MTD or Nordstrand

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SummerSoft, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    Which one of these luthiers would you suggest if I want to have a bass built for playing Funk, Soul, R&B, Reggae and even some Hip-Hop?
  2. Both luthiers could build you a bass to accomplish any of those things. The differences between them would lie in more exacting differences.
  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    MTD has something like an 8 month backlog on builds, so if you want something quick an MTD is out of the question unless you want to go used.
  4. Carey is up to about 18 months now so his isn't real speedy either. :D
  5. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    and if time wouldn't be a problem, what would be those "more exacting differences"? something about playability and sound?
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Never played a Nordstrand, but the MTD 535 was one of the best playing basses I ever layed my hands on. It's hard to say which one is better for x, because each company has different models and each model can have different options. All those differences can affect tone and feel.

    I'm sure either company can come up with a bass that will work for the genres you listed. If all you want is a bass that will suit the styles mentioned, all you need is a J bass. But I take it that you want something with fabulous tone, excellent playability, and quality construction otherwise you wouldn't even be considering Nordstrand or MTD.

    IMO, great sound and playability transcends genres. To me it's just a matter of what options are most important to you, and which company can provide them.
  7. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    MTD 535 Is my dream bass :bassist:
  8. mbulmer


    Nov 25, 2002
    Feeding Hills, MA
    I'll throw a vote in for Carey. His instruments are AMAZING nothing against MTD but I totally prefer the Nordstrands. I also believe that Carey is much more flexible that Michael Tobias. I'm pretty sure the MTD's are more of a production instrument and that you can choose some options as opposed to being truly custom.

    Jay from BlueberryHill Basses might be able to get you into one of his existing build slots for Nordstrand which should move things along a little quicker than going directly to Carey, but I still think it'll be quite a wait.
  9. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    If you wanna wait between the two I'd go with Carey due to the great prices and lifetime warranty. Plus he has more custom specs and better tone IMO.

    However IMO you should get an Fbass or Roscoe. ;)
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Two key points to consider include how long you're willing/able to wait and how much of a "customizable" instrument you want, as different builders give different degrees of freedom as to how many different elements of the bass can be customized to your taste.
  11. I have to agree with Seth and Jay. Fbasses and Roscoes you should seriously consider for a funk, RnB, etc. style sound. Fbasses (IMO) accel at getting a more run of te mill slap sound that everyone will recognize, but Roscoes have no shortage in the funk dept.

    If you want something SUPER customized, i'd definately say go with Carey because he seems more willing to do pretty much anything you can think of. If you don't want to wait as long and aren't going for ridiculous customization, MTD will fit the bill.
  12. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    There are a lot of MTD's floating around. Try Bass Central if you dont wanna wait. Theres lots of TB'ers who build excellent basses too and I'm having MY dreambass built at this very moment from one ;) Build time 90 days brotha!!! :bassist: Very competitve prices also. :)
  13. I jsut bought my first MTD bass which is a MTD 635 The reason I bought it is because I wanted a 6 string and Mike's formula for manufacturing basses is exactly wht I like.

    MTD's that I have played (maybe 13 or so) are all snappy,killer slap tone, and a very fast /tight response.In my opinion, this formula makes for a bass that does great in any situation where you need a bass that's snappy. And I think R and B , Funk really does call for a bass that has good spank.The good news is that the EQ on Mike's basses is useable and you can fatten up the sound pretty convincingly if you want the bass to sound rounder and or softer.

    I never played a Nordstrand nor have I tried any of their pickups so I can't say what they are like.They might be really good basses
  14. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    If you want a really Hi Fi sound, go with MTD. Nordstrand is more Foderaish, closer to a vintage sound with a F bass pre-amp. You have more options with Nordie pickups. Carey details are just out of this world. His fingerboard is one of the best out there. If between these 2 luthiers, Carey Nordstrand is my choice.

    My other choice for funk/ R & B is JP bass. Just listen to some of Bastien's sound clips from his site...I'm sold!!! :eek:
    I love my JP basses :smug:
  15. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Play the instruments through a P.A. with a flat EQ & let your ears do the tellin.... I plan a trip to Bass Central to find the best organic tone. I found an Aguilar DB750 to be very uncolored. Its so hard buying without trying... I won't do it (AGAIN)!
  16. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No offense to anyone or their preferences, but I would humbly argue that the question can't really be answered with the certainty some of you guys are suggesting.

    IMHO once you get to a certain level of bass-making skills, you're capable of making an excellent bass that will yield professional-quality results for most any application. Both Michael Tobias and Carey Nordstrand have easily achieved that level. So I doubt that it makes any sense to say *categorically* that either is necessarily superior to the other for any specific application. Either maker can call on an array of materials to tailor the sound to what you want. It's impossible for me to believe that either Tobias or Nordstrand can't make a great funk bass. I think it would be easy to find an MTD that's great for your purposes and a Nordstrand that isn't, and conversely, you could also find a Nordstrand that's great for you and an MTD that's not. There could be "right" and "wrong" Nordstrands for you, and "right" and "wrong" MTDs. It's not like you're talking about most factory models, where the only choice you're likely to get is on the paint job or maybe the fingerboard.

    Now, does this mean it doesn't matter which maker you go with? Not at all! I'm only arguing that the decision can't meaningfully be based on which maker could do a better job with funk/hiphop/whatever, because both could hack a pro-level instrument that could do those things excellently.

    But there are other reasons why one maker might be better for you than another:

    1. Price. If you've got $3000 and one of the two basses you're considering costs $4500, your decision is basically made for you.

    2. Time factor. Are you willing to wait? If not, the person who can get your bass done more quickly is probably the one you'd go with.

    3. Personal preferences in a bass. There are a lot of things that we have preferences about but that don't have anything to do with the actual sound or build quality of a bass. Things like neck contour, body shape, etc. You could have two equally well made, equally great sounding basses, and one might just be more congenial to your preferences. For instance, suppose you just don't like the MTD body style, or suppose, on the other hand, that you've completely fallen in love with the MTD neck shape. Either is a perfectly legitimate reason to go with one builder over the other. Again, though, this really has nothing to do with one bass being "better" than the other for anything, except being better for *you*.

    4. The experience of working with the builder. I hear great things about both of these guys, so it would probably be a good experience either way, but if you were in a situation where one of the makers was a rude jerk who had no flexibility and wouldn't listen to your concerns, and the other was someone who listened to you, was cool to talk to, made proactive (and useful) suggestions, and was flexible, that alone might be reason to choose one over the other. Again, from what I hear, you'd probably be good either way here, but it's not necessarily the case for all makers.
  17. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    what, nobody has said Sadowsky yet? you guys are slippin'! ;)
    actually, i am just following this thread because i find it interesting. I have owned about a half dozen MTD's ( played dozens ) and 2 Nordtrands ( plus i have played about 10 between NAMM and what i have sold )
    I am very familiar with both these basses and STILL can't tell you which will be better or better for you.
    Mike Tobias is a living legend, he will build you a wonderful 35 in scale bass that will feel and sound great. Some tend to have a very hi fi modern tone, but if you choose the right woods , you can get a nice warm sounding bass. Mike T was the person who opened my eyes to the world of custom basses ( thanks a lot , Mike! you have no idea how much it has cost me! ;) )
    Carey Nordstrand will work with you to get your tone, he will build you a flawless bass. Yes , you have more options with pickups and preamps, but this can be dangerous, when we leave these choices strickly to the bassist, because we don't always know what is best for us. I speak from personal experience, i have ordered basses that weren't what i wanted, and i am only to blame. Carey's basses feel like total butter, and he will build you a bass to whatever scale you want. Absolutely gorgeous work. My only suggestion would be, if you want a funk bass and you go with Carey, get a bolt on bass. The set necks are wonderful but somehow more polite than the bolt ons, and funk ain't polite, broman!
    you have chosen 2 of the best luthiers in the game, good luck! peace, A.
  18. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Nordstrand. They can be cheaper than an MTD and you get more of a custom bass.
  19. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Why not look into a bunch of other basses? I'd look at Elricks and Pedullas in addition to the MTD/Nordstrand.