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Nordstrand: Fatstack or Dual Coil???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by basse, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. Hi all, I'm finalizing a custom bass design (Marchlewski) and would love any opinions as to any noticeable differences in sound between the Nordstand Fatstack (2 coils on top of each other) and the dual coil (2 coils side-by-side). Which sounds best? Which has more tonal range? Which do you think would better matched with his MM? Thanks, any comments would be appreciated!!!

  2. I've never had the pleasure of playing them side by side. But I had to sell my SC5 in December of 2003, and just a couple months ago I had the opportunity to get it back. I originally ordered it with Fat Stacks, and when I got it back one of the in-between owners had gotten Carey to swap the pickups out for dual coils.

    I like the dual coils better...at least as far as I can compare them to my memory of what the originals sounded like. These strike me as being a little thicker and deeper sounding. Neither was very bright or brash sounding, but the dual coils seem a bit "meatier".

  3. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    Im having fat stacks put in my next Marchlewski! ...just for aesthetics though, not sure what the difference between the two are.
  4. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I love Carey's dual coil...they are in all my Nordies. :D
  5. Including ones that are just "passing through", apparently... ;)

  6. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    "Nordstrand basses"...great for your dietary fiber needs. :smug:

    As for the question, it would be hard to lose with either choice. However, I really dug the coil tap option on the Fat Stacks that were in the amboyna SC5 that I recently sold. Being able to turn Fat Stacks into Big Singles with one pull of a knob unleased a might fury like I've never heard before!!! :D The Fat Stacks are a very good all'round pickup, though. The dual coils are a more traditional sounding "modern" pickup, but you can also wire then in single-coil mode as well to give youself a bit more tonal flexability.
  7. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    For sure...must have option from Carey :hyper:
  8. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Yes Sir my friend....like I said...love the dual coil :D Sounds so much better and higher output on your lovely bass. It is still one of my favorite Nordies... :meh: I'm glad you got it back ;)
  9. Good point--the Fat Stacks are sorta low output (compared to what I'm used to, anyway), while the Dual Coils are hotter.

    I'm really glad to get it back, too, and even better than it was when I sold it. Thanks!
  10. Thanks all! I've put in an order for the dual coils!

    Carey himself suggested it and of course I went for it. I also figured that I didn't need a MM in the bridge position because I've got my Stingray and a Franken-Jazz with a MM in that position - so why recreate something I've already got!
  11. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    So I've been doing the instrument research thing spec wise and I was wondering if Carey's fat stacks and big singles fit in a standard EMG 35 rout 1.5" x 3.5" for 4 stringers. The inquiry stems from my intrigue into the "proprietary" nordstrand design versus the more traditional jazz pickup. how to the faties and biggies compare to the NJ4 and NJ4SE, and the much awaited njsv? And I also dig the idea of passive soapbars in a jazz bass (may be just a hangover from my guitar days :bag: ) I run into a U5 so the gain issue is not a problem. Let me know what you Nordie lovers think. How big are the fat backs

  12. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Hi Bassjunkie,
    I have to put the dimensions for those pickups on my site!
    The plastic covered four's are 3.95" x 1.25" and the 5's are 4.25" x 1.25".
    If you can find someone to build wood covers for you then can have them whatever size you want. That way if you wanted to change back to the EMG's later you could.
    HTH :cool:
  13. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    Carey - I am certainly interested in your designs especially the 45 degree shift on the big singels and Fat stacks - neat innovation. I looked at your site though and I did not spot any dimensions for any of your pickups. I repeatedly saw a window with what looked like a blueprint but it did not link to a full page. I was only wondering about size to see if warmoth or usaCG might have such dimensions in their pickup bank - unfortunately they do not. I fear that the standard EMG soapbar rout of 3.5 inches long is too short for your PU. Is there any chance we could see a 3.5" L x 1.5 " W version of your fat stacks and big singles and humbuckers soon? I think there is definitely a market considering any player that wants to ditch their EMGs or the like for truely passive pickups (however you say that the Fat stacks need a 3bd boost - so is their inductance pretty low - or is there something else at play here?) currently has very limited options (if any at all).

    Thank you for your earlier reply. your ideas are definitely appreciated.

  14. drgregn

    drgregn Granddude Supporting Member

    May 13, 2002
    Denton, TX
    Reviving this thread - Carey's starting on my NX6 fretted pretty soon :hyper: and I've specified Fat Stacks for this bass after consulting Carey. This will be an alder body with redwood top and cocobolo fingerboard, Aggie OBP3 preamp - similar to Scott Pazera's NX7.

    I do want this to be an all-purpose bass, though, as I play in church and have to cover a lot of different styles. I know that the dual coils are supposed to be more "slap-friendly" than the Fat Stacks - Will I be still be able to dial up a good slap tone with the Fat Stacks and the Aggie when I need it? Any thoughts from this group along those lines?

    Thanks, and I'll sit back and listen. :bag:
  15. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    You should be VERY happy with the slap tone that you'll be able to get from the 'Stacks and the Aggie pre. The verious slap tones that I was able to get out of the last NSC5 that I had in stock were incredible. Granted...that bass had a swamp ash body, amboyna burl top and birdseye board, the 'Stacks and Aggie pre still did their job.

    One other recommendation (if you haven't thought about it yet)....definately have a coil tap placed on your Fat Stacks so that you can run them as "Big Singles".....the raw, snarly power will floor you! :eek:

  16. drgregn

    drgregn Granddude Supporting Member

    May 13, 2002
    Denton, TX
    Thanks, JPJ - yes, the coil tap is indeed in the specs!
  17. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    How do the Fat Stacks sound in humbucker mode? The blurb on Carey's website say they have very detailed mids, which I like.

    Any comparison to say a set of Fender CS 60's J-Bass pus?
  18. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    My 2 cents on the comparison of the two styles.....
    The FatStacks have more midrange growl and
    really let the wood talk. Also, with the coil tap
    that get even better!

    The dual coils have a great slap tone, still letting
    the woods speak but they are not as aggressive in
    the mids.

    There is no funny business with Carey's pup's.
    They really let the bass come out.
    No muddiness or brittle artificial highs that other
    pup's can bring into the mix.
  19. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Scott Pazera's bass had a killer slap tone, and the irony was, there were so many frets, he had nowhere to slap so he kinda did it over the fingerboard just kind of plucking. That bass had beautiful tone, nice fat punchy low end, very smooth. Of course, Scott would make a broom sound killer.