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In Your Words...P vs. J ??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rydin4lifebass, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. rydin4lifebass

    rydin4lifebass

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    For those of you that own/play both, describe what you fell are the differences and pros/cons to each. I've read a lot of the posts and just want to hear "fresh" opinions. I own a pbass and two active Ibanez basses (one standard tuning, one BEAD) and I'm contemplating adding a jazz bass as well. I played a Squier Jazz the other day and really liked it (love the thin neck) but I'm not sure if I'm gonna pull the trigger on it just yet. It's obviously a different feel/sound than a precision but I'm not sure how to put it into words. Owning another bass isn't a necessity, but what benefits will I get out of it and how will it sit in a mix different than a precision? I play anything from 90's alternative to classic country up to hard rock and everything in between.
  2. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    P gives you the 'boom'.

    J gives you the 'bark'.
  3. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

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    ...that's pretty good.
  4. alexlocurto

    alexlocurto

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    Why choose? PJ basses. :D
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    Or what I do.... One of each.:hyper:
  6. matante

    matante

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    To me there is no difference in sound. If you solo the neck pickup on a J it won't sound exactly like your P, but that's because it's a different pickup (different brand, specs, etc...)

    So with a P, you get a fatter neck and less tonal variation (one pickup instead of two.) With a J, you get a thinner neck and an extra pickup, aaand you can get that P sound if you want to.

    For me the only drawback of the J is that the body is a bit larger, and I dislike large bodies.
  7. rydin4lifebass

    rydin4lifebass

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    I suppose the boom/bark comparison is what I was trying to get at. My pbass definitely has the boom but some songs/genres just seem to want more bark/growl, not that I want a "hollow" sound mind you, just something different. Would there be some genres you'd say fit one or the other better?...or something you would say "that song/genre needs a jazz bass" or "needs a precision" ?

    Side note: What bass is the bassist using here? --Fender Jazz I take it...
  8. LutherHeggs00

    LutherHeggs00 Supporting Member

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    P = presence
    J = ping!
  9. matante

    matante

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    If you solo the neck pickup on a jazz, and have the correct pickup for boom, you'll get your boom. It doesn't have to be a P Bass.
  10. Skygoneblue

    Skygoneblue

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    P - Belch
    J - Burp
  11. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn! Supporting Member

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    When I got back to playing a little over 10 years ago I went to the jazz bass since it looked better than a plain old P bass. I owned about 5 jazzes back then all Fenders from Squier, MIM to MIA and even a 5 banger...they were great and had good punch.

    But there was this bass tone I would hear on old records. There was a sound I chased in my head that the Jazz never gave me so I tried a P bass. Alone without a band soloed they sound blah... but once I got in the band it filled out the sound and bottom much more than the jazzes ever could.
    Once I added flats to the P basses I was really sold...so were the jazzes to fund P basses and they are all I play today.
  12. FourBanger

    FourBanger

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    Per a video I saw online somewhere, and it seems to fit:

    Jazz bass, hits like a karate chop, quick and focussed.
    P bass, hits loke a slap in the face, not as quick but meatier.

    I've always bought PJs out of a fear of being too limited with a single P, then I spend 95% of the time playing only through the P pickup anyhow.
  13. matante

    matante

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    The first 2 basses I owned were P basses and after switching to others I never missed anything from my Ps. Right now I'm playing a PJ and using the P exclusively because the J is defective. Still, I wouldn't care if I had to use a single J in the neck position. I don't hear any magic from a P pickup over a J in the same position.
  14. JCheung

    JCheung Supporting Member

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    From my perspective a neck pickup soloed on a jazz is not like a precision. The jazz bass has what I would call a burping sounds the is perfectly capable of bringing out lows but naturally does better in the mid and treble side. Playing by myself works well, though I would take a stingray over a jazz personally. The precision is often considered the bass sound that is in people's head and for good reason. P basses are very widely used in many many bands and by many artists. The precision has what I would call a bite and growl when the tone is up and when pulled back has a strong low growl. Because of the inherent simplicity of a precision, more of the tonal variations may come from playing style and technique. The precision also, as mentioned, does much better in a band situation, seeming to find its own way into a niche pocket that rounds out a band's sound.
  15. matante

    matante

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    I disagree. There differences between a soloed J at the neck and a P but that has to do with the specifics of the pickup's design (split coil vs. single coil, etc...) not because a P inherently sounds different than a J. If you design the 2 to the same specs they'll sound the same.
  16. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

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    Simple - IME, P/J's don't do the P or J thing as well as the "real thing" - I've owned a few P/J's, and other than the active ones, I feel I'm better off with either a P or a J Bass...


    - georgestrings
  17. totallyfrozen

    totallyfrozen

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    Well, IME there's more to it than that. The neck p/u of a Jazz doesn't sound like a Precision. While it may appear that I'm putting words in your mouth, I don't think so because from what I'm reading it seems you are implying that a Jazz can give you the Precision tone.

    You also have to adjust your EQ settings to roll off a great deal of treble. By itself and without EQ modification, I don't hear the Jazz replicating the Precision tone. Does it give you enough of that warm boominess to play the song the right way? I think it's close enough to get you by in a live situation (but not on a recording). IME, it's even close enough that if you roll all the treb out and use your palm muting at the bridge, you can even get close to pulling off the pseudo-upright tone that you can fake on a Precision.

    The claim that a Jazz neck p/u gives you the boom of the Precision tone simply doesn't fly with me. I think my hearing is pretty good and I don't hear it that way. You have to do quite a bit of touch up to the sound.

    FWIW, I think all things being equal, the Jazz can give a bit more punch than the Precision. But all things being equal, the Precision sounds warmer and has more boom than the Jazz to my ears.
  18. JCheung

    JCheung Supporting Member

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    I never intended it to sounds like I was saying it was that simple between the neck pickup of a jazz and a precision's single coil. I was simply stating that you do not get the precision sound by soloing the neck pickup of a jazz. Sorry for the confusion.

    BTW here is a video I think someone was alluding to earlier
  19. matante

    matante

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    All Jazz pickups don't sound exactly alike. Neither do all Ps. I'd like to hear from a pickup maker on whether he can make a P and a J that would sound identical in the neck position, or if there is something that one just can't do while the other one can.
  20. iunno

    iunno

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    Of course, although Jazz basses generally do not have P-like pickups, and the D/G side isn't in the same position. These are the main differences between the two, and IMO, standard P pickups do not sound like a Jazz neck pickup. It's got a lot more meat and presence, Js still sound thin by comparison.

    The different neck sizes also make a noticeable difference in tone, the thin Jazz neck accentuates the upper mids more.

    P with Jazz neck: http://www.lakland.com/ac_dunn.htm

    Normal P: http://www.lakland.com/ac_glaub.htm

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