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How much 'better' are Barts or Nords than Seymours?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Just a quick question. If I wanted to have a bass built [or build it myself from Warmoth], what advantages are there between Nordstrand or Bartolini pickups/preamp than a set of Seymour Duncan pickups and an Aguilar?

    Thanks. :)

    Oh, all using 3 band eq.
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Trying to start a fist fight? :D

    Seriously, those pickups each have their own individual sound. I won't say that one is better than another. They are simply different and different people like different pickups. The best choice for you will depend on what sound you are hoping to get out of your bass and on the woods and construction of the bass itself.
  3. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    I'd say none of them are "better" but I would say they are all voiced differently for a reason. I would imagine due to Duncans need to sell more pickups than Norstrand or Bartolini, they are probably voiced to a more standard voicing that is more appealling to more people. In that regard, the sound of Barts (dark) and Nords (not enough experience to say) is a kind of speciality sound there for a reason.
  4. Well, let's see, I'd be using it for church and like playing jazz. I would want something with a rich full sound, with good midrange. I guess something like what you'd hear from Jaco or Wooten. The wood would be either Limba [black korina] if building myself [that's going the 'cheap' route], or whatever type of wood Jacob Marchlewski would see fit to go under a spalted maple top [the more expensive route].
  5. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I got tossed some Nordstrands in my Fender missing in action (MIA) five.
    Really good vintage vibe! Smooth and even, made my B re-appear which was MIA*arf arf with the old stock pickups. Barts are deep and warm and full ala bootyful. Less upper midrange I think compared to your alnico exposed pole piece pick ups.
  6. I guess I'm after a FULL sound, one that can be tweaked to have a lot of different tone possibilities. I would want the passive/active push pull pot, rich deap bass, good highs, and plenty of mid boost. It will be a 6 string bass.

    As I said in an above post, I can either go the cheap route, or the more expensive route. That means either going with the Seymour Duncans in a Warmoth Gecko 6 with the Black Korina body with Wenge neck and fingerboard, . . . . . . or let a professional build me one, ala Marchlewski, who would either use Nordstrand or Bartolini. Really, Jacob's price wouldn't be too much for me, just thought if I could get away with a grand less [with Warmoth] I may very well do so, but I really do want an above average sounding bass.
  7. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    I've played EMG's, Barts, and Seymours, but my favorites are my Aero Type I's (we don't see these, by the way.) I've heard the Seymour Antiquities and Fralins are quite nice, too.

    I think it just comes down to flavor and personal preference. If you want zingy in-your-face highs, nothing beats EMG's. If you want buttery smooth mids and fingerstyle warmth, Bart makes a lot of nice stuff. And so on and so on...
  8. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Barts are a bizillionjillionkathousand (plus infinity) times better then anything else. Including: long walks on the beach, puppies, kittens, good wine, making out with a good looking woman, and kicking your arch nemesis in the face.

    They have more gravitational pull/heat outsource, pretty colors, and poems written about them then the sun does. They can cure cancer, give everyone a job, and elect an efficient congress. Like electricity, they posses powers of magic that are beyond our control and understanding.

    Years from now we'll have reality TV shows and documentaries about Barts bass pick ups, the people that play them, and how much they are better then everything else in this world (see first paragraph). Japan already has several animated series about specially trained people that are licensed by the government to use Barts pick ups for the powers of good.

    One day... Many thousands of billions of years in the future, long after our civilizations have turned to dust, and the dust has turned into smaller dust, and then that dust has turned into microscopic dust, Aliens will find our Bart bass pick ups and know that we were totally awesome- they'll will create their own Bart pick ups and the cycle of outstanding pick ups that are a Kazillion times better then any thing else we have ever known (see first paragraph) will continue.
  9. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland

    I think this is the most honest, unbiased and acccurate statement I've ever read on the internet... :D
  10. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Definitely post of the week.
  11. DSB

    DSB Builder: Seger Basses

    Mar 11, 2005
    Bangor, Maine
    In my experience Bartolinis are very transparent and really let the natural sound of the bass come through. They are definately my 1st choice in pickups. The SDs I've tried I didn't really care for...they colored the sound a little more and seemed to scoop out the mids a bit. Not a bad sound, really hifi, but just not what I like to hear in the instruments I build.

    As for the Nordstrands, I have heard many good things about them and wish to try some out soon.
  12. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Barts can be transparent, but some of their default windings aren't. For example, their 9J#1 Jazz pickups have a muted high end. Doesn't mean it's a bad sound, but not transparent.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I don't think Rob Elrick uses custom Barts in his basses and "dark" would be on the other end of the spectrum as far as describing the Elrick sound IMO ;)

    I like Barts because they sound like the basses I have them in, amplified... meaning if I play my bass unamplified and then bring the volume up through my amp, it's the same, only louder.

    They seem to let the basses sound like they sound, for better or worse. My favorite pickups.
  14. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    I love both barts and Nordies... all my current basses (except the Cirrus) have one or the other in it. For the church/jazz you are playing, with the three band eq (I assume OBP-3) I would go with the Barts. The Nords would sound awesome as well, just a little less "round" in overall eq with a vintage flavor to them. I think either would be a great choice and you won't be dissapointed. If you are on a budget, buy the Bart 9js - and if you dont like them, sell em and get the Nord NJSE's.
  15. For the first time in my life, I can say the following [blessed with the perfect girl as my wife, and all that comes with her]: Budget won't really be an issue. I think I'll go with Bartolini soapbars with whatever preamp works well with them whether Aguilar or Bartolini, but will be going 3 band eq and a push/pull passive/active switch pot.

    Now I just have to decide what instrument to put them into. And that's being discussed in the bass forum, so I won't continue the line of thought here. :)
  16. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    SDs come in a vareitly of sounds too. There are the Basslines, and then they make custom wound pups. I believe they are very close to the ones Fodera used to use? Those sound fantastic. Not that others don't, point being that within each of the camps there is quite a bit of variety as well.
  17. if you're gonna get some seymours, try them out first, over the last couple of years i tried out 3 different models of seymour duncan j pickups, i wasnt impressed with any. i eventually found a 20+ yea old schaller double j humbucker for the bridge position and a peavey double j humbucker for the neck position. I gotta say the schaller is a real nice pickup, its like two j humbuckers put together (its 4 coils). anyway, the best j's i have ever had were (and still are) bartolinis. I tried a dimarzio bridge j humbucker, i liked that a lot too, but barts were a step up still.
  18. mahrous


    Aug 13, 2005
    just a quick piece of information

    Seymour Duncan rewound Jaco Pastorious' pups back in the 70s for him.

    they were the standard Jazz Single Coils but Duncan rewound them.
  19. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I don't think there is a Bart or SD sound. Both those companies have such a wide variety of choices I don't see how one can be their sound.

    And to completely contradict myself I do find Barts to not be edgy and harsh.

    You mentioned Bart soapbars which could be single, double, split, quad or triple coils in bright or dark versions and a number of series parallel & other wiring options. If you splurge on the Bart quad or triple coils you have the options of soldering up many new pickup tones when the urge hits.
  20. brooklynbassguy

    brooklynbassguy Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    maplewood, nj, usa
    I start a project bass with a seymour duncan mm, and found it just too noisy, despite shielding. I switched to a bart, and have quietly happy. It is a different sound but good.Definitely less highs, but more mids.