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Need good recommended soapbars this size...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RumbleMan3, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    Does anyone know of some real great quality soapbars that fit these approximate dimensions... a width of 40mm and length of 105mm? Thanks.

    Currently got some poopy mighty mite soapbars in my older (2008 model) cort artisan c4.
    I just get so much BOOM and MUD out of them. The bass freqs all out of wack, just sounds like drooooone and no clarity in notes whatsoever, sometimes can't even distinguish the notes, just from this blast of BMMMMMMM, especially on the E string (But my dead strings probably don't help either) They lack tightness and clarity, a clear defined and round midrange and nice top end. HELP PLEASE!

    Any more quality brand should be a lot better. Also thinking a preamp swap too, to give it the edge and headroom it despiratley needs. What I got now is Vol, Pup blend, Bass pot, treble pot, and a 2 way midrange switch (lo mid or hi mids) Vol pot is a push/pull for active/passivev, so I want pretty much the same kind of setup if I can.

    That would be great to get some help guys. Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  2. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    You sure you said those dimensions right ? That’s almost a 6” long pickup
  3. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    My guess is he meant 105 mm. We just had this conversation for another Cort bass: Cort Action Bass Junior

    if 40x105 is the measurement (I assume rounded), then EMG-40 offers the best fit while allowing for a lot of choice. Bartolini makes pickups in just about any size it seems, and might fit better, but you gotta get Barts then... which may be fine, but limiting...

    OP, are there sounds you like that you could post here? Do you want more modern or more classic? Do you want clearer humbuckers, or perhaps some other design that’s known for clarity? (single coils, split coils, sidewinders).

    Also, what’s your string spacing at the bridge?

    And budget?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    RumbleMan3 and eddododo like this.
  4. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    forgive me, i meant 105 mm instead of 150!
  5. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    I love the sound of split coils on a fender jazz bass. That growl. Just hits those spots it needs to sonically. Find the sound of musicman humbuckers a little harsh and offputting.

    The current model Cort DLX AS with markbass pre sounds great, (PXD pickups or something?) The offer a nice smooth balance between traditional and modern.

    I like something that will give me that sweet growly blend with both pickups like a jazz bass, a fat crunchy neck pickup and a honky warm bridge pickup
    something not too muddy, lo middy or bassy, but nothing with NO bass and all treble, if you know what I mean.

    I think generally the more I spend and the better quality I get it will 80% sound better than it already does I'm sure.

    As far as budget.... I'm willing to pay a good amount of money for some nice, high quality pickups that will really give my bass the headroom and tonal clarity and quality it needs. But nothing too too high end and top of the range, too expensive.

    I have a feeling the preamp in it has something to do with it too. I don't know what is in it at the moment, probably just a cort one. Its just a 2eq bass, treble, with a 2 way midrange switch. Nothing that special, i don't think it sounds as good as the markbass 3 eq in the current cort artisan range.
  6. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    While you can buy split--coil pickups for a Jazz, they don't come stock with split-coils.
  7. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    While I avoid active basses these days, I do hear others sometimes (on other basses) think the pickups are fine but the pre needs replacing. So that’s one option, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you... how do you like the bass in passive mode? I guess you could try an external pre (or a couple), see if it sounds better than the current one. Personally, I’d put my money into better pickups, and ignore the pre for now.

    Assuming you have a 4 string bass, that narrows your choices to blade pickups. EMG 40 is a 5 string pickup, so pole pieces wouldn’t align... you could try 4 string pickups, but that would leave sizable gaps on top and bottom. Or is yours a 5-string bass?

    Nevertheless, there are plenty of blade design pickups. One well-regarded option is Aguilar DCB (about $240/set). Nordstrand Big Blades would also work ($225/set), but are not hum cancelling (but Zen Blades are, though at $260/set). If you want far cheaper, some people are quite happy with Duncan SSB soapbars $125/set). I would also consider Kent Armstrong Claymore soapbars (also about $125, on eBay), though they’re a slightly different size. I have their MM-sized pickup and it packs quite a punch.

    While your description makes me wonder if Big Blades (single coils) might work better for you, most humbuckers can be wired for series/parallel/single coil operation, giving you plenty of options.* Alas, the single coil mode does not sounds quite like typical single coils.

    Personally, I’d start with Kent Armstrongs, or browse the Internet for a used set of EMG-40 sized pickups that might fit my sonic needs. It all comes down to what works for you in your bass, so trial and error. Buying used helps you not lose too much money in the process :)

    *this reminds me: you can probably mess with your current pickups and try them in series, parallel, and single coil (unless they’re hardwired to one mode). Also try adjusting the pickup height to see if you prefer the tone either way. Finally, have you tried other strings? They often make quite a difference...
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Totally agree. Pickups (and strings) define the tone, while the preamp is there to refine it. A great preamp won’t make crappy pickups un-crappy.

    Disagree. EMG 40 is just a size. It doesn’t determine the number of strings, although if the coils are split, then you can sometimes wind up with a string landing between them, which isn’t good. But a 40-sized pickup can work for a four, or five, or six, or anything whose string spread doesn’t exceed the pickup’s sensing width. All of the EMG 40 pickups I’ve ever seen use blades, as do many of the other brands, so you’re not likely to run into problems there. But even with polepieces, it’s often not necessary for them to visually line up. Otherwise Fender P and J pickups wouldn’t work.

    Great tone, not too aggressive, definitely humbucker voiced.

    Nice smooth pickups for a nice price.

    Great suggestion! Tone starts with the strings (and fingers).
    RumbleMan3 and sikamikanico like this.
  9. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I know it’s a controversial topic and I don’t have a horse in the race, except that “my OCD” doesn’t like misaligned pickup poles. I see arguments on both sides that seem convincing, but haven’t done much testing myself... I just simplified here, as a rule of thumb, cautioning on the conservative side.
    ctmullins likes this.
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Years ago I built this little abomination, and it worked just fine!


    (My apologies to your OCD...)
    sikamikanico likes this.
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