Nordstrand mm4.4 options.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Davrosnomates, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Davrosnomates

    Davrosnomates Guest

    Jul 26, 2006
    Hi everyone.

    I'm toying with the idea of building myself a bass, and I am thinking about putting a Nordstrand mm4.4 into it. It seems that there are different ways of wiring it up, so that you can get something close to different pickup configurations, ie, a pair of jazz pickups. It also seems that it would be possible to wire it in such a way that you could get something like a p bass setup.

    Firstly, I apreciate that wiring the pickup up to get these different options will not give a 100% perfect p bass or j bass sound, but I was wondering how close it would get, could it do something similar to a p bass sound, without sounding too modern?

    Secondly, I would very much like to be able to switch between different configurations, i.e. MM, Neck J, Bridge J, Both J, and P if that makes sense. I can't see why this wouldn't be possible, but was just wondering who easy it would be, and if I would need any special switches or anything?


  2. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    First about the sound - it really depends on the way the coils are wound. You're likely to have a slightly modern sound because of the fact you have huge pole-pieces on the Nordstrand. But, I'd say it'd still work well.

    If you're intending on getting the widest range of sounds, you'll need two of those puppies, one at the neck, the other at the bridge.

    Each of the pups would be linked to one rotary or multi-position switch. To avoid mixups, let's say that in each pickup you have coils listed as such:
    1 2
    3 4
    So, in order to get multiple pickup layouts from this, you need the following coil combinations on your rotaries:
    1 4     Standard-P
    2 3     Reverse-P
    1 2     outer-J (neck), inner-J (bridge)
    3 4     inner-J (neck), outer-J (bridge)
    1 2 3 4 Humbucker
    All in all, that'd be five combinations, arrange as desired.

    To avoid complications, let's say you'll wire both pups in parallel. For the mix, you need to run the output of that switch through a volume pot, then mix those with another rotary or linear switch with three combinations:

    Top     Neck pickup alone
    Center  Both pickups
    Bottom  Bridge pickup alone
    Finally, put the output of that through a tone pot and into the output jack. Alternately, a blend pot instead of a triple-position switch would do.

    That alone should net you plenty of combinations, including a J-MM, P-MM, P-P, rP-rP, P-J, J-P and so forth.

    If someone has the will to make a schematic for all this, please do. This has been an idea I've been messing with for a looong time.
    I only know it's possible to wire it this way, but I have no idea how exactly to solder all this. :smug:
  3. tbone409

    tbone409 Guest

    Feb 17, 2007
    kenosha, wi
    Great post

    OP, to do the above mentioned wiring you will need at least 2 quad coil humbuckers
  4. Davrosnomates

    Davrosnomates Guest

    Jul 26, 2006
    wow, thanks stealth, that was really helpful. At least I know I'm not trying to do something that will end up being for nothing. Now that I think about it, I suppose I only really want three or four different tones, a modern MM sound (I would plan to use an external preamp pedal or something to help with this) a J bass tone, like bridge and neck, and something old schooly, like a p bass (I might want to put flats on and put some foam under the bridge every now and then). I don't really know how a reverse P would sound, so I don't really know if I would need that configuration. I quite like the idea of only having one pickup as well. I'm not sure I'd know what to do with that many options! I suppose it would always be an option to add it later.

    Now I just need to work out how to wire it up!
  5. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    The regular P has the EA coil closer to the neck, while the DG coils are closer to the bridge - this makes the low strings fatter and the high strings thinner. Reversing the P makes the sound more balanced as the low strings get thinned out and the high strings get fattened.

    One of the more interesting combos is running a P at neck and reverse P at bridge - or vice-versa.

    Oh, and I just remembered a way to make the pickup combination truly hellish to fiddle with - imagine if all pickups plus the blend also had a setting for series/parallel... Overkill, most likely.

    Does anyone have an idea how to wire the above two MM4.4s to allow for that many combos (post #2 in the thread, not the sheer perversion I just explained in this post)?
  6. whizack

    whizack Guest

    Oct 23, 2007
    I had a conversation over email with one of the techs and split coil P-bass wiring is not possible with nordstrand quads because they're configured like this:


    and they only have 4 leads.