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Nordstrand DC and preamp - why noise?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FbassDave, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. FbassDave


    May 29, 2005
    South Oz
    I recently replaced the Keen (McKeen) preamp in a bass with Nordstrand dual coils for a Nordstrand 3-band. The Nordstrand pre sounds great: It has a fidelity that the Keen didn't and it's opened up the top end beautifully, but compared to the Keen preamp, the treble band is basically unusable for anything but cut - with the slightest high end boost, it's noisy like a soloed single coil and it gets worse the higher I boost. At 50% boost, it would be completely unusable in a live setting. This experience is unfortunately repeatable, irrespective of audio leads, amps, speaker cabinets, power outlets, venues, days of the week, etc.

    It's on rare occasion that I actually boost treble, but if slapping is called for, I use it this way. I imagined that a Nordy preamp would work with Nordy pickups nicely: Do I have a grounding issue? The noise only occurs when I'm not making contact with the strings. The control cavity is well shielded.

    For what it's worth, when I switch from parallel to series operation, the noise remains but the frequency of the noise is lower. Has anyone else experienced this? What about Nordstrand bass owners? Is this par for the course? Are they just noisy? Any ideas?

  2. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - DR strings - Sadowsky - Genz Benz
    very strange! I have never had similar problems. A little hiss when boost all the way is normal, but not like you describe, which sounds more like some kind of ground issue...

  3. I use Norstrand BIG split and preamp and I have the same issue the treble boost is unusable - Check and rechecked grounding, resoldered everything but cannot get rid of it.
  4. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    Zombie bump.

    I am extremely pissed off right now after running into the same issue and spending HOURS doing the same trouble shooting and to NO RESOLVE the treble is an unusable POS.

    I really hope bestbassgear dot com does refunds because the noise sounds so bad I want to throw my bass in the garbage.
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  6. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Are ya'll sure your the outlet you're using is grounded?
  7. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    My other basses don't do it on the same outlet, and the music repair shop's outlet did the same thing. The repair guy is about 3x my age and said either the pot is bad or the preamp is junk. And I already troubleshot the pot, so it's the pre.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've had the same problem with Audere and Glock preamps, where not even authorized installers could explain or solve the problem. My conclusion is that some preamps are simply incompatible with some pickups---though I cannot explain why, and neither could any tech I took my basses to.
  9. NelsonNelson


    Sep 25, 2011
    It's the weekend so I can't even call or email them...I had the pre installed by a pro, and the only "not new" thing done to it is the ground wire looks like crap now from all the solder he laid on it to test it. Will BBG give me a full refund for something like this?
  10. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - DR strings - Sadowsky - Genz Benz
    I've installed hundreds of both 2 and 3 band Nordstrand preamps and they all been very good, usable and no issue.
    We had few where a cap was wired reversed, but it didn't have that kind of symptoms … very strange!

    Call the shop monday….


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