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Nordstrand NJ4SE preamp or no

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jibreel, May 8, 2010.


  1. jibreel

    jibreel

    Apr 12, 2005
    Seattle
    Just took the plunge on some Nordstrand NJ4SE pickups. They are on their way from Arizona to me now.

    This will be on a FRETLESS bass so slapping [ although that will happen ] and bright shiny sounds are not a concern.

    Wondering what your experience is with them passive and with a preamp.

    It goes without saying that it is a personal preference [ passive vs active ] and there are all the other obvious factors.
    So having said that, what has been your experience with these pickups active vs passive?

    And if active, what preamp? If I go active, I may just stay with Nordstrand preamp that is Vol/Vol/Tone[pull passive]Mid[pull frequency]Bass/Treble stacked. Any other suggestions for preamps with these pickups? Again, the focus is fretless.

    It is kind of hard to imagine being totally happy with passive as having all of that tone control is very nice.

    Thanks for any opinions!!
     
  2. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I have those p/ups in my fretless J. While that bass is passive, I've tried a handful of differing outboard preamps with it. I keep coming back to passive with that bass. It just sounds better to my ear. At most lately I've been running a Fulltone Bassdrive in comp/cut mode, but even that is about one gig out of five tops.

    Good luck. The NJ4SE's are the best J pickups I've found for fretless thus far.

    edit: Although I love my outboard Sadowsky preamp, it really sucks the mwah out of my fretless J. That's actually a nice thing to have for when I want a smoother tone but I would personally avoid that one if you are hell-bent on adding a preamp to your bass.

    edit2: I would probably look for a preamp with a bass boost that was fairly high. Around 100 hz or so. Those high-lows/low-mids are what really thickens up a fretless and accentuates the fretless tone. Treble boost I would look for fairly low, probably around 2K. Almost in the upper mid range. Something to help make the harmonics pop. Uber high treble isn't the most useful thing for me on a fretless J. I'd also look for a nice wide Q on the preamp.
     
  3. jibreel

    jibreel

    Apr 12, 2005
    Seattle
    Thanks Kael,

    I will try it passive first. I just get excited and want to order the pre also but that is another $ 220.00 so it might just pay to wait. We will see..........
     

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