Aguilar DBC versus Nordstrand Big Splits. Any recommendations?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by drdog, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Can anybody give me any idea on what to expect for sound differences between the Aguilar DBC pickups verses Nordstrand Big splits pickups?
    For example,
    1. Which one will be more "clean" and articulate, meaning which one will be cleaner distinction from one note to the next when playing the bass?
    2. Does one or the other have a closer match to the classic jazz bass type of sound, or are they both more like a precision bass sound? Does one or the other have more I have a single coil sound?

    I cannot seem to find anywhere on the web a direct comparison between these two pickups in the same video. And you can't really compare one video to the next because they could be completely different EQ settings

    I would like to have one with deep growl to my bass... but with lots of definition but does not get too muddy.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    They are two totally different designs. The Aguilars are dual coil humbuckers and the Big Splits are split coil.

    Big Splits will be more like a Jazz...brighter, thinner, mid scooped.
    Aguilar DCB's will be more powerful, thicker, and with more mids.

    I wouldn't call either one muddy, and both are very articulate.
    4StringTheorist and ctmullins like this.
  3. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    I second everything mmbongo said above. A split coil humbucker is going to be awfully closer sounding to a single coil than a dual coil humbucker will be. I have no direct experience with the Nordstrand Big Splits, but I owned a set of their NJ4SV split coil humbuckers for the better part of a decade, and I own a set of Aguilar DCBs now, so I'm close enough to talk in generalities.

    All commentary below is me comparing the Aggie DCBs to the Nordie NJ4SVs, with the understanding that the latter is at least within spitting distance of the Big Splits.

    To me, this is more about the player's technique, both in terms of plucking and muting. Also, not over-boosting the lows on the amp. I wouldn't give either of them an edge here. The Aguilar dual coils and the Nordstrand split coils are both as clean and articulate as you like. This may or may not be due to the fact that my speaker cab is an Audiokinesis ThunderChild v1 though.

    The Nordstrand NJ4SVs were billed as the closest Carey and company could get to making a Jazz Bass single coil sound from a split coil humbucker. I always felt like the did a bang up job! So I'd say that the Big Splits will be, similarly, a very close approximation of the Big Single "jazz bass on steroids" tone. If you're wanting something in the vein of a single coil / Jazz Bass tone, the Big Splits are your way to go. The Aguilar DCBs are another beast.

    I can get a nice faux P sound from the neck DCB and a lil bit of EQing.

    Based on that definition alone I'd say either would be a great choice. But with your #2 question being about copping a Jazz single coil sound, I'm going to say that the Big Splits are more looking like your thing.
    NKBassman and Sweet Willie like this.
  4. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine

    This. Not much to add, as this description pretty much nails it, IME.
    4StringTheorist likes this.
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