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A Pbass hypothetical

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tendollarcat, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. The Pbass to me is the essence of simple plug and play musical tools. Two knobs, passive and it just fits tonally into many situations. I've played basses with more pickups, more knobs and preamp features and yet still managed to find that the bass was less useful than a Pbass in a live situation. How is that possible? Simplicity is good and apparently quite easy to build. Does a Pbass therefore have to be expensive or boutique? This brings me to my hypothetical -

    A new bass worldwide law is passed that gigging bassists can only own one passive, 4 string Pbass for the rest of their musical lives. Who would build yours and why? Budget is unimportant. You can all sell your 5/6/7/8 strings back to the government to be destroyed to fund it ;)

    I don't want a point and click poll. I want reasons and thoughts. Remember this is to be the bass you play for the rest of your life but that doesn't mean it has to be expensive. Heres some examples of the brands and builders I know and love -

    Ken Smith
    The Lowend
    Alleva Coppolo
    Mike Lull

    Many of the builders above don't build a Pbass. But I'm kind of confident they could if the "laws" were changed :D Lets hear your thoughts and ideas.
  2. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Id be an outlaw and not play p bass unless was double P neck and bridge set BC Rich. Single pup basses are not attractive to me sound wise. They can have an excllent voice but thats it, one excellent voice. No versatility nor options for two to three excellent voices. Besides all that, I'm not a big fan of P nor Jazz pups, I find humbuckers and soapbars much better choice for my voice. With very few excepetions. So again would be an outlaw quite happilly if such a law was passed. Lmao
  3. Spencer!


    Jun 25, 2006
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Versatility? P basses are the most common basses in the world....they're used in pretty much every style of music!
  4. My former school had many different basses, I always went for the old beat up Hohner P bass...

    Plug & Play is just my thing.
  5. davkane

    davkane Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Fender p-bass American Standard with the Graphite Reinforced Maple neck.

    Easily fits my style (or lack thereof). It actually took me 21 years and countless basses to figure this out. Had one back in the 80's (with out the Graphite Reinforced Maple neck) and sold it. Did not even realize that was the sound I was constantly searching for until last month. I just need it simple otherwise I get lost...

    My daughter would pick the SX for the same reason, just fits her needs.
  6. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    Someday I'm actually going to ask Jens Ritter to build me his take on a passive 4 string P, law or no law. I get giddy just thinking about it, even though it's years off.
  7. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    I'd have the dudes from San Luis Obispo put one together for me with the big pole pickup way back by the high mass bridge. I'm sure they could hide an outlaw preamp somewhere.
  8. I would have Tom Clement build it. Visit his website and you will know why.
  9. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I already have it. Bought it brand new on April 15, 1983. A Fender Vintage Series '62 Precision (Lake Placid Blue). But I'd break the law 'cause my Lakland 4-94 is more useful to me for gigs.

    If I had to get a NEW Precision today I'd opt for a Lakland Bob Glaub with a neck that's an exact copy of my Deluxe 4-94. That's because the few post-Fullerton VS Fenders I've played haven't shown the same attention to detail and the necks are bigger and more clumsy than the profile used on the early VS '62 necks. Those were very wide side-to-side yet very shallow front-to-back,

  10. Edb


    Feb 13, 2010
    St. Louis
    Mine would be made by Fender. No question about it. The original and still the best.
  11. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    Hands down it would have to be a Callowhill (P)unk

    second runner up 70's fender
  12. I currently own the best sounding P-Bass Ive ever played.

    Ive had Laklands, Fenders (new and old) and hit the jackpot of P-Bass tone with a MIJ 57RI.

    It has everything a P-Bass should have at 8 pounds.
  13. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    So you're saying I have to sell my P-basses! :eek:
  14. Yes. Or make sure they all have exactly the same finish :D

    Which one would you keep in this horrible dictatorship?
  15. diglo

    diglo Supporting Member

    May 21, 2007
    Get up! Get Get Get Down!
    Fender 1960 P-Bass. First P-bass I really liked and if I had it, would have paid the $10,000.00 askng price.
  16. While I agree with your above statement, I think a lot of people start mixing up terms when speaking on this topic. Yes, a P is versatile in the essence that their tone fits almost anywhere, but that single tone cannot be altered (except for the treble roll-off).


    A P sounds great in a rock band.

    A Stingray also sounds great in a rock band.

    HOWEVER, a P will never sound like a 'Ray no matter how hard you try.

    Application versatility? Yes.

    Tonal versatility? Not so much.

    All that being said I'd probably go with a G&L because I love how much grind you can get out of their pickups.
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I build my own p-basses with more knobs, more strings and more pickups.

  18. Huh? :eyebrow:
    This is a commonly held view, but I can think of at least 7 or eight very distinct tones I get by varying my technique alone. Frankly, I'd rather do it that way than by twiddling lots of knobs. A lot of people assume the 'one trick pony' mantra is real, and it most definitely is not.
    Whatever....make mine a Fender, please. Sunburst with a tort guard and rosewood board.
  19. I've checked with the new dictatorship and they don't care if you like Pbasses or not or if they are fitting your definition of versatile :cool:

    So what pbass would be your single option?
  20. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    My P-Bass would be a Lakland USA Duck Dunn.


    After my visit to the factory (really, it's more of a workshop), I saw the care and craftsmanship put into each of their instruments. I saw the Plek machine in action. I watched Carl carefully set up and play basses through a bunch of different rigs. The bass sounds fantastic, is quality made, and just flat out looks great!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Dec 1, 2020

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