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Actual Differences Between J & P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lostcausebass, Oct 29, 2002.

  1. lostcausebass


    Oct 29, 2002
    I've been playing bass for about 2 years now, I used to play guitar, and a punk band needed me to play bass and now that's all I play. I got a cheap 5 string, have taken private lessons, and now I'm looking to buy a P bass or a Jazz bass. I know all the obvious differences, but can someone explain the SUBTLE differences?
  2. TheListPunk

    TheListPunk Guest

    Feb 2, 2002
    Topeka, Kansas
    What are the obvious differences you speak of? Are you just talking about body style and neck or do you know anything about the tone.

  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    If you smell near the neck joint, J basses are slightly more fragrant.
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    :rolleyes: :D
  5. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    A P-bass has more bottom and isn't quite as articulate. It works very well in most settings and is practically plug-and-play. It'd work well in punk. A Jazz has more possible tonal variations, but isn't quite as thick sounding as a Precision. I'd suggest testing them both out in the store and see what you like. P's have bigger necks, but I find them comfortable... J's hurt my hands after a few minutes. If you aren't quite set on absolutely getting a Fender, check out G&L. The L-2000 is awesome, can closely replicate sounds of J's, P's, and Stingrays, as well as having its own great tones. I'm trying to find a nice used one, they'd work great in punk as they can be much more aggressive than Fenders. Play around and see what you like.

    Good luck
  6. I consider the differences in sound between each bass to be a subtle difference. Here's what I think..

    Soundwise, the pbass is the perfect all round rock bass. The split coil pickup gives you the solid fat thumpy ballsy sound heard in most rock songs. (maybe classic rock songs now) The j bass can imitate that sound pretty well because it has a pickup in basically the same area. Although I think it adds a bit more midrange to it since its a single coil pickup. However, the j bass has that second bridge pickup that adds a throaty growl to the sound.

    Imho, the jazz is more versatile and can sound alot like the p,..but not exact! If you're really after that classic p sound (fat round and bassy with a touch of crisp highs), then by all means go for it!
  7. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    before you decide on one or the other, i really recommend playing them both.. i don't intend to say this with the generalization of "try before you buy".. but more because they feel very different from eachother to me.. especially the necks... tone is beside the point.. there is more to tone than just the bass you play.. i mean you can change your tone while playing the same bass to accomidate that bass and your idea of good tone.. but that bass will always feel the same, you cant change how it feels (okay, you can buy a new neck or adjust your strap, but you know what i mean)..

    i have always been a precision lover (i do like jazz basses too tho).. i went shopping last may for a new bass, thought i would get a MIA precision just because thats what i thought i wanted.. to make a long story short i ended up in the music store playing a P, J, and MM stingray..

    tone got me soo frustrated that i played a few of each without going thru an amp for quite a while.. ended up coming home with a stingray 4 string..

    i still dont know about my basses tone compared to other basses tones.. i'm happy with it... but what sold me on it was that it just felt soo comfy to play.. i kept going back to it.. i like precisions but i like to slap too and i dont like slapping with precisions at all.. i just like precisions for pick style/hardcore.. i like jazzes for finger/slap/pick but i didnt like the neck a whole bunch in comparisson to my stingrays neck.. i love slapping my stingray and have gotten alot better at slapping because of it.. i also like playing with a pick and fingers just as much as i like playing a jazz with a pick or fingers..

    okay so my long story didnt end up short afterall!

    just remember that your basses tone can be manipulated/changed to get your sound (amp has just as much to do with tone IMO), but you have to like it (looks wise) and you have to love playing it (comfort wise).. you should be able to get the looks and comfort you want while getting the tone you want, but i'd rather swap preamps or pickups than i would want to re-shape my bass, sand and paint my bass or have to buy a new neck.

    hope this gave you some insight :)

    cheers & beers
  8. RedV


    Mar 19, 2002
    Eustis, FL
    Well, since enough people gave decent answers....

    The REAL difference between a P and a J iiiisssssss..

    ..if you stand a P up against an amp, it stays:rolleyes: :) bu dum chik.


  9. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    What does it mean when ppl say that P-bass has more bottom?? does it have more a$$ or what?? I think J-bass has enough bottom to fill the Hoover dam.

    one a$$ joke:
    Your a$$ is as big as Uranus;)
    :D :D :D
  10. lostcausebass


    Oct 29, 2002
    yes, i do know about tone. I know what pickups are and i know what sonic differences there are between split and jazz. and then there are the body differences, and the electronics, but i was talking like neck style and sustain, like the real tonal differences that are inherent to each bass. like when you hear "jazz" bass, what do you think of?
  11. Boozy


    Apr 29, 2002
    Kelowna BC, Canada
    this is actually a hard question to answer when put that way (real toanl diffs)..

    jazz bass has more sustain (IMO)
    jazz bass has a more narrow neck, but sort of more buldgy in the back (rounder/deeper, not as flat, narrower width at nut).. smaller/tighter radius if you will..
    tone, as you said, is obvious as to the differance in pickups.. pbass is not as "even", but in a good way in some cases (rounder/deeper, not as flat, yet still crisp mids and highs)..

    body is just completely different feel to me.. pbass sometimes earitates my lower arm/wrist area when playing with a pick.. jazz bass doesnt nose dive as easy as a pbass (for me anyways)..

    i like both equally tho.. all in all, the pros of each outway the cons of each, but in different ways..

    i can't better describe the 2 without specific questions..

    also, keep in mind i have never owned a MIA p or j bass.. i have played them both on several occasions however... i will own one of each in due time.
  12. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    P-Basses intonate better, not that it's enough for most to notice, and pretty irrelevant for punk.

    P-Basses are more percussive. Better suited to punk.

    The MIM Mark Hoppus has a J body and a P neck with a hot SD pup and only one pot. It might be an option for you.

    If you for some reason you prefer the J package, I recommend you seriously consider the MIM Deluxe Active Jazz, with John Suhr pups (noiseless) and pre, as per the original AmDeluxe J. They are unbelievably good value for money, and would be more suited to punk than a passive J.

    You might also consider the MIM Deluxe P Special, which is a PJ config with a satin finished J neck. Also, check out the MIM Deluxe Zone bass, which is a slightly smaller, active P/J config.

    There are also plenty of good MIA options (new and used), both traditional and hybrid, passive and active, from Fender, G&L, MM, and others.
  13. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Wha? :confused: :confused: I'm curious how you came to this conclusion.
  14. Here's what Marcus Miller has to say about the difference between Jazz and Precision basses:

    Marcus's answer...

    I own and play both. You can't go wrong with either.
  15. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    Ask anyone knowledgeable. It's a fact!
  16. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    :rolleyes: Forget I asked. Your answer confirmed what I suspected--you don't know what you are talking about.

    Prove me wrong.

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