Humbuckers or not??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lowner, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Lowner


    May 14, 2005
    Over Here
    My Ibanez has single coil P bass style pick ups and my Rockbass has humbuckers. Is there any advantage to having a bass with humbuckers as opposed to single coils? Anyone have a personal preference. I dont have preference when it comes to bass but with guitars I prefer humbuckers.
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Humbuckers consist of two coils wound opposite each other to cancel hum caused by EMI (electro magnetic interference) and would be quieter. However, your P bass style pickups consist of two seperate coils, wound opposite each other to achieve the same effect. The beauty of the P-bass pickup is that it is a humbucker in itself. A single jazz pickup, however, would hum.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    you'll probably find when you've played enough bass pups, the relationship between singles and HB's in a bass is parallel to guitar, the accent is just on a different frequencies and qualities since bass and guitar don't fulfill the same function.

    In a bass in general and given the same location, HB's will tend to be beefier, more full, dirtier, less top end. Singles the opposite - although they can have ample low end, it's inclined to be more focused and punchier. Some HB's can also have a top end proportionate to singles but it tends to be thinner, without the relative bite and they typically sacrifice the low end in getting the top.

    A primary advantage of HB's is they're quieter - which can be major. The loss of tonal flexibility from having to max volumes to make a pup quiet enough to make use of it is a severe limitation. Also, if they're 4 lead, HB"s can themselves be split (and kept humbucking if paired up with a single in another HB) or ran series/parallel (which is tripled with a pair). Output is often more with an HB as well. HB's can also be designed stacked, split, or quad and have some flexibility in that respect.

    In guitar, players tend to break into the strat or LP camps. In bass it's typically P or J - which are both singles in pure form. In bass the darker tone was obtained from moving the pup spread up the neck rather than going to a humbucker - probably cause Leo was the originator and focused on singles in early years.