I played an awesome American Special P bass at Guitar Center a couple of days back and I was smitten. It was the ltd. ed. one with a hand rubbed honeyburst lacquer finish. Basic specs are alder body w/ lacquer finish, all maple neck and just the single Precision bass pickup. I've got at home a wonderful P bass that I built from Warmoth parts and it's got a nitro finished swamp ash body, PJ pickups and a maple/rosewood neck. I love the sound, but there's something magic about the sound of the American Special . . . Here are the things I'm thinking might be making the difference: Alder body (instead of the ash) Not Having the J Pickup (less magnetic pull on the strings?) All maple neck (instead of rosewood/maple) What do you guys think about how these variables affect the sound of a P bass?