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Question: Nordstrands???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SanDiegoHarry, Sep 26, 2008.


  1. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I'm an old player who is pretty new to this forum - and I've only been out of the scene for a while (getting back) and I had never heard of Nordstrand Pickups... Aero (used to be a local guy until he moved to HI), Fralin, DiMarzio, EMG, Duncan, Bartollini - sure. Nordstrand???

    I can look at their web site all day, but can someone tell me what their story is? What niche do they fill that the above mentioned makers do not? I'm always interested in learning about new p'ups since I love mixing & matching bass guts...

    thx
     
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    High quality pickups with some innovative designs. Good distribution through the retail channel. My personal preference is going fully custom these days. Having worked with a couple of custom builders - I'm spoiled for off the shelf deisgns - at least when it comes to P & J pickups.

    I've used Nord for MM replacement humbuckers and also their Big Split's in a Lakland 5. Both those pickups rocked!

    If you're down in so cal, Lawrence is pretty local to you as well. Bill does some nice work. His P46 and J45 pickups are a bargain...
     

  3. Any recommendations for custom pickups? There are so many darn pickup makers these days, it's hard to keep track of all the names...
     
  4. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I actually didn't know that bill Lawrence still did pickups - I knew he was the guy back in THE DAY - and by "The day" I mean when I was just out of high school in the late '70s...

    The big guy here in SD was Aero, but he moved...

    No matter - thanks for the info...
     
  5. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've got Nordstrand dual coils in my Lakland Skyline 55-01. I didn't like the Bartolini MK-1's and I didn't want Bartolini in there. Nordstrand had what I wanted: Something pretty close to being a humbucker made of two Jazz Bass pickups that would drop into the MK-1 routes and were made for a 19mm string spacing.

    The pickups are fine. I'm happy with them. Nordstrand's drop in replacement pickups are competitive with anything out there. Their own designs offer a new spin on things.

    Why not Nordstrand? I'll hand it to them that unlike most builders they actually make their own pickups. It's nice to see!

    KO
     
  6. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I use a bassculture pickup and like it a lot.
    Christof listened well to the description I gave him of what I had in mind and realized this better than anything I have heard or owned so far.
    Highly recommended
     
  7. mimaz

    mimaz

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I just put a set of Nordstrand single coils in my Sadowsky a couple days ago. After one rehearsal, pretty cool..........I'll know the real story after the gigs this weekend! :bassist:
     
  8. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    You say "their own design offers a new spin on things" - - what does that mean sound-wise? I know DiMarzio were the original aftermarket alternative for more output/clarity; Duncan was more of the same; EMGs were supposed to be the "Hi Fi" pickups, Barts were supposed to be warmer and rounder; Aero /Fralin are supposed to be uber vintage...

    So what makes Nordstrands stand out? You say you got rid o your barts - -why? I gather that the offshore barts aren't as nice as the original ones (I had a US lakland with barts and it it sounded great...)

    thx
     
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    replaced the p'ups that Sadowsky provided? Bold!

    And like I asked the other guy: WHY? What is it about them that makes them stand apart? Warmth? Clarity? Output??
     
  10. mimaz

    mimaz

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Actually, this will be the second change of PuPs for that bass. The originals were the Sadowsky hum cancelling design.....just a bit too much in the lower mids for me, I think I was searching for more of a single coil (vintage?)sound.......installed a set of Bill Lawrence PuPs......still hum cancelling design, cleaned up the low/mid somewhat, but had more of a hi-fi sound......still thinking I'm looking for a single coil sound..........now I've got single coil Nordstrands, and we'll see how it goes! :bassist:
     
  11. maurilio

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

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    http://nordstrandguitars.com/about.htm
    http://www.nordstrandpickups.com/bass-pickups/signature/signature.html

    Carey's working on a new web site with updates and info... give him some time... lots of work at the shop!

    M
     
  12. for the record...for you active bass users...

    carey nordstrand is also making preamps now...he has a 3-band at the moment that can be modified easily to a variety of mid centers...and he has a 2-band coming out shortly...
     
  13. Carey's pickups are great sounding. I have tried a number of the Nordstrand units, and liked them so much I had Carey make me a 5 string fully passive jazz - the sound is MEGA!!!

    Everyone who has played or heard the instrument has commented on how good it sounds - sounds just like a really great old Fender bass, but with meticulous attention to detail

    Palace1.
    CIMG0008.

    The single coil jazz units are superb - rally snappy with all the classic growl and bark you'd expect.

    The Big Singles and Fat Stacks are nice too - rounder sound due to th wider aperture they operate on. The top end response of these units are slightly muted compared to traditional single coil units, and therefore produce a mellower tone.

    The Dual Coils are extremely aggressive sounding - very mid-focussed tonally.
     
  14. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't feel like I've _REALLY_ gotten to try out the Nordstrands yet. I want to pull the Bartolini NTMB-L preamp that's in there, go passive and put in coil switches, but I haven't done it yet. BillBern has a thread on Nordstrand DC's in a 55-01 that has sound clips.

    In general I avoid Bartolini because although they're dark and warm and sensuous, I'm more of a rock kind of guy and I need something edgier. I got the DC's because I don't know of anything else that fits in the routes for the Bart MK-1 that's splitable dual coil like these are.

    My P-Bass has been doing the job for me so well that I've never gotten around to finishing the job on the 55-01. It's on my list.
     
  15. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge

    I use Pete Biltoft at www.vintagevibeguitars.com far as I'm concerned he's just the best. The key is that you have to describe what you want. With me, he now understands that warmth is as important as clarity and that puunch is a must. So when we talk, he's already got that in mind.

    Pete's of the shelf designs are faithful to the originals but much more nicely built than most pickups I've seen. I have a stock Telecaster bridge pickup from him and for that I wanted it to really snarl - we just used his standard design and it's great! In bass pickups - I'm way pickier about things though.

    My next set from him will be a set of J's, alnico 5 and slight overwind but each string pair will be it's own coil - basically the split coil design in a J form factor.
     
  16. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Actually I find that like most builders, Nord's off the shelf designs are essentially well executed clones of the original design. His MM 4.2 Alnico Music Man sounds a lot like an early Ray to me. That's what it's supposed to do... it's a replacement pickup afterall ...

    Where Nord innovates or has a different spin - to me it's what they've done thinking outside the box and implementing new designs in standard form factors.

    The Nordstrand Big Split is one I have experience with. It's the Bart Soapbar form factor but with the split coil design - has a very P-Bass like vibe to it overall but come off as huge sounding ... I dug those in the 55-01 ... Nord also does that same design (as does Bartolini) in a standard J form factor. the reason that I'll go to Vintage Vibe is that I can specify how I want the pickup voiced... I'm not stuck with the Nord or the Bart voice - they may be fine - but I have to buy them to find out. I can just call Pete and know that I'll get the pickup voiced for me ...


    BTW - Aero is still great even though he's living the dream out in the island - he still makes a great vintage style pickup. I'm a big fan of the Type 1's ...
     
  17. Um, hey guys!

    Mike from Nordstrand here, just to point out quickly that we do custom winds, and completely custom builds on our pick-ups as well. We use our own in house laser which frees me up to design pretty much whatever footpring I'd like. I don't mean to gainsay anyone here, just pointing out that we're both capable and willing to do a great variety of things.
     
  18. um, for those wondering what a "footpring" is, its a pinky toe ring. I meant a much more "professional" term... um... footprint.
     
  19. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    And here I thought that "footpring" was a technical term for your kick a** sounding pickups! I have played several basses with your pickups and they were all great!

    Dan K.
     
  20. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    415/707
    thanks for the info Mike,, i've bought quite a few pickups in the past from different makers,, Duncans, Lawrence, Fender, Villex, to name a few. I have 3 basses currently loaded with Nordys, a MM4.2, a set of Big Singles, & a set of Fat Stacks, & Carey's pickups are BY FAR the best i have installed, IMO.
     

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