Replace Nordstrand Big Singles with < ? > to reduce zing?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mysteryclock, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. mysteryclock

    mysteryclock Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Cross posting from here - Ibanez SR1300E impressions, questions .

    TL;DR summary: Love the bass, N-BS pickups are a bit zingy for my taste, preamp is meh, passive mode is buzzy (for some reason?). Would like to swap pickups and preamp to tone down the zing and hopefully fix the passive mode buzz. I think the pickups are "BC" sized.

    Anyone have any experience swapping Big Singles for something else, less zingy? The Angry Geddy tone is both good and interesting...but a bit much for what I'm looking for.

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated!
  2. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    i think I know what you mean about the tone of these Ibanezes... a very hot, aggressive sound. I don't recall much buzz in passive (I didn't really bother with active), did you try another bass? Or it might be an easy fix, it just shouldn't buzz. Before anything else, I'd sort out the electronics and try different strings first... Some basses can be mellowed out with, say, nickels. Also, some pickups respond quite differently with height adjustment...

    On the pickup side, BigSplits would be similar, but a tad mellower. Dual coils would be rather different, perhaps more to your liking?
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Yep, Big Singles are single coils, so they will be clangy and they will hum.

    As mentioned, Dual Coils will change that up. Bartolini dual coil soapbars would be fantastic as well.
  4. mysteryclock

    mysteryclock Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    That's the thing - the BS pickups don't hum when the preamp is active. But as soon as I flip the EQ off....bzzzzzzzzzzz. And that's without changing the pickup blend a bit. Bizarre. You'd think an active EQ would add noise, not subtract it.

    "Clangy" is another good word for how it the treble sounds. Don't get my wrong, it nails the ultimate Jazz-on-steroids tone, but I'd like something a bit more even.
  5. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Big splits and fat stacks are both designed to sound like big singles. And they do. There are slight differences. But, buying any of those would be buying into essentially the same sound.

    If you want to stick with Nordstrand, they have their dual coils, which sound very different and give you all of the coil wiring options, if you want. And there is the Alnico III option, which seems to soften some of the grind frequencies, but then adds something expressive everywhere else.

    Their dual blade neo is further different, and also has all the wiring options.

    Aguilar's Super Double is pretty cool. Does not have wiring options. Aguilar is very specific about the tone they are selling, with these.

    Delano has a pretty smooth hi-fi sound in some of their soapbars. But they are very expensive.

    If you don't mind single coils, Kiesel's Radiused single coils have great character and are more even up top.

    And there's always that dark and smooth tone with "deep" version barts.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
    4StringTheorist and Dan Robbins like this.
  6. mstraus


    Dec 29, 2009
    Try changing the strings, I just got a 1305, and thought the same thing, switched them out to a different set (Chrome's) and it made a huge difference. If you want to stay with rounds, maybe try something less HiFi like rotosounds or GHS boomers. I think these pickups are incredibly sensitive (almost to a fault). It might take some experimentation to find what your looking for.
  7. Bass4LifeRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    The Fatstacks are amazing. Will mellow your sound a little, but provide magnificent complex mids. It can also be switched to great sounding single coils.
  8. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I use the east preamp with my big singles, one with a passive tone control. That takes care of the zinginess correctly IMO, and it's still got the aggresiveness it's meant to have.

    But anything with a passive tone option should help with that.
  9. maurilio

    maurilio Guest

    May 25, 2003
    I think they use 500k pots on their basses, right?
    Swapping them for a proper 250K will mellow down the zing
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Lace BassBar.
  11. danosix


    May 30, 2012
    Have you ried less zingy strings? Something with more nickle, less iron/steel content? That will take some of the edge off without doing radical surgery - also a lot easier than finding something that will fit the holes for your big singles - which are not a particularly common size.