Nordstrand and emg pre: or switch pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PeaveyPlayer, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I have a Yamaha rbx 760a, i put jazz bars by nordstrand and an emg bts preamp but I found the top end to be harsh along with cobalt strings

    I will switch to blue steel nickels but I'm looking for a darker tone for reggae, should I switch to dual coils? Barts?
  2. sprag


    Sep 15, 2011
    Melb Australia
    Different bass so take this with a grain of salt...

    I get a really nice fat dark dub tone with my neck pickup (Bart deep tone) 0.1 uf tone cap rolled all the way down and flats. I have a .66 uf cap in the bass that I can switch to and it sounds completely different.

    It will be MUCH cheaper playing with tone cap values before shopping for new pickups... And it may just yield the sound you're after
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    For sure, try the cheaper options before spending on pickups.

    The BTS is quite neutral when both knobs are centered; it doesn't really add anything until you turn knobs. So you're basically finding that your bass/pickups/strings combination has a harsher top end than you'd like.

    I always recommend trying a few sets of strings on any bass; don't get stuck on your "favorite strings" or even your "favorite brand". What works great on one bass often doesn't bring out the best in a different bass, and there's LOTS of really great strings out there to choose from. Find what works for you and that particular bass. I know strings aren't cheap, so it's never a bad idea to post over in Strings and get opinions. Say what strings you've got, and how they're not working for this bass, and where you want to go - deeper, or brighter, or tighter/stiffer, or looser/more flexible, etc.

    Also, your BTS preamp has 4 different high frequency response curves available by changing the position of two little switches on the circuit board. It's worth playing around with to see what suits you and the bass.

    Here's the EMG BTS instructions

    Try all the settings, see what works best for you.

    Lastly, a lot of people notice a slight difference in tone/feel with EMG stuff between running it at 9 volts or 18 volts, (most prefer 18v, seems slightly more open/dynamic) so you might try that.
    ctmullins likes this.
  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Good advice if you've got a passive bass, but the EMG BTS is an active preamp; there's no swappable tone capacitor.
  5. sprag


    Sep 15, 2011
    Melb Australia
    Oops, I must've taken a wrong turn on the net... the diagram I got to last night had active passive switching. :thumbsdown:
  6. krovx

    krovx Thump or Bust Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    Michigan, USA
    Curious what you came out with. Considering swapping my EMG40PJs for the 60s jazz bar with A3 or A5. Bass currently has EMG b64 (not my fav) and Iam wondering if I could do a push/pull active passive with it. I know there is no trim gain on this pre. Ideally a matching nordy pre would get me there. Thats a lot of money to throw at a bass and have been leary of going down the modification road. Appreciate your insight!
  7. maurilio

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

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Do you know the value of the pots you have installed with that emg?
  8. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I believe the volume was 250K but other then that no. I pulled the pre from another yamaha that emg Hz which are passive
    maurilio likes this.
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