Ok, I'm probably going to be unpopular here, but I gave it my best. I tried several Ibanez basses with the new Norstrand pickups but I just don't see the appeal. To my ears, the Nordstrands are just "loud". It's like taking your amp and diming out all the EQ knobs. The mids are super mids, the lows are just "low-mids" and the highs are just "high-mids". Seems like these pickups are just trying to be in-your-face as much as possible. The Barts, on the other hand, are very subtle and have a warm, punchy tone that is distinct without being in your face. To me, even the MK1 pickups sound better than the US Nordstrand big singles. Maybe I'm crazy, who knows. What do you think?