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nordstrand 70's style 5 review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by narud, Oct 9, 2009.


  1. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    so i just got through spending a good amount of time with this bass at the shop today
    199_sale.

    the quick and dirty of it-its legit. there arent really any out there for people to check out yet, but this is one set up thats needs to be checked out.

    first off, and most important, is tone. this thing has the right voice in the electronics. if you dont dig carey's sig pickups, dont let that deter you. i a/b'd this with the same bass but with big singles, and this bass with the 70's wind singles sounds like a fender. i finally get what carey's talking about with the big singles but thats another story. i greatly preferred the sound of the normal single coils. they work with his 2 band pre really, really well. very natural and not overly active sounding. the big single bass sounded more stereotypically active. bigger and wider.

    playability is next. ill preface this with im a fan of narrower spacing these days, but for normal spaced 5'ers, this thing is perfect. the lower register of the neck feels a little more substantial and rounded than the previous neck and feels like your playing a jazz bass. any complaints about previous designs are solved in this 34" scale bass. the back of the neck does flatten out some in the upper register, but doesnt have that non fender style feel. makes upper register geeking pretty easy. the new compound radius also feels much more at home than the flatter board thats on the 34.5" basses.

    the build quality was also absolutely perfect. the blocks/ binding was crisp and clean. the fretwork was perfect, as well as the setup. the worksmanship in this bass was better than what ive seen in a lot of different stuff. i was extremely impressed.

    what he's done here is pretty admirable. 1 piece neck like an old fender. pickups and preamp completely made in house. and sound. for my personal tastes, id want it a little heavier, but this bass would be perfect for the majority of folks wanting this style of bass.

    ive done a good amount of posting here about wanting a legit 5 string 70's style jazz and i think carey has just gotten closer than anyone else at this point. ive also posted my dis-satisfaction about certain aspects of his nordy's and other boutique j makers' basses here so im not one to go gushing about stuff. hell, i usually get crap from the fanboys of different builders, but imo, the other side needs to be heard as well. i really think what hes done here deserves some serious attention and would recommend this instrument to anyone.
     
  2. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Fantastic review- Carey is really hitting the mark these days. -Yeah!
     
  3. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    fwiw, the 70's style fives ive spent time with are various alleva coppolo's, 2 F bass vf5's, and my old hotwire funky 77 5 string. all of these were ash/maple, 70's spaced. ive played atelier z's, but they were 60's spaced so im not counting them in this.
     
  4. sps500

    sps500 In Memoriam

    May 19, 2008
    FWIW that bass looks KILLER!!!!
     
  5. Urian

    Urian

    Mar 28, 2006
    Plano, TX
    narud,

    I know (I should call Nordstrand), but do you have any idea what these basses are going for?

    Also, how do these compare in sound to an Alleva-Copollo (LM - swamp ash/maple/70's sc)?

    Thanks in advance,

    U
     
  6. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    this ones for sale on his website for 3100. this is the first positive review ive posted about any bass on talkbass in years. i usually talk **** about things i dont like about basses (carey's and jimmy's included) so for me to put this out there, it has to be killing. so comparisons? i think this bass is money better spent. if you search my posts, ive commented heavily on the a'c's already in threads, so my opinion on the tone is summed up pretty well over there.

    he really got it right on this for fender guys. i can really appreciate what hes doing with the 34.5" scale basses with the sig pickups, because thats his unique stamp and spin an on oversaturated market. that incarnation just doesnt work for me though. others absolutely love it. this bass was executed so well though that even though it doesnt offer anything "new" other than the 1 piece neck, its still unique for what it does. i really think its doing something that no one else is. im sure a 34" scale 60's style with singles would come off just as impressive.
     
  7. Urian

    Urian

    Mar 28, 2006
    Plano, TX
    Awesome.

    And yeah, I am familiar with your stance on the Alleva's, your general tone goals, and your ear for single coil pickups, that's why it shocked me when you actually sang this bass praises - came straight out of left field.

    That is also why I felt comfortable enough to ask the questions I did so bluntly (questions most would prefer to PM you about).

    Thanks for the response.

    U

    P.S.

    Killer tracks on your site. Just KILLER.
     
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    well, when something really stands out, i gotta say something. i dont partake much in the gushing and lovefests that tend to occur in a lot of these club threads. jimmy's pre was one of the last things i really felt was worth of some serious praise.

    thanks for listening man. after 2 and half years of playing disco 2 nights a week, every week, im finally starting to try and get something moving with my own stuff again. i just have to actually stick to it this time:D
     
  9. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    that is very tight, Orale meng! :bassist: Te vientas.

    Lucky Charms was badazz. Hell I'm still playing disco/soul 2-3 times a week.

    Must.....progress....soon... or will shrivel up n die. I just picked up a Boss RC2 to jam on and try to get out of a rut. We'll see que pasa, its a start.
     
  10. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    thanks man. and as much as i appreciate comments on the music, im going to bump this up because this is a bass that shouldnt be slept on.
     
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    So it's got the skunk stripe on the back?
     
  12. It does.

    Looks like a nice bass. (Edit: full 19mm spacing at bridge... cool) I sure do like the overall spec, the more Fendery neck profile, and the '70's wound' pickups sound like they would be something I would like, versus the other Nordstrand pickups that haven't really spoken to me.
     
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    fwiw, i spent the day earlier at jimmys shop playing a bunch of basses and my right hand didnt notice a difference. i dont know the exact measurements though.
     
  14. Sounds like a fun day! I think it might be the full 19mm. Cool! I thought I remembered my Nordy having tighter spacing at the bridge, but the site says 19mm. Excellent.
     
  15. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    well i had to take my wife to a regional meeting for the company she works for, so it was either two days of bass or hotel room and soap operas. i got back in time from jimmy's though to watch as the world turns:bassist:
     
  16. Bonus! A FULL day!

    Again, nice review, and I know how exacting you are regarding that era of instrument. I bet that bass is killer!
     
  17. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Thanks Narud,
    nice review and nice meeting you.

    tech talk:

    standard spacing on Nordies is 19mm

    M
     
  18. Excellent!
     
  19. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    youve seen my posts. i generally find faults in stuff before getting complimentary. the fodera, nordy, and coppolo "club" threads have seen that.

    i just really think this deserves some attention because its that good. it was easily the best built bass from top to bottom that i played over my two day bass fest.

    it was also really enlightening to hear the same bass but with big singles. the difference was very clear. bigger, wider, cleaner and prettier sounding. i can see the appeal to some players, but they dont really do it for me in the same way cleaner hum cancelling pickups dont do it for me either.

    imo, if you want a 34" fender style 5, this is the route to go in boutique land.

    from my own back-seat marketing view, i think it would be cool if there were two lines. the nordy "classic" or whatever that was 34" scale and singles only and the nordy that he originally developed with the 34.5" scale, sig pickups and more modern neck. it might help differentiate the difference between the two basses since i know theres guys out there who are fender fans who arent going to even consider this because of past experience. on the other hand theres players that really dig what the nordy was already. seperate the two and maybe prevent some of that, "nordy's arent for trad fender guys" thing.
     
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    ...which is why I read your posts with particular interest. Even if we disagree, at least I know I can count on you not to pull punches on gear opinions. That's a good thing, IMHO.

    I agree on this one tho... I haven't played one with this spec, but one with a somewhat similar spec. It was the all natural VJ5 from the last NAMM that went (as I recall) to Italy. It was the 70's wind (same pickups as this bass), but in the 60's position, and it also had the one piece neck and 34" scale (tho no blocks/binding), and an ash body. It also had the Nordstrand preamp (tho I think that one might have been 3-band... can't recall). DAMN that thing was killer. I hate to say it, but as great of an instrument as my VJ5 was, that bass toasted it easily.
     

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