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Flexcore Preamp w/ Nordy DC's

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dkbg4real, Jun 29, 2012.


  1. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    Here's my first post regarding a Mod I did with a Lakland 5501 Skyline.

    I can't say enough about Mike Pope Flexcore Preamps. I matched the preamp up with Nordstrand DC pickups. This combination is wonderful ...
    I really can get all types of tones for any style of music ... I love recording with this thing ... I'm just in love!!!

    I had to do some modifications that required a "no turning back" mindset. Worked on the knob & switch layout, did some additional drilling in the preamp cavity.
    Had the knobs made but not that crazy about 'em ... may be changing those knobs down the line.

    You certainly don't have to agree with my choice of Preamp & Pickups, just wanted to share this experience with the Flexcore Pre.

    Thanks :bassist:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    that looks great! Would love to hear how it sounds (very interested on Mike's pre)…

    M
     
  3. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Did you perchance get the dual coils wired in series?


    I have a Flexcore too and it is by far the best preamp I've ever had and I've been wanting to pair with a set of dual coils in series, but it seems I'm the only one that has any urge to try the pickups wired that way.


    Michael
     
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  4. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    Phishaholik, I don't think you're the only one ... I actually bought my DC5's in Series.
    Sadly, I don't have anyway of comparing a Parallel setup. I just took the chance and went Series.
    I'm beginning to hear statements regarding addition things I can have done to this bass because of Series Mode (not sure how true). But, I'd have to take it over to my friend who is a Luthier and explore the possibilities.
    Right now I love the way this thing sounds, thus I haven't gone to the Luthier yet.

    Flexcore is no joke!!!
     
  5. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    Once I figure out how to do these sound clips I will put 'em up.

    I love Nordy's stuff (would even love to have one of their basses one day). Next best thing was some pickups. LOL

    Mike's Flexcore Pre really does cover the entire spectrum of desired frequencies. You can't go wrong!!!

    :bassist:
     
  6. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    can you elaborate? I might be able to answer to these questions

    M
     
  7. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    I think I might be getting things mixed up, the tech part of this is clearly not my street.

    I may be mixing up possibility differences between Parallel and Series, but I do know I have Series Humbuckers and with the coil tap switch I can use single coils or dual coils.

    I wanted to find out about being able to use the front single coil on the neck pickup while using the back single coil on the bridge pickup ... which gives you 4 possible coil choices.

    1
    Neck - front coil
    Bridge - front coil

    2
    Neck - front coil
    Bridge - back coil

    3
    Neck - back coil
    Bridge - front coil

    4
    Neck - back coil
    Bridge - back coil

    But like I said ... I'm not sure if that's possible with Series or Parallel, I just thought I'd explore the possibilities.

    Thanks :bassist:
     
  8. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    the difference between series and parallel is in the winding on the coils:

    -from our website-

    << These pickups are available in two different versions. One set is designed to be wired in parallel, and the other in series. The reason we do this is that a pickup that is made to sound good wired parallel will usually be too hot and dark sounding if wires in series. So, we put less wire on a series dual coil than a parallel dual coil. In general, a pickup wired in series will have a fuller and fatter midrange with a subdued high end than a pickup wired in parallel, which will typically have more highs and a deeper low end with a cleaner midrange. Series pickups also have more output than parallel pickups. Parallel pickups are generally a better choice for a split-able installation, as there will not be the gain loss associated with series pickups >>


    The way you can wire them is the same (structurally are the same.

    Hope this make sense (?)

    M
     
  9. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    the problem here when using both front and respectively back coils, they are not hum-canceling.

    Humcan you can have:

    neck front
    bridge back

    or

    neck back
    bridge front

    M
     
  10. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    Making sense ...

    I can say that I currently get ...
    neck back
    bridge back
    whenever I use the coil tap switch
     
  11. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    something is wrong there…


    M
     
  12. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    WOW! I almost don't want it to be right, sounds so good!
    I'll have it checked out though ...

    Thanks :bassist:
     
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have Nordstrand dual-coils in my LeCompte VB5, but with an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. They are the parallel-wound pickups, but can be switched between parallel, series and single-coil. There is a noticeable difference in sound between the configurations, especially in single-coil, but they kill no matter what configuration they're in.

    In my Lakland 55-94, I have Nordstrand dual-coil J and quad-coil MM pickups with the FlexCore preamp. Yum.
     
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    To put it a better way, you need a North and a South coil to hum cancel.

    So, if the pickups are arranged as:

    N
    S

    N
    S

    You can see how you can use the two outside coils or the two inside coils and they will hum cancel.

    It's easy to wire the switches so that you get the two outside coils. It won't sound all that different but it will hum cancel.

    Also, while I'm not Nord, just to explain the series/parallel wound thing; when a pickup is wound to be wired in series, the coils are wound to work in series, so let's say each coil is 4k. In series that's 8k. If you split that pickup to single coil, it won't be the same as a single coil wound to 8k, and might sound a little thin.

    So if you wind the pickup so each coil is now 8k, and wire them in parallel, you get 4k, which will sound clearer than in series (16k) and when you split a coil you will have a fuller tone because it's 8k.
     
  15. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio

    Thanks for the clarity ... really making sense. Might you be interested in handling this for me, in case my Luthier is backed up with repairs & orders? Bloomfield NJ is but a hop jump away.

    :bassist:
     
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Sure, I do a full range of repairs and mods.
     
  17. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    WOW!!! I would love to hear some sound clips!!!

    The Flexcore Pre's are a no brainer, I'm wondering about the Aguilar OBP-3 Pre's ...
    which I almost bought instead of the Flexcore.

    Would you recommend the Aguilar?

    :bassist:
     
  18. thehess

    thehess

    Jun 15, 2011
    If I wasn't looking right at my own modded 55-01, and yours didn't have a ramp, I would have thought that was a pic of mine! Exact same mod - Nordy DC + FlexCore.
    (and I love the ramp...I'm considering heading off to the workshop to make one for mine...)

    bursts.

    FYI - My layout is Volume (pull for passive), Passive Tone, Blend, Stacked Low- and Hi-Mid, Stacked Treble and Bass.

    I actually wired three way, DPDT switches for each pickup. The only thing I screwed up was that I didn't bridge each side of the switch, so I actually lost the dual coil mode of each single pickup, and got in return mute switches! That means I can easily switch on either of the single coils in either pickup (nice SC jazz tones with the different positions), OR have 4 paired combinations, two of with are hum canceling (as discussed above). With this setup, I rarely use the pan pot. If I wasn't so used to having the "mute" option, I might go back in and fix the wiring, which would add two more fully hum-canceled options, and would then make the pan pot a little more useful.

    Mike's preamp is excellent.

    If I ever go for a custom Fodera, this bass will be the reference point that I use.
     
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have the Aguilar in the LeCompte and in my Drozd. It's a great preamp and I wouldn't want to swap it for a FlexCore. However, the FlexCore is the ultimate in versatility and I like it maybe just a skosh more.

    Here's the Lecompte in a scratch recording from the garage.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  20. dkbg4real

    dkbg4real

    Aug 26, 2009
    In the Studio
    I'm dig'in your modded 55-01, you have to tell me ... what are DPDT switches?
    Did you use Parallel or Series pickups?
    I'm turned on by the idea of having all those options with the coils. Great mod you did there.
    The fact that you would use that bass as a reference for a custom Fodera ... says a whole lot!!!!

    The ramp I made myself using Gary Willis's youtube vid ...

    have fun ...
    :bassist:
     

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