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Soapbar/Humbucker advice needed

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by GrooveWarrior, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. I am having a bass built and I need some input on soapbar/humbucker advice. I currently have a Cirrus 4 and I think those pickups sound good. I used to have a bass with Ken Smith soapbars in it and I remember them being very fat. That is the extent of my personal experience with soap/hums. (Although I did play a Tobias with Lane Poor's, and I will never forgive myself for not buying it.) I have EMG, Bartolini, Fender, and Status J's or P/J's in my other instruments.

    I am thinking about going with the Ken Smith's, but I am willing to listen to why I should go with Barts, EMG's, Nordie's, SD, or others.

    I am also looking for some input on pre's. I want a 3 band pre with either a sweepable or 3 position mid, I want an active/passive switch, and I want a coil tap on each pickup. Maybe I am asking too much.

    Discuss. Thanks.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    On the preamp front, there's lots of options - bart ntmb, aguilar obp-3, john east u-retro, demeter and more. All can do what you're looking for with regards to 3 band and variable mid frequency. There's lots of discussion on this topic.
    Rather than me rehashing it all here, I'd suggest a search to familiarise yourself and then come back with any specific questions you have.

    The coil tap issue is independent of the preamp, that's something that would happen in the signal chain prior to the signal entering the preamp. The coil taps available depend entirely on what pickups you choose.

    Onto the pickups, all the pickup brands you list are perfectly good. It all comes down to your needs and likes. Can you say a bit more about what you're looking for, please? For example: "I'd like a pair of humbucking soapbars that would give me series/parallel/single coil switching. I'd like them to have a full range frequency response, with ideally a good low mid emphasis". That will help us recommend something
    In addition, if the body shape is already chosen and the pickup routes are already cut then that's very important information too as there is no one standard soapbar shape.
  3. The pickup cavities are not routed. The bass is in the planning stages. I would like a well rounded pickup, but one that has very distinct humbucker sounds. It is more important to be a good hum than to be able to turn into a good single coil. I have basses with great single coils. I guess I would love to hear from someone who has used Smith soaps independent of a Smith bass. I would like them to be versatile. I like a good slap sound, but I also want something with good harmonic capabilities. I play a lot of harmonics on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th frets and need it to respond to that. I know a lot of that has to do with the pre and what you can do with the mids, but I want the pickup to be able to aid in that sound.