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Nordy Bigman4?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dukeorock, Oct 23, 2017.


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  1. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    bought a parts bass really cheap recently to have some fun with.
    IMG_4826.jpg

    The neck is pretty cool, but the Bart MM pickup... in passive mode, it's thin and not at all what I'm after. Active doesn't work at all, which is fine as I don't use active basses as a rule anyway, so the plan was to rip it out and try some stuff. I foolishly sold my Dingwall Super J/P awhile back and miss the tone, both pickups in series, passive. Really punchy and very clear and open sounding. Based on listening to a bunch of clips, I'm considering a Nordy Bigman 4, and something else (?) in the neck position. Anyone have experience with this pickup?
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have a reverse Jag project loaded with 2 Nordie BigMen - not finished yet, I just have them tack-soldered in to hear them - bit thick fat sound as expected is my early report....
     
  3. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Let me know once you get em loaded, please!
     
  4. Toptube

    Toptube

    Feb 9, 2009
    There is also the new Big Blade Man

    Big BladeMan 4

    Nordstrand is a fantastic crew. Very friendly. I emailed with them for days. And they work fast. its refreshing, after dealing with some other small shops.
     
    MarkoYYZ likes this.
  5. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I had a few back and forth emails with Adrian and the responses were super fast and very helpful. Makes me want to love these pickups even more :)
     
    NigelD and MarkoYYZ like this.
  6. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    The Big BladeMan looks intriguing too, should I ever decide to try to get near the Wal vibe (which I love!). Need to stumble into the right bass for that kinda build up.

    Since this parts bass I have is routed for a MM pickup, I got a Bigman in that shell. It's at my techs place waiting for an install and general setup. I should get it early next week :)
     
    songwriter21 likes this.
  7. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    I have a pair of them in a Warwick $$4.
    They are awesome, I didn't like this bass at all when it was stock.
    I have a $$5, so it was like why do I even own the 4?

    I saw a pair of BMs in the classifieds, bought them bc I've already run thru a bunch of aftermarket MM pickups. You can only really hear so many variations of a MM clone until you get bored of it. You know what an MM sounds like from every pov.

    They are deeper, so stock MM foam may be tight.
    Nordstrand doesn't glue the shells on, I actually had them in backwards bc I was following every other MM pickup based on lead position.

    I love single, basically I have a pair of Big Singles on most of the time.

    Parallel is thick and has a ton of richness.
    It's just fun, big ol finger sensitive and all that good stuff.

    Series is over the top loud, makes me want to play with a pick. Everything about it is big and nasty.

    I tend to use both pickups, you lose something with just one.
    I mean you get used to 4 Big Singles blasting across your bass translating all this string movement and it's crazy.
    The guy I bought them from had both alnico 5&3, I think they work together somehow.
    Ymmv.

    I use active and passive, and I want to play with a passive tone.
    I do have a couple 3-band preamps on my desk, stock 2-band MEC is in there right now.
    I'm probably missing out on something without a mid control.
    Usually I will fire up the Hakko and thrash preamps in and out but the BMs were so cool I started messing with my amps, cabs, and preamps.
    I never do that, BMs made my amp setup seem so much more alive and with more potential.
    I was wringing out sounds out of the same gear my other basses couldn't cut down to.

    I like 500k blend and volume lots, BMs are already a bit dark by nature in humbucking modes. In single I think they lose the snotty nasal thing with 250k pots when you go with 500's. You can always let your amp/preamp do some work for voicing.

    I've been using a Magellan, an SWR Electric Blue, and an SVP-CL. I kinda wanna try a bunch of different preamps with the BMs bc they blast.

    My SVP-CL particularly got grittier and more like a 2P.
    The Electric Blue got all snarly in it's scoopier presets. Crazy big old Dub thump in the mid and bottom heavy settings. I can find R&B thumpiness but lots more tonal shine.
    Get a rack semi parametric EQ, BMs have so much output and character to spin knobs shaping.

    I may have to get a switching system and a selection of my favorite rack preamps for this bass.

    Maybe it's all the wire they wound, but they really bring the character out of whatever amp/preamp you are playing.

    I kinda wanna try an Alembic preamp again.
    I never liked those bc you really had to shove a ton of output into them for them to wake up.
    Maybe the BMs will change my mind about that refined Showman sound.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
    dukeorock likes this.
  8. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Great info, thanks!
     
  9. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    You build cabs.
    I'm going to assume the Fender/Baxandall tone stack thing is old hat. Are most onboard preamps Baxandall type EQ ?
    Various classic pickups are a known quantity.

    Designing cabs, amps, preamps, etc has to take into account stacked signal in a chain.

    I'm really curious what you find the BM doing to your gear when that bass is up and running.
     
    dukeorock likes this.
  10. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I do build cabs. I'm a small, one man shop, so I've built around 150 cabs in the past 6 years. Not a ton, but not nothing :)

    I'm also just a pretty curious person. I've mostly played passive basses. I've had a few active basses, but the pres didn't do it for me. My East Retro was probably the best, but at the end of the day, I still preferred that bass passive. Interesting you bring that up, as I've considered trying a couple different pres I've never fooled around with (Glock, Pope are interesting). My interest in the Bigman is that it seems altogether different. I'm not super interested in trying every variation of a P or J or MM(tried a whole bunch over the years though). I intended to record clips with the Bigman once I've had some time to play with it :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  11. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio


    Super quick demo of the Bigman in my parts bass if anyone is interested :)
     
  12. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Try series and parallel humbucking.

    I'm going to end up buying a couple other preamps to go with my SVP-CL bc I think there's voicing there I want to explore.

    Something about the BM is super interesting just seeing what they do in a given setting.

    I'm running 2 BMs, I highly recommend it.
     
  13. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I'm seriously considering a second one. You have pictures of the placement on yours?

    I asked my tech to do a series/parallel switch, but he seemed a bit confused about that and I was anxious to get it home and try it. Be interested in how you went about everything in your rig!
     
  14. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Post #9 $how your bargain bass buys!

    I'm using the stock MEC preamp right now bc I literally couldn't back to the bass to even slice the foams down.
    BMs are really thick, you don't knotice it until you have to push on the housings to get them down.

    My pickups are super high right now, at the edge of not pulling strings.
    I should also copper tape the cavities bc there is a fair amount of noise from all that copper.

    Instead of doing anything further to the bass I ran out and bought an Epifani 310 cab bc I really didn't like it with the GS112's I have.
    I started using just the Ampeg preamp thru a head bc I dialed in on the outer coils bc I could go from a super modern SVT rock scoop to a warmed up R&B thing pretty easily just playing with the ultra low voicing knob.

    Parallel is where I really want to try out some of the old favorite tube preamps to see where the complexity goes.

    You can run the wiring diagram from N's site, I'm using something diff bc Warwick DPDT switches are a little different.
    Mostly I play it passive.
    You could heat up a soldering iron and follow the N diagram no sweat.

    I'm working in LA right now, I have the Warwick schematics that were modified for the BM's posted on my desktop at home. Doesn't do you much good unless you decide to use a bunch of MEC parts.
     
    dukeorock likes this.
  15. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Thanks for the info! Very kind of you :)
     
  16. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Connecticut
    Count me in as a BigMan user, I've got one in my Karl Hoyt 4 string fretless:

    12794556_1201715933173669_8185692228472787148_n.jpg

    Wired series/parallel/single. The 3 options offer a buttload of versatility and while I find myself in series most often, I couldn't pick a fave.
     
    protosoul, spiritbass and dukeorock like this.
  17. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Very nice! Is it active? Passive?
     
  18. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Connecticut
    Passive, just volume and tone push/pulls for the wiring choices. Beastly!
     
    protosoul and dukeorock like this.
  19. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    That's great to hear! I intend to keep mine passive as well :)
     
  20. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Connecticut
    Heck yeah! It really is an amazing pickup...
     

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