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A Real, Balanced Sounding P + J

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 810wmb, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. 810wmb


    Jan 29, 2000
    i've always wanted a p+j...one of the bigger things keeping me from purchasing one is the balance complaints.

    i'm not wanting a bootek bass, a fender, g&l, etc is all i'm after.

    so what have been your experience with pj's?
  2. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    G&L SB2. Hot!
  3. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    LOVE PJs. In the end, that's probably my favorite combo, if someone forced me to choose.

    Check out a Spector Legend with the PJ. I have one and, though I switched out the EMG pickups and pre for Bartolini, I would still recommend it stock.
  4. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Whats your price range? I know you said no boutique, but the Sadowsky Metro P/J's are absolutely amazing instruments, and I dont really consider them a full on boutique bass, though they are close.

    I did play a spector legend with the P/J config and it was great, but definately not a traditional sounding bass.
  5. I traded for an American Hot Rod PJ on here recently and I am absolutely in love. It makes me wonder why anyone would bother with just a P.

    If you can find a used one of those, they're very reasonable price wise.
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Wow, I just answered this twice in the past week.

    It's not possible to "balance" true Fender P and J passive pickups in the typical P/J arrangement.

    To even approximate it requires special pickups (lower-output P, higher-output J), which is what Fender did when they made a unique set for the HRPB. As a consequence, it doesn't really sound exactly like either a conventional Fender P or a J, but something unique to itself.

    I have one of those orange ash HRPBs and it's a nice instrument, but, as the Fender mavens insist, it does sound different from my normal US Fender Ps and Js.
  7. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Yeah, they tend to go really cheap due to their image problems, mainly. I was in GC a while back and they had a really nice sunburst ash one in near-mint condition for $499. I looked it over and it was flawless. If I didn't already have one, I would have bought it.
  8. Sad but true. Just the nature of the pickups. I've found it's possible to get a good sound and balance them actively with Bartolini pickups and pre-amps.
  9. John east J/U-Retro pre amps have a balancing adjustment built-in.
  10. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    There's a set of Fralin P/J pickups new for sale on eBay, with the J having a 10% overwind - Fralin claims this balances output. I haven't heard it personally, just saying.

    The P pickup on my P/J is hotter than the J, but I don't necessarily view that as being problematic. I can dial in all sorts of tones and they all sound good.
  11. llatikcuf


    Aug 24, 2007
    Sitting in the mix well
    My Deluxe P-Bass Special Active (DPSA? They need a shorter name for the thing) has the same balance problem - I have to adjust the volume when I change the pickup blend much. Changing pickup heights didn't make up the diff so I just deal with it since I love the bass otherwise. (Sorry - no help here)
  12. lorenk


    Apr 8, 2008
    Bend, Oregon

    I love my MIA hot rod P...then again mine doesn't have a J neck...so does that make mine a freak?

    either way, it is still a super nice bass, and has great sounds. Its definately my "go to" bass :)
  13. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    If you can find a 1990's Fender Hot Rod P-Bass.
    These were very balanced for pickup output.
    They were USA made, and sound great.
  14. 1+!!!

    I got a Metro P/J and it is absolutely amazing!!!

    Also check out the Fender Tony Franklin.
  15. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    You have to be patient to find one, but a Reverend P/J is a great choice. The funky, semi-hollow body gives a little extra booty, and the hot Rev pickups are ballsy as hell. I love mine.
  16. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    +1. Mine gets a lot of gigging time. Not as much as my #1 though, which is a Sadowsky NYC PJ.
  17. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    If you're using 'normal' pickups, then the P pickup is always hotter than the J pickup, and the reason I usually thought it was a rather lame mod.
    That's why the fender Tony Franklin was built with the hotter J. Tony knew way back that they need to match better.
  18. ibanez gsr200
  19. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I traded mine to Peter (glad you are liking it) b/c I modded my new 08 Am Std. P. I had it routed for a J pickup and put in a set of Lindy Fralin PJ pickups. It is just killer.

    Personally, no issue with balance, although I tend to play with both pickups on or just the p. Never cared for the bridge pickup by itself whether pj or a jazz. In fact, I play with both pickups on full so much that I just left it one vol/one tone.
  20. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I think the Fralins balance very well (in my old hot rod, I had the 2 volumes to really mess around with it).

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