NAMM 2023: Once a walking testimonial to Aria basses, Duran Duran’s John Taylor has been working closely with Dingwall Guitars to create a new signature model inspired by the title track from 1982’s Rio. The series will launch with an individually numbered Cranberry Pearl colored model, the Rio Dream Bass, which will be limited to just 82 instruments.
The Rio Dream Bass will be followed by the release of three other production model colors: Black, Vintage White and Seafoam. “It all started when I was in Toronto about five years ago with a friend,” says Taylor. “He showed me a Dingwall bass on his phone. I loved how it looked and immediately said to Bernie Guerra, my tech, “You’ve got to reach out to these guys!”
The Rio Dream Bass is modeled after the Dingwall NG3 that Taylor used on Duran’s most recent studio album: FUTURE PAST, though with some design modifications to really hone in on his tone.
“This project gave us a unique opportunity from an engineering perspective,” said Josh Thomas of Rupert Neve Designs. “We were tasked with combining our design knowledge with equalizer ‘tone’ controls specific to this application. That’s become the hallmark of this design. It’s about finding the right balance of performance specifications and results in terms of capturing John’s tone.”
You can watch John Taylor and Sheldon Dingwall take the prototype for a spin in the video below.
Build-wise, the body is Nyatoh with a bolt-on maple neck and Dingwall’s customary multi-scale fingerboard. The bass also comes fitted with a Hipshot Drop D Xtender key (only available on the limited edition model) and Dingwall’s Minimalist bridge unit.
“John Taylor’s bass playing on Rio really imprinted on me how a bass should fit into a band mix,” said Dingwall founder and CEO, Sheldon Dingwall. “His basslines have always had a special combination of energy and elegance, and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with him on this project. I think this new signature model has really raised the bar for us.”
This spring and summer, Taylor and his Duran Duran bandmates will head back out on the road with seven shows in the UK and Ireland, followed by a 28-date North American run with both Bastille and Nile Rodgers & CHIC joining on all of the arena shows as special guests.
For more information about the Rio Dream Bass visit dingwallguitars.com(opens in new tab).