Bart MK5 vs. Delano Driver vs. Nordstrand

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by foothilla, May 27, 2017.

  1. foothilla


    Aug 21, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Hi everyone,

    I am looking to upgrade the MK1's in my Lakland 55-01. It looks like the Bart MK5's, the Delano Drivers, and the Nordstrands are my best stock route replacement options.

    Can anyone with direct experience with these pickups offer any opinions on direct comparisons? I don't have experience with any of these models.


    NOTE: I am replacing the stock MK1 preamp with a Delano Sonar 3 preamp.
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  2. The Mk1's are a split coil design where the Mk5's are full dual coil. They sound great, but they also sound different. This bass has the Mk6 pickups (same coils just made for 6 string) he goes through single coil mode, parallel and series to give an idea on the tone.
    foothilla likes this.
  3. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    What sort of tone are you after. Nordstrand makes a lot of pickups which can fit in that shape.

    Delano makes nice stuff. But they are super expensive. I think Nordstrand's dual blade neo would be near enough to Delano tone, for less money.
  4. foothilla


    Aug 21, 2016
    Los Angeles

    I can get the Bart's for $190, the Nords for $260, and the Delanos for $300. So the difference in price between the Nords and the Delanos is not really a big deal. But, the difference in price between the Barts and the Delanos is pretty substantial.

    The tone that I am going for is a hifi, Victor Wooten kind of tone. Truthfully, the clips I've heard of the Nords didn't impress me. Most clips of Nordstrands I have heard were extremely forward in the mids, almost abrasively so (to my ears). So, I am leaning towards the Barts or Delanos,....unless someone points me towards a smoother, more balanced set of Nords (they make so many models, that I am sure I haven't heard good representations of them all).

    Also of note, I just bought a Delano Sonar 3 preamp to replace the stock MK1 preamp (which is a laughably bad preamp, IMO). I have no experience with Delano preamps, but I love German made anything, and it was only $129 for a 3 band preamp - so I figured I will give it a shot. If anyone has any experience with Delano preamps, would love to hear of your experiences with them as well.
    MichaelT likes this.
  5. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    Delano Driver? Is that a new one for them?
  6. sprag


    Sep 15, 2011
    Melb Australia
    Must be. I can only find it in the 5 string section of SBC series, but the description hasn't been updated apart from coming in dual or quad coil
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  8. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I haven't heard them with the Aggie preamp yet but they sounded amazing with the US Bart preamp that was currently in it.
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  10. foothilla


    Aug 21, 2016
    Los Angeles
    I went with the Bart MK5's, with the Delano Sonar 3 band preamp. I will report back on how it sounds, if anyone is interested. I paid $190 for the Barts, and $130 for the Delano preamp. So, the whole pickup/preamp upgrade only set me back $320.

    Incidentally, to those that asked, the Delano Driver is just a version of Delano's soapbar pickup. I believe the "driver" designation is just their designation for their P2 size pickups.
    sprag and 4StringTheorist like this.
  11. Eugene.thomas87


    Nov 20, 2008
    Do you have any vids of the bass with the mods done?
  12. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    Yeah the "Driver" is just the size and shape of their SBC pickup.

    You can go with dual or quad coils in the SBC driver size.

    Its a little confusing because they also do SBC-E pickups but those are the same as the others, just EMG size and shape.