MM/soapbar configuration

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Zebra, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    On my new bass I'm thinking about an MM in the MM sweet spot with a soapbar at the neck position. I'm thinking Kent Armstrongs too, if that matters.
    I'm wondering what people think of this. I'm concerned about how the pickups would be paired for eachother, as in unequal output.
    Also, could I have a series/parallel switch for each pickup? And how would this sound different from a double soapbar configuration?
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Well, if you're getting them from Kent Armstrong let him know your intentions and I'll sure he'll make you a matched set.

    You can have a series / parallel switch if you have separate +/- for each coil, regardless of whether it's an MM or soapbar.

    The term soapbar itself denotes a SHAPE of pickup, and NOTHING about the coil configuration. You can have a single coil J in a soapbar shape, or a P, or dual coil, or quad coil. You'll have to ask Kent Armstrong what his coil config is.

    At the end of the day, an MM pickup is a dual coil pickup wired in parallel. Therefore, a soapbar can also be an MM. The MM sound is to do with the pickup itself obviously, the pickup location (very important) and the other important factors - electronics, woods, strings, etc
  3. KA soapbars are humbuckers and can be wired series, parallel, single, or switched (I just put mine on a series/off/parallel switch on one of my basses).

    The MM can wired the same way. When using two pup, phasing (essentially the polarity) is important (it has to be the same so that the sounds don't cancel each other. If you're using two KA pups, the colour coding will be the same, and this will help keep everything straight in your head.

    As far as equal output...if you use a VVT combination, then you can blend as needed...

    I haven't tried the KA MM style pups, but the soaps are great...another option, is to have a pair of KA soaps...I think this would sound great, too.