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Nordstrand NJ5FS Update

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Nedmundo, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Last year, I bought some NJ5FS pickups to go noiseless on my 2008 Am. Std. Fender Jazz V. The stock pickups sounded great, but I had found it worthwhile to go noiseless on my Jazz four, so I figured I'd try it again. Initially, I was underwhelmed by the NJ5FS. They were extremely bright, and didn't sound much like classic single coils, and the E string output was too low. I was surprised by this, and posted about it on TB. Another TB member also found low E string output. I was planning to contact Nordstrand to ask about a potential fix, proper adjustments, etc.

    Carey Nordstrand beat me to it. He saw one of my posts, and, displaying loads of integrity, offered me a replacement set, saying some NJ5FS had some unspecified issues. I took him up on the offer, and have been using the new set for a few weeks. Hence the update.

    Both issues have been addressed, and I'm happy with the pickups. They still sound a little more modern than the stock Fenders (and the Fralins in my Jazz four), but the difference is subtle instead of dramatic. They're a little smoother and less "gritty," but will growl if provoked. They are definitely in the vintage neighborhood, and they have a strong, clear presence in a band mix. They do sound similar to single coils, and they have been completely noiseless where I've played.

    More importantly, this set has good balance and sufficient "whump" on the E string, much like the stock Fender pickups. The poles are raised for the middle strings to track the fretboard radius, which probably helps, and you need to adjust accordingly because even a quarter turn on the saddle height screws makes an audible difference. Thus, it took some tweaking to get the balance right between the B, E, and A strings. (My basses usually come back from my local tech with perfect balance after pickup installation or setup, so I wonder whether these pickups are more sensitive to string height than some others. I don't have enough experience to judge.)

    So, if you read one of my earlier posts about these pickups, fear not. They deliver. Kudos to Carey Nordstrand for providing Fender Jazz V players a great noiseless option, and for such amazing customer support. This inevitably leads to GAS -- now I want another Jazz four just to get some NJ4SE action!
    Tunaman likes this.
  2. Good Stuff! I have had some pickups put into wide 5 covers (a couple times now) and I found the Nordstrand crew: Stew, Mike Cooper, and Carey awesome to deal with. They seem to go the extra mile as a rule and not the exception

    Very refreshing to deal with individuals that care about their product and service. Yes, the pickups are pretty expensive, but you do get what you pay for and a company that stands behind their product is (for me) worth the extra dinero.

    two thumbs up for the Nordstrand Gang :bassist:

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