soapbar pickups compatible w/ EMG BTC preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Roscoe East, Dec 5, 2013.


  1. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    So I've got an EMG BTC lying around that I pulled out of an old bass when I upgraded its electronics. I'm now in the nascent stages of cobbling together a Warmoth 5-string fretless bass, and figured I might as well use this EMG BTC since it's here & free.

    (Although I'll entertain the notion of passive electronics if anyone feels compelled to put forth that argument?)

    I'm looking for a decidedly "electronic" fretless bass sound...thick & punchy but with a lot of snap & zing (i.e., not an emulation of an acoustic upright bass, more along the lines of Mark Egan's Pedulla Buzz [edit: or Mick Karn's Wal, or Percy Jones' whatever] or even those goofy "Fretless Bass" patches on an old Roland D-series synthesizer).

    I'm leaning towards soapbars because I definitely want humbucking or humcancelling capability...also because I don't currently own any instruments with soapbars. And I'm probably going to install them farther apart than traditional pu locations, e.g., right up against the neck & bridge ...just because I want this instrument to sound & look conspicuously different from The Usual Suspects.

    So...any recommendations for a good pickup that fits the above description & will work with an EMG BTC preamp? Thanks.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Others know far more than I do about specific pickups that might meet your criteria (I would just start with a Delano SBC or an EMG), but I can tell you that nearly every pickup available can be made to work with an EMG BTC relatively easily.
  3. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Soaps should work fine with that pre.
    You may want to re-think putting a p'up right up against the neck. Looks aside, it may not get you very useful tones.
  4. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    That's encouraging!


    I suspect fans of a Gibson EB-0 would disagree...though, since I'm not a fan of those instruments, your point is well taken! But I'm thinking more along the lines of the neck pu location on a Peavey Palladium or an Alembic Series I/II. And to be honest, I'm also thinking this bass is going to spend 90% of its time set to the bridge pu only.
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  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    i'd re-think the extreme pickup placements too; that makes a bigger difference than the pickups themselves do, and cannot be fixed with EQ!

    if you want a deep, modern, hi-fi balanced bass sound (as opposed to a tubby or clicky '60s throwback bass sound) put the pickups in the "right" places.
  7. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Keep in mind that 24 fret basses have longer boards, so the p'up is actually spaced further toward the bridge a bit.
  8. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Good point. The neck (which I already own) is 22 fret, I think.

    I'm tempted to build up the instrument without any electronics, string it up, and then find a way to "mock up" various pickup positions with externally-mounted temporary electronics, just so I can hear what the various locations sound like before committing & routing the pickup holes. Anyone ever tried something like this?
    =======
    Also, been looking at the EMG soapbars. Can anyone give me (or point me towards) a Cliff Notes explanation of the differences between their 35, 40, & 45 shapes, as well as their **DC, **CS, and **DCX models? Thanks.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    35, 40, and 45 are just form factors. They're all 1.5 inches wide, with the 35s being 3.5 inches long, the 40s being 4.0 inches long, and the 45s being (you guessed it) 4.5 inches long. 35s are "nominally" for four-strings, 40s are "nominally" for five-strings, and 45s are "nominally" for six-strings. But since they use blades, a narrow five can use a 35, and a narrow six can use a 40, etc.

    There should be lots of discussion here about the letter designations - I have no input here, but a quick search should yield a trove of info. Just remember to take it all with a pillar of salt, since tone is almost completely subjective.
  10. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I seem to remember a TBer setting up a little gag where he put spacers on top of the bass body, straddling the strings, so he could rest pickups on the spacers facing in to the strings instead of out from the body. Then he could slide them along the body and find the spot he liked. I don't remember how he affixed it so he could play the bass during the test. Double-stick tape, perhaps? Does that make sense?

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