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NJ4 vs. NJ4SE

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Can anyone give me a good reason to spend the extra buck on the SE model??

    I read from www.bestbassgear.com that the SE's are hum canceling, and use some kind of fine wire called 43 enamel. Is this really worth the extra 80 bucks???

    I just payed a visit to basstasters, and listened to both clips, back to back, and they sound exactly the same to me!!!


  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Both sound like good J pickups on the basstasters site - very similar, yes, but I wouldn't say EXACTLY the same. The NJ4SE does have a slightly more "modern" tone, although the difference certainly isn't huge. That said, I went for the SEs because of the hum-cancelling aspects. I'm very, very happy with the sound I get from the bass with these on, they're worth every penny of what I paid for them.
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yup, you're paying extra for hum-cancelling - each NJ4SE pickup has two in line coils as opposed to the single coils NJ4.
    That makes for extra complexity in the manufacturing process, so you're paying for that too.
  4. Hrothgar

    Hrothgar Guest

    Sep 22, 2003
    Nordstrand describes the NJ4SE as having "a more pronounced low midrange and a slightly muted high-end" than the NJ4. I would've thought that a more modern sound would be brighter. :confused:
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    If you're asking as to whether it's worth it over the price of the NJ4s, it really depends on whether you're talking about the SEs or SVs, I suppose. It also depens on whether you want a true singlecoil or whether you would prefer a hum-canceling jazz pickup. First, the tone of the SE is really only available via the SE set...the extra mids and growl you get form the SEs are somewhat specific to that model. On the other hand, the tone of the NJ4s and the SVs are very similar. The NJ4SV set was designed to be a virtual copy of the NJ4s (a true vintage soundig pickup....very even across the board....with a classic "single coil" sound), except for the fact that the SVs are hum-canceling. Therefore, for those who want a true single coil, they can go for the NJ4s. If you want that same type of tone, but in a hum-canceling pickup, you can go for the NJ4SVs.

    However, it is important to note that a hum-canceling jazz pickup (either split coil or stacked) will NEVER sound EXACTLY like a singlecoil. You can get a virtual match or an extremely close approximation, but you can never duplicate a single coil 100% exactly "dead on" due to the differences in the construction of the pickups. A "true" singlecoil will always have just a slight be more top end glassyness and clarity....what a single coil pickup is famous for. But, many players can't tell the differenct or don't notice the difference, as the pickup itself is such a close approximation of a true singlecoil tone. Futher, many players can live with out that extra few percentage points of inaccuracy when you consider the tremendous benefit you get from a set of pickups that delivery on tone but is voil of any noise or 60 cycle hum issues. Hope that helps. ;)
  6. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Very interesting. i was tossing the idea of getting nordstrands for my fender aerodyne. I don't know much about them, other than they're supposed to be great vintage sounding pups. Anyone have any experience w/ the NPJ4SE P/J set?
  7. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I just sent you a PM with some info and some tips on further research you can do here in the forum to get some additional feedback on the P/J sets. :)
  8. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I'll gladly chime in here, as a have a Pbass deluxe with a NP4, and NJ4SE.

    Since the Aerodyne is a P/J setup, I would recommend the NJ4SE for a bridge pickup. IMHO, why have a split P pickup that won't make noise, but a single coil that will?

    That NP4 btw will give you an amazing amount of usable tones. I just switched from flats to D'addario XL rounds, because I wanted a good do it all bass. (Yeah, I may have joined the minority, but I find I like the sound of rounds better on a P, than a Jbass-but thats another thread)

    Oh, the NJ4SE is also DEAD QUIET!! There was no shielding done on this bass, but that pickup hasn't made any noise ever. Can't say that about the DiMarzio's I have in my J basses, even though I do like them(not as much as my Nordstrands though ;) ) They will still hum sometimes, but in the same places, in the same situation, the NJ4SE never buzzes.

    My Pbass deluxe is my main instrument-my MIM jazz with Ultrajazz pups hardly ever comes out of the case anymore. Without a doubt, and to my ears, the Nordstrands are the best sounding pickups I have ever used. You could not go wrong with a set of these in your bass.

    Thanks for putting me onto these Jay. I never heard of Carey Nordstrand until you mentioned him to me when I was looking to upgrade my P pickups. I'am more than happy to spread the word myself. Some TB'ers like Arthur Poon, and Rayzak I'm sure can attest to how great these are. I love mine :hyper:
  9. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    There he is...I knew ole' Beefbass would be in here when he saw someone asking about Nordstrand P/J pickups! :D ;) Thanks for the compliments, as always, and it's good to hear that you've gotten so much mileage and killer tone from your Nordie P/J set. :)
  10. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001

    You just KNEW I wouldn't be able to resist talking about how great these are! :hyper:
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    This is an excellent summary, and it's important to remember that your perception of a pickup's tone depends on your frame of reference. For example, while my Lindy Fralin Split Jazz hum-canceling pickups might lack some of the high end clarity of Fralin's single coils, they have just as much, if not more, than the stock Fenders. They have greater clarity in the low end for sure, and the lack of 60 cycle hum is a huge plus. So I've only experienced benefits from the switch.

    The point is that, depending on what you're used to, you might find the hum-canceling Nordstrands will enhance the high end clarity on your bass.
  12. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Cool, good to know. JPJ- thanks for the PM. Beefbass, sweet review. Your comments alone have pretty much sold me on these. Like i said, I've heard nothin' but good stuff about them. Seems like evrey one who uses them raves about them.
  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    None of us can. :hyper:

    I am preparing to embark on a P-bass project, and I have already decided on the Nordstrand P/J's. Any bass I own in the future will be equipped with Nordies. That is a foregone conclusion in my mind. Nice to know that another part of my rig is set.

  14. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio
    Do the SE's and SV's have four conductor wiring like the Dimarzio's have?

    I'm looking at these two for my Warwick Corvette Std w/ Bart NTBT preamp. I do alot of funk, rock, and misc styles and hope to still retain the "growl" of the Warwick woods.

  15. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Amen to that!! I completely agree; from now on, it's Nordstrands all the way.

    You're gonna love that Nordie P/J set. The stock Fender pickups were ok, but it's a whole new beast IMHO with the Nordstrands. You see even Nino Valenti is using those in his basses.

    My bass is passive (which I prefer) I can't even imagine how good those must sound when connected to a good preamp :hyper:

    Let us know how your P/J project goes :bassist:
  16. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Glad I could help :hyper:

    When I was looking to possibly upgrade a MIM jazz, I was looking into Antiquity II's, or Fralins (I like vintage tone)

    Jay sent me a PM. I never heard of Carey Nordstrand up till then.

    I decided to upgrade my P/J bass instead, because I'm really a P bass guy at heart. I asked Jay if Carey was building P pickups yet.

    Carey chimed in- seems others were interested in those too, so he got to work. When they were ready to go, Jay PM'd me again.

    HE sold me on those :hyper: He took his time to answer all my questions, both thru email, and finally a phone call. Between that, and the excellent customer service I got, I took the plunge.

    Hey, I couldn't afford a $4500.00 Nordstrand bass. but his pickups made a decent Fender bass into a great sounding instrument. While still not a high end instrument, it improved tonewise in leaps and bounds. I didn't even end up having to change pots, or the capacitor.

    Bottom line; I'm really pleased with these. I'm glad I was able to help a couple of others here at TB when they were looking to make this same desicion. In Arthur Poons case, Carey one offed a NP4 that could take advantage of his S-1 switching!

    Oh, and Blueberryhill bass-#1 in my book :hyper: