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Soap bar or not to soapbar?

Discussion in 'Ask the Berklee Bass Department' started by Valois, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Valois


    Sep 29, 2013
    What makes soapbar pickups more favourable over single coils?
  2. Dave Buda

    Dave Buda Berklee Bass Department

    Dec 22, 2007
    Boston bass and berklee professor
    That are not more favorable. They tend to have a very centered low mid punch. Its just another sound that you can use.
    Best for you to hear side by side.
  3. Valois


    Sep 29, 2013
    Oh ok. I'm just about to purchase my first Sadowsky and I was tossing up between a modern and a standard. I think I will stick to standard now
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Looks like you just joined. WELCOME! Unless you have heard a particular soapbar you like, I would stick to standard J pickups. Literally dozens of companies make drop-in replacements for them if they aren't everything you dreamed they would be. So you can change your sound without a lot of cost/effort.
  5. Valois


    Sep 29, 2013
    Hey, thanks Two fingers, yeah I think that's probably what il end up doing. Thanks for your advice :)
  6. Dave Buda

    Dave Buda Berklee Bass Department

    Dec 22, 2007
    Boston bass and berklee professor
    Yes I agree,, It would seem to me that if you start with soap bars, you would have oversized holes if you changed...:eek:
    Thats great advice.
  7. Well, probably better handled over in the Sadowsky thread, but very quickly, the stock J pickups used in the Sadowsky J basses are humcancelling pickups, not single coils. They, of course, are voiced to mimic single coils but to do it without the hum when a pickup is solo'd. You lose a touch of midrange complexity with the HC J pickups, but pick up a bit more deep low end and upper treble. If you get an NYC model (only available direct from Sadowsky, and big bucks) you can spec true single coils for no additional charge.

    The Sadowsky Modern is a very different instrument from the J. Different body, 24 frets, slightly sleeker neck profile, and as you mention, soap bars. More impactful than just soapbars is the non J pickup position (i.e., those soaps are stacked close to the bridge). This brings out even more midrange punch that was mentioned above.

    VERY different instruments, so do your homework. The Sadowsky Modern is more similar to the Ken Smith and Roscoe basses than the Sadowsky J.

    Hope that helps:D You should move over to the Sadowsky Mega thread in the 'bass' section of the site. Lots of good folks over there, including Roger Sadowsky himself.
    bass nitro likes this.
  8. Valois


    Sep 29, 2013
    Cool, cheers :)
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    And don't forget...'soapbar' is just a shape. They can still be single coils inside. Check out Nordstrand and Aguilar.

    I'd go soapbar for sure, that way you have unlimited upgrade options. If you get J pickups, you're stuck with J pickups.

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