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Humbuckawha? Soap-where? Terminology Help!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by werbo1, Nov 23, 2004.

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  1. Ok, i've been playing for 3 years but i don't know jack about technical stuff. OH AND I SEARCHED BEFORE HAHA!

    Ok step one: I need to know what kinds of different pickups there are. What do most basses come iwht nowadays? Single Pups? I know a humbucker has two coils but what good does this do?

    Also i know this might not go in pickups - but how do different electronics produce different tones and what is difference TONWISE between active and passive. Eg: Why do Bartolini's sound different than EMG. Why do Jazz Bass PUPs sound different than MusicMan style PUPs?

    I know this is a long post but just one more thing - not too important. Can i get a list of the different style pickups and what sort of tone they will get - Eg: Musicman compared to Jazz etc.

    TIA...oh and work ur way up to down in the post reply-wise if u don't feel like answering it all - which u do
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Well, no offense, but plenty of this information IS available via search. Just yesterday or day before I typed a bunch of stuff about soapbars. Did you read the pickups faq?
    That has links to a number of the topics you raised.

    Different brands of pickups, or even different models of the same brand of pickup, sound different for a number of reasons including but not limited to:
    1) Different magnet types i.e. alnico vs ceramic
    2) Humbucker vs single coil (single coils are more subsceptible to hum, having two coils helps you reduce/eliminate hum)
    3) How 'hot' the pickup is wound (e.g. how much wire is on the pickup).
    4) In a humbucker configuration, how the coils are connected - series or parallel. Series gives a hotter output with a more midrange emphasis. Parallel gives less output, more lows/highs. The classic MM pickup is wired in parallel.

    Different electronics produce different tones by boosting / cutting different frequencies, as well as 2 band (bass treble) vs three band (bass/mid/treble) vs four band (bass/lo mid/high mid/treble). Different preamps have different center frequencies which affect the sound e.g. the aguilar obp-1 has a different treble center frrequency than the aguilar obp-3 which gives the treble a different sound. Also, some preamps apply an eq 'pre shape' e.g. the john east u/j-retro applies a slight bass/treble boost even with the eq controls flat.

    When people talk about Jazz pickups or soapbar pickups they're talking about a shape. Underneath the jazz cover there can be single coils , stacked humbuckers (one set of coils above the other), in-line humbuckers (one coil next to another). With soapbars, you can have any type of J configuration, MM configuration or P configuration under the pickup cover.
  3. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland

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