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Dr. DIMENTO'S ONGOING "SOAPBAR" STYLE PUP EXPERIMENT

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by luknfur, May 7, 2004.


  1. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    For the sake of clarification, generally what I call a soapbar is any rectangular shaped pup with a smooth face (concealed poles/magnets)that is not a J, P, or MM dimensioned pup.

    Unless noted otherwise, all trials are fingerpick, using the bass specified with TI JF 344's run direct out (no pots) into a 2000 Polytone Mini Brute V with settings remaining flat unless noted otherwise . If two pups then ran direct out true stereo into seperate channels of the Poly. I've ran pups through various rigging and the charactistics of the pup follow it just as the acoustic tone inherent in a bass follows it. My standard pup setting is as high as they'll go without driving the strings into them, maximum 1/8." Pups mounted in standard J neck and bridge position unless noted otherwise. Also all are played to the same tunes in the following styles: Reggae, blues, country, Rock - some Jazz, 60's R&B, and Latin, with a few Stanley Clarke riffs thrown in solo.

    These pups have been run in the following order and all on page 1 except the EMG DC40:

    PV FOUNDATION (super ferrite?)

    EPIPHONE THUNDERBIRD HB’s ( Single wire with ground - 3 ¾ L x 1 ½ W x 1T)

    UK STATUS (GMT)

    LANE POOR M3.5W SOAPBAR (single pup bridge position)
    LANE POOR M3.5W SOAPBAR NECK/MODULUS LANE POOR MM BRIDGE (see MM pup experiment)
    LANE POOR M3.5W/MODULUS LANE POOR MM SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON (see MM pup experiment)

    UK (British) JIM CAIRNES/PAULMAN 5 STRING SOAPBARS


    EMG HZ35's


    '82 GIBSON VICTORY BASS QUAD SOAP


    80's IBANEZ MUSICIAN SINGLE COIL

    80's IBANEZ MUSICIAN HUMBUCKER

    PV "WHO KNOWS?"

    ACTIVE EMG DC40 (Pg.2)


    - so far

    --------------------------------

    PV FOUNDATION (super ferrite?)

    I'm guessing these are passive single coil super ferrite. I'll adjust accordingly when I find out for certain myself. Actually J's but soapbar shaped pups so classified as such.

    *Note: I have since found out the super ferrites actually have that printed on their faces. Apparently they changed pups in the Foundations in the 90's before they were discontinued altogether. Whether these were a variation of the Super Ferrite or a totally different pup don't know. But these had a smooth black face with a serious radius.

    After hearing the Kingston MTD pup and reading some other threads I decided at some point I would explore some low end pups - just to verify the more expensive pups are worth the difference in cost. I'd have to say if these PV pups were reflective of the sounds put out by low end pups - the more expensive pups would probably not only NOT be worth the price, most of them would be substantially inferior in tonal qualities. These are decent pups.

    Most tunes were played 1/2 to bridge pup and 1/2 to neck pup as mixing the pups did not produce very useable tones. I suspect the bridge and neck pups are exactly the same pups just mounted in different positions - even though someone had marked bridge and neck on the pup pads (there were stickers with N & S beneath the pads and I'm clueless what S might stand for). The neck just sounds like a darker version of the bridge. The amp tone was left flat except the 10 db treble cut was used for Reggae.

    Loaded into the acoustically dark bass. Volume output was probably 25% greater than average. Some hum but minimal. Some irritating finger transfer on the D & G strings using bridge pup only. Somewhat controlled by technique by digging in or angling fingers toward the neck - but as much as anything it depended on the tune (some it just stood out more regardless). Also irritating was there's considerably more radius on the pup face than the neck of the bass resulting in the strings being closer to the pup in the middle than perimeter - fingers feeling the pups while playing the A & D and clear on the E & G.

    Tone was distincly a medium J on the bridge pup (about a 3-1 neck/bridge blend tone from most J sets I've tried) and approaching a P tone at the neck only. Plenty of volume at the bridge pup and they functioned very well independently. When blended they put out a sound that was a sort of bright, tubular, hollow sound that hovered over the tune. I even changed up the wiring to see if I was running something out of phase and it was the same. There was a mixing point in adjustment when increasing the volume of one pup would bleed the tone and volume out of the other for about a step of adjustment then it would pass, but that hollowness remained.

    The pups worked to roughly 90% of the tunes. The bridge pup worked to pretty much everything and the neck to probably 50%. Volume, sensitivity, clarity, tone, and cut were even across the board. And there was a nice bulge on the E & A strings using the bridge pup. Probably some passable solo sounds. Never ran them through a preamp but I will and add the findings.

    In all, some useable, versatile, quality tones. Not much variation in sounds from these pups but the sound they put out works - a lot better than most pups I've tried. They were $5 including shipping.

    Addendum: ran these pups through a Bart NTMB. Volume dropped some but no noticeable effect on quality of tone. The preamp did seem to clear up some finger transfer.

    ALWAYS OPEN FOR PUP SWAPS OR QUICK PURCHASE AT A GOOD PRICE!
     
  2. Could they be magnet orientation North and South, so that with one of each you get hum bucking when you connect them in parallel?
     
  3. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Sure sounds good to me. And that just may alleviate that wierd tone. It will be interesting to see what an alteration produces. Thanks.

    Ah yes, running the MM's of late I'd forgotten running direct through seperate jacks does not allow for a parallel option. To do so would throw me back into "the onboard knob thing." Oh well, there's always more pups.
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    EPIPHONE THUNDERBIRD HB’s ( Single wire with ground - 3 ¾ L x 1 ½ W x 1T)

    Onward and literally upward with the cheap pups. I'm pretty much 3 for 3 with the cheap pups which is a lot better average than with the "quality" stuff.

    Not sure if these are out of a Thunderbird or Thunderbird IV (or if there’s any difference for that matter). Loaded in the acoustically bright bass. Volume output 33% better than average (If you’re starting to notice a pattern here, it’s beginning to look like what is average for soaps - and perhaps HBs in general - is considerably more than other pup configurations. HB’s would make sense, not sure what the deal is with those PV’s). No hum. Some irritating finger transfer on the D & G strings that’s marginally controllable with technique and cutting treble. The treble cut also cut’s some desirable tones more often than not.

    Noticeably versatile pups. Good range of tones. By adjusting tone control can pull off a respectable Ric, mid J, and a P tone that took me by surprise – really decent and fun to play Through adjustment, you can pretty much put the tone where you want it. I had a set of Bart M34C's I couldn't get this kind of variety from even with 4 pots and a switch. Can get a nice bulge on the E & A strings. Some pretty punchy in your face sounds. Little growl depending. Can go from clear to some mud. Can get some warm round tones or go with some peaky brights. Flat picking a little with it went well.

    Worked to all the tunes. Some of those tones worked well solo. Volume, sensitivity, tone, clarity, and cut were fairly even across the board for most settings. You could pretty much fade out the D & G string with treble cut. You could thin the E & A strings but they were still very present in the mix. Again no preamp but will run one later and comment. Not Hi Fi sounds from these pups but not raw either, so expect a preamp will drive them into Hi-Fi.

    Some parallels with the PV’s but being able to mix pups can make a big difference in versatility. These are some impressive cheap pups.

    Addendum: Ran the pups through the OBP-3 and NTMB. Volume drop and the preamps sucked the character right out of the pups and made them sterile and lifeless. Unplug the preamps with the same settings and volume shot up and it was a near killer punchy, growly, tubular sound that I found hard to believe were even the same pups.

    ALWAYS OPEN FOR PUP SWAPS OR QUICK PURCHASE AT A GOOD PRICE!
     
  5. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    UK STATUS (GMT)

    2 wire passive HB's from '87 UK Status Series 2 (3/4" x 1 3/8" x 3 1/4")

    As far as I can tell, these pups are identical as there are no markings indicating otherwise and they sound like the same pup.

    Loaded into an acoustically dark bass. Output noticeable better than average. No hum. Sensitivity to attack average. Finger transfer could get excessive on the D & G strings with treble boosted.

    Basically low-end "J" tone pups with tons of lows and low mids. Could be tastefully adjusted through upper midrange. Basic settings I worked out of was Bridge: bass cut 4 (5 is maximum), mid boosted 1, treble cut 3.5; Neck: bass cut 5, treble cut 3 with 3 - 1 volume bridge to neck mix. Adjustments were made from there as needed to fit.

    Obviously, the bridge pup can be used alone - and I played it that way through a session running the Status 2 band preamp (ran as an outboard) that came with the pups. There was no discernable volume drop using the Status preamp and it didn't clean the tone up as much as the Bart & Aggie. Also the Status preamp colored the tone noticeably. I briefly ran the pups through the NTMB for the bridge pup and OBP-3 for the neck pup. Usual volume drop and the preamps added a hi-fi quality to the tone. I liked the more raw tone straight through the amp so pulled them.

    Pups worked acceptably or better to all tunes without a lot of adjustment. Nothing killer but some useable quality tone. The upper midrange setting yielded a tad of growl and would cover adequately for a J bass yet could make the Reggae rumble. Not much top end as finger transfer was more apparent than tone and the D & G would fade unless mids and bass were boosted. The E string could fade noticeably on some tunes due the extreme bass cut needed to get tone to fit. But on such occassion, typically the result was a useable Fender-like midrange tone. Otherwise volume, sensitivity, clarity, and cut were fairly even across the board. No solo tones noted.
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    LANE POOR M3.5W SOAPBAR (single pup bridge position)

    1 1/2"x3.5" 2 wire w/ground passive (single coil to my knowledge - magnetic draw to length of pup center). No ears, 3 screw holes.

    In a nutshell, a single pup with a quality tone that works to a broad range of styles.

    Loaded into an acoustically midrange bass about 2 1/2" from center of pup to face of the bridge. Output about average anyway - even as a single. Supposed to be low medium but it cut better than average which pretty much must compensate for slightly lower output. Guess I should have been measuring these pups all along to quantify it. Roughly moderate hum but basically dead quiet with a dummie pup - which is how I ran it. Sensitivity to attack above average - pretty reponsive pup. Some finger transfer primarily on G string but nothing of consequence.

    Very much like a typical Bart J "set" in tone but a bit clearer with a smooth buttery quality added. Very refined pup yet with some rawness. Some bulge on the E & A strings and punch, crunch, and growl when digging in a bit. Also nice burp with flat pick. Ample low end, fairly evenly balanced across the frequency range though a tad shy on the top but still a very useable rounded top end.

    Volume, sensitivity, tone, clarity, and cut even across the board. Ample sustain. Responsive to change in position, technique, and tone adjustment - mostly just positioning and technique sufficed. Require minimal adustment in tone except for extreme cases like Reggae, otherwise it was basically ran with eq flat. No variations in sound per se' (in a second round with bass cut a tad it actually put out a good P tone with some thump, punch, crunch, and growl). Produced about a marginal solo tone. Worked well with a flat pick. Played acceptably or better to all tunes and very well to about 15%. Didn't really excell at any music style from the tunes I played but I'm guessing it would for something along the lines of jazz/rock fusion.

    Almost forgot the ultimate question - Is a Lane Poor worth the Dinero they command these days? All I can say is I don't feel slighted by the expense. Probably worth it just to have first hand experience to the mystic that surrounds LP pups. There seems to be a unique quality in the tone of this particular pup anyway. On the other hand, I've got pups I like a lot better that cost a LOT less. This was the first run on this pup though and typically for me it takes at least a dozen sessions to get a decent feel on a pup (set). At any rate, relative to something like car insurance it's chump change.

    FLUFF:

    Basically I've been migrating toward playing with a single pup through a bass pod or the like and this pup seemed to fit the bill and I hadn't had an LP before so picked it up. Original owner said he ran it passively as a single. Haven't ran it through the pod but works fine without it so a step ahead of the game. Haven't ran across many pups at the bridge that I didn't feel needed a neck pup to beef them up or fill them out.

    Aside from that, just inspection makes it apparent this is a quality made pup. EXTREMELY clean and seamless. Flawless epoxy job. My only bitch is the leads are extremely rigid.

    So where is this guy anyway? Driving a UPS truck delivering pickups to other players? Even with bankruptcy you've got 7 years before you can go back into the same business - which would place his return at about 2007 if that's the case.
     
  7. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Good stuff as always luknfur!

    Thread added to Pickups FAQ.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Thanks, maybe somebody will get something useful out of it.

    not much here relative to the others. Initially I tried to classify according to the bass configuration - since for the most part somebody with a Jazz bass is not going to be intereted in an MM pup. Humbuckers and soaps probably should have been included together but seems I started off early with a set of SD Rics which aren't soaps so Humbuckers became a catch-all for anything that didn't fit anywhere else.
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    JIM CAIRNES/PAULMAN 5 STRING SOAPBARS

    Wood Pup Covers (1 1/2" x 4")

    1 jacketed single wire w/ground & 2 jacketed single wire w/ground J pups (HB's?)


    Loaded into an acoustically dark 4 STRING bass (probably a good commentary on the insignificance of strings lining up with poles on bi-poles. All I know is all strings are between the perimeter magnetic fields yet string balance was as good as it gets). Output on low side of average. Quite a bit of hum killed by touching strings (poor grounding?). Fairly sensitive to attack. Noticeable finger transfer but nothing of consequence. Average sustain. Worked well with finger and pick.

    Interesting mystery pups of a sort. Decent single J and P tones. Ample bass, broad flexible mid range, and soft top. Most tones to music distinctly on the dark side but with mids and top that cut. Quite a bit of versatility in frequency ranges - could pretty much tweak knobs to get the breakdown desired. Sometimes difficult to get the mids right but I'm not used to the pups yet. Can go usefully thin with a cutting but soft top or fat and dark with numerous variations in between.

    Nice raw character. Can be quite punchy, some growl. Some bulge on E & A strings with tones thinned. Responsive to variations in technique and hand position. Volume, tone, sensitivity, clarity, and cut even across the board. Worked well to about 80% of the tunes and average or better to all of them. Crossing over styles no problem. Marginal solo tones.

    FLUFF:

    Got these off the bay from the UK. Out of a Pual Paulman bass. Paulman made the covers on these and Cairnes made the pups. The entire bottom is covered with copper shielding but it's obvious it's a J shaped bi-pole pup centered in the cover. Only two wires coming from one pup and 4 from the other but they have the same tone and same resistance so I'm guessing they're identical with one ran with 4 leads for some wiring option.

    Some nice subtle nuances in tone. I can't say I've had anything that sounded quite like these pups to date. The hum may be resolved by running a grounding plate but they were in and I was ready to play. It's really the only thing that annoys me about these pups cause I'm inclined to set a bass in a stand momentarily, but not this one.

    It was kind of wierd seeing the J shaped pup imprinted on the copper shielding in the bass of the cover. Even though I know a soap pup is nothing but a housing for the pup, seeing it like that transfered the understanding from second hand to first hand.

    The more I play these pups, the more I like them.
     
  10. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    EMG HZ35 SOAPS

    Passive 4 lead with ground dual coil ceramic with steel bar poles

    Loaded into an acoustically bright bass with the neck pup wired in parallel and bridge in series. Output average or little less. No hum, quiet. Sensitivity to attack and technique could be better or poorer than average depending on setting but in general inclined to be poorer. Sensitivity to hand position was poorer than average to average at best. No finger/pic transfer of consequence but it was definitely noticeable with boost cut and treble upped which was a common setting. Worked well to finger and flat pic. Sustain average.

    These are not pups for the faint of heart. Some good tone to be had but it don't come easy. Very unpredictable pups in terms of getting the frequency mix right. EXTREMELY sensitive to control adjustments in the sense that it's a hole in one or a dunk in the pond. There's no getting a setting and playing a few tunes - changes EVERY tune. So if you've got a preamp with presets and a decent soundman, they'll probably work.

    In general, the pups were markedly P tone in nature and very inclined to be relatively dark and put out a wall of sound that did not cut very well for a relative volume. This was primarily corrected by getting the frequencies right or, to a much less succesful degree, increasing volume in combination with minor tone adjustment. The tone primarily employed was inclined to have a lower half that was more punch/bulge than tone with a focused midmid/upper mid. This was the result of brightening the pups.

    An appealing tone in spite of the sound of it and the bulge was the most appealing rawness about the pups - so much so technique had to be steady at times as a misplaced dig on E & A strings was blatantly apparent. It could be moderated with tone adjustment but I preferred to have the flexibility of control through touch - until I finally gave in and dropped the E side of the pup down. This balanced overall tone considerably and, although it cut into flexibility in the magnitude of punch, ample punch remained. On a number of occassions punch extended up to the D string and a few times all 4.

    In spite of their makeup, the pups really had an alnico quality about them and tone reminiscent of alnico MM's came to mind at times. Often soft, moderately warm, with marginal clarity. Some edge to tone and fuzz at some settings that could be hardened to an edgey buzz. Quit a range of subtle rawness came and went with adjustment. Little burpy at times, little tubular, some nice appealing finger transfer - but they came and went with specific frequency mixes that either worked or didn't work to a given tune, with no lattitude. Some growl but it tended to be minial in tones that work to tunes.

    The pups had a respectable range to go brighter or darker and cleaner or more muddy. But darkening them tended to cut too much off the top and brightening them up tended to either leave bass marginal or get boomie. Plenty of bottom end, useable midrange, and top that wasn't bright but cut well - when the mix was right. If not right, the top end made tone boxie or emitted an unpleasant disharmony/thinness. Some flexibility in fading strings but I had my hands full just trying to get the mix right be able to keep tabs.

    With a lot of work, (I've messed with these pups off and on for several days - at least triple normal session time) they played passably to all tunes and better than average to roughly 50%, excelled at maybe 10%. Other than already addressed: volume, tone, sensitivity, clarity and cut even across the board for tones to tunes. Relative to pups in general, clarity was low average. Solo the same tones to music were much more clear and a spread of frequencies more apparent, as was the case in spaces in music. In fact they were fun pups to play solo and definitely have some application in that regard.

    Frequency spread - sort of a Dimarzio scale with more breakdown (maximum value is 10). The TB format won't allow for the colums to line up, but they're in sequence so just need to shifted over under the relative frequency:

    Hertz 50 1.2C 4C 5C 8C 4.5K 10K

    3 8 4 3 3.5 0 0


    FLUFF:

    The spacing I employed is a bit odd and worthy of mention with the neck 10 inches from the center of 12th fret to the leading edge of the pup and bridge at 13 3/4 inches to leading edge. I thought about wiring the bridge parallel but since it was set closer to the bridge, series seemed more logical. The bridge placement was due to a limitation I created in the bass that I've pretty much had my fill of and time to remedy. I'll try in parallel before I pull them. The pups are factory wired in series but the neck in series was more boom and darkness than I wanted and the bridge could basically achieve the same tone alone by darkening it up. The pups are obviously identical and there is no neck/bridge designation on each pup.

    I haven't jacked with a set of pups like this since I can't remember. I could feel the tone was there and did what I could to nail it down - hour after hour. To date, these have to get the TOP PUPS FROM HELL AWARD. In fact during the frequency spread they did it again. Only one GEB-7 so I wire both pups together - and they sounded pretty decent, and a lot easier to control. Whether the tone will work to music or not, guess I'll find out.
     
  11. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    '82 GIBSON VICTORY BASS QUAD SOAP

    3 lead w/ground 4 coil humbucker (1" x 1 1/4" x 3 3/8")
    Probably wired in parallel? (see Fluff)


    Loaded into an acoustically bright bass in J bridge position. Ouput below average as ran (see Fluff). A little hum killed by touching strings. Noticeable finger transfer but acutally on the appealing side and no an issue at any rate. Worked well to finger and flatpick. Sensitivity to attack, technique, and hand position above average. Sustain above average.

    Very much like vintage Fender J tone and nothing like the stereotype dark and dirty Gibson sound. This pup has considerable clarity and made me think of a Lane Poor at times with mids and trebles that cut well and adequate bass. Clarity varied with the tune however and often the pup seemed pretty average in that respect. Treble could be near full cut and still come through the mix. And quite a few tunes were played with treble full cut. Bass a little shy on Reggae but moving up the neck darkened the tone and it put out a good Reggae tone as a result. Quite a bit of useable variation in tone in moving from bridge to neck. Pup could be darkened or brightened without getting boxie but increasing bass yielded a continuum of dirt depending on preference. Not much tweaking to get useable tones.

    Vintage Fender J tone like but not the same - been a while since I've had the Fenders in so will have to wait to get a better idea. Seems Fender treble was more flexible and tweakable though. Very passable P tone although could't nail the mids for vintage Fender. Highly unlikely you'd pull an EBO tone out of this pup located at the bridge but I've read reviews that is likely in stock location. No solo tones noted. Ala Fender, quite a bit of air in solo tone which to music became transparent and mixed to focused mid/treble tones.

    Some rawness with nice bulge on the E & A string. Punch at times that was very percussive and kick-drum like. As mentioned finger transfer was appealing with some variations depending on tone, tune, or use of flatpick. Some edge in the form of fuzz or some crispness. Decent growl.

    Worked passably to all tunes though occassionally marginal. The marginal aspect I suspect is a lack of experience with the pups. Played better than average to roughly 35% of the tunes. Volume, tone, sensitivity, clarity, and cut fairly even across the board for tones to tunes. Occassionally a string seemed a bit weak or strong but nothing consistent (see Fluff).

    Fluff:

    Not your typical pup. This was a first run. Even though this is only a 4 lead pup, I don't have the wiring down. It was just good enough to play. It is a full functioning quad to my knowedge in that all 4 strings can be isolated. Just in messing with the wiring to get a useable combo I was able to isolate the E, the A/D/G, and the E & A. First attempt resulted in the A being weak and I thought the pup was screwed up but I'd never had any such experience in the past. One string doesn't screw up with the others apparently normal. The A I assume was out of phase somehow as I had it wired. So any balance or volume issue's may be related. Just going by volume and comparison to the first wiring output, I suspect this run is actually in parallel. Will do more exploration in the future.
     
  12. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    80's IBANEZ MUSICIAN BASS SINGLE COIL (3/4" x 1 1/4" x 3 7/8")

    Basically a soap with exposed poles. Close enough.

    Slotted adjustable bipoles. NOS pup mounted half a J width toward the neck from standard Fender MIA J bass bridge position (single pup only).

    Not confirmed yet whether this is for a Musician or Roadstar or whether they actually used the same pups or pups that just look alike. NOS and not pulled from the bass itself but the seller states he's 99% certain it's an Ibanez Musician pup.

    Loaded into an acoustically midrange bass. Output about average. Little hum killed by touching strings. Some finger transfer perhaps of consequence depending on setting but wasn't for me. Worked well finger or flatpicked. Sensitivity to attack, hand position, and technique about average. Sustain about average, maybe a little less.

    Fairly unique tone. Blatantly thuddy and mildly tubey, woody, fuzzy, airy, soft, percussive, tad of horn with low-moderate warmth. Some rawness but not pronounced. Minimal growl. Inclined toward a vintage Fender P tone which it pulls off well - better than any P I've run across to date. Lower half quite thuddy, mids lack a bit of warmth compared to a quality Fender P, upper half relatively bright and clear compared to lower half but not harsh by any means and quite complimentary actually. Would work well wherever a P bass would and I got a passable J tone by combining amp channels but basically a single appealing sound that could be darkened or brighten to fit tune.

    Strings couldn't be faded on lower half or upper but it's not something I found of use with this pup to tunes. Very little tweaking to get tone, very predictable with no suprises. Similarly, although sensitivity to attack, technique, and hand position were about average - not something that was much of factor in getting tone. Except as noted otherwise; volume, tone, sensitivity, clarity, and cut even across the board for tones to tunes. Clarity very middle of the road as it didn't dirty up or clean up markedly. Flat picking cleaned tone up considerably.

    Worked to all tunes passably, better than average to roughly 50%, and excelled at about 25%. Nice little pup.

    Frequency spread (TB format doesn't keep the columns in line but they're in sequence and just need to be shifted over. 10 is Maximum value)

    Hertz 50 1.2C 4C 5C 8C 4.5K 10K

    2.5 7.5 4 1 1 0 0

    Update: this pup was installed in both the Ibanez musician and Roadstar basses. However it is the typical pup assoiciated with the Roadstar, it is not the pup in the link above which is typically associated with the musician bass.

    FYI. Also, I ran this pup int a THD univalve with 12au7/12av7 pre's and it put out a very interesting deep, woody, hollow tone that was very much a Bluegrass/Jugbass tone.
     
  13. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Does it look like this?
    http://www.talkbass.com/photopost/data/501/37658IMGA0310-med.JPG

    That's my 81 Musician, but I've also seen a bass with the same body as my Roadster, single pickup in about the MM position, bolt on neck with a 4 IL headstock that uses the same pickup. Not sure what the model number of that one is.
     
  14. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Dharma,

    nothing like those. This has a flat black textured surface with slotted bi-poles and looks just like the pups I've got out of a Roadstar but those are HB's. Maybe I should take a trip to Ebay to see what I can see.
     
  15. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I'm curious if there's any plans to review a set of EMG 35DC's or CS's, or mebbe TW's in the future.
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    None of the pups I ran were planned per se'. Just whatever makes itself available at the time for the most part. Soaps I haven't had many of for the most part and ironically the only pup I shipped off and forgot to review was a Bart MK44.

    Been involved playing around with a tube amp lately so the pup aspect has slowed dramatically. Have had a hard time lately getting sound I want. Don't know whether it's the adjustment to the amp or the pups I've been trying are just causing me grief.

    Also active EMG soaps aren't cheap. I don't know what those things go for new but used you can buy a pair of most decent pups for what a single EMG goes for. In general, used soaps go for more than other pups and I really have no idea of why.
     
  17. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Okey...

    I'm just thinking of pulling the neck off my warmoth PJ, & finally crafting something pointy... annnnddd, I thought I'd go for something a little different than PJ...

    That expense is exactly why I was hoping to get a real review... I did notice the Spector appears to put DC's on alot of thier USA series basses. That's a good sign, IMO.
     
  18. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Oh yeh (duh),

    do a google search for "EMG pickup reviews" (whatever) and you'll get harmonycentral, bragnet, and activebass reviews. There's bound to be some reviews on what you're looking for. Also there's someplace on TB that has pup reviews as well. I've never figured how to access it within TB but I've pulled them up with a google search before.
     
  19. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    IBANEZ MUSICIAN HUMBUCKER (Bridge position)

    4 Lead w/ground dual coil/adjustable slotted bi-poles
    (3/4" x 1 7/8" x 3 7/8")

    This is simply a dual coil version of the musician single review. I have seen this pup in a Roadstar (and I was told that what it was removed from) but it's not the typical dual coil associated with the Roadstar bass.

    Reading "FLUFF" at the end of the review first will probably help add some context the review.

    Loaded into an acoutically midrange bass. Output about average, little better maybe. Some hum killed my touching strings/direction change. Noticeable finger transfer but nothing of consequence. With a pic, thin could be a bit much but medium was fine. Worked to finger and flatpick. Sensitivity to attack, technique, and hand postion little better than average. Little less than average sustain.

    Another frustraing pup run. LOTS of tweaking knobs trying to get tone. Even someone familiar with the pup would likely be making frequent adjustments to changing tunes. Basically a dark, soft, dull borderline J/P tone that more often than not sounded pretty lifeless - and not warm. Lots of low end which was appealing when the tone was focused but that was more the exception than the rule. Mids weren't partically clear, warm, or containing any appealing quality of significance otherwise - and mids were essentially the top end as trebles basically didn't exist in any useable adjustable form depending. What there was of top end yielded more presence than a tone. I actually managed to jack with this pup for 2 weeks for reasons beyond me. Mids and top end can be had but bottom is sacrificed in the process - but it will still work to a fair number of tunes that way.

    That said, it was suprisingly only marginally off the mark most of the time. Very consistently a little borderline - primarily with the airiness and lack of top end. Usually there was an obvious surround-sound feel to the tone with a lack of clarity/directionality. But I could easily see it working well to some styles with some combinations of instruments. And it's not like it was that way to all tunes. Plus "attitude" could be adjusted on the THD to add focus but that also tended to treble up tone/cut bass/and dull tone in the process. Low end was not a problem and there were times when mids were focused and a defined top-end not desired. There were just too many times something was lacking and I couldn't get it where I wanted.

    Couldn't get a vintage Fender P tone from it but close depending how I ran it. A P tone it was though and I could pretty much get the Fender bottom but not the mids and top. Lower frequency, comparatively dull, and the top was either too dull or too airy - or the lower half not quite there as the top half was pulled in. Didn't really have the punch, thump, or thud of a P.

    Worked to P and J tunes. Definetly some appealing tones and quite a bit of useable variation from altering technique. The D/G and E/A strings could be controllably faded but not in a useable way. Output/cut was noticeably lacking to most settings to tunes. Either D/G (major issue) or E/A depending, you could get one pair but not both. And that was true the length of the board.

    There was a little of a myriad of appealing qualities to tone (growl, punch, woodiness, fuzz, warmth, rawness, among others) but not much of any one and they all came and went with the tune. Solo it sounded good sometimes - depending at how it was ran. In general, it sounded much better solo than to tunes. In the end, it worked to all tunes passably, better than average to maybe 15%. Volume, sensitivity, tone, clarity, and cut as mentioned previously.

    Different variables (amp, whatever) may be all it would take to make this a much more appealing pup cause it wasn't that far off. I could'nt' have stood to play it for a session let alone a couple weeks if it were. So I wouldn't be suprised to hear someone rave about it and the Musician basses have good reviews to support that.

    FLUFF:

    This run was the current state of the micro tube amp setup with the MXR M80 > THD Univalve > micro-cab with an 8" Pioneer audio speaker. The micro-cab was mic'd with an Audix F12 > Art MP mic pre > QSC 1450 > GS-112 & L'acoustics DSOT 15". The MXR was by-passed about half the time and 25% through clean channel 25% with distortion. The pup tended to cut on the E&A or D&G but not all 4 so the MXR came in handy to get it through a tune. Ran through the lo-gain channel. Didn't try the hi-gain channel. Adjusting the poles seemed to have some effect but it was marginal and that alone was not the ticket.

    Also later ran a stereo mix. Sans DI > THD > micro cab w/vifa speaker (from a Mackie monitor) mic'd using both the Audix F12 dynamic (40Hz-10kHz)/Art MP and F15 condenser (100Hz-20kHz)/Studio VTB1 into seperate channels of the QSC to the GS 112/L-Acoustics. The Sans Di was incorporated pretty much about 40% running clean and by-passed the remainder. I ran the MXR through this setup also and distortion didn't work through either rig. Ran the as in the previous paragraph, I could still get clean on the distortion channel of the MXR and didn't have to dramtically cut back the Sans to cut distortion out. To me, the disortion on those things sounds synthetic and pretty cheesie.
     
  20. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    PV "WHO KNOWS?" (Bridge position)

    2 lead with ground ? coil
    no exposed poles/smooth face w/serious radius (string sensing center of pickup)
    (1" x 1 3/8" x 3 5/8") Black textured sealed cover w/4 screw towers (so technically not a soap)
    Peavey embossed in lower right corner of face
    I'll try and remember to post a pic later today and maybe someone can ID it. (Forget the pic. I just remembered I bought a new laptop that doesn't have the software to shrink to pic enough for TB to take it - unless something's changed with the new TB server).

    Reading Fluff at the end may clarify some of both the preceding and following.

    Loaded into an acoustically midrange bass. Output better than average. No hum per se' but I picked up slight noise depending on turn of direction in which touching strings had no effect, essentially quiet though. Some finger transfer but it was more complimentary rather than distracting, with an interesting airy quality. Percussive attack to it with a rushing air quality to it that made me think of cleaning a spit-valve in a horn (or this wierd jazz tune I heard the other day). How much of that was apparent depended on the tune and tended to be more so to all but a few tunes with the MXR by-passed rather than engaged. Worked well to finger style with a nice percussive, woodie, and snappy tone to flatpick. Very faint woodiness fingerpicked with MXR by-bassed. Sensitivity to technique and hand postion about average. Sensitivity to attack better than average. Noticeably but not markedly less than average sustain.

    Interesting pup and fun pup to play. Lovely melodic quality. Noticeably like the previous run with the Barcus-Berry but, not anticipating that, I loaded it into the same bass so can't do a side-by-side comparison. For one thing the mellow aspect of the BB was replaced with warmth. Horn-like quality to tone but no particular horn I could put a finger on, but a more midrange than bass horn. Fundamental and harmonics to tone were piano-like in quality in the sense of having a pronounced focus surrounded by an even spread of harmonics, but didn't have a piano ring so didn't actually sound like a piano - maybe would with rounds. Very smooth, punchy/cutting, controlled quality to tone. Punch wasn't the typical thick punch but just a shooting through the mix punch.

    To many tunes with the MXR by-passed the bottom was on the hollow side with focused mid and airy top. Engaging the MXR as it was set dropped the apparent frequency range down into a broader low/mid range spread and lost the fuzz to tone and low-end hollowness, becoming more hi-fi sounding overall with less air. Didn't sound like a single J but worked well to J tunes when brightened up. Very close to a vintage Fender P tone and was borderline more appealing. Had that hard to get P mid but was not quite as clear and bright on top.

    Much like the Bill Lawrence pup last run, I just toggled back and forth between the MXR M80 for a darker, beefier, active P-like tone or by-passed it brighter, clearer, more raw passive J-like tone. I did two runs and the second I toggled back forth every tune. Never tweaked controls on the amp or MXR. Both ways were virtually interchangeable in the sense they both worked to tunes, it was just different.

    Punchie but little bulge, some growl, a tad of burp but very minimal, rawness in the form of airy and noticeable fuzz, horn-like melodic quality, warm, and noteably percussive and woodie with a thin flatpick. Fairly rounded tones even when airy.

    No controlled fading of strings noted. Presumably becuase of the radius on the pup, the E and G strings had marginally less output. The A was noticeably more pronounced but not so with the D. I said presumeably becuase "KNOWING" anything about a pup introduces bias into the mix. But after two runs, I'd lay money it ain't my imagination. Even at that, in one tune the E string was actually most pronounced. In all, nothing significant as it could be worse yet still tolerable given the tone the pup puts out. There are most always trade-offs. Regardless, volume, tone, sensitivity, clarity, and cut all followed across the board in accord. The radius I found irritiating in driving fingers into the center of the pup but clear on the perimeter, actually more irritating that drving them into a pup all the way across. Normally I'd play such a pup to the front and back edge but sensing is in the middle of this pup and that's where I prefered the tone much of the time.

    Worked passably to all tunes and ballpark better than average to 60% and excelled at 30% of those. Hard to estimate that stuff but distinctly an appealing pup. Decent Ric and Funk tones when flatpicked at the bridge while marginal slapped (at least at settings to tunes). Potential solo tones but not in the typical sense cause the pup is very airy in an appealing horn-like way fingerpicked while percussive, woodie, snappie flatpicked. Good to double-stops, chords, and arpeggios. So a different solo tone but did work well to the typical brief "in tune" solo's by virtue of the cut and diminished airiness with some accompaniment.

    Frequency spread (TB format doesn't keep the columns in line but they're in sequence and just need to be shifted over. 10 is Maximum value)

    Hertz 50 1.2C 4C 5C 8C 4.5K 10K

    1; 6.5; 3.5; 2; 3; 2; 1.5


    FLUFF:

    I bought this advertised as a PV FURY pup. I spent more time than I'm going to going through ebay and the net trying to find this pup. I assume somebody can ID it from a pic so I'll include one. I would like to know just for curiosity's sake. I'd almost bet this is the same PV pup I ran in a pair I had previously that I couldn't wire as a pair without them being out of phase for whatever reason. It was an early pup so who knows. Becuase of that and the radius, I sent the earlier set packing but this one stays for now.

    Technically it's not a soap cause is has screwtowers. Since I don't have routings it's easy to overlook cuase it's irrelevant for me. It would for a fact take some ingenuity (or a drillpress) to stick this into soap routing of the given dimensions.

    This run was MXR M80 DI > THD > micro cab w/vifa speaker (from a Mackie monitor) mic'd using both the Audix F12 dynamic (40Hz-10kHz)/Art MP and F15 condenser (100Hz-20kHz)/Studio VTB1 into seperate channels of the QSC to the GS 112/L-Acoustics. The MXR DI would fatten, darken tone but tended to dull noticeably in the process and cut into rawness.