Are Nordstrands really worth it?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Simon Langley, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
    As an experiment and because of all the hype and talk I bought an SX J-Bass so I could try out the Audere preamp. Fell in love with it so much I decided to build a better bass around it.

    Ended up with a 70's style J made with mostly Fender parts. Some of you have probably seen it in another thread. Anyway I was considering putting Nordtrand pickups in it but because of the cost and in trying to keep with a Fender theme I went with Fender vintage noiseless pickups instead.

    I like the Fenders fine but continue to hear nothing but good things about the Nords and how much they are worth the extra money. My questions are these:

    *Are they really worth it?
    *Will I really notice an improvement over the Fender pickups?
    *Does it even matter when paired with the Audere preamp?
  2. Answered in red...

  3. dean82


    Aug 14, 2007
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Double Yes

    Nordstrand's are not hype, they are that good. They really work well with preamps as well. The two that I have experience with is Sadowsky and Audere. If you like your current sound now, wait until you try some Nords in there.
  4. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I have an NP4 in my P-bass that I just bought. Man...that with passive electronics, it sounds awesome.

    This is making me kinda GAS for the nordy jazz pups...
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I just replaced my Fender Highway One Precision pickups with Nordstrand NP4's and the difference is night and day. The tonal spectrum and from string to string and across the fret board is much more balanced. The tone is much clearer as well.

    Definitely go for it. As for the Audere, I can't comment. I'm not familiar.
  6. Hyssar


    Jun 23, 2008
    Of course, they're worth it, but it's maybe not the sound you are looking for.

    Listen to the sound clips of the following pickups (they all sound metallic because of the DR Hi-Beam strings, but there's still a big difference between each pickup) recorded by David Wilson with a Geddy Lee Jazz Bass :

    Dimarzio J
    Dimarzio Ultra Jazz
    EMG JV
    Nord 4JSE
    Aero single coil
    Sadowsky hum cancelling
    Bartolini 9J
    Bartolini 9 Classic Bass
    SD Antiquity II single coil
  7. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    needmoney and dean82's posts have me antsy to get these NJ4SVs on my bass. Just waiting for that Audere to get delivered now...

    *starts singing "Anticipation"* ;)
  8. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
    Wow! Thanks for the sound samples. That must have taken quit some time not to mention dollars to put together. Very helpful though. From your samples it sounds like the Nords are exactly what I am looking for tone wise. Big bottom, very evenly balanced across all strings and a smooth high end. Perfect. Thanks again.
  9. Robert Sjea

    Robert Sjea Guest

    Mar 19, 2008
    I can't believe how good my bass with the NP4 sounds. I was skeptical but it makes a huge difference.
    robert sjea
  10. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Another NP4 lover here!
  11. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Nordstands are amazing...
  12. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    YES Big Singles user.
  13. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    And now you can pair them with a Nordstrand preamp too ...
  14. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I've got a set of NJ4s in one of my jazzes and they are they are really nice. My problem is that I shouldn't have listened to the clip of the Type 1 Aeros. Now I want a set for my Highway One.

  15. 1) Yes... but no more than Seymour, Aero, etc. Very nice pickups with their own tone profile that many like.

    2) You will notice a difference (a bit warmer, a bit smoother, a bit fatter, a bit less aggressive than what most consider a classic Fender tone). If you like the difference, you will hear it as an improvement:smug:

    3) The Audere is pretty subtle and will not 'cover up' the tone of a given pickup, so IMO that's a moot point.
  16. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    So do you think the NJ4s wouldn't acheive a pre-CBS early '60s Jazz Bass tone? I'm considering replacing my Fender CS '60s pickups because of the raised pole pieces (annoying to me) and unbalanced string volume, but I don't want to deviate from that tone.
  17. I'm not really an expert on the pre CBS vintage tone, since that's not particularly my thing. I've played a few basses with the NJ4's now, and they don't sound particularly 'Fenderish' to me, due to the smooth, warm, mid present tone. However, that could just be my bias towards the more grindy single coil tone that is more associated with, for lack of a better term, 70's J type tone.

    They sounded darn good though, very warm and smooth, with lot's of mid definition. I'll let the 60's experts handle this one though.
  18. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Yeah I know you are a '70s J guy, no problem.

    That's funny, I think of the early '60s Fender tone as smooth, warm and mid present, but tone is so subjective. I'm not particularly into a grindy/aggressive/sizzly/bright J tone, which is why I like the early '60s alder/rosewood combo. Great example of this tone here: But don't get me wrong, my favorite sound is still a passive Jazz with singles, just not a super grindy one. To me a passive Jazz with singles is perfect:D Thanks!
  19. brandau


    Jan 30, 2008
  20. ac11367


    Apr 26, 2007
    Flushing, NY
    I have a set of NJ4's for my Lakland Skyline DJ4 and MM5.4 for my Skyline 5502. One thing that really sticks out about the Nords is articulation and clarity, while still maintaining ballsiness.