bartolini quad or dual coil?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by craigers2, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    looking for some help here.
    i'm in the process of ordering a dp custom and now it is time to decide which pickups to put in. i know that i want bartolinis. i put some in my jazz bass a few years back and love the sound.

    my question is should i get the dual coils soapbars, or go for the quad coils? i know the quads give you more options of sounds, but are they "useful" sounds? i do like my bass sound to have a punch to it, but don't like it too trebley sounding.

    please let me know what you guys think.
  2. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    It's hard to say what you'll find useful.

    The quads are inherently more flexible than the duals -- I've never heard if they sound any different, so it seems there isn't really a trade-off.

    Which pups did you put in the Jazz? Most likely they were the split-coil design (9J). . .I'd imagine that half of a quad would have a similar sound, if that half is in the same spot as the J.

    That being said, I'm going with duals in my new fretless. But that's because I'll always be using hum-cancelling pairs of coils, never a single one by itself. (eg both bridge, both neck, all four, "outer" pair, "inner" pair).

    Also, the good news about the Bart soapbars is if you change your mind, the equivalent dual/quad is a drop-in replacement (with new wiring of course). :)
  3. I've got quad-coil barts in my Jazz and it's smooth - not as punchy as Duncans or DiMarzios would be. I guess the best way to describe them would be accurate.

    Unfortunately quad coils aren't inherently more flexible than duals - as they're wired one coil per string - so there are no real phase options. You only have one shielded wire coming out of the pickup. Split-coil Bartolini Jazz pickups don't have an outer or inner pair. Here's a pic:


    I didn't want y'all to buy something and expect it would do something it won't. I'm just guessing here but I imagine the coils in a split-coil pickup are reverse-wound or reverse polarity. I think the quad-coils do the same thing but in pairs. Like I said, I'm just guessing, though. I do know quad-coil barts don't hum even when soloed - so half the coils pretty much have to be wired backwards from the other half - but I don't know whether they're wired 2+2 or in alternating pairs (which I think makes more sense).

  4. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I was talking about quad-coil soapbar pickups. They have two pairs of coils, like so:


    Two see the low strings, two see the high strings. You can switch them between:

    - all four coils
    - rear coils
    - forward coils
    - "P" split
    - "reverse P" split

    And all of the above are hum-cancelling.

    Don't forget of course series and parallel, making the total number of combinations rather large.

  5. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    can you imagine the switches needed to get every single possible coil and series/parallel combination on a bass with 2 quad coil pickups?!

    it'd look like the command center or something :)

    i'd go for the quads man, they're not that much more expensive, and i'd guess they could do the dual coil tone with no why not be able to do some more?

  6. To share my experience, I put some 9W4Js (quads) into my Jazz and I really like the sound of them. Very even and mellow, but they're also capable of what I would call "accentuated brilliance". a.k.a. Nice high end to them, but not shrill, harsh, or trebley! :D
  7. For interest's sake, I was just having a look at the Barotlini website and this is what they say:

    9W4 pair - These are quadracoil designs, they have one bobbin under each string. The 4 bobbins in each of the J pickups are wired as 2 out-of-phase pairs. That is, the E and A bobbins are out of phase with the D and G bobbins.

    Looks like it's 2+2.
  8. I say go for the quads.
    I'm gettin quads in my DP. they will have a 3 way toggle switch for each of the pickups.
    here's the config. I choose.
    neck: P-bass (treble coil up), full humbucking, reverse P-bass (treble coil down).
    bridge: parallel humbucking, lower coils, series humbucking.

    now if I only knew what all of that ment. all's I know is it sounds like I should get lots of tone options to play with.
    if anyone can explane what the heck is the difference between series and parallel I would appreaciate it.

    whoa, look at that awesome bass below
  9. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    chump stain. your bass looks great.

    i have decided to go with the quads as well.

    i'll be getting dave pushic my down deposit this week and have him start building my own 5-string.

    can't wait.
  10. reedith said...

    To share my experience, I put some 9W4Js (quads) into my Jazz and I really like the sound of them. Very even and mellow, but they're also capable of what I would call "accentuated brilliance". a.k.a. Nice high end to them, but not shrill, harsh, or trebley! :D

    I got the 9W4Js as well - I really like them.

  11. geshel said...

    I was talking about quad-coil soapbar pickups. They have two pairs of coils, like so:

    <-- example snipped -->

    I gotcha now - I assumed Jazz pickups.

    thanks -


    PBFACTOR Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2001
    Boise, ID
    quad coil gives more options. the cx series have ceramic magnets, very warm. mine has p4cx's.
  13. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Count me in, too: I've got one sitting in the bridge position of my fretless. I agree with the descriptions of my distinguished colleagues.
  14. I just looked at the bartolini site and they only seem to have quad coils for 5+ Strings not for 4 strings or am I wrong?
  15. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'll be getting Bart quad coil soapbars in my 8 string fretless Curbow. The neck pickup will sit at the end of the fretboard, and be wired reverse P/all four coils/two inner coils, and the bridge pickup will be wired P/all four coils/two inner coils.

    I know the pickup won't sound like a PBass since the pickups aren't in the correct locations, but I think I will have some pretty good tone options with the 18V EMG preamp.

    I'll post sound files when it shows up.
  16. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    It would be better to narrow down the choises just for useability. Like a 4-way switch for each pickup that selects between series-parallel-Jazz-Precision. Or perhaps even one switch that chooses between J+J - J+P - DC+J - DC+DC (DC being Dual Coil). Anyways there are LOT of options.
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I've been pretty suprised at the difference between the settings on mine. At least between "P + inner coils" and "reverse-P + outer coils" (where inner away from the bridge). Especially for slap - it's most noticeable on the high strings (where the configuration changes from "inside coils" to "outside coils"), the first sounds a lot like a classic PJ slap sound (Spector or Vic's Fodera), the second has that nice throaty J-bass sound.

    I'm curious to try just a straightforward inner / outer setup on all the strings, but not curious enough to rewire it again. The new fretless will have that config, although the neck p/u is further towards the bridge on that one. On both basses the two pickups are connected in series so that the output level remains the same as it was when they are full-humbuckers (in series internally but in parallel with each other).

    l0calh05t, I don't know why they wouldn't sell quads for 4-string soapbar, so you might try asking around. I think I've seen mention of an M44, which is the 4-string M4 shape. So if you can get an xxM44 then you're in business. If that doesn't pan out, you still get a lot of options with two triple coils in there.
  18. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I just ran across this old thread and noticed your posts, especially the one just above this one.
    I built a gecko with bart quad coil soaps with a three way mini-toggle to select innner coils/outer coils/all coils. Body is black korina and the neck is wenge/wenge. It has become my main bass (while my MTD is getting a re-finish) and I love it. The inner coils give a great ballad sound with huge lows and a crisp top. Outer coils are a straight-ahead very accurate J sound, and all coils soup up the mids and punch.
    Did you ever get your fretless with that config? I'm curious about your evaluation. The preamp in my gecko is the bart HR 5.4 - 5-knob with selectable mid freq. Any experience with that pre?
    I'm waiting on a Warmoth deluxe-5 ash/quilt maple body with a wenge/wenge neck now on its way from the thrift shop. I'm planning on taking the guts out of the gecko and wiring the quad coils with the same set-up. I had Warmoth do a custom PU route placing the neck PU closer to the bridge like the gecko spacing. I'm hoping to approach the sound I get with the gecko with a little more snap from the ash body and a 34" scale. My fretless is 34" and I find that my intonation suffers when I play the 35" gecko and then switch to the fretless.
  19. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Yep, I got the fretless. It's harder to tell the difference between inside and outside, as the frequencies most affected seem to be in the higher end. But there is a difference. Because the pickups are closer, the outside setting isn't a J sound anymore. It's still got a fairly dry tone to it however. The inside is my favorite, especially on the B string, it's a real tight sound. (well, OK, the RMC piezos are my favorite on the fretless) I'm debating rewiring the fretted to a straight inner/outer setup so I can get some of that on the low strings. But then, maybe I just need a bolt-on fretted Hanewinckel . . . :)

    This is the new fretless with "inside" coils selected:

    I don't have a sound clip of the "outside" coils, maybe I should make one.

    I think the pre in both my Hanewinckels is the 5.4, that sounds like the right description. It's my favorite preamp so far.

    When you have inner or outer coils selected, do you keep the pan in the center pretty much? I have mine wired a bit funny (so that when the pickups are split to inner/outer they are in series with each other, so the volume remains consistent), so I don't have the capability to pan in those configurations (well, actually, it pans between inner and outer pairs - when the knob is in the middle it's all four coils same as when the switch is in "normal" mode). I don't think I miss being able to pan. I pretty much go all one way or the other in normal mode anyway.
  20. geshel , your hanewinckels really sound awesome, I wish I had the money to buy a hw :(