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Nordstrand Big Singles - do they hum much?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Oct 27, 2009.


  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm debating between Nordstrad Big Singles and Big Splits. I want a single coil sound but I like to solo pickups and I don't like the hum. I've read that the Big Splits get you 90% of the way to Big Singles, but the BS's have a more detailed midrange.

    If you shield the control cavity and pickup cavities do the Big Singles hum much? I would think the hum would be reduced because the poles are turned - almost more like a humbucker.
     
  2. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Mine are surprisingly very quiet. I actually expected hum when solo'd but it hasn't been the case for the most part.

    I did do a gig last Easter in a Cinemark theater with bad wiring and they did hum in series and parallel when facing the monitor a certain way. But to be fair they Keys were hummin' too, the acoustic drums were even hummin'. :)
     
  3. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    You have a series/parallel switch with these? How'd you wire it?
     
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Bump.
     
  5. They, IMO and IME are on the slightly noisier side of the single coil continuum when solo'd (maybe due to all that wire?).

    However, the good news is that the Big Singles don't really sound like a typical J single coil, and hence the Big Splits, from a couple of direct A/B's I did, sound virtually identical to my ear.

    So, IMO, if you want a 'Big' Series pickup, the Big Splits are the way to go... VERY similar to the Big Singles, and dead quite. If you really want a true single coil tone (ala a Jazz Bass type tone), I would look elsewhere (possibly Carey's true J single coils or special 70's wound, depending on your tone goals).
     
  6. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    How does the Big Splits tone compare to a true single coil tone? At this point I have older Bartolini split coil soaps in my bass which have subdued highs, thick growly mids, and thick bass. I'm looking for something more spacious and clear - like a jazz bass type tone. I like the woody neck pup tone and the bridge growl - these Barts growl regardless of the pickup selection.
     
  7. Those Barts are very warm, very mid fat, and very smooth and polite up top... so I heard them very similarly as you do. The Big Splits will be much brighter up top, more upper mid than lower mid oriented to my ear, and more extended down low. I think you will dig them.

    I'd call the Nordstrand shop and describe now your Barts sound, and then the tone you want. My guess is, Big Splits will be recommended, but then you would no for sure. They also make a Dual coil that would get you closer to a true (if somewhat more polite) J single coil tone in single coil mode, and a more clear, clean, wider (even wider than the Big Split voicing) in dual coil mode. Lot's of options.
     
  8. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Bump
     
  9. RTL

    RTL House Chicken Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Leander, TX
    In my experience, they only hum when they don't know the words.. :D
     
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Tee, hee, hee...
    :p
     
  11. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I had Big Singles one one of my basses and didn't care for them~ they just seemed to have a big, but indistinct sound. I've heard the Big Spits and Fat Stacks on similar basses & they both sounded much better to me~ the nod going to the Big Splits. Personally, I like Barts on everything~ there are not enough O's in the word SMOOTH to describe them. Not very technical, but I hope this helps.
     
  12. Like Ken said, they will hum as much or more than any other single-coil; the mechanism is the same. No magic.
    I prefer the Fat Stacks. They are 'sweeter sounding' (whatever that means) than Big Singles or Splits, IMO. And you have the option to switch them into humcancelling mode if you need to.
    The tone of any of them is quite similar to a regular J style pickup, because, again, the mechanism is (mostly) the same. Not exact, but very similar. Fatter, of course. Put another way: you would NEVER mistake them for a dual-coil humbucker. The tone is MUCH closer to a J pickup than a 'bucker.
     
  13. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    My Barts are not smooth - I wish they were! It might be the body wood in my bass (mahogany) but this bass is all growl! Great for rock, but I want more versatility. I think these are Bart split coils (though they're not MK-1's) - do you think switching to the newer Bart "Classic Bass" would smooth things out?
     
  14. Saluki

    Saluki Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Springfield, IL
    Bass Gear Magazine
    Well I have to say I love my big singles. For me, my preference depends a lot on the tone woods and board of the bass as well as the pcikup placement. I didn't like the big splits in the alder/RW combo, but really love the big singles in this wood combo. FWIW, in the environments I have been in, my big singles and nordstrand 3 band are pretty quiet. I have not noticed any loud hum when soloing the bridge p'up. I consider the big singles-Fat, aggressive, leaning away from vintage but not quite to modern.
     
  15. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    They are singles so they do hum. IME, not any more than any other single if you are favoring a pickup or panning full on.

    My split Barts hum in my jam room - old house with an old TiVo (lifetime deal, so its cool) taping away (its that old). :p


    I have selectable mids at 200 and 600. So I can pan a bit, bump the 600 and kick back the PTC a little and it sounds pretty good. (ash/maple) With the pup location, I actually prefer to favor the neck pup and kick in a little 200 Hz.
     
  16. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    If I go with Nordy's I'll probably put in Big Splits 'cause I can't handle the hum. I'm just debating between putting BS's or Bart "Classic Bass" series pups in it.
     
  17. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Okay, so I removed the height screws and pulled the neck Bart in my bass up to see if there was a model number, and they're dual coil pups hardwired for series (hence the thick bass/mids and subdued highs). When I put it back in I screwed it back down farther than it was before and the harshness in my tone disappeared. It's still growly, but not "in your face" like it was before. I might end up keeping these pickups after all!
     
  18. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    ...only if I'm standing directly in front of my amp. otherwise, they're quite as the singles on my sad uv70.

    and i think they sound better.
     

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