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Since the 1990s Sheldon Dingwall has forged his own instrument-design path, inspired in part by the Novax fanned-fret system. Periphery bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood considers Dingwall’s designs the ideal tool for preserving his sonic footprint within his band’s ultra-dense instrumentation, so he and Dingwall collaborated on the NG-2.
The NG-2 looks like the bass equivalent of an Italian sports car. A sleek, gloss-black finish protects our review model’s two-piece alder body. The sporty look carries over to the pickguard’s unique shape and carbon-fiber-like patterning. A rigid five-piece maple neck supports a maple fretboard. Fanning across the ’board are 24 banjo frets that deliver a fast feel. Thanks to the fanned-fret arrangement, each string has its own scale length, ranging from 34″ for the 1st string to a mighty 37″ for the 5th.
The NG-2’s engine combines Dingwall and Darkglass electronics. Two Dingwall FD-3N pickups are positioned close together to maximize punch and note definition. Instead of a blend control, Dingwall employs a 4-way rotary selector to engage different pickup combinations. The first setting solos the neck pickup. The second puts both pickups in series for a fat, aggressive sound. The third position configures the pickups in parallel, and the fourth solos the bridge. Despite the pickups’ proximity to each other, they reveal noticeably different character with each turn of the selector switch.
The NG-2 also houses a Darkglass preamp with 3-band EQ. The preamp’s design is the result of a three-way collaboration between Dingwall, Nolly, and Darkglass that pushes the frequencies Nolly likes for growl and girth. The bass frequency is set higher than most bass EQs (at around 70 Hz). Mids are centered at a familiar 500 Hz. There’s no treble attenuator, but a hi-mid control with a 2.8 kHz cutoff. An active/passive switch lets you bypass the preamp.
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