Nordstrand Audio 3-Band Bass Preamp
Easy to use, original, and sonically immaculate, these preamps provide players with an uninhibited musicality derived from Carey Nordstrand’s own personal design. With an ideal feature set facilitating their great sound, these units have become popular with high end bass builders who love to install them as standard OEM preamps on their top level instruments. Given that they are available in many prewired configurations, these preamps have become extremely popular upgrades for basses at all levels of quality.
Overall gain is 0 to 15db by a trim pot on the circuit board.
Bass +/- 12db @ 50Hz
Treble +/- 12db @ 4khz
Midrange +/- 12db @ 1k with no external capacitors. Add two capacitors as indicated in the table to change the frequency.
We stock capacitors for the even numbered frequencies and will include one set with each preamp for a second frequency. 400hz is the default second frequency, other frequencies available upon request.
The following represent our current versions of our preamps:
- 3B - 3 band bass preamp with 3 eq pots
- 3B-5a - PREWIRED – 3 band bass preamp with volume (pull passive), blend, treble, mid (pull frequency switch), and bass
- 3B-5b - PREWIRED – 3 band bass preamp with volume (pull passive), blend, tone, push pull frequency selector on mid, and treble/bass stack
- 3B-4a - PREWIRED – 3 band bass preamp with volume/volume stack, tone (pull passive), mid (pull frequency switch), and treble/bass stack
- 3B-4b - PREWIRED – 3 band bass preamp with volume/tone stack, blend, mid (pull frequency switch), and treble/bass stack
- 3B-3 - PREWIRED - 3 band bass preamp with volume (pull passive), mid (pull frequency switch), and treble/bass stack
- JC-3b - PREWIRED - 3 band bass preamp with volume (pull passive), blend, treble (push/pull neck pickup - series down, parallel up), mids (1kHz down, pull up for 400Hz), bass (push/pull bridge pickup - series down, parallel up)
*The JC-3b preamp is specifically configured to work with the Dual Big BladeMan pickups in a manner that brings out the edgy penetrating mids and high end character so widely recognized as essential to Justin’s iconic tone. We use a 500k volume pot and the common side of the blend pot is left ungrounded. Also, we have trim pots mounted for each pickups that allow one to balance (turn down) the series output to the parallel output. With all of these tweaks, the JC 3 band preamp, when combined with the Dual Big BladeMan pickups provides a rarefied degree of versatility, delivering everything from the mid forward grindy presence of classic JC tone to a super fat, wide, and deep modern sound with loads of punch.
*All prewired preamps include jack and battery terminals
In 2006, Carey’s evil genius produced these preamps’ design with a handful of goals in mind. They have an informative technical history that occurred somewhat close to the following chronology of invention—ordered as such in order to illustrate the electrical debauchery and collage of component regulated frequency inherent to Carey’s creative mind:
- First off, using the simplest topology possible, Carey designed the circuit so that it is optimized for low noise, transparency, and musicality.
- The eq points were chosen with close attention to established industry standards. We wanted very usable frequencies tailored for the broadest application with sensitive and easily managed controls which allow for precise and easily repeatable adjustments.
- Carey felt it was important to have additional gain at hand. For this we include a small trim pot on the unit that allows as much as 15db of gain. Set to 0, this control gives unity gain, which means that with the eq controls set to 0 the input will equal the output. This makes it very easy to match the output level between active and passive settings.
- For the midrange on the 3 band, we wanted to offer user selectable frequencies from the low mids to the high mids. During installation, a technician can install specific capacitors that allow any frequency between 200Hz and 1k in 100Hz steps. This allows precise manipulation of the critical midrange character with any bass in which it’s installed, and with a switch, the player has access to 2 choices. On our prewired units we set them up for 400Hz and 1kHz, which we find very favorable for boosting and cutting respectively.
- When first introduced, we wanted to offer these units prewired and you’ll notice that most of the configurations include a passive tone pot. Carey feels this is one of the most useable controls on a bass and even with the active tone controls it's a great thing to have on a bass for quick familiar access to more vintage inspired sounds.