...and yet another 55-01 thread

...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby jshilgebass » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:30 pm

My quest to modify one of my Lakland 55-01 basses ala Alan (Chef) will soon be completed...in an almost similar fashion.

The candidate for the make-over: CAR/rosewood board 55-01, newly named "KC", snagged from the local CL from my old bass teacher from 20 years ago.
The pickups for the candidate: Nordstrand Dual Coils, snagged from eBay
The preamp for the candidate: Nordstrand 3-band preamp, also snagged from eBay from the same seller as the pickups

Chef had his Lakland preamp installed by Lakland. I'm going to have my Nordstrand preamp installed by...yep, Nordstrand.

I PM'd Maurilio over at TalkBass (who works at Nordstrand) asking for guidance; he in turn had me call Nordstrand directly ("tell them I sent you"). I had a very nice conversation with Mike at Nordstrand. It seems he's the in-house pickup guru, and is very interested in getting this install done for me and seeing/hearing the results. Especially the series/parallel/single-coil switching (maybe even be able to pick any coil!). This preamp apparently was removed from an existing Nordstrand bass; up until this month they have only been available on Nordstrand basses.

Soooooo....this coming Saturday morning I am doing the approx. 2 hour roadtrip to the Nordstrand HQ and dropping off KC and his new/old electronics with the good folks there. Carey Nordstrand is on vacation right now, but when he gets back this Monday he will in all likelihood be overseeing the transformation.

I'm feelin' really good right now. _bounce_


Joe Hilgeman
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Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby hmagman » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:45 am

Joe, AWESOME!!! [smilie=music-smiley-005.gif]


Green with envy... [smilie=icon_biggrin.gif]
Harry
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby jshilgebass » Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:59 pm

I'm back from my trip to Nordstrand Guitars. It was a trip worth taking. :)

I arrived at the Nordstrand workplace with CAR 55-01 and Nordy DCs and preamp in hand, and who should I see first thing as I stepped into the first office was none other than Stew McKinsey. Yes folks, THE Stew McKinsey! I paid him the proper homage (genuflecting is always a good thing when meeting up with a bass god). Stew plays the role of Nordstrand office manager and gatekeeper, so when he determined that I was not there to ransack the premises ( [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]) he summoned Mike Cooper, the Nordstrand pickup expert. We exchanged pleasantries and then proceeded further into the Nordy inner sanctum to put my beloved KC on the workbench for inspection. Mike saw that what he and the others had to work with was good, and after giving the once-over to my eBay prizes ("Yep, these DCs are in great shape." "Yep, that's one of our preamps") we planned out how the install would proceed. The two switches for series/parallel/single coil will be added, as well as active/passive operation. Best of all, Mike said he was pretty sure that it was possible to put in a passive tone control. Carey Nordstrand will have final say over what will be possible, and he will be calling me early next week to haggle over costs and such.

Mike showed me a few of his basses that he made himself, among them a pickup test mule that he gigs with (has a special Big Split in the neck position and a MM style in the bridge position). Other basses he showed me were a couple of 8 strings with short scales (30 and 33 inches). Apparently he found a way to make such a beast that still retained good low-end response. After seeing these and a few other instruments around the shop It would seem that my bass is going to be in some very capable hands.

Mike and Stew were going out to lunch and invited me to join them. Alex, one of the pickup-makers, and Hideki, the "wood guy", also came along. I had a very nice time eating Wendy's burgers and picking their collective brains about many things related to bass. Very cool people all around. [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]

Now I await the call from the Master to tie up the loose ends. I did not give them a deadline to complete the work since they are busy being a bass and pickup manufacturer, but just the fact that they are willing to do this work for me makes Nordstrand good people in my book.


Joe Hilgeman
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Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby Chef » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:27 am

Signed on for results...

Hey, could-ya do me a favor, and pm me contact info for Mike?
I have an axe I might like to try the new preamp in...is yours two, or three band.
If three band, are mids selectable or sweepable?

Don't get me wrong: I'm *real* happy with my 5501.
But I wish the Nord preamp was available when I did mine.
Columbia, Missouri.
Cookin in the basement since the early 70's...
Bassist for The Fried Crawdaddies, Shea and Silver Streak, Ironweed Bluegrass Band
Staff Reviewer: BassGearMagazine
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Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby jshilgebass » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:16 pm

Chef wrote:Hey, could-ya do me a favor, and pm me contact info for Mike?


PM sent.


Joe Hilgeman
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Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby Chef » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:24 pm

Hey Joe, I don't find your "final results" post...???
Columbia, Missouri.
Cookin in the basement since the early 70's...
Bassist for The Fried Crawdaddies, Shea and Silver Streak, Ironweed Bluegrass Band
Staff Reviewer: BassGearMagazine
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Chef
 

Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby jshilgebass » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:37 pm

Chef wrote:Hey Joe, I don't find your "final results" post...???

Whadaya mean ya can't find it...you posted in this thread!?!?!

[smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

Joe Hilgeman
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Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: ...and yet another 55-01 thread

Postby Chef » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:45 pm

ahhh...in ken's thread.

thx!
Columbia, Missouri.
Cookin in the basement since the early 70's...
Bassist for The Fried Crawdaddies, Shea and Silver Streak, Ironweed Bluegrass Band
Staff Reviewer: BassGearMagazine
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Chef
 


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