Nordstrand Pickups

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martyforrer
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Nordstrand Pickups

Post by martyforrer » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:39 pm

I just installed a Nordstrand pickup in my P bass.
The bass is just a mongrel P assembled from bits and pieces collected over the years. It's strung with TI Jazz Flats. The pickup it replaced was of unknown parentage, quite likely a Fender.
First difference I noticed was a clarity right through the frequency range. Cleaned up the midrange mud. Then I noticed a sweetness to the sound, again right across the range. I also noticed an evenness of volume and attack across the strings and from top to bottom, along with a slight increase in volume.
This pickup is probably not a good choice for metal, punk or anything requiring a "clank", but I play rock covers, country rock, jazz, blues, latin, and anything else that pays money, and I reckon it's the beez kneez.
I'd rate it 10 out of 10.
As always, my opinion.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by ash » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:06 pm

Glad to hear it's working out for you, Marty!

I have a Nordy Musicman humbucker and preamp to go in my Quattra some time soon. I expect to have to clean up my playing as the Nordys don't hide anything.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by foal30 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:24 pm

good gear is often a technique prompter
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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by john » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:27 pm

foal30 wrote:good gear is often a technique prompter
So that's why you use a Steinberger?

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by foal30 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:51 pm

Not necessarily
but on purchase it certainly made me sharpen up my game
both left and right hand muting really...

I'd argue too that once a significant investment is made in an instrument it should push the player along in a competency rational. Whilst this may not be a 'good' reason to 'play better' IME quality of gear forces a raising of the general game

I used to wonder about cats with endless gear who NEVER played. Obviously another wild generalization but I reckon 90% of you will have an idea of what I mean here.
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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by timi » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:22 pm

So what's the deal with this brand? Are they "vintage" or "modern" sounding or are they just characterless reproduction of the sound of the bass?

Good gear makes me play better, because I can concentrate on playing when I'm not stressing about having bad tone. Of course, "good gear" is subjective.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by irvinz » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:37 pm

timi wrote:So what's the deal with this brand? Are they "vintage" or "modern" sounding or are they just characterless reproduction of the sound of the bass?

Good gear makes me play better, because I can concentrate on playing when I'm not stressing about having bad tone. Of course, "good gear" is subjective.
they are more vintage than modern. definitely not characterless.

the only two jazz sets i keep around are a pair of nordstrands, and a model j. quite tempted to have a set of antiquities around as well after having a killer p set on my bass.
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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by ash » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:01 pm

Yeah, they tend to go for particular vintage tones with each style of pickup. They have a more vintage range and a more modern range, but that is partly more to do with pickup shape than sound.

They also have a preamp for those who feel the need.

Where they excel is in providing new levels of clarity and consistency while having the flavour of the style of pickup in spades. Depends on the model, of course.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by martyforrer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:56 pm

Where they excel is in providing new levels of clarity and consistency while having the flavour of the style of pickup in spades.

That pretty much nails it. However the clarity is not the sort that requires a technique upgrade. I go for a vintage sound, hence my use of flatwounds, and do a bit of palm muting, and I absolutely hate modern sounding basses and zingy roundwounds. The clarity the Nordy has given my bass is the sort that lets every note be heard clearly in a performance, with out the need for winding up the volume or the midrange.
Like all gear, what suits me may not suit you and vice versa.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by timi » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:42 pm

Been doing a bit of reading on pickups lately. Past experiences with pickup swapping (on bass) haven't had much impact on my tone and I've always found pedals and heads to make more drastic changes, so never paid too much attention.

After seeing this thread I did some reading about Nordstrand. I'd seen the brand mentioned on several bass forums but the name makes it sound like some wang hifi pickup, so never paid too much attention.

Once I found out what they really are, and reading many favorable reviews I decided to go for a set of NJ4s to replace the stock pickups in my MIM Jazz Bass. Will let you know my thoughts once they arrive.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by pins » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:16 pm

Will be keen to know how you get on with the pups timi.

I also have an old MIM Jazz that I have already replaced the pups and pots with genuine Fender USA items and noticed no real major difference,the biggest difference was actually buying a MIA Fender Jazz :mrgreen:

But still fond of my MIM and if you think the Nordstrands are the way to go timi I might do it too.

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by timi » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:40 pm

There's a huge Jazz pickup thread on talkbass that is worth a look, where people are attempting to write unbiased reviews and rating clairty, punch, output ect. The standard MIA Jazz pickups do not get a favorable review at all....

I might record some quick before and after comparisons if I get a chance while I'm changing them.

Chris, would you be interested in some Rio Grandes? Got a set of their Jazz Muy Grandes I will sell for cheap. Tone is a bit fatter, probably similarish to Quater Pounders...

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by beagle » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:19 am

timi wrote: I might record some quick before and after comparisons if I get a chance while I'm changing them.
Yeah good idea. Would be v interesting to hear the difference.
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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by pins » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:58 pm

timi wrote:Chris, would you be interested in some Rio Grandes? Got a set of their Jazz Muy Grandes I will sell for cheap. Tone is a bit fatter, probably similarish to Quater Pounders...
Thanks timi for the offer but I am a total noob when it comes to such things.Not a brand I am familiar with so I checked their website among others but I can find little info on those pickups,well informative info anyway.
Have you used them yourself timi ?

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Re: Nordstrand Pickups

Post by timi » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:07 pm

Had them in my Squire ages ago. Maybe when I do the pickup change I will put the Rio Grandes in first just to do a sound sample. You are right they are hard to find info on, so a sound sample might help me to actually sell them!

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