very little getting used to -- maybe a half hour of playing time. The bass weighs 9.2 pounds but feels lighter because balance is perfect. The back strap button is mounted higher than on most basses and will require you to adjust your strap if you want to wear it at the same height as other P-style basses where the button is mounted in the center of the body end.

No negatives so far. There was one slight rough spot on the side of the neck near the 7th fret position marker, but I rubbed this smooth with very fine sandpaper. I'd also like it if other string manufacturers would make a set of strings tailored to the Dingwall neck. Finding a 37' B string can be tough. I recommend buying an additional set of Dingwall strings just in case you break one.

Excellent workmanship all the way around. Made in China but finished in Canada at the Dingwall shop. Canadian made Dingwall pickups.

Dingwall advertises the Combustion as 'Dingwall sound at a fraction of the price,' and it's really truth in advertising. The Combustion is a great example of quality control in a Chinese-made instrument that holds its own against many US-made basses that cost more but is about equal with the Lakland Skyline series (Korea- or Indonesia-made and Chicago-tweaked). Canadian Sheldon Dingwall and company have produced 'a Dingwall for the rest of us,' cutting roughly $1,000 off the price of its passive Afterburner series and about $3,000 off its least-expensive Canadian-made active basses.

Laklander rated this unit 5 on 2010-04-12.

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