How Nordstrand NJ5 pickups saved my life
Ok, so maybe I overstated it just a little, but after using them for a while I thought it was time for a review.
First, I have a 2004 Fender Am Dlx J V. Alder body with Maple fingerboard. Stock SCN pickups and preamp. A particularly good example of the model made even better by having Carey Nordstrand reshape the neck. Never had any complaints live or in the studio about this bass. But there was one thing....
I've always been more of a Rosewood board kind of guy and this bass has that canky, 80's kind of upper mids that I was always trying to eq out, as well as eq in a little more low mid-upper bass. Still a very good bass. Carey persuaded me to try some pickups and maybe a new preamp, so I started down "that road".
First we tried just changing the pickups, but none seemed to work well with the Fender preamp. Then we changed preamp with the Fender pickups. Also not too impressed. Then we went with Nordy NJ5fs pickups. These are NJ5's made to fit Fender 5 string basses and are split coil hum cancelling.
BIG DIFFERENCE! Better in just about every way from the stock Fender electronics. Just for kicks I asked Carey if I could check out the NJ5 single coils just to hear the difference. Boom!!!
We're all chasing the "sound in our heads". For me the combination of the Nordy 2 band preamp with passive option and the NJ5's were the thing. And for some reason the canky, Maple board upper mids were gone and replaced with a fat, punchy, articulate tone that I usually only had when doing large venues and big rigs. I now keep most all amps pretty much flat and my "working" bass has become a major love. I even find myself using the bass in passive mode. Sounds great
I'm flat out amazed at the difference the Nordy NJ5's and Nordy preamp have made. They've saved my bass, and by extension, my life.... or at least my sanity.