Originally Posted by Lorenzop
Yes I know that is why I always said "2 humbuckers" after my soap bar definition!
So, do 2 humbuckers give better versatility on a fretless ? If so, why? No risk of too chunky a sound?
What he means is that you can have practically any pickup coil scheme inside a "soapbar" shaped pickup housing. "Soapbar" refers to the shape of the pickup, not the coil configuration.
EMG's "40" shape can be had as a single coil, split "P" style humbucker, or a dual coil.
Nordstrand has single coil, stacked dual coil, and split dual coil configurations available all in the same size housing.
Now, I would say you are correct that 2 splittable dual coil humbuckers probably give you the most versatility, but they might not give you the "purest" single coil tone - even when the second coil of a pickup isn't used, it's still exerting some magnetic pull on the string, so if you've got super keen hearing you may prefer the tone of a true single coil pickup. Also, the coils of a splittable humbucker are often wound a little different from a true single coil, as you have to compromise a little bit for a pickup that's intended to work in single coil, parallel humbucking, and series humbucking modes. If you wind to have great sound as a single coil, one or both of the humbucking modes won't sound so good; wind to sound great as a parallel humbucker and series and single mode won't sound so good, etc.
So you just decide what you want -
If you want a 100% totally killer single coil sound, there's pickups that do that.
If you want the killer single coil sound, but you're recording and the engineer says "absolutely no hum allowed", there's split-coil humbuckers that get you 95% of the pure single coil sound with no hum.
If you want a 100% totally killer dual coil sound, there's pickups that do that.
If you want a versatile bass that'll get you a lot of very good usable tones that are 95% as good as any of the "pure" tones listed above, that's doable too.
There is no wrong answer, just depends on your needs and wants.. If you can afford to have a few basses, you can have one awesome P bass, one awesome J bass, one awsome modern bass, one versatile gigging bass, etc.