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Nordstrand VS Bartolini

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by eupharies, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. eupharies


    Jul 3, 2007
    Leeds UK
    Bassist - Chasing Dragons

    My bass has 2 x EMG HB's in with a EMG BTC preamp.

    I have been looking at these 2 companies Soapbar pickups that would directly replace my 2 EMG's...

    I was simply wondering if anyone has any recommendation on these models... or if you have another suggestion im more than happy to hear!

    Have been looking at the bartolini m4....


    nordstrand dual coil / big split / fat stack / big singles

    Although im not 100% sure the big split would be a direct replacement..

    I hate the EMG sound HB sound, to sterile, i want something a bit more warm and yet still gritty and aggressive...

    Im happy to change the preamp as well if needed...
  2. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
  3. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Really would help if you tell us what bass this is going in and what your tonal goals are. AFAIK, all the Nordstrands you mention have the same dimensions. I just put a Nordie P5 and Nordie Big Split in my 2012 Fernder American Standard Precision 5. The controls are V/V/T with a three way switch for p/both/bs. The results are nothing short of astonishing. The Big Split is in the 70's position on my bass, yet the tone if full and rich. It has a sort to scooped sound, but not thin. It is just that the bottom and top are very present, so the mids sound a bit scooped. Works very well with the P. I would call the tone aggressive. I compared my BS by itself to a 2012 MusicMan StingRay Classic. I absolutely kills it. There are a few things I notice about Nordie's that tell me these are exceptional pickups. One, they respond very well to height adjustment. Two, they respond very well to picking location. Three, they are very touch sensitive. The result is that you can get a really wide variety of tones. However the BS retains that forward voicing. I have yet to use it in a band situation, so the final verdict it out for a couple to days, but noodling at home has been a very pleasurable experience.
  4. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    +1 for the Nordy's
  5. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    Nordstrand Soapbars can be made in most common sizes (BC-P2/4-EMG35/40/45 and can also be custom sized).

    agressive= nord

    nordstrand is developing ceramic and neo blade pickups as we speak….

  6. eupharies


    Jul 3, 2007
    Leeds UK
    Bassist - Chasing Dragons
    Awesome! Well its going in a custom landing bass, 2 x emg hb pickups with the BTC, it goes V,V, stacked ton Bass/treble neck, stacked tone bass/treble bridge, and a 3 way poickup selector!

    To be honest, its to complex, ideally i just want V,V,T,T, then maybe something for mids...

    Ill be honest i dont really understand all this stuff that well....

    Tone wise i want fat, warm and angry, bit of clang on the end!!

    Tone wise something like this ( its just at the start)


    Thanks :)
  7. eupharies


    Jul 3, 2007
    Leeds UK
    Bassist - Chasing Dragons
  8. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    I know a lot of people like the Nordstrand, but the ones I've tried I didn't care for. I'm in the Bartolini camp. That with a Pope preamp is a top shelf combo IMO.
  9. eupharies


    Jul 3, 2007
    Leeds UK
    Bassist - Chasing Dragons
    Which ones did you try?
  10. Nordies and Barts are very different sounding pickups, It depends what you like from sound.
    best way is to try them all. I've had Nordy DC5s, Big splits and Bart deep tone dual coils in same bass, and didn't really care for Nordstrands, Barts were much more my sound.

    Now I have Delano SBCs, they work very nice, but would like to try Fat stacks as I heard they are actually far best Nordy pickups
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Nordstrand pickups are more aggressive in your face type of tone.

    Bartolini pickups are very polite mild mannered in their tone.

    I prefer Nordstrand.
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I have Big Splits in my Lakland! Very aggressive and very hot! Good thing my preamp has a gain trimpot which I had to turn ALL the way down. As for the Barts, it depends on which model you choose. I always go for the Classic Series which are definitely not polite, IMHO. Bartolini does make a lot of 'dark' sounding pickups but they also make 'bright' sounding pickups as well. Their output is tame when compared to Nordies.

    My preference is Bartolini. If the pickups I wanted were available, they would have been in the Lakland. At some point, they will be.
  13. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Hot is right. That's why it works so well with a P p'up.