Now that I've put in a little more research time, I'm thinking that the Blacktop Jazz may work out best for me. As much as I've always loved everything P and almost consider it blasphemy, I may have shifted into J territory during my 'time out'.
I went to a local shop yesterday to check out their Fender selection. They had 3 BT Ps, no BT Js
, and the usual smattering of varied MIM/CIJ/MIA P & J basses. First of all, I realized how careful I'm going to have to be with the BT line. 2 of them were way too heavy and 1 was in the just acceptable (to me) range. Actually the nicest body weight was found in a 3TSB Classic Series 70's P...I don't know much about those. They must be MIM, based on the price tag, but damned if it didn't put most if the MIA basses to shame!
While I was sampling different models, it occurred to me how tiring that P neck was...I tried some Js
and the necks were so much more comfortable, that I can't imagine investing in anything with a P neck, at least right now. People used to be surprised that I preferred a bigger neck since I have hands on the smaller side of medium. Must have been hand strength that compensated since my hands are a shadow if their former selves in the strength department...lol.
This puts me pretty solidly in Aerodyne territory now and makes the BT J a much better candidate, too. Price is a big factor for me, so I'd have to wait awhile for an Aerodyne and I'm leery of weight since many seem TOO light (jeez, why can't I ever be satisfied? I feel like Goldilocks...lol). However, no one seems to have the BT J in stock and I may have to wait anyway.
I am a little apprehensive about the pup config in the BT J, but the more I listen to sound clips of it the more I like it. It's not a P, even with the neck pup soloed. It seems close, but a little thicker, which I like...gotta be due closer placement to the neck. The bridge pup soloed sounds better to me than any J bridge pup. Again, in the ballpark, but not nearly as nasal, which I also like.
Anyone playing one of these and have some input? I'm gonna start scouring the forum for BT J info...