MM p'up with humfree single-coil mode?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by klocwerk, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    As far as I have been able to determine, the only MM style p'up that's humless when running single-coil is the Nordstrand MM4.3

    Someone please prove me wrong!
    Do I really only have one option for this pickup? :crying:

    edit: looks like the Bartolini MME will work too:
    costs nearly as much though... :(

    another: EMG MMTW
    looking up pricing... list $143. Ouch. comes with pre-wired pots and tone controls though.

    Another: Seymour Duncan SMB-4a 3-coil
    Direct drop-in for stingrays, would be very weak passive.
    "For use with stock Music Man® pre-amp"
  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    If the Nordie was your only option I don't know why you're crying! Nice gear. But really there is no such thing as a single coil that is noiseless.

    The Nordie has a dummy coil that acts to cancel hum without acting as a pickup. This is not uncommon. It also isn't a true single coil. With single coil pickups all you can do is shield the bass as well as possible and then hope for the best.
  3. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    because the Nordie's gonna run me $130 and this is supposed to be a cheap frankenbass project! :D

    yeah, I know how it works, and that it's not a true single-coil, but the tone is apparently pretty close to a true single. On my fender jazz, the hum drives me absolutely nuts when i have it on one p'up so I figured I'd fix that problem when I built this bass. I didn't realize that it would be such a rare thing in a MM.
  4. the sound you get from a normal 2-coil humbucking MM style pickup in parallel mode is only slightly less agressive IMO than a humbucker wired in Parallel.

    So if you want to save some money on your frankenbass project, just go for a decent reasonably-priced MM (I hear the carvin MM's sound pretty decent) and just run it in parallel/series mode. That way, it will be hum-cancelling in both modes and you'll still get a decent amount of tonal variety.

    either that, or take your chances with the single-coil mode.

    I'd put it in (doesn't require any extra wiring, just a different switch type), and you may find that it's suitably quiet when cutting through live gig situations (that's what you'd want it for, anyway).

    Save your money on the Nordie MM4.3 for now.
  5. I've just installed one in a friend's passive bass with an SD Jazz Stack and have the 5 string version in two of my basses, one passive, one active with bypass, in both cases with a Fender Jazz Noiseless. It's noticeably hotter than the SD Jazz Stack, so much so that I put a resistor in series with it so that with the blend control in the central position it doesn't swamp the Jazz. As for the Fender Jazz Noiseless, the SMB is still a bit hotter. No problem at all to use it in passive mode.

    Besides the tone is simply gorgeous, very Stingray but a tad less agressive, more "refined" and "tactile" (can't find better words).
  6. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    awesome, very good to know. That may move to the top of my list, I'll have to check pricing on it.

    was it the 3-coil? They use the same part number for the 3 coil and the 2 coil. :rollno: I'm only interested in the 3 coil.
  7. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    The thing is that something about our practice space causes some killer 60hz hum and it drives me NUTS with single-coil pickups. (I have suspicions about the quality of the electrical wiring personally.) My guitarists dont' seem to care as much for some reason. bleh.
    I really need something with hum canceling for my peace of mind/ears.
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    You could also go with a Nordstrand MM4.2 or MM4.4, depending on what you're looking for. The 4.3 and 5.3 were specifically designed to replicate the design of the pickup that comes in the Sterline and the EBMM 5-string. But, the 4.2 and 4.4 would certainly be able to take care of your 60 cycle problem.....but they're not going to be 1/3 the cost.
  9. don't run in single coil mode in your practice space...problem solved...

    why do you have to spend an extra $60 to have an option that you probably won't need anyway? (Give me $50 and I'll tell you the answer to that one ;) )
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That's what I thought, too. When I read the thread title I was like - what?
  11. Mika

    Mika Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Bartolini makes a quad-coil MM pickup. You can get them at:

    The model number is MM42CBJD3.
  12. Oops, no, it's the 2 coil one. But I guess the 3 coil would have about the same output level? I'd drop Seymour Duncan a line, they've always answered quickly when I've sent them technical questions.
  13. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    thanks, will do.
  14. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    I saw one of the Duncan "Custom shop" 3 coil MM pickups on eBay selling for $180.
  15. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA