Are P Basses really better than J Basses for studio recording?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Sean775, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    I've read that before, and if so, I think I'm going to sell my Jazz and buy a Precision. I've been considering doing that for awhile now, and since most of my playing now is for my recordings, I want to make sure I have the best equipment options available.
  2. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    It's not true, just someone's opinion.
    Wanna solve the issue AND get a new bass?
    Try a P/J
    allenhumble, DirtDog, pcake and 13 others like this.
  3. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Yes, they are.
    No, they are not.
  4. I've recorded with both, and can't say one is any better than the other.

    Different yes, but better no.

    I would say the p bass gets a good rep because it's a relitively easy bass to get a good sound from that most can find a place in a mix for.

    On that note though, some of my best recorded sounds were produced with the five string jazz in my sig picture, so both are great to have at a recording session if you can bring them.
  5. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    I love myths!
    Wisebass, SJan3, Aqualung60 and 8 others like this.
  6. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Joe Osborn says no ;)
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If the track calls for a J bass sound, then J basses are better for recording.
    Jazz Ad, pbass2, AztecViking and 3 others like this.
  8. You're wrong.
    Herrick, ofajen, megarat and 14 others like this.
  9. inthevelvet

    inthevelvet Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    Washington DC
    Yes, but neither is as good as a Stingray:hyper:
    In all seriousness, it depends on the sound you are looking for. If you want a Jamerson sound, probably a P is best. If you want a Flea or Geddy sound, likely not. Same with anything. Is an overdriven Les Paul with a slide better than a clean Strat? Depends if you want to sound more like Duane Allman or Mark Knopfler. Is a Dodge Viper better than a Ford F-250 4x4? If most of your time is spent towing a horse trailer on country roads, probably not.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    If you can afford just one bass, I'd get a jazz. It's more versatile in creating tones. The P also sounds great but it has a signature sound without as wide a pallet of possibilities of a J. This won't sound exactly like a P, but if you put a J neck pickup full on, put the bridge pickup about 75% on, boost the lower mids a touch, and play over the neck pickup ... it will be close.
    roccobass, MrLenny1, Eikari and 2 others like this.
  11. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Why not rent or borrow a P and try it first before you commit?

    While it's true that a P bass often does sound great and has been used on countless recordings across almost every conceivable genre since the inception of modern electrified music, there is no magic single answer that works in the studio 100% of the time. The best bass to use on any recording is the one that sounds best in that particular situation.
    MrLenny1 and ThudThudThud like this.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    Wisebass and AztecViking like this.
  13. whatizitman


    Sep 9, 2014
    Yes! Thanks for asking! drool
    Grumry, +6dB Dan, Mvilmany and 2 others like this.
  14. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    For your own recordings, the P may be better. I don't think many people read that part.

    Reason is that the P is a very easy bass to mix. The J is a little trickier. In terms of best equipment, they are both classics. I think the question to ask yourself is if you are having problems getting the tone you want with the J, or having issues mixing it. If not, then you are good with the J.

    You are not giving us much to go on here, so I am not sure what the issue is. Can you give more detail?
    eJake, wintremute and NKBassman like this.
  15. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    I've got a friend who owns and operates his own local studio and has recorded/mixed/mastered tons of local bands albums. I get that he's not a big time professional, but he does some stellar work. I have recorded with both a passive Precision and an Active Deluxe Jazz with him. He actually prefers the Jazz over the P-bass. When he's recording someone with a bass that he just doesn't like the sound on, he'll call me and ask about my loaning the Jazz. Or increasingly often (shhhhh!), he'll ask me to come in and re-record the lines for someone else on the DL using said Jazz.
    Teijo K. likes this.
  16. No. It just matters on the flavor you NEED for a particular song/style.

    I've used both P and J basses in studio and live, and have experienced exactly that- a style might call for the J funk, while a more traditional rock bass line might scream out of the P thunder!

    Then again, I've also used an old Aria SB down-tuned in a death/punk rock project- it creamed both the P and J for a particular song!

    See what fits and go with it.
  17. inthevelvet

    inthevelvet Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    Washington DC
    I agree, personally! Other may have different tastes, and may not agree with us. They are wrong of course, but they are entitled to their opinion:hyper::roflmao:
  18. pudge


    Sep 13, 2008
    It's the magician ,not the wand
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    All depends on the tone you want. Lots of people swear by their Ps, others swear at them. Try both and see which you prefer.
    AztecViking likes this.
  20. motocycles are better than cars for going from one place to another
    Wisebass, Afc70, MDBass and 4 others like this.
  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.

    Aug 4, 2021

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