Sadowsky Single Coil VS. Humcancelling J

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pickles, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I did some searching but couldn't find much ... has anyone played a sadowsky with each?

    I'd naturally lean toward single coil, but since his humcancelling pickups are "standard", I was wondering if they might be the better call.

    Its finally Sadowsky time after all these years of wanting one :hyper:
  2. I've got a 5 with single coils and a 4 with the humcancelling pickups.

    I prefer the single coils and find them a bit more edgy or aggressive or crisp.

    Both basses are ash/maple, and the one with the single coils is just fantastic, almost nasty sounding and great in the mix. The 4 with the humcancellings is a bit smoother. It may be due to the resonance of wood, but I suspect it's the pickups.

    Before I got the 5 I was concerned about potential for hum, but I have never been in a situation where hum is audible with the single coils (I don't solo either pickup, I do slightly favor one).

    Either way, they are both the dogs bollocks.


  3. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    I had a 5 with SC's and two 4's with HC. My take is the HC have plenty aggressive cut and sound very close to SC. It is very nice not to have to worrry about the hum.
  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Hum cancelling for me. I've had 12 Sadowsky's overall and 3 presently

  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Hey bikeplate ... care to elaborate? You sound like you'd be the authority ... what did you like and not like about each?
  6. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I think they are about the same in sound. 99 out of 100 could never tell the difference and absolutely no hum or hiss. Great for recording and great for any type of gig in any type of club with bad lighting or poor electricity. Also, most of Roger's line, including the metros, feature them standard. If you'd like more input, call the shop. Ask for Roger or Nino. Nino has had many basses himself. You might want a second opinion but it all comes down to what you are used to

    funkeytone440 likes this.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i think Nino is the authority 'round here. try PM'ing him.
  8. This surprises me.. I was wondering about this, and thinking of ordering the singlecoils because I was hoping that the singlecoils would have some more mids, and a bit more of the Fender vibe than the humcancelling pickups. I find the humcancelling pu's somewhat scooped sounding, lots of lows and highs. Can't imagine that the singlecoils are even brighter? Wow.. I'm confused here. In another thread Roger himself said that the singlecoils are 60's spec, and are in fact basically Seymour Duncan Antiquity II's.
    Don't know what to do now.. are there any other pickups that will fit a Sadowsky 5 string? The neck and bridge pickup are the same length aren't they?

  9. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    Before I ordered my ultra vintage jazz I asked Roger this very question in an e-mail. His response:

    We make our humcancelling pickups to sound as close to single coils as possible. If you were doing an A-B listening test, the single coils would sound a slight bit louder with a bit more "presence." Without an A-B, you would be totally happy with the humcancelling pickups.

    I then asked him about single coil hum, and he said:

    I really do not believe there is any such thing as a quiet single coil. My basses are quiet because of the shielding but a single-coil J-bass pickup will still have hum unless both pickups are on together. If you want a quiet bass you should go with the humcancelling pickups. We use them on 95% of our jazz basses.

    Needless to say, I went with the humcancelling pickups, and I'm very happy with them.
    stringtheory6 likes this.
  10. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Great responses!

    Thanks a lot, guys.
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I decided to stick with the humbuckers ... If roger says they are really close, I'm not going to sweat it, and quiet is nice!

    See those 4 beutiful red letters at the top of this page?

    Thats right. Its mine. I can't wait!!!
  12. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
  13. bump

    pickles, may I ask how you like the HC's?
  14. I just put a set of Sadowsky singles in a 5 string jazz copy.(wish I could afford another real Sadowsky!)

    My myspace page "All Blues" I recorded the other night when I tried them on a gig for the first time. They are passive into an Aguilar DB924 into Markbass CMD 121/avatar 210. No PA support, what you hear is what's coming off stage. Just tune out the sloppy bass playing and listen to the sound! :smug:
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Whoa -- a 3 year old thread!

    I've had a few sadowskys since this thread, all with HCs, and they all sounded fantastic. I now play a Lakland with Fralin single coils, and I like it better than the RV5s I've had ... but there are so many variables in play there I can't say that it has anything to do with the pickups.

    I had a UV70 that I was told had single coils that I liked better than the RV5s ... but it turned out they were actually HCs and the reason I liked it better was the wood of the bass itself!
  16. Wow I didn't even notice how old it was.

    There are definately many factors involved in the final sound of a bass besides pickups.
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    FWIW, the UV series has the bridge pickup in the 70s position, which is set closer to the bridge for extra bite and punch.

    i.e. i have nordstrand fatstacks in my current sadowsky, and while they can be a touch too relaxed in the midrange, but putting them in the 70s position gives me back a nice extra kick.

    also, FYI, the sadowsky single coils are the seymour duncan antiquities but without the aging process. and they are easily one of my more favorite single coils.

    i personally love the HC's, due to their noise cancelling which is awesome for recording and crappy old club wiring. also, i like the steely fatness in the upper mids and trebles which make for a killer slap sound. and frankly, NO other pickup i've tried has that sound, especially w/ the sadowsky preamp, which should be no surpsise.
  18. CliffD

    CliffD Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    +1,000 on the single coil love. After doing my own research (thanks to everyone at Sadowsky and Rob D.) I decided to go with the SC's for my NYC 5, I'm just so use to them.
  19. So, maybe someone who has an axxe with HC and an axxe with SC could create a few A/B clips?

    (I am looking for a set of pups to replace the ones on a carvin I eventually is going to purchase...)


  20. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    True! I love Js with the '70s position.
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