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Norstrand Dual Coil pups - how do they sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Sep 11, 2008.


  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm planning on replacing the pickups in my Lakland 55-01 and I'm probably going to leave it passive and possibly include a Rothstein varitone switch instead of a tone control.

    How do Norstrand Dual Coil pickups sound? I've done a search and there seems to be only a few threads out there about them.

    How do they sound in series? Parallel? Single coil?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mattygbass

    mattygbass Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Stafford Springs, CT
  3. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
  4. mattygbass

    mattygbass Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Stafford Springs, CT
    no problem, im gonna do mine too. i want an audere pre though. or maybe aguilar, or maybe the new nordy pre:confused:
     
  5. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm torn about a preamp. I really like the idea of having an Audere in mine, and my original plan was:

    Norstrand DC's with parallel/single coil/series switches
    Audere 3ZB 4-band with 6ZB switch

    It would be like the swiss army knife of basses!

    I might still go this way but it's going to take some time to gather the funds. I'm on a limited budget so I can only sock away $35 a month. At that rate it would take me the next 15 months! It'd probably be worth it but it's hard to wait that long.

    However, there was a Bassplayer article that reviewed a passive Norstrand and an active Norstrand bass. Both basses had Nordy Big Singles and the active one had an Audere preamp. Of course the passive one sounded more vintage and the active one was definitely more modern - I'm not sure I want that modern of a sound, though. Audere's are supposed to be very transparent, though, huh? I am really attracted to the active blending and active volume available on the Audere.

    I might just go with the same Audere pre and some Big Splits and go relatively simple.

    We'll see...
     
  6. jshilgebass

    jshilgebass Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    El Cajon, CA
    Tomorrow I'm driving from my San Diego CA area home to Nordstrand Guitars to pick up my Lakland 55-01. It has the Nordstrand Preamp, Nordstrand Dual Coil pickups, and the switches for series/parallel/single coil installed. I can't wait to hear this thing get played!:bassist:

    Coincidentally, I have a gig the very same night, so I should be able to test it under battlefield conditions. :D


    Joe Hilgeman
     
  7. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    How much did it cost to have them do all that for you?
     
  8. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    We _DO_ expect a follow up you know...

    KO
     
  9. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm toying with the idea of installing the DC's with the coil taps, leaving it passive, and buying an Aguilar Tone Hammer preamp instead of installing the Audere.
     
  10. jshilgebass

    jshilgebass Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    El Cajon, CA
    Okay, I now have some time to talk about my Lakland CAR/rosewood 'board 55-01, now equipped with the Dual Coil pickups and the new Nordstrand preamp.

    Wow. I mean, wow... Even if it's still in an unfinished state. :smug:

    I got the call last week from Mike Cooper saying that my bass was ready for pickup. With great joy and anticipation I made the under-two-hour scenic drive to the base of the mountain range where the Boys of Nordstrand resided and worked.

    I ran the bass through their reference amp rig and was astounded by how good it sounded, even with slightly dead strings (I forgot to leave a fresh set). I was just twisting knobs and flipping switches without knowing what they did. The original knobs were used except for one new feature; the stack knob. I didn't think to ask them to get knobs for this, so I was reduced to turning the shafts themselves. I asked Mike which knobs did what. Rather sheepishly, he said "I don't know, I didn't install the preamp. I just put in the pickups." :bag: Mo (Maurilio) was the preamp installer, and he was not working that day. Mike and I managed to figure out the obvious on some of the knobs (vol/blend), and we figured that one push/pull knob was active/passive switching, and the other push/pull was (maybe) a switchable mid control. But the stack knob and one other knob was a mystery to us at that time. The series/single coil/parallel switch settings were easy to figure out. I didn't care...all I knew was I got my bass back, and it was utterly transformed into something more.

    Back home, I played the bass at a couple of church services. This was a good way to run it through its paces in a real-world situation without having too much stress. I managed to get good sounds coming out of it anyway. I was going to try it at one of my band gigs, but decided against it. I knew the guys would give me crap about playing a bass with knobs missing. :rollno:

    I PM'd Mo (maurilio) and asked him to tell me the control configuration, and even he was a little confused at first about what he did :p . After some exchange of information we finally had it figured out, and it's really something! :hyper: :

    volume (pull for passive), blend (w/ center detent), passive tone control (works in active, too! ), switchable mid (down=400hz, up=1khz, w/ center detent), stacked bass/treble (w/ center detents). Separate switches for each pickup: down toward the floor=series, centered=single coil, up=parallel.

    I'll put this bass up against any other (er, those w/out Nordstrand electronics)! The Dual Coil pickups are fantastic, and Carey Nordstrand's preamp is the real deal. I could get deep, dubby lows for reggae, Jaco rear-pickup burpiness, P-bass hollow grind, slicing modern tone, slap sounds of all kinds, all without bad extremes of frequency range. Highs were shimmery, not icy bright. Lows were deep and substantial, but not overly muddy. Lotsa mids to play with, and there's a lot of possibilities with having "dual tone knobs" to work with. Some folks might find all this tonal capability too complex, but I like having all these options available to me. If those folks want to play this bass, I'll have them switch it to passive and only deal with three knobs. :smug:

    Ah yes...the knobs. The Nordy Boys said I could get stack knobs from Allparts, so I checked out the website and saw that they carried both "stack" and "concentric"...and they sure looked the same to me. I wonder if there's a difference. I also saw that Hipshot carried a stack knob set that had rubber rings on it, making for a cool look. Both of them had them in the color I need (black chrome). Decisions, decisions...

    All I need besides the stack knobs are a fresh set of strings, and my joy will be complete. "KC" will be one badass bass!!!

    Thanks again to the Boys of Nordstrand for the great work they did.


    Joe Hilgeman
     
  11. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Hey there, glad you like it. It has a great B string that bass and most probably even a better sound with new strings :p

    I was not confused about what i did on your bass, I've just forgot at the moment... man, between Nordstrand, teaching, gigs, my own repair job (at home) and the family, I get a little lost once in a while ;)

    Play the heck out of it, Joe.

    M

    ps: I need to talk to Mike (Cooper) :rollno: about how a preamp works in a bass....


    :D
     
  12. jshilgebass

    jshilgebass Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    El Cajon, CA
    Mo, you are The MAN when it comes to Nordy preamps. I was just bustin' on ya a little; I know that you really know your stuff, and life makes you forget once in a while. ;)

    I do admit that with this bass I use the B string a lot, not just for the low range but for being able to play regular lines higher up the neck. The B string is clear enough to get away with that (even with slightly dead strings).

    This bass has moved into second place of my favorites in my collection; "Ralph", my Modulus Quantum 6, is still top dog, but "KC" is making a serious run for the head of the pack...all because of this great preamp and pickup combination.

    Thanks again for your great work Mo. Too bad I didn't get to meet you in person, but someday maybe...

    ...and yes, please tell Mike to tear himself away from his pickup bench and learn about preamps. :rollno:


    Joe Hilgeman
     
  13. Got any sound clips????
     

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