2 Different P Basses
So I recently went on a little bass buying kick and I may or may not have more basses than I know what to do with.
First came the 2002 MiM Precision Deluxe passive with the p/j and gold pickguard. You know the one. I loved this bass when I first bought it but have since bought another Precision: A Squier CV 60's P (along with a VMJ5 but that's another story).
The Squier crushes the Fender. It sets up better for me (gets super low). It's lighter. The neck is to die for. It's even prettier (Sonic Blue > Red). And the main selling point is the TONE! I bought it used and the guy said he put a MiM Standard P pickup in it.
The Fender sounds dull and lifeless compared the CV, even though the CV has foam mute under the bridge cover, the Fender sounds much deader. They are both strung with GHS PressureWounds. They both came with round wounds on them and with those they obviously sound different, but the comparison between the two is the same. The CV just sounds so much better. It's punchy. It's full.
I want to love my Fender again. Why does it sound so different even though they both have MiM pickups (the "deluxe" ones can't be that much different)? Or is it the P/J thing sucking some of my tone (I never use the bridge pickup)? Do you think a change of pickups would liven up this bass a little? It just doesn't have any balls.
I hate selling my instruments and the hassle of it, but I have been considering it. It just pains me to see it sit in the closet in favor of a bass I spent half as much on. What would you guys do with it? I love everything about my CV and have no desire to change anything about it. Is this reason enough to get rid of the Fender? Don't forget I loved the Fender BEFORE I got the CV...
When I get back to the house tomorrow I think I am going to sit down with the Fender since I haven't played it in awhile and check to see what the fine folks on TB have to say.
Make no mistake, the CV Squiers are amazing. Forget how little they cost.
If the CV is killing the MIM, then I say dump the Fender. Why would you hang on to it?
Or, better yet - sell both and get a 2012 American Standard P-bass. You will never look back.
From my memory, the Deluxe is an active bass. There is a discernible difference in tone between passive and active basses, and to a certain extent most bassist fall into two camps those who prefer active basses and those who prefer passive basses. My guess is that you fall into the later.(Me too)
Perhaps the most confusing part is that our descriptions of tone vary dramatically. As an example you describe the CV as punchier. To me and many players I think punchy refers to an aggressive treble bite which is more likely to come from an active bass. While I would bet that you feel punchy means a strong bass push which may be easier to feel and hear from a passive bass(this is a highly arguable statement). This is what I tend to think of as warmth which is equally as subjective.
An additional possibility is that Fender has never been particularly good at producing active basses. Their pickups and hardware are high quality, but their preamps tend to be lacking. Even in signature models players frequently replace the preamps with aftermarket pieces.(From my understanding Marcus Miller's personal Jazz has an Aguilar preamp, not a fender stock preamp). Given that the MIM is a more budget model of Fender it likely has an even lower quality preamp than the Marcus Miller or US Deluxe models.
If you really like the Deluxe, and prefer passive basses you should be able to rewire it to bypass the actives completely. If it were me I'd buy a new pickguard and pots,remove the old guard and electronics and put them away for good keeping in case you decide to sell the bass at a later date.
Ok- I missed that the op said it was a passive deluxe. I guess you can disregard most of this as useless babble.
To me, a passive P/J just doesn't cut it - active, yes - but passive, no...
To my ears, a PJ sounds different than a straight Pbass, even when the P pickup is soloed on the PJ bass. I know that it doesn't make sense, but to my ears a Pbass sounds girthier than a PJ. Anyone else ever notice this? Is there a reason for it?
So I got home today and played it and it was definitely not a "Precision" sound to me. I did however find a few sounds out of using both pickups that I liked (probably attributed to playing my Jazz 5 a lot lately). I'm going to hold on to it for now, but that could change anytime.
Ya the newer ones are active I believe. This one is from 2002 where the basses were passive.
I too think of "punchy" as highs and "warm" as lows. I tend to go for a warm tone, but the CV retains it's punchy-ness to an extent no matter what I do creating a tone I dig.
Why do you think that is? Do you think adding a preamp to the P/J would improve it. I don't have an active bass so adding one to the arsenal would be cool.
I do typically always use my Sansamp BDDI all the time. I always figured it was kind of a preamp and figured having another preamp in the bass would be a little redundant. How well do these work with active basses?
Ya in my limited experience so far I am noticing the same thing.
On a side note, how do you quote multiple people in the same quote?
I think the general opinion is MIM made pre-2008 are really hit or miss, but every one after that are amazing. However, squiers are generally good bang for the buck, so there really is no shame in sticking with that one.
I've wired up P/J basses with a volume, a tone, and a selector switch, and when the P pickup is soloed, it sounds exactly like a P bass.
I've wired them like a Jazz bass (VVT), and when the P pickup is soloed, it sounds mostly like a P bass, but a little different -- perhaps a little less "grunty".
My favorite way to wire a P/J is so the P pickup is always on, with a switch that adds the J pickup. Single volume, single tone. That way I get two settings: classic P bass tone, and P-bass with the J pickup added.
Some people claim that, regardless of the wiring scheme, the magnetic pull of the J pickup changes the overall tone, and it can thus never sound like a P bass. I don't buy it.
Seems to be the general consensus that VVT is craptastic. Do you have any wiring diagrams for the way you described? I've never done it before, but I'm sure it can't be that bad.
I also hear a lot about V/B/T setups. How is it comparable to that?
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