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Spector PJ vs Soapbar?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gord, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    BC, Canada
    Hey guys,
    I'm looking at the Spector Legend line, and am deciding between two basses - one with a PJ setup, and the other with soapbars.

    Now, given where I live, there are no spector basses dealers so I can't go try them out and see the differences myself, so I'd love to hear how the two pickups compare to each other in the Spector family. ANY help or even youtube / mp3 comparisons would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I don't have any MP3's to hand but I can offer my spin on things as the owner of a Spector with soapbars in it.

    I'm used to the Spectors with the split coil pickup reversed, and I'm assuming this is the same on the line you're looking at. In comparison, the soapbars, to my ear, produce a much tigher, more focused tone and midrange with a bit more growl. This could be due to the position of the pickups, both of them being relatively close to the bridge. The P/J set up sounds a bit more open, a bit thinner in the low mids and with an even, full tone. Both are very burpy and vibrant.

    I think you'll be happy with either, as they are botth fantastic sounding setups. I hope oen day to have a Spector with P/J pickups to compliment my soapar equipped Spector!
  3. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I've actually owned one of each, an NS4CRFM with the P/J setup and an NS5CRM with the soapbars. My observation was that they both have the typical Spector growl. The soapbars have deeper, fatter lows and are more responsive to how you play. A light touch will yield very smooth tone, but dig in and it will growl like a beast. The P/J setup had much more mids, and the growl was almost uncontrollable. I found to be less responsive than the soapbars, but it was amazing in the mix. It was a little too growly for any of my current projects, so I let it go, but that was the infamous Spector sound to me. The early 90's tones of Queenryche and AIC were easy to find in that bass.

    So, I guess to sum it all up I would say if you want THE Spector sound, go for the P/J set, but if you want the Spector sound with a little more low end and versatility, go for the soapbars. All IME of course and YMMV.
  4. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I think either way, you'll end up with a bass that sounds fantastic!
  5. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    +1 I have the same pair of basses (neither are the fancy FM variety though). This is a very good description of the differences in tone. IMO, I think a neck thru 4-string with a 35" scale and soapbars in the same position as their 5-string neck thru basses would be a great sounding combination.

  6. crimson_basser


    Jul 9, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I have one of each, and both sound just as good as the other.
    No one bass outdoes the other one really. There are slight differences, i find the soapbars have a more rounded thicker sound, while the P/J is slightly more defined.

    I think that you'll have more options when it comes to getting different sounds with a P/J, both pickups souding very different from one another, thus creating different sounds. Whereas with the soapbars, theyre two of the same, so the difference in sound is not as great. (only difference is their positioning)

    Thats just my opinion, and sorry i dont have mp3s either. Hopefully i described it well enough.

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