Nordstrand NP4 review.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JRBrown, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I bought this P-Bass last week. It's light and has the lowest action of any Fender P-Bass I've owned thus far. The tone is 100% P-Bass, but slightly brighter the other P-Basses I have owned. My intent, all along, was to swap the pups with Fender Customs, Duncan Antiquity, or the Nordstrand NP4. Seeing as how I've had great customer relations with both Carey and Jay Lewis (, I thought it prudent to get a set of Carey's pups from Jay. Glad I did!

    I installed the pups and a set of Ernie Ball 45-100 flats then took the bass to the local P-Bass dude's store for a test drive. We played through an Ampeg SVT 3pro and an Ampeg 2x8, 2x10, + 1x18 cab. We A/B'd my bass and his personnal "reference" USA P-Bass. His bass sounded like a good P-bass should, but my bass sounded better. Even with the flats, both basses sounded very similar, but mine didn't have any string noise. The NP4 allowed every bit of sound to come through. The tone was smooth, round and crisp. We were both surprised that the flats sounded like noise-free round wounds. The lows on my bass moved the Ampeg 1x18 with ease. The bottom on his bass was solid but the punch was at a higher freq. Also, the NP4 appeared to have a slightly hotter output. For the first time in 7 years, the P-Bass dude made excuses for his bass :eek: claiming he needed to adjust his pups and get a setup.

    Good Job Carey!

    Nice transaction Jay! (


    Attached Files:

    Heavy Blue, JKos, waynobass and 2 others like this.
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'm not a "P Man" but Carey's NP4 almost converted me. I used it in the P I built for MascisMan with an OBP-1 and I installed it in another bass I can't mention due to the NCUP and the p/u is like the God of Thunder.
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yeah, I'm a huge fan of the Nord P
  4. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    The NP4 is definately a good pickup. It's working nicely with the combination that I have.

    (I edited the review. I was sleepy when I wrote it. :) )
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I'm not a P guy either - I like a P sound just haven't gotten decent tone out of P pup yet. The Nord sounds like something worthy of exploration. Had the Nord MM 4.2 (thanks for the exposure David) but didn't see it had any edge on any of the other Alnico 5 MM's I've had. Nord hasn't been around that long but it appears most players that buy them are keeping them cause they don't show in the used market very often.

    As for the strings, no doubt there are killer rounds out there. The half dozen or so rounds I've had exposure to sounded dramatically different solo but faded into the mix to music. Aside from being satisfied with the tone, there are so many advantages to me with TI flats that strings is something I've never gone out of my way to explore.

    Let us know if P-bass dude has an NP4 in his bass next time you drop in his store :)
  6. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I tried the TI flats on several different basses--couldn't get into the tone. They felt great!

    As for the P-Bass dude modifying a Fender P-Bass? Never! No way:rollno:, No How:rollno:. I think the most he's ever done in 25 years of playing and selling is swap out the pickguard. I've taken every bass I've owned in the last 5 years to his store for fun.
    His logic is, "Just because the other bass may sound better, doesn't mean mine is broken".
  7. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    My Nordstrand equipped P Bass has TI jazz flats on it. This bass IMHO sounds KILLER with that setup :bassist:

    The biggest thing I noticed between the stock Fender pickup and the NP4, is that while the Fender sounds good at low volume, when it gets pushed a bit, it can get muddy.

    With the Nordstrand NP4, no matter where the volume is, or the tone knob is, you have great clarity in your sound. Not to mention a nice fat bottom end IMHO/IME.

    As for Jay Lewis; BEST customer service I ever got from a dealer! Whether by email or phone(which was how I finally placed my order last year)he takes his time answering questions, makes you feel right at home, and never rushes or pressures you. :hyper:
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Hey JB,
    Great to hear you're diggin' your new bass with the Nordstrand NP4...although there really wasn't any doubt! :smug: :D Also, thanks to Beefbass for the props as well. All of your positive comments are greatly appreciated, and I'm thrilled that the NP4 has worked out so well for both of you guys (and many others). ;)
  9. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    I finally got to record some tracks a few weeks ago for a friend's upcoming Christian CD. First chance to record the Pbass with the NP4 in it.

    HUGE difference over the stock pickup IMHO. Except for when I need to use a fretless, this is the bass I will use all the time now. Yeah, I'm digging it!! :hyper:

    Hey Jay, thank you for everything. I never heard of Carey Nordstrand until you mentioned him. Good thing for us, huh?
  10. Hey guys, I know this is an old thread but when I read it, it helped me decide on ordering an NP4 for my P Bass. I made a video comparing it to stock pickups. I love this pickup. Stock pickup sounded great too, but I was looking for a slightly different flavour.

    TakeABreak and bmac314 like this.
  11. bmac314

    bmac314 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Thanks for posting these videos Allanbass. That's exactly what I was looking for by means of comparison. Great job!
  12. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    I hear the Nordstrand as a little louder, and a little bassier with possibly a little more high mids. Would be nice if the two were level in volume. Otherwise, amazing job.
  13. 7dollarbologna


    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    a5 or a3 magnets?
  14. mrgoodbass

    mrgoodbass Supporting Member

    May 9, 2006
    the million dollar question
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 22, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.