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Nordstrand Pre is for Sale now

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lorenzini, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Has anyone purchased one yet? I saw it over at best bass gear. Price point is nice and it looks like a great unit, but of course I always trust TBers reviews and opinions on this stuff
  2. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    I have the feeling I will be ordering one soon.
  3. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    There u go. Let us know as soon as it happens
  4. Bass Logic

    Bass Logic Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Long Island
    I just received mine the other day and installed it yesterday. So far I am extremely impressed! I ordered it prewired from Brian at Best Bass Gear. It has Vol/Vol/Treble/Mid at 400Hz/Bass and a separate passive/active switch.

    I am essentially a novice with electronics but, with Brian's help it was wired up easily. It is also very flexible for different cavity layouts. I have it paired with a set of Big Splits with some wood covers made at Nordstrand to fit in my Cort/Elrick RB5. The sound of the preamp is VERY clean with no noticeable difference between the passive and active modes. There is a trim pot for adjustment on the board if you desire a boost in active mode.

    It again, is very clean. It allows the character of the pickups to shine no matter how the eq is tweaked. The adjustments are smooth and gradual. The bass just gets warmer without getting muddy and the treble adds a really nice sparkle, if you will, and doesn't sound harsh in any way. I'm sure everyone will have a different take on their mids. I don't feel that the Big Splits really need any help in the mid department but, I found the 400hz zone to add some nice muscle if need be. This bass now sounds huge!

    On another note, I really couldn't say enough great things about Brian at Best Bass Gear. He is amazingly helpful and just seems like a really genuine person to deal with. His turn around time for both correspondence and delivery is amazingly fast. I give thumbs up all around.

    I hope this helps.
  5. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Could you get soundclips?
  6. Bass Logic

    Bass Logic Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Long Island
    Sure, I'll gladly give it a go. I just need to pick up an input device for my computer. I'll try to pick something up one night this week and post it this weekend.
  7. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Thanks man, looking forward to it!
  8. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I am copying my review of the Nordstrand Preamp from a post I put on the Nordstrand Forum.

    I've been gigging with my new Nordy VJ5 with the Nordstrand Preamp for the past 10 gigs. (since I got the bass) I have to say "this bass", paired with Carey's onboard Preamp exceeds my expectations! It is SOOO musical!#$! My new Nordy specs are:

    Nordy VJ5
    Oly White/Tort Pickguard
    Alder/Indian Rosewood
    Pearl Blocks and Binding
    Big Single PU's
    Nordstrand Active/passive Preamp

    For comparison, I switched between passive mode versus active mode, with the onboard EQ set flat, to listen for any differences that the active mode might introduce. In active mode (with all settings flat) it retains the same tonal character of the bass, but sounds like there is just a bit more gain and punch compared with passive mode. And in active mode, the bass retains the organic character that is obviously inherent in the bass. Yes it sounds great passive, but for me, I like the added 'something extra' that I hear in Active mode. So it's Active for me! But sure nice to have passive mode for the times when I am more of a purist, or in the event of a battery failure. The quick change battery compartment on the back of the bass works like butter too! It has a quick release hinge and the battery just slides in and makes contact without having to snap the connector onto the battery. Suh-weet!

    I have not needed or wanted to 'cut' Bass eq, but I have boosted slightly (5-10%) and it is just so musical. Anything more would be overkill to my ears, and I am finding that I just leave it flat or use maybe 10% boost when I am dialed toward the bridge PU to fatten up the bridge PU tone. The bass EQ seems to add punch in a very articulate manner. It never gets boomy, bloated or pillowy. With onboard bass boost, it's like adding a magic Ultra-awesomizer! The Nordy Preamp does not have so much boost range that only half the range is useful. (like some others) I did test the boost all the way and it remains useful and musical. Althought I can't imagine wanting or needing to use that much bass boost, it's there for you and won't overload the input gain channel on your amp.

    The midrange EQ is perhaps the most musical midrange control I've ever had on a bass. (F Bass withstanding. That one was nice too) With the Midrange EQ set flat, everything sounds pure and tonally unaltered to my ears. Adding a touch of Mid boost never becomes nasal, honky or dry sounding like some other onboard active midrange EQ's do. Again, not much boost is needed to have a notable, yet always musical affect. Very nice. I let Carey choose the Mid frequency center. I forget which cap he used, but I think the Midrange frequency center was set to 400hz? Carey? Whatever it is, it is perfect!

    I also 'cut' the Mids a touch when both PU's are on full, to give a slight midrange scoop for slap/funk tunes. I was concerned about getting a great slap tone with an Alder/Rosewood bass. But the onboard Midrange EQ flexibility gives me all I need.

    Nordstrand preamps can be had in a variety of configutations which is really nice! I opted for the Vol/Blend/Passive tone (push-pull for active-passive)/Bass-Mid concentric stack. (I opted for No Treble control after discussing this in great length with Carey) The reality is, I just don't need a treble control. I never "boost" treble, and the passive tone control lets me warm things up magically.

    When I dial the passive tone control down about 40%-50% and favor the bridge PU (70% Bridge/30% Neck PU) I get the most amazing and convincing jazz bass tone I could want! Burpy, Jaco Growl lives here folks. It is just Mind blowing. Stew (at the Nordstrand shop) recommended that I might want to try dialing the passive tone off completely, and I quckly discovered that is not only an amazing sound, but it's very, very useable. It gets all thick and syrupy with greezy, meaty soul I'm telling you! Very cool. I am God smacked by this bass! Carey's preamp is a major league contender my friends!$#!. To my ears, it's "all that" and then some! I would personally choose the Nordstrand Preamp above all others at this point. It is dead quiet, always musical, available in versatile configurations and it sounds incredibly natural.

    Yeah, I know I sound like a Nordstrand fanboy. And well, it's true. I am HUGE fan of Carey's magnificent instruments. (I own two VJ5's if that gives you a clue?) I waited to get enough gigs under my belt with my Nordy VJ5 before posting any sort of conclusive review to make sure I wasn't just infatuated with the new girlfriend. Man, this bass is the real deal. .... The genuine article! That simple. The Nordstrand Preamp will make you smile. You will love it! I like it so much, I am tempted to replace the Audere 3 Band w/passive tone in my other Nordy with Carey's Nordstrand Preamp. And I love(d) the Audere ... Until I tried Carey's Pre. They are both great, but I like the Nordstrand Preamp more.

    Here are some "live" pics. Forgive me to those who have seen these in the Nordy Club thread. I am just so proud, I have to share!


    Can you Slap an Alder/Rosewood bass? You bet!!!

    With my cover/dance band, The Smokin' Section, Tucson, AZ Aka - The Oly White Brothers! :D

    The money shot, and Gig rig: Markbass LMII Amp, Bergantino AE410 cabinet.

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