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Nordy or Celinder?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CelinderMotoMan, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Banned

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    I was curious if anyone has owned both or has any experience with both basses and what your opinions are between these 2 brands.
  2. I haven't owned the Celinder basses, but have played P and J styles via The Gallery in Camden, London. Very nice instruments - extremely solid and play incredibly well with a lovely sound.

    As for the Nordy basses? Well, I liked them so much that I bought one!!, and am awaiting delivery of a second one early in 2009 (will be one of the display basses at the NAMM show).

    I find myself heading more and more along the passive route these days. For years I have had the "all singing, all dancing, throw all the whistles and bells in there" style basses - I think in part to justify the higher price you pay for this style of instrument.

    However, with my current bass Carey and I discussed what I loved about bass sound, and the instruments that provide a reference tone for me - mainly old Fenders. So, we made this one a lightweight ash body finished in Surf Green, with a bird's eye maple fingerboard neck - block & bound. The circuit is fully passive, and wired in the traditional jazz bass style layout - allows me to get that "slightly roll off one pickup to get that classic jazz bark" sound.

    Anyhow, the bass plays so well, is solid as a rock, and just sounds so classic that I ordered another one. The new one will be alder bodied with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard - this one being dot & bound, kinda like the old Fender '66 vibe. The circuit once again is gonna be the traditional fully passive, vol, vol, tone layout. Also, this one os gonna be finished in Shell Pink with a matching headstock - yummy.

    For now, here's my Surf Green Nordy:

  3. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I've played both, but never owned a Celinder. They are just too heavy for me,. I have also recently come to the conclusion that I am pretty much over the 'Marcus Miller'/aggressive 70's Fender Jazz bass tone. It's just not where I'm at. But maybe it's where you are at in which case, the Celinder is much more suited to that uber agressive 70's Fender sound.

    I own two Nordstrand Nordy's. They are not alike whatsoever and neither of them comes close to resembling a Celinder tone. Maybe you need that 11-13 lb heavy Northern Ash to get that sound?

    I have a Nordy VJ5 that is Ash/Birdseye Maple with Nordstrand Big Split PU's and Audere 3 band Active Pre W/passive tone option.

    And my most recent Nordy is Alder/Indian Rosewood with Norstrand Big Single PU's and the new Nordstrand active/passive Preamp.

    Here they are:

    Here I am last Friday night with my Oly White Nordy. I covet this bass! (Kevin, I am certain you are going to be blown away by your Alder/Braz Rosewood Nordy!. I love your spec's my friend!)

    I love the 34.5" scale and neck profile of my Nordy's better than any other basses I've played. Gary Roberts
  4. Very different. As you know, the Update is IMO the best example of the true 'Jazz on Steroids' tone made famous by Marcus Miller IMO and IME (and like Gary, I've moved away from that. It just takes too much horsepower to punch that wide tone through a mix for me). They sound like a late 70's, heavy, J Bass with single coils juiced up with an aggressive pre. So, big, sizzly, massive (and big and heavy physically).

    The Nordy I owned and the various models I've played (passive and active) are unique. While they look kind of like J Basses, the feel and sound totally different. With the various 'Big' pickups (fat stacks, big singles and big splits), they are to my ear closer to a moder soapbar loaded bass (both tone and feel). They have a compound radius board that flattens above the 12th fret. For those who want a 'J looking' instrument that sounds a bit more updated and modern, they would be a good option. Quality is good, and the fretwork and set-up is excellent. I just don't like those pickups much. Even the single coil J's don't sound particularly like J pickups to me. Somehow, the aggressive grind seems sucked out of them. IMO of course.

    I, quite frankly, don't put them in the same league as the Celinder, but I'd put few basses in that league.
  5. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I've owned 7 Celinders and currently have just 1, a Vintage 5.. I had a Nordy VJ-5 sent to me to check out but sent it back.. Nothing wrong with it, it played and sounded great.. One thing I didn't like was the access to the 21st fret.. The lower horn is alittle tight.. I pretty much agree with everything Ken has to say especially about them not being in the same league as the Celinders.... The only thing I wouldn't agree upon is I love the Nordstrand pickups.. I have a Lakland DJ-5 with the Nordy pickups and I really like them...
    The Celinder Update 5's are fantastic basses and I really would love to use one on a regular basis, but they are heavy... My Vintage 5 is probably around 10 pounds, but it's a fantastic instrument... I am looking for something light and with a maple board... I was thinking Nordy, but probably will go with a Lakland 55-94 or 55-02..

  6. +1.. .to clarify, the pickup deal is pure personal taste, not a 'good versus bad' thing. I actually love the Nordstrand MM pickup, and the dual coils sound really good in 'soapbar' basses. I just prefer a little more 'Fender' in my J tone than I've heard from any of the J or especially the 'Big' pickups.
  7. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I agree about the personnel taste...:hyper: I wish I could find a light Update 5 with blocks and binding.. I also wish my hair would grow back, but I think theres a better chance of that than a light Update 5...:help:
  8. +1! Actually, the one that TBer Vision has, while heavy, is not crazy heavy and it sounds a little less 'over the top' aggressive versus my blue bomber. I still love the sound and playability, but it hasn't been out of the house for a long time now.
  9. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    Yep, my Update is just over 10lbs, which to me makes a big difference on a gig vs. an 11 or 12 lb jazz bass. It also has a bit more upper mid fingerstyle grind than the two other Updates I've played which were more "Marcus" (Ken's blue one and Tom B's cherry burst.)
  10. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I had 2 of them... I can't remember what the 1st weighed, but the last one felt like 13 or 14 pounds... Now I can handle weight, but I'm getting too damn old and lazy to have that hanging around my neck..:D
  11. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Banned

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    Please elaborate. You mean they are completely different animals and can"t be compared or one is more superior than the other?
  12. Completely different animals. Both are professional grade instruments IMO and IME.

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