Norm Stockton Talks Bartolini & MTD with Jon Liebman
Norm With His MTD
We were really excited when we first heard from Mike Tobias that he was starting work on an Artist bass for with Norm Stockton. We knew that the pickups and electronics would have to be something special to compliment Mike & Daniel’s plans. Norm is an absolute pro with an ear for detail. He is among the most versatile bass players in the world. He wanted his new MTD to go from clinic to session to arena and provide a voice from gospel to jazz to rock. So, we knew up front this was going to be a big challenge.
Over many months, Norm gave us feedback on several pickup designs while MTD was refining the instrument design. The collaboration was very fluid and really amazing. Because Norm was looking for such versatility, we developed a quad-coil pickup with a broad frequency response. The quad coil design acts like 2 in-line hum-cancelling J-bass pickups in each soapbar shell. We added switches to the electronics harness so you can make each pickup act like a jazz pickup or a full-on humbucker. The humbucker mode links the jazz pickups in parallel for a deep and full voice without excessive mids so they remain clear and mud-free. The jazz mode is level balanced with the humbucker mode and provides a precise, articulate voice with plenty of nose, but not too much quack. Like many of the custom pickups we make, the Stockton is not available retail. We hand make these in our San Luis Obispo factory exclusively for MTD.
The electronics package for the Norm Stockton was developed in concert with the pickups. Norm did a lot of testing with us. We’re so lucky to get amazing artists like Norm to come to the lab and play and listen with us. The electronics are similar to what we make custom for MTD’s custom instruments. But the Stockton harness has built in bass enhancement and mid boost and cut at 250Hz and 450Hz. We did a lot of blind testing with Norm to ensure we were achieving the voices we wanted without being biased by specs. We had him play with different preamps using an A/B switch, different frequencies using an unlabeled rotary switch, and different coil options using blends and switches.
Ultimately, we achieved exactly what we were all wanting; a truly versatile instrument with exceptional voicing for a broad range of musical styles.
Did you miss the interview? Watch: http://forbassplayersonly.com/norm-stockton/