STILL more about those danged 55-01's

STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Ken Baker » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:39 pm

Heh...

So tell me:

What strings (and length) work well? There are Elixirs on it now and they sound good, but what if I get my usual wild hair? TI's? Any idea how Jazz Flats work with the Nordstrand Big Splits?

What stringing method is recommended; thru bridge or thru body? How much difference does it make with these basses? Four screws are an improvement over the L-2500's two, but strong enough?

How are the maple fretboards finished? Or are they? Tung oil? It doesn't appear to be poly, though I could be wrong.

For those that have the Nords, what string clearance (Clarence) works for you? Are you bottomed in the cavities or floating?

Oh - one more thing: I played the new beastie through my li'l G-K Custom and it's just wow. The G&Ls sound really-really good through the 2X8, but can easily overpower it below low D. This one rings very true. It's as if the amp had more headroom and was better able to control the cones. I'll let my Ambien-addled brain (I gotta go to bed) attribute it to fewer harmonics coming from the Big Splits compared to the MFDs. They ring cleaner. Don't misunderstand this to mean that the Nords sound better than the big MFD soapbars. They do have a very different sound and that is the coolness I'm after.

This is enough for now. I posted over at The KCC while Ambien Stoopud one time a while back. It looked okay at the time, but I had to come back the next day and translate. There's a lesson in there. Like don't walk & chew gun when you taken Ambien. And I can state unequivocally that Ambien and playing bass do not get along. At least with the good basses.

G'Nite, Harry, & Mal, & Joe. Who else is in the little Lakland clique?

I'm outta here.

The next morning.....

Hmm... Not too bad other than a few typos, which is normal for me. I'll go fix 'em now.
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Ken Baker
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby hmagman » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:56 am

Ken,

I'm currently using a set of TI Powerbass through the bridge on my 5501...very satisfied.

Regards,
Harry
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby jshilgebass » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:59 pm

I got my CAR 55-01 back from Carey Nordstrand yesterday. I made the under-two-hour drive to Nordstrand guitars and had a great hang with the guys there.

This bass sounds amazing, even in it's slightly unfinished state. I'll elaborate on that later. For now, I need to know if there is a difference between stacked knobs and concentric knobs...can anyone help me out?

So far I've only used it at church this morning. In a few minutes I'm taking this bass with me to help out my brother at his church youth service. I'll be able to form a little better opinion on this little beastie.


Joe Hilgeman
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Ken Baker » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 pm

jshilgebass wrote:For now, I need to know if there is a difference between stacked knobs and concentric knobs...can anyone help me out?


For our purposes, the terms are generally interchangeable.

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby jshilgebass » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:19 pm

Okay, I now have some time to talk about my CAR 55-01.

Wow. I mean, wow... Even if it's still in an unfinished state. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

I got the call last week from Mike Cooper at Nordstrand Guitars saying that my bass was ready for pickup. With great joy and anticipation I made the under-two-hour scenic drive to the base of the mountain range where the boys of Nordstrand resided and worked.

I ran the bass through their reference amp rig and was astounded by how good it sounded, even with slightly dead strings (I forgot to leave a fresh set). I was just twisting knobs and flipping switches without knowing what they did. The original knobs were used except for one new feature; the stack knob. I didn't think to ask them to get knobs for this, so I was reduced to turning the shafts themselves. I asked Mike which knobs did what. Rather sheepishly, he said "I don't know, I didn't install the preamp. I just put in the pickups." Mo (Maurilio) was the preamp installer, and he was not working that day. Mike and I managed to figure out the obvious on some of the knobs (vol/blend), and we figured that one push/pull knob was active/passive switching, and the other push/pull was (maybe) a switchable mid control. But the stack knob and one other knob was a mystery to us at that time. The series/single coil/parallel switch settings were easy to figure out. I didn't care...all I knew was I got my bass back, and it was utterly transformed into something more.

Back home, I played the bass at a couple of church services. This was a good way to run it through its paces in a real-world situation without having too much stress. I managed to get good sounds coming out of it anyway. I was going to try it at one of my band gigs, but decided against it. I knew the guys would give me crap about playing a bass with knobs missing. [smilie=smilie_kopf.gif]

I PM'd Mo via TalkBass and asked him to tell me the control configuration, and even he was a little confused at first about what he did. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif] . After some exchange of information we finally had it figured out, and it's really something:

volume (pull for passive), blend (w/ center detent), passive tone control (works in active, too! [smilie=icon_surprised.gif] ), switchable mid (down=400hz, up=1khz, w/ center detent), stacked bass/treble (w/ center detents). Separate switches for each pickup: down toward the floor=series, centered=single coil, up=parallel.

Carey Nordstrand had offered (at extra cost) to round the fretboard edges of the neck to give it a "broken-in" feel, something that he does to his own basses. I went ahead and had him do it, and I must say it's money well spent. What was already a great-feeling neck was made even better.

Now I know how Alan (Chef) feels; I'll put this thing up against anything! The Dual Coil pickups are fantastic, and Carey Nordstrand's preamp is the real deal. I could get deep, dubby lows for reggae, Jaco rear-pickup burpiness, p-bass hollow grind, slicing modern tone, slap sounds of all kinds, all without extremes of frequency range. Highs were shimmery, not icy bright. Lows were deep and substantial, but not overly muddy. Lotsa mids to play with, and there's a lot of possibilities with having "dual tone knobs" to work with. Some folks might find all this tonal capability too complex, but I like having all these options available to me. If those folks want to play this bass, I'll have them switch it to passive and only deal with three knobs. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]

Ah yes...the knobs. The Nordy Boys said I could get stack knobs from Allparts, so I checked out the website and saw that they carried both "stack" and "concentric"...and they sure looked the same to me. That's why I asked about the difference. I also saw that Hipshot carried a stack knob set that had rubber rings on it, making for a cool look. Both of them had them in the color I need (black chrome). Decisions, decisions...

All I need besides the stack knobs are a fresh set of strings, and my joy will be complete. "KC" will be one badass bass!!!

I put in a good word for you guys who are considering having Mike Cooper and the other Nordstrand guys do some Nordstrand pickup installs on your basses if you choose to do that. Mike said that 2-3 basses a week come into the shop for this kind of work, and he was happy to do more of it. Feel free to contact him.


Joe Hilgeman
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby jshilgebass » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:02 pm

For what it's worth, the CAR 55-01 bass is presently strung through the bridge...no danger of it being pulled off by string tension a la L2500. I plan to string it through the body, however.

My maple neck 55-01 must have some kind of finish on the fretboard, but it ain't the shiny kind. I would not call it unfinished.

Still have to check on how the Dual Coils fit in the pickup cavities, but it does not appear to be a tight fit or bottomed-out by any means, and therefore should have room for raising/lowering.


Joe Hilgeman
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby nolabass » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:30 pm

55-01s would make a great jumping off point for changes. Lakland makes a great feeling bass.
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby 57RIP » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:16 pm

I think those Elixir's are a pretty good fit. (I wouldn't have shelled out near $75 for them otherwise - you have to know that I am the original TI Bigot - I'm digging the Powerbass on the P by the way!) Those also didn't have but 2 hours of playing time when I shipped so they will need time to settle in ...

Interesting setup on the Nord pre. I'm not 100% on the Fender Deluxe pre ... hmmm...
I used to look at my dog Smokey and think, "If you were a little smarter, you could tell me what you're thinking," and he'd look back at me like he was saying, "If you were a little smarter, I wouldn't have to." - Fred Jungclaus
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Ken Baker » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:21 pm

57RIP wrote:I think those Elixir's are a pretty good fit. (I wouldn't have shelled out near $75 for them otherwise - you have to know that I am the original TI Bigot - I'm digging the Powerbass on the P by the way!) Those also didn't have but 2 hours of playing time when I shipped so they will need time to settle in ...


I like 'em a lot and promise that I will take good care of them. Do understand that a set of JF365's are inbound. With the clarity of the Nords, they should sound stellar.

I'm not 100% on the Fender Deluxe pre ... hmmm...


I wasn't either. In fact, I asked back on DP2 (Ithink) if it was 18v capable and the response was "no". Then again, I'm just not a P kinda guy.

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:55 pm

jshilgebass wrote:Now I know how Alan (Chef) feels; I'll put this thing up against anything! The Dual Coil pickups are fantastic, and Carey Nordstrand's preamp is the real deal. I could get deep, dubby lows for reggae, Jaco rear-pickup burpiness, p-bass hollow grind, slicing modern tone, slap sounds of all kinds, all without extremes of frequency range. Highs were shimmery, not icy bright. Lows were deep and substantial, but not overly muddy. Lotsa mids to play with, and there's a lot of possibilities with having "dual tone knobs" to work with. Some folks might find all this tonal capability too complex, but I like having all these options available to me. If those folks want to play this bass, I'll have them switch it to passive and only deal with three knobs. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]

Joe Hilgeman


Hey, Joe! Did the Dual Coils drop right in or did they have to do some routing?

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Ken Baker
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby jshilgebass » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:55 pm

Ken Baker wrote:Hey, Joe! Did the Dual Coils drop right in or did they have to do some routing?

Ken...

Routing? We don' need no stinkin' routing?!?! [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

From the Nordstrand pickup website re: Dual Coil pickups:

These pickups will fit as replacement for Bartolini™ P2 (5 string) and BC (4 string) pickups. Dimensions are 4.25” by 1.25” and 3.95” by 1.25”, respectively. Standard spacing is 19mm ctc at the bridge on the 4 and 5 string versions and 18mm ctc for the 6 string version.

The Lakland Skyline 55-01 uses Bartolini MK-1 split-coil soap bar pickups, which are the same size as the Bartolini P2 pickup.

So...yeah, they fit like the drop-in replacements they are. [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]


Joe Hilgeman
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:56 pm

jshilgebass wrote:From the Nordstrand pickup website re: Dual Coil pickups:

These pickups will fit as replacement for Bartolini™ P2 (5 string) and BC (4 string) pickups. Dimensions are 4.25” by 1.25” and 3.95” by 1.25”, respectively. Standard spacing is 19mm ctc at the bridge on the 4 and 5 string versions and 18mm ctc for the 6 string version.

The Lakland Skyline 55-01 uses Bartolini MK-1 split-coil soap bar pickups, which are the same size as the Bartolini P2 pickup.

So...yeah, they fit like the drop-in replacements they are. [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]

Joe Hilgeman


That'll teach me to be as resourceful as I preach. Thank you, my Master.

So, umm..., how's it going with your monster? I can see a little switch tweaking in the future for mine.

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Ken Baker
"Turn the darned thing down!!"
 
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby jshilgebass » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:56 pm

Ken Baker wrote:So, umm..., how's it going with your monster? I can see a little switch tweaking in the future for mine.

Ken...

Recall the movie Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. The construction of the latest version of the Death Star is nearing completion, but despite its unfinished state, it is fully operational for its deadly purpose.

That's sorta how I characterize "KC"; it's got dead strings on him, and he's missing some knobs, yet he's fully capable of obliterating planets, sterlizing frogs from 200 yards, shaking booties massively on the dance floor and re-arranging the lower intestinal tracts of an entire room of clubbers. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]

Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little... [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif] But KC is still in a very playable state for me. I just have to get off my dead ass on onto my dyin' feet and go get some new strings and knobs.

...and I must say that the series/single coil/parallel switches for each individual pickup is worth the price of admission. [smilie=grinning-smiley-003.gif]


Joe Hilgeman
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:25 pm

You wouldn't happen to have a picture of him, would ya? I get all excited about switches. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Ken Baker
"Turn the darned thing down!!"
 
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Re: STILL more about those danged 55-01's

Postby Chef » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:44 am

Switches? We got switches:
Image

The DC5's in single coil don't 100% get that "pure single coil thing;" but I think that's a result of having a preamp in the mix...

I like the option of having single coil/dual coil parallel/dual coil series sooooooooo much that I ordered my Decade with Chisonic 'buckers that way;)
It's passive, so we'll see how that works. Should be here "November-ish."
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