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Nordstrand vs John East for MM preamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by silky smoove, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm using a Nordstrand MM4.2 in a Stingray build, and can't decide on the preamp.

    From my research and thread here on TB; John East's MMSR kind of has its own thing going, whereas the Nordstrand is very close to a vintage set, which is apparently from 1978 that Carey owns.

    Anybody done a direct comparison between these two preamps?
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I haven't directly A/B'd them but I have heard them in different basses. Both are really well executed and nail the classic Stingray sound.

    Just to clarify, John East built his by reverse engineering the preamp from a classic Musicman Sabre.
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  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    the nord and sgd's pre all were built using that same schematic as well. you probably cant go wrong with any of them and if youre handy with a soldering iron, just wire one up yourself using the unclefluffy boards. im currently using one in a 76 jazz and a 79 ray.
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Me and a soldering iron are not only incompatible, we're sworn enemies, haha.

    Sounds like I can't go wrong either way. I like the idea of a Nord and a Nord going together, but I also like, trivial though they may be, the center detents on the John East. The Nord is slightly cheaper than the 2-band East.

    I hate when things are so close. It makes my indecisive brain scream at my wallet.
  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've checked out the Nordy MM pickup with the vintage preamp. I owned a 79 Stingray. The Nordy pickup and pre sound at least as good, actually a little better. A little thicker on the G string and cleaner low end. This might be just from using higher quality parts than the original preamp.
  7. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I've owned both. The Nord is definitely more faithful to the original.
  8. maurilio

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

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings

    If by center detents you mean the tone pots have the "center flat position, it has to be a recent version or something.
    I just install a east MM pre for customer and there was no center detent on it (?)
  9. yeah, my East MMSR preamp does not have any detents either...