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How would you describe the difference between P and J?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HalfPlayer, Jul 13, 2013.


  1. HalfPlayer

    HalfPlayer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    What are the overall sound differences between P pickups and J pickups?
     
  2. medgeking

    medgeking Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Grove, CA
  3. Wallace320

    Wallace320

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Milan, Italy
    Splitcoils in a Precision offer a serial approach and an accentuated midrange.

    Singlecoils in a Jazz deliver the authentic parallel approach and, yes, hum

    Cheers,
    Wallace
     
  4. kevteop

    kevteop

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    York, UK
    Many men (and it is always men) like to decide upon a particular way of doing things. Often they decide quite early in life, they stick to those decisions like it's important, and they proceed to tell everybody about it, all the time.

    Precision and Jazz basses represent a great opportunity for these people to be as tiresome as possible.
     
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  6. IPA

    IPA

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    A P sounds like a log rolling down a hill, a J sounds like a basketball bouncing
     
  7. Pokerdweebz

    Pokerdweebz Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    That is an amazing description. I was going to say a P thumps and a J growls.
     
  8. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    west coast
    This is pretty funny....and probably true.

    The truth is you can do an awful lot with either...it's hard to generalize the different tones because they just doesn't lend themselves well to verbal description.

    Probably the best thing to do is listen to recordings of different players with their respective instruments and make your own conclusions.

    For example: Duck Dunn, Jamerson and Steve Harris-P-bass

    Jaco, Marcus Miller and John Paul Jones-J-bass

    ....While there are simularities and differences it's just not as productive to try to talk, explain and debate this as it is to actually sit down and listen to it.
     
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm going with Pokerdweebz for best really short description of it. (P thumps and J growls)

    However, that is way oversimplified. The best news HalfPlayer is that this subject has been covered so many times here that you can't possibly read all of the threads covering it. Up at the top of this page are two blue lines. The second one down has a search feature. Do a search on it and read until your eyes get crossed. The amount of info you will find will blow your mind.

    And WELCOME TO TALKBASS!
     
  10. NightTripper

    NightTripper

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    A P is like "BOOM!" and a J is like "Burp!"

    ;)
     
  11. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    That's good!

    I say a P "Grinds" and a J "Growls."
     
  12. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Both P's and J's can get many sounds, especially the J setup. Note, we are talking about the instrument here, and not just the pickups. The placement and control settings matter a lot.

    Most people play J's with both pickups up all the way. That gives a punchy, bright, and mid-scooped sound, aggressive in the highs, with lots of very deep lows. P's tend to have lots of high and low mids, and less extreme lows (yes, really) and highs than a Jazz. But the overall perception is that a P has more low end, because of those thick low mids.

    The Jazz can sound more defined on the low notes, especially if you favor the bridge pickup. It can also have a tendency to sound thin on the high notes. The P will usually sound full and fat on the highs, sometimes maybe too thick or undefined on the low notes, especially with a low B.
     
  13. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Don't know about the low B on a P bass (never played one) but I pretty much agree with everything you said here. I own both and have made numerous comparisons. They're still great sounding basses in thier own right which is why they've survived for so long.
     
  14. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    Lean a Jazz against the wall, it falls over. A Precision won't.
     
  15. michael_t

    michael_t

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    Tropical Paradise of Winnipeg
    P = thick and warm and sits right in the mix to be felt.
    J = deep and focused and cuts through the mix to be heard.
     
  16. IPA

    IPA

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    I am very much a 'leaner'-- against the desk, against the wall etc. and this bothers me way more than it should. Maybe one of the reasons I keep going back to the P?
     
  17. Marial

    Marial Three Weeks of Freedom Start Right NOW Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Emerald City
    Lol!

     
  18. LoTone

    LoTone Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    +1 the best description I have ever heard (read).

     
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Ps are more precise. Js are jazzier.
     
  20. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Best answer ever.
     
  21. CJAtheBassman

    CJAtheBassman

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    A Precision Bass is humble stands in the back of the mix. It's tonally limited but universal.
    A Jazz Bass shows off and stands in the front of the mix. It is tonally versatile and universal (which is why I prefer it over the P-Bass, but that's just my taste).
     

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