I have two NYC 24F5. The first is swamp ash body, birdseye maple fretboard, maple neck and Sadowsky soapbars. I run a preamp with a little overdrive to grit it up a bit. I like heaps of bottom end plus good mids to give definition, and growl. I add a little bass on my eq, but not much. I find the natural sound is very complete. Good natural midrange and awesome sustain. It's the perfect bass/pickup combo for what I want. Can also use the VTC to give an old-school funk/blues kinda sound.
My other Sad also has the soapbars, but has a roasted maple neck, madagascan rosewood fretboard, swamp ash body and flame spalted maple top. It's brighter than my other one, and find I have to roll off the VTC a bit more. It also doesn't have quite the sustain, but has a ton of mids. For a 'modern' sound the soapbars are ideal, but they're versatile enough to cover a good range of sounds.
My regular bands are both single guitar, so having a good natural presence through a large frequency range is essential to bulk out the sound. What can I say but, I love my Sads. They do it so well...
Hope this helps
I LOVE the soaps. I have 5011. It has Braz RW FB and a mahogany body. This combination is kind of bark and buttery yet fully and absolutely modern. I run the VTC wide open almost all of the time, and the bass has enough low end that I don't really need to boost the bass that much. I usually push it up a little bit.
I don't know how much of the character of the modern comes from the PUs and how much comes from their placement, but it certainly makes for a unique animal, and I love it. I will say that the B string on my Modern is stronger, more articulate and has better sustain than any of the other three Sadowsky basses have or do own.