Nordstrand PJ5 Advice

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by The Ryantist, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Hello all! I will soon be building a passive PJ 5 string bass and I think I have decided on Nordstrand for no real reason other than they have a good reputation and they fit the standard routing templates that I can get online.

    I'm going to try to make this a mixture of vintage and modern. So my thoughts are:
    • Reverse the P pickup but keep the "center" in the traditional spot. This will move the BEA pickup about 1 inch toward the bridge for slightly tighter low end, and the DG pickup about 1 inch toward the neck to be slightly warmer. I might just rout a big rectangle in the body and try the pickups both ways to see the difference.
    • Passive wiring - 1 volume, 1 tone, and a 4 way rotary switch for bridge solo, both pickups in series, both in parallel, and neck solo. In my limited experience with passive pickups there's very little change in adding the bridge pickup until it's fully on, so might as well make it a switch to get the series option too.
    • Not sure where I should place the J pickup, I usually just use it combined with the P when I want a tighter sound. I rarely solo the J.
    • Should I get the vintage NPVJ5S or just the regular NPJ5S? The S is for noise cancelling, and the description of the J is the same on both on Nordstrand's site. So do I want the vintage P or a more modern P? Anyone have a link to a comparison? I'm sure both are great.
    For reference I like the bass tones of the Killers, Muse, RHCP, Jet, Franz Ferdinand, and similar rock from late 90s thru today. I use a VT Bass DI as my main "amp," B7k for light OD, Cusack Screamer Fuzz for heavier stuff, and 3 Leaf You're Doom for synthy stuff.

    Any thoughts or tips? Thanks!
  2. EssayStudios

    EssayStudios Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2016
    Nordstrand Pickups
  3. I have been talking with someone from Nordstrand. I think I am going standard (not vintage). And I think after watching some youtube videos I'm going with the normal P layout instead of reverse. I still might rout a big rectangle in the body and play with them normal and reverse before routing my pickguard.

    As for the J pickup location, I'm lately thinking of moving it way up almost to the Stingray location, but I know that will interfere with the bottom of my pickguard, so I have to look at my design.

    Nordstrand has said they can do custom pole-piece spacing for a small upcharge, so that will be cool!

    edit: Oh @EssayStudios I didn't notice you were from Nordstrand too. I've been emailing back and forth with Adrian, Thanks!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  4. maurilio

    maurilio Guest

    May 25, 2003
    My favorite combo for pj style is the np5 paired with a big split! The BSp is a barking mofo with a lot of punch and articulation!
    For more "traditional" sound I would place it in the '60 position, but my preferred one is in the '70...
    Just some more food for thoughts....
  5. Dang it why'd you have to complicate my decision? ;)
  6. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Interesting thread. Maurilio's post has cranked up my excitement to hear the pickup pair that will be landing in my mailbox soon. I recently installed a custom version (wider pole spacing for angled mounting) of Nordstrand's NP-4a (a = angled poles) in my Dingwall Super P and was very, VERY pleased with the new tones. I'm waiting on another (AlNico V) NP-4a which will be paired with a Big Split in the '70's bridge position on my Dingwall P/J. I've been working with Adrian who concurs with Maurilio that the NP and Big Split play very well together!
    bvdrummer likes this.
  7. Nice! The Dingwall Super PJ was very tempting for me. I went ahead and ordered the NP and the noiseless J last week with my custom string spacing. I also ordered a Hipshot A bridge with 17.5 mm spacing so I'll be able to start working on this soon!
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    spiritbass likes this.