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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by michaelprice83, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. michaelprice83


    Mar 15, 2006
    I'm building a bass and have great woods assembled. I'm ordering a set of Nordstrand DC5's for my bass but can't decide whether or not I want them in series or parallel. Sorry if this has been discussed extensively but I've archived some topics and still can't decide. I will be using this bass for smooth jazz and r&b but don't slap much. If I'm going to be wiring my bass for series/parallel with a 4-way toggle switch, which way should I have the pickups wired??? One of Nordstrands guys emailed me back when I asked the question and told me that if wired for series they'll sound better in that mode and vice-versa. That didn't fully answer my question. I just want the prettiest sounding bass possible and don't want to do anything the wrong way. Thanks guys.

  2. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    why dont you try both wirings? since tone/sound is pretty subjective
  3. I will be facing this same issue (hopefully) in the future and I don't know what the difference is sonically. Can anyone explain what the difference would be sonically between pups in series vs. parallel? Is there a perceptible sonic difference?
  4. michaelprice83


    Mar 15, 2006

    Yeah, why don't I buy two sets of pickups and try them out :rollno: .......... because they're amost $300 a set that's why. Remember the sets of pickups have to be ordered the way I want them. So there's no way I could try both without ordering another set of pickups. Not to mention two trips to the shop to have em put in and wired. I'm looking input to help me avoid that mess........
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    series will be more agressive sounding, parallel will be smother - less mid focused.
  6. Buy the pickups yourself, stick them in the bass with a small on/on toggle switch, and then you have access to both sounds
  7. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    There is a nice pic on how to wire series/parallel on Bartolini's website, but doubt the colorcode on the wires will match up. DavidMWilson is correct on the sound difference, it's not a huge difference but it's there. When in parallel they will also be even less prone to pick up noise. My G&L L2000 and my Jaguar both have this switchable option. In general I use parallel when recording, series when playing live.
  8. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I'm not sure that everyone is aware of this, but the issue is that Carey Nordstrand winds his Dual Coils for series wiring differently than he winds his Dual Coils for parallel wiring. That's why the original poster is asking the question. No matter what he buys, he can implement a series/parallel switch, but he has two different pickups sets of different sounds to choose from first.

    Having said all that, I'm not well-versed in the tonal differences between series and parallel wiring for a given set of pickups, so I can't help you there.
    wes stephenson likes this.
  9. michaelprice83


    Mar 15, 2006
    But thanks for clearing that up so people understand what i'm really asking now.......hopefully.......haha
  10. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    David has it in a nut shell. Series is thicker and more agressive in the midrange and parallel is cleaner and more hi-fi sounding.
    Hollowman is also correct. My DC's are wound differently for each style. The reason for this is that the series pickups would sound more clean and hi-fi in parallel mode than the parallel wound version. Conversely the parallel pickups would be really full and agressive and starting to get a bit dark in series mode. Either pickup can be wired any way you want, but I've tailored the two versions to what I think is the best sound for each style.
    I generally recommend the series pickups for fingerstyle rock players who want a thick tone with less agressive highs and the parallel pickups for cleaner jazz players that want to have a killer slap tone as well as an articulate fingerstyle. But, these are broad recommendations only.
    To ease your mind about purchasing the DC's and not getting the correct version for your taste we offer an exchange for the other version as long as they are in new condition and you pay shipping both ways. (Don't shorten the lead wires when you hook them up!)
  11. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    what Carey said hits it right on the head
  12. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    Hi Carey,

    On one of your NJ6's you wired the DCs with a 3-way switch:

    "This bass has dual coils with a series/single/parallel switch for each one and a mid frequency switch for the Aguilar OBP-3 preamp."

    Do you recommend against that setup because of the reasons stated above?

  13. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I've spoken with Carey on this topic before so I'll say that what he means is that if you're planning on using series more get the series wound pickups and vice versa.
    Series designed pickups won't sound BAD in parallel mode, but not the same as those specifically wound for parallel.
  14. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    Thanks David -- that makes sense. I've been having a tough time deciding between the different Nordstrand 'Signature' pickups. I've played through the BS and FS, but never the DC, so I'm trying to get as many opinions as possible on those.

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