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Nordstrand NJ4SE's in my MIA Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MJ5150, Mar 29, 2005.


  1. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    YOWSAH! YOWSAH! YOWSAH! Carey Nordstrand.....you are THE MAN!!

    Before I start my review, let me tell you I do not have the refined ears of a musician who has been playing for 20 or more years. These pickups sound AWESOME with my J-Retro. I haven't even had a chance to adjust the height on the pickups. They sound that good after just putting them in the bass without any adjustments. I can not imagine how sweet it will sound when I adjust them to the proper height and all of that. Wow, I am so freakin' happy with these pickups. I got this sweet, buttery vintage Jazz vibe going. I have the thick, phat low end coming across nice and clear. When I play higher up the neck, the notes come out crispy clear. The mids are tight and pronounced. Good grief, these pickups are a thing of beauty.

    I installed these pickups myself. First time I have ever done anything to my bass besides play it. I practiced with a soldering iron to make sure I knew what I was doing, and then I went for it. I actually soldered the pup leads to terminal connectors like you see on motherboards. I got that idea from the guys at the Pit. The reason I did that is because I have a J-Retro in my bass, and the solder points on the J-Retro are dangerously close to some important looking pieces of plastic. So now, I can just unplug and plug in whatever pup's I want to use on my bass.

    So now I have the NJ4SE's with quick connector ends on them, my stock Fender pups with quick connector ends on them, and I'll be calling Jay at BHB right quick to order my NJ4's. As soon as Carey makes the NJ4SV's available, I'll be down for a set of those.

    Again....THANK YOU Carey for the awesome pickups.

    -Mike
     
  2. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001

    Hmmmm, like you would ever want to put the stock pickups back in after this? :)

    My bass is passive. Otherwise, what you describe is how I feel about my bass with the Nordstrand P/J set in it; fat low end, and good clarity all the way up and down the scale, no matter where the tone knob is.

    Oh, and you bought them from jay at Blueberryhill bass. So you see, great minds really do think alike!! :hyper:
     
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    One thing I did forget to do that you mentioned to me was shield the area where the pickups are. I was so nervous replacing the pickups that I did not even think about it until I saw your post just now. I'm still not 100% sure I know completely how to do it. I'll have to do some more research on it.

    I'll be knocking on Jay's door for some NJ4's, and the NJ4SV's when they come out.

    -Mike
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Mike,

    Congrats on the successful install! :hyper:

    Thought you'd be interested to know that I ordered a U Retro Deluxe plus a Nordstrand MM 4.3 and NJ4SE (neck) this afternoon. This will all be loaded into a Warmoth Flame Maple over Swamp Ash Jazz body and a Maple/Ebony fretted neck.

    I'll be adding the terminal connectors as well, and also adding them to that Sadowsky J p/u set so I can A/B them for a couple of potential clients. If everything works out well I'll have to ring you up later this summer when I visit friends in Olympia.

    R
     
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Nordstrand pickups are AWESOME!!!!!
     
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I would like to hear that Warmoth when you have it done. I am really interested in hearing the Sadowsky's too. Good call on the connectors. Saves me alot of headache.

    Definitely look me up when you are down here. I will do the same the next time I am up your way. I need to take a trip to Mountlake Terrace soon for some other business.

    -Mike
     
  7. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Yeah, my new Nordies replacing the stock noiseless Pups in my MIA Deluxe V made it unneccesary to sell that bass. Now its one of the better sounding basses in my arsenal. well done on the installation. Now start pulling your speakers out.
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Hey Mike,

    I completed the bass with the Nordstrand NJ4SE/MM4.4 and U Retro on Sat evening. The new U Retro has screw connectors, so there was no soldering except for tinning the wire ends prior to insertion into the socket.

    The swamp ash body on this bass resonates like crazy, so I was really getting excited to run this thru an amp. By 7:00P last night I was sitting in my living room with my jaw firmly planted into the floor - DUDE!!!! I had everything on the pre-amp set flat (including the boost only bass), and the NJ4SE runing on active solo. There is absolutely NO OTHER neck p/u I've ever heard that can com close to shattering the punchy grind this baby was dishing out thru my SWR Super Redhead. I almost wet my pants right there on the spot :eek:

    Today I took it for a spin in a group setting (drums, bass, elec & acc guitar, keys, sax, vox, & percussion) thru my Avatar rig (210 Pro + SB112) with Ampeg head. This is absolutely the most killer sounding J p/u I've ever had opportunity to play! Ya know ... I never even got to winding in some of the MM4.4 quad coil (oops!) the NJ4SE just soounded sooooooo good. I added a smidge of bass (about 1/8 turn) and the floor was just rolling in the grind.

    I have a set of Sadowsky J's waiting to slip into my next project ... but I tell ya, they have a lot of work to do to break even with what I heard this morning. And if they make even one small misstep, they'll be sitting in the parts bin listening to a pair of NJ4SE's grinding out the bottom end on this bass as well.

    My hat is off to Carey for such an outstanding ... er, I mean ... such an OUTSTANDING J p/u!!!!!

    :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:

    Some time when you're up this way or I'm heading down your way we'll have to hook up. I have a couple of Sat trips to Olympia in July ...

    R

    p.s. OK, I fibbed a little. I still have to add the coil tap on/on/on switch for the MM4.4 to make this project complete. the switch is on order and will get installed within a day or so of arrival. Then I can really give the MM4.4 a true test drive. Until then, it's hard wired in series.
     
  9. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I almost forgot ...

    This bass will be heading into the studio within the next couple of weeks. I hope to have a few sound clips available in case anyone wants to hear a NJ4SE neck and/or a MM4.4 quad thru a U Retro.

    R

    p.s. For anyone looking to upgrade a great playing but dull sounding J bass, and you have +/- $550 for a budget ... this is the ultimate I have heard in my 20+ years of playing and owning some pretty incredible high end gear!
     
  10. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    I put some NJ4's in a MIM Jazz and after a bit of dialing in the overall setup, it is the coolest sounding bass I own.

    Nordstrand p/u's = :bassist:

    Highly recommended, by SMASH no less. Thanks again for your very excellent review, it worked for me!
     
  11. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Great to hear that you guys are digging your new Nordies. I just got some 4.4s in, but this was the first "customer reveiw" that I've seen. Good to hear that you liked the new pickup AND your SEs! :smug:
     
  12. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
  13. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Here's a so-so image of the Midnight Wine project mentioned above. I have a sesssion tonight, and another this weekend, so I should have ample opportunity to notice anything that needs further tweaking.



    R
     
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    That's a great looking bass! Have fun :)
     
  15. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Hey Rod!

    I'll let you know the next time I am up your way. I would love to stop by and have a listen to your bass. I'll bring mine too. I almost grabbed a set of Sadowsky J's, but sine the Nordies are so awesome, I changed my mind. I'm sticking with Nordies in my bass.

    Bill.......your Super J looks great. I find the J-Retro and Nordie combo tough to beat.

    -Mike
     
  16. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thanks Mike - I'm really very, very happy with it, as I'm sure you've gathered. Keep checking back for the soundclips, I should get some done over the weekend, and some more pics.
     
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Oh yeah, I definitely will. Once I master my digital camera, I'll post a few more of mine as well. I don't have anything decent to record sound clips with, so you'll just have to trust me that it sounds great.

    -Mike
     
  18. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    With those Nordies and the J-Retro I have no problem at all trusting you on that point, believe me! I am honestly amazed at how good that combination is, I've never heard pickups as good as those before, how on Earth has Carey done it? And the J-Retro just seems to get the very best out of them. At last I think I understand the first post in this thread - and am I glad I took your comments to heart. I know I'm raving at the moment, but I just cannot believe how lucky I am to finally own the bass that's perfect for me after 30 years of playing.
     
  19. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I know what you mean Bill. I haven't spent 30 years playing, but I have gone through several basses over the last four years trying to find one perfect for me. I got my Jazz with the J-Retro already installed. Fellow TBers Wilbyman and JPJ turned me on to the Nordies. I'm set for a bass now. I don't doubt that there are other nice Jazz pup's out there, but I have no need to go find out.

    Have you ever had a chance to talk to Carey? He has a message board on his website. You should go check it out, and drop Carey an e-mail. He is a great guy all around. Extremely helpful, and friendly. I'll send you a PM with a little story about Carey for you.

    -Mike
     
  20. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thanks Mike - just responded to your PM, but I thought I'd "go public" to agree with your positive comments about dealing with Carey. Great pickups, great guy!