Nordstrand Pickups Exclusively at Bass Direct - Traditional (Fender®) NJ, SV, SE, NP, for 4/5/6 string basses :: Accessories

 


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Nordstrand pickups are now considered by many to be at the cutting edge of modern pickup design. These pickups will give you a generally bigger, clearer sound with a greater frequency response.  With tailored frequency responses and high quality components, these hand made pick ups come highly recommended and are now offered standard or optional fit by many of the worlds great bass manufacturers.


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We keep most pickups in stock - please call for availability. Nordstrand Pickups size chart


Now available - Nordstrand T Shirts - Small, Medium or Large

Red, Sage Green, Forest green - £15 each



New Big Blades in stock now!





News

redlands, ca – february 4th, 2015- following the incredible reception of the alnico iii nvt tele pickup set, nordstrand pickups has decided to expand the use of alnico iii into a full line of bass pickups. extensive testing has revealed alnico iii to be a fantastic magnet for bass pickups - it’s sweeter, more organic, and has a depth and richness that is beguiling and engaging. these characteristics reveal themselves even more when the pickup is pushed to the edge and played hard. try a set today!

the following pickup models are now available in alnico iii:

  • nj4, nj5, nj6

  • np4, np4v, np5, np5v, np5f, all 51p configurations

  • big singles, bigman

  • dual coils



Fralins vs. Nordstrands - From Jay at Blueberry Bass in the USA


The eternal question....what are the differences between Fralin and Nordstrand pickups! I have probably been asked this question a hundred times (if not more), and since I have already given a hundred answers (if not more), I thought that this blog would be the perfect place to post a general overview of some of the similarities and differences between these two boutique pickup manufacturers. I have posted similar comments and opinions on various on-line forums, PMs, and e-mails over the course of the last few years, but hope that this will serve as a resource for those who may be thinking about upgrading the pickups in their bass or basses and would like a little clarification on the issue.


First and foremost, both pickup brands are excellent. Even though I am a Nordstrand dealer and am not a Fralin dealer, I would not even try to make the argument that Nordstrands are far superior to Fralins and that one should ONLY buy Nordstrand pickups. Not only would that be completely irresponsible on my part, but it also would not be true. I think that BOTH pickup lines are excellent. Up until relatively recently, when Carey Nordstrand decided to make his pickups available to the public, Fralins were widely regarded as one of the premier after market pickup options available. I routinely spec out Mike Lull basses with Fralin pickups and readily recommend them to customers of mine who order custom Lull basses through Blueberry Hill where I think that Fralins would be appropriate for the type of tone they are looking for. The bottom line is that, while there are differences between the two brands that many players feel are significant, both pickup lines are excellent, and I like both pickups lines a great deal. But...let's talk about some of those differences.


Speaking in very general terms here, both pickup brands are essentially shooting for the same goal, but each takes a slightly different approach. Both Fralins and Nordstrands (whether we're talking about single coils, hum-canceling jazz pickups, MM-style pickups, split-P pickups, etc.) are attempting to recreate the sound of vintage bass pickups from the 1960's and 1970's. Both use alnico V magnets and traditional pickup winding materials and techniques. While Fralins are handwound, Nordstrands are "simulated hand wound". In the case of Nordstrand pickups, the master pickup for each model was handwound by Carey and then the process by which that pickup was made was coded into a winding machine that reprocess the handwound pattern. Many vintage purists and pickup enthusiasts believe that a handwound pickup sounds more sonically pleasing due to the way that the scattered windings impact the upper frequencies reproduces by the pickup. But...when you handwind a pickup, every one will be just a little bit different. By creating a "master", Carey has chosen the precise characteristics of a single pickup that he feels captures the ultimate tone for that one model. By using a simulated handwound process to make that pickup, he can now reproduce that handwound pickup over and over again, retaining the sweet tonal properties of the handwound master, but ensuring that there will be no deviation from pickup set to pickup set. Being able to make more sets faster and with precision accuracy over time yields a more consistent result. In other words, everyone knows exactly what they're getting right out of the box!


So, now that we know how pickups from the different brands are made...how do they SOUND? In my experience, Fralin P and J pickups tend to have a very "raw" tone to them. I have used this descriptive term a lot, and am seeing other Fralin owners use the same term in posts on on-line bass forums to describe the tone that they perceive from Fralin pickups as well. I tend to like this "rawness" in certain situations, but the effect tends to also create a bottom end that is a little loose and open. Again...this can be a good thing, depending on what you are looking for. The entire line makes for a great approximation of what vintage pickups sounded like 40 or 50 years ago, but they definitely have their own flavour.


The Nordstrands, by comparison, tend to have a very full, balanced sound from top to bottom. They have great string-to-string balance, and they also tend to have a tighter, fuller bottom end. As with the Fralins above, whether or not these traits are desirable depend on what you, the individual, perceive as "good tone". I have received a lot of feedback indicating that players really like the midrange punch and sweet high-end response of the Nordstrand line, and many players also appreciate the balanced nature of the pickups as well, with the tighter low end standing out as a positive attribute that a lot of players appreciate. Whereas the Fralin pickups have a more rough, "raw" edge to them, the Nordstrands also tend to be very warm, but without losing clarity and detail. Many vintage pickup companies lose the plot by over winding pickups too much and by trying to make them too "warm" sounding. The end result is often a mid-heavy, muddy pickup that lacks low-end punch and detail. This seems to be where the Nordstrands really excel...they deliver vintage warmth without losing detail and clarity.





Here's a shot of Bryant Siono and his new NPJ5S set - he loves them! Bryant's credits include the Backstreet Boys and he is now the musical director and bassist for Jennifer Lopez, on tour now! Check out Bryant's links below:

 

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