Nordstrand Audio Releases Zen Blade – Big Hum Cancelling Blade

Discussion in 'News & PR' started by TalkBass, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    Redlands,CA–August 10,2018 The sidewinding Zen Blade is balanced, meditative, and at one with the face of the musical universe. From dramatic lines to simple chords, the spectrum of sonic access this pickup has, is somehow enlightening.

    Zen Blade’s continuous sensing blade offers a multitude of loyal characteristics: its uncompromising tone refuses the threat of depletion all across the fret board, while its steady impedance gives way to a personality so even and temperate you might just find yourself saying goodbye to your old trusty compressor.

    One of its finest qualities is that the difference between its parallel and series personalities is subtle, creating a dimension of versatility where the player may comfortably fit their tone in the mix between many different genres—Jazz, Country, and Rock being its best contenders. Wired in parallel, the pickup delivers a broad

    range of character, with its even, clear, and articulate nature manifesting in its purest form. In series, the aperture narrows, causing the tone to become a bit thicker, a little bit bolder, while still retaining the even and clear quality inherent to the pickup.
    • Classic sidewinder-style pickup
    • Uniform magnetic field—Ceramic bar magnet
    • Available as single neck or bridge pickup, or as a set.
    • Flat, slotted, steel blade.
    • Available in standard black soapbar covers.
    • 19mm maximum pitch
    • Laser cut vulcanized bobbins.
    • Wax-potted to contain any unruly frequency that may attempt to desecrate your desired tone.
    • Available in Bartolini® BC and EMG35® sizes
    Extensively designed, tested and built in the Nordstrand shop in Redlands, California, these pickups are available online and at select dealers. Available in 4-, 5-, and 6-string versions.

    Street prices start at $216 per set.

    Nordstrand_Pickups_Zen_BHCB4_soapbar_front.jpeg
    Nordstrand_Pickups_Zen_BHCB4_soapbar_sidewind.jpeg
    NA_logo_banner_300.png
     
  2. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Using a set of these in an upcoming build...


    Moonshine :bassist:
     
  3. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    IMO the radiused blade on the Jazz Blades I have is the best part and 100% why I bought that set. It made a huge difference in evening out the string-to-string response on my Geddy Lee jazz. I'm surprised and disappointed to see a flat blade being used on these.
     
    PawleeP likes this.
  4. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
    Unlike jazz bass pickups, these look designed to go into modern basses like Ibanez and Spectors, etc that have anywhere from 12-20” radiused fretboards so maybe the curve wasn’t all that important.
     
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  5. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Yeah you're probably right. I inquired via email, and Adrian at Nordstrand told me that while they are not available with a radiused blade option, anything flatter than 11" fingerboard radius shouldn't have any issues with string-to-string balance.

    For reference, my Geddy jazz is 9.5" radius and had noticeable string balance issues with many other pickups. Switching to the radiused Jazz Blades fixed that right up.
     
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  6. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
    Yep, my Stingray has an 11" radius and it doesn't have those issues. My p bass is 10" radius but obviously its pretty easy to do with a p bass pickup.
     
    NKBassman likes this.
  7. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Yeah no issues on a P bass. :)

    Follow-up email from Adrian at Nordstrand:
     
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  8. pedroims

    pedroims

    Dec 19, 2007
    Michigan
    I love Norstrand pickups, best of the best and I would love to try these babies.

    But I hate your new marketing, all those useless words makes me think that is all snake oil: '' meditative, and at one with the face of the musical universe...dramatic lines to simple chords, the spectrum of sonic access ...enlightening. Zen Blade’s continuous.. loyal characteristics: its uncompromising tone refuses the threat of depletion all across the fret board, while its steady impedance gives way to a personality so even and temperate you might just find yourself saying goodbye to your old trusty compressor....

    Keep it simple and post sounds clips on different styles, you are a reputable company, keep all that crap to craiglist or alibaba

     
  9. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm pretty sure Carey spent the last decade building his business so he can run it the way he wants to...and it seems to be working :thumbsup:


    If you love their pickups, why do you care at all how someone else chooses to describe them?
     
    g13nn, son_of_mogh and NKBassman like this.
  10. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I agree about the copy writing... It all seems a little goofy to me. Seems like whoever's writing it just sits down with a giant bag of weed and a thesaurus and goes to town.
    But whatever. Seems to be working just fine for them, and certainly won't stop me from buying their excellent products.
     
    mikewalker, DocTT, jebmd and 2 others like this.
  11. BassinCT

    BassinCT …still tuning…

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut, USA
    I do get where you're coming from, and would like to cut to the chase and get to real descriptions and soundclips, but I think that the point of the flowery descriptions on the site is to be light-hearted and a bit silly, and not to be BS'ing people with "Snake Oil" descriptions...
    Their "Rocket Surgeon" page is another level of silliness, but I kind of like it: Origin Stories

    But on to the pickups:
    The sound clips of Mo and Carey demonstrating the parallel and series versions were hard to compare, as they were on different basses, different players, one recorded direct, one through an amp with eq... I would like to hear both pickups recorded under similar conditions. I do like both examples, and Mo's sound in the group sits very well in the group recordings.
     
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  12. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    Congrats to the Nordstrand shop for getting these out there. I've had an experimental set in my Tobias 6 string for the past 14 months, and could not be happier with how they sound. Awesome!!
     
    son_of_mogh, MDBass and NKBassman like this.
  13. ROGI

    ROGI

    Apr 25, 2005
    Croatia, Europe
    "The sidewinding Zen Blade is balanced, meditative, and at one with the face of the musical universe. From dramatic lines to simple chords, the spectrum of sonic access this pickup has, is somehow enlightening.

    Zen Blade’s continuous sensing blade offers a multitude of loyal characteristics: its uncompromising tone refuses the threat of depletion all across the fret board, while its steady impedance gives way to a personality so even and temperate you might just find yourself saying goodbye to your old trusty compressor.

    One of its finest qualities is that the difference between its parallel and series personalities is subtle, creating a dimension of versatility where the player may comfortably fit their tone in the mix"

    i just got high by reading this :roflmao:

    interesting pickups.
     
  14. laklandplayer

    laklandplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    USA - Memphis, TN
    I wish they would radius these, I always have problems with the A string on my 5's not being as loud as the rest of the strings. I have radiused Big Splits on my Ibanez Cerro and they are great. This coil arrangement reminds me of Q Tuner pickups and the old Lane Poor's. These should sound good.
     
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  15. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    See my comments above and communications with Adrian at Nordstrand.
     
  16. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I just think the writeup that starts this thread is shockingly ˋblah blahˋ ,making it a bit difficult for me to take this seriously.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
    mikewalker likes this.
  17. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    But they'll be so loyal to you...

    I'm sure they'll sound good. My original Q-tuner has loads of pole pieces but the newer ones appear to have flat blade across the pickup like the Zen. Must not be a big issue with sidewinders.
     
  18. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    LOL, worst ad copy ever. :roflmao:
     
  19. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Agreed.
     
    kerrycares likes this.
  20. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I actually think the Big BladeMan pickup ad copy is even worse.