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Nordstrand related decisions...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DougP, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Ok, i am in the beginning phases of communicating with Carey via email about getting an NJ5 built.

    I feel like most of the decisions are made but i still have two or three choices that i havent decided on yet. Since i am still about a month away from putting the down payment in, i am not too pressured to make a decision yet, and i will be calling him early this week to work out some of the details.

    So...here is the plan...

    NJ 5 with 34.5" scale
    After seeing Andrew Baileys quilted redwood top, i pretty much decided i wanted one too. (sorry to be a copy cat Andrew)
    Maple body, maybe quilted also, unsure right now.
    the neck will be maple>cocobolo>wenge>cocobolo>maple
    Carey has suggested several woods for the fretboard, currently i am leaning towards pau ferro.
    Will be using his dual coil PUs.

    The decisions i still have to make include, using fiber optics in the fretboard edge and knobs (gotta see what thats gonna cost me) and fretboard material. i like the look paduak (since it has about the same tone as pau ferro as i have been reading, correct me if i am wrong) but am wondering if it would be too red to match the redwood top.
    and finally, my third decision is possibly not having a preamp. i have an active Carvin bass that i leave flat and never use.

    The tone i am going for is centered around the lows and mids. i would like something punchy, yet warm. as i play finger style and i dont have a concern for a lot of super high frequencies.

    Suggestions and comments are invited.

    Carey, if you read this i will be calling you soon.

    - Doug
  2. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Hey Doug - One thing to consider about Padauk is that it doesn't stay that bright rust color. With oxygen and UV light comes darkening and browning of Padauk - oxygen can be mitigated by a clear overcoat, but I dont know about the light (i.e. sunlight). Just a thought if color is important. Maybe it won't be "too red" after awhile at least, eh?
  3. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I'd be suprised if the fiber-optics were less than $500. On a bass like this, that's roughly 12-20% of the cost. Is it worth it? Hmmm I don't know.

    Nice choices on the woods though. I'd go with the Pao on the fingerboard.

    On the pre, you may want to include one making sure you get an on/off switch. If you ever decide to sell it, you'll probably get more bites with a pre than without. I know you go into these things thinking "I'll never sell this...", but things change.

    Sounds like it'll be killer. Good luck.
  4. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    I'm in the same boat. I'm kind of scared to order my NS5 because my current bass, a Warrior has perfect playability and sound. The problem? I hope you all don't think I'm an anal fool, but the construction flaws drive me CRAZY!

    The main flaws are the following: Position dots on the edge of the board actually are all misaligned. Some even are so off, they're partway onto the neck!

    The neck pocket has a pretty substantial gap on the treble side. I literally can see through the gap, seeing the screws. The screws don't seem to be able to be tightened any more.

    Anyway, the bass is swamp ash body, maple top, with a gloss finish. The neck is wenge with a purpleheart stringer and a purpleheart fingerboard. The neck is slim, but not Pedulla-slim, and the string spacing is about the same as, say, a StingRay 5.

    I just don't know how the Nordie necks feel. I know they're a teeny bit wider, and for reference, I had an MTD535, which was just too wide for me spacing-wise, and neck shape didn't work for me (thicker on the bass side), plus the 35 scale over 21 frets was also nuts in the lower positions.

    What I want is the sound of the Warrior-warm, punchy, growly, but with lots of top end articulation, so I can either groove in funk and rock, or slap and tap (really a do-it-all bass), with the perfect construction the Nordies are known for, plus a comfie fast neck. If I can have that, I know I won't ever need another bass. Really...I swear!

  5. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Dave, yeah thats kind of what i was counting on with the UV light. can anyone confirm the tone of Paduak compared to Pau Ferro? i really like the look of that would also. my first instinct was to go with cocobolo but Carey advised me against it for tonal reasons, he suggested other woods that would be a closer match. And i am not about to question his judgements or suggestions.

    AJ, good advice on the preamp. yeah those fiber optics may not be a cost effective. but i'll see when i talk to Carey.

    Wasabi, its my gut feeling that you dont have to worry about quality, playability or sound from a Nordstrand, they will all be top notch. i know i wont be able to play the bass to its fullest potential but hey i like expensive things LOL. my suggestion is to have a strong understanding of the sound you want (which it sounds like you do) and know some of the wood combinations that can give you that sound.
  6. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I think light weight ash body is the way to go...bolt on, pauferro fingerboard and your neck combo. I love the F preamp with Carey's dual coil. Carey's neck is one of the best out there...action low and fast. Lights on the neck is cool but forget the knobs...sorry Carey. :meh:

    Fingerboard similar to my "AG" bass will be cool :D
  7. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    Maybe Adrian can chime in on this, too. As far as playability, for me, it's low action and a comfy neck. The MTD shape, scale and string spacing were a bit much for me, so if the Nordie necks are slightly narrow spacing and an easier shape to deal with, I'm sure it will be fine.

    I believe I'm going to go with a 34" scale...The 35 is too much, and I'm wondering if his standard 34.5 will still be too much. I know the 34s, while a little tight with 24 frets, are still lightening quick for me. And it will be a bolt-on, as I know that provides some extra punch.
  8. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i'll have to do some research into the F preamp. As for the body, i am going to stick with what i got, i have always had an affinity for maple.

    This is fun! so many choices to be made.
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Hey H, how about a picture of your bolt on? :D
  10. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002

    Hman - Did I miss something here? Did Adrian sell his Nordie? I didn't think anyone would be able to pry that one out of his hands.
  11. Yeah, for me, I would go with Pau Ferro. It's a beautiful wood and I think it would match the Quilted Redwood perfectly.

    The fiber optics would add a big wow factor, but I would see if the need justifies the cost. If you play in darker environments alot then they would be great.

    I think AJ has a good point on the preamp. That way you could bypass it and still have it there if you ever need it.

    Should be a killer bass! Carey does amazing work.
  12. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................

    Ok.....let me throw my 2 cents in here!

    Firstly for the Neck Shape, Radius etc....find a neck that is perfect for you and give the specs to Carey.

    As for Consturction Flaws....{ie...Like on your Warrior}, it will Never Happen. Carey happens to be one of the most Anally retentive person for detail I have had the Pleasure to deal with. His eye for DETAIL, Construction, and overall wood combos are right on!
    You will not have to worry about a gap in the neck pocket {like on the Warrior}, or uneven dots on the neck{again like the Warrior}.

    Also....just a quick help with the issue on the Neck pocket of the Warrior...take off the neck and make sure that nothing is blocking it from sitting flush...{like a shim}

    I own 2 Nordstrands and I absoultely love them both. I may have a 3rd on the way{but I may get into that at a later date!}

    -NJ4 Deluxe... Paduak 1 piece body was with Careys specs for a neck.

    -NJ4 Deluxe...Flamed Mrtyle top was with a Jazz neck taper (my idea). Carey nailed it dead perfect!

    I hope this helps!

  13. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................

    I have a Sapwood Pau Ferro fingerboard on my NJ4 deluxe {which I decided on after I saw Adrians EX-Access set neck 5, which H-man now owns}.

    I love the way the wood looks and sounds.
  14. Wasabi1264


    Oct 3, 2004
    President: MusicDojo.com
    I think I'm going to end up trying to sell the bass back to Warrior when I get closer to getting my Nordie. I'm going to put a deposit down I think next week, just to get in line, and since my batch won't start til after NAMM, I'll likely be able to try some of his basses in person at the show. I should have not been a dunce in the first place and just gotten in line at the last NAMM show! I'd be a happy camper today!
  15. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
  16. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Hman now owns the AG bass because Adrian sold it to him.

  17. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    I've got a nordie going for this batch as well!! :hyper:

    I think you might wanna go with AJ's advice on the preamp. I'm also having dual coils in mine, but I'll be adding piezos as well. The pre that I've chosen is the Fbass one - I think it works really well with the dual coils/piezo combo. But, I'm still having the active/passive switch thingie with the master tone control as well :) From the tone that you're looking for, I think you might want to consider either a sadowsky or a demeter pre in your nordie.

    I think pau ferro fretboard would go really nicely with the quilted redwood - it would defintely contribute to your punchy and warm tone as well. As for the body wood, I'm a big fan of mahogany - if punchy lows and mids are what you are looking for, mahogany sounds like the cure :) Other alternatives would be black limba (which I'm going for) or walnut (which would probably be darker in tone).

    Lights are always cool, but I really don't know if I can justify their cost... hmm, need to check with Carey about that too :p
  18. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    WHAT???? :confused: :eek: :rollno: :scowl:
    That just left a BIG dent in the AG credibility polls...

  19. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    I spoke with Carey yesterday and we have most of the details nailed down. i'll be going with the Pau Ferro fretboard.

    right now, i have it set with passive electronics, but that may change at a later date. i am going with the lights in orange just because that was something i have always wanted done.

    Maple it is for the body and i may go for a flamed maple back piece later, but we'll see...

    i gotta respect the Ministry quote!

  20. Bass7755


    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    I got my Nordstrand about a month ago. :D It's the best
    bass purchase I have ever made!!! Carey does awesome work.
    The bass is flawless. It plays and feels fantastic. I have Carey's dual coils with the FBass preamp and I love the combo. Oh yeah... an Alder ( love it). I have the same top that Hman has on the "AG" bass. Hman's pic looks great...but you should see it in person! :hyper: My Nordie is SO much more than I expected.
    I really hope you love your Nordstrand as much as I love
    mine. Good luck.. the wait SUCKS! But its worth it.
    Dan (a very happy Nordstrand owner). :cool: :D