Can a preamp in a Jazz close the sonic distance to a P?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by vindibona1, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. While I've been playing bass since I was a kid I've never paid attention to the nuance of the sound. And as I'm paying more attention now I know a lot of folks say that "a jazz bass cannot produce the beefy sound of a p bass". And while I now recognize the quality of p bass, is it so far-fetched to believe that one cannot get a Jazz bass to have the same thickness of sound that a P bass inherently has? I know that my pass jazz bass can't quite there, but what about that same bass with a preamp installed with 3 or 4 bands and possibly something like Audere's "Z" switch?

    I admit that I'm still a bit fuzzy on what a P bass sound really is, but am interested on how it can be achieved on other basses, besides muting the strings partially for that 60's sound.
  2. IME, a standard preamp won't really get you there. Perhaps a 4-band with the upper mid boosted slightly and the treble rolled off might get in the same ballpark...ish.

    If you can find a pre with a resonant low pass filter that you can set or sweep to 2khz or thereabouts, I reckon you might get close as well.

    I'd record your bass , and try to eq it to match some direct P recordings. Then find a pre with similar roll off points etc .
    ex-tension likes this.
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    IMHO no. The P bass split P.U. is the sound.
    You might get close to it but it's not a P sound.
    Lance Bunyon, MynameisMe and s_wood like this.
  4. My Jazz 5 has an Audere preamp with 4 band EQ and a their "Z" switch which offers some additional tonal variety. I'm not sure that a resonant lowpass filter is, but my Ibanez BTB has an interesting option of a mid selection switch where I can mess with the mids in the 250hz or 600hz ranges depending on which way the switch is flipped. I'm not familiar with which frequencies do what besides 60 and 120hz. I'm open to the education.
    JC Nelson likes this.
  5. If anything, I think it would widen the gap.
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I think the fundamentally different timbral character of the two pickups won’t allow you to precisely match one to the other just by using EQ. Because it’s not just about the frequency curve. I think the note response and bloom of JB pickups are very different sounding when compared the PB split-coil. And those additional characteristics also make up a lot of what we think of as the signature sound of a PB and JB.

    Not to say you can’t get it pretty close if you have good technique and a decent amp and cab. You can get a PBish or JBish vibe out of a lot of different basses if you work at it. But a 100% match? Dunno. Maybe somebody out there can. But I can’t. “Ish” is about as close as I can get. And which is why I eventually got myself one of each and just called it a day. I’d rather play the things than fight with them over getting them to do something they weren’t really designed for. YMMV.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    gcb and Troy Eggen like this.
  7. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Different tones. A P is all about miss, a J is the smile scoop.
  8. Maybe "ish" is all I need? While I've got some technique developed, I don't think I'm in a situation where I have to be THAT fussy. I need a tone with some beef, and I can get plenty of beef with my Ibanez BTB. It's different than my Jazz5 even though the jazz has Aguilar noiseless pups and an Audere ProZ preamp. I dunno...

    I guess I collected a bunch of basses before I knew what I was doing. Not that I haven't picked up some nice instruments in my short journey, but one should have been a P bass. But I think tend to get along better with jazz necks. Or better put, the P necks seem to be my second to the least favorite neck shapes... behind Fender's new "modern C" necks that make my hand cramp after just a few minutes. I hate those necks!
    40Hz likes this.
  9. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I’ve used Audere preamps in the past and they’re a great preamp. I’ve also installed them for several friends and they’re all happy with them too. So that’s a great choice IMO.

    “Ish” is also good enough for me too. If I didn’t so easily succumb to GAS it could have stopped there for me. But when something as good sounding as a Squier Matt Freeman PB and a CV 60s JB comes along for around $350 each, it was a no brainer for me.

    I’m not a big Fender player. In addition to the Squiers, I do own a “real” Fender PB as well because…well…Fender! But they’re all down around 5 or 6 on my favs list. I do slightly prefer the jazz neck except in first position. But I’m fine with virtually any neck profile, width or scale thanks to Simandl.

    Bottom line is if you’re playing with others regularly, you’ll eventually discover you probably need to get some sort of Fender style and sounding bass fir some things. It’s a tone too ingrained into the collective music taste subconscious to ignore if you’re serious about contemporary bass.
    Troy Eggen likes this.
  11. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I've waded through most of those. Preamp was rarely suggested. Most common suggestions:
    1) neck pickup solo, tone down low
    2) Dimarzio model js
    3) get a p bass

    After being underwhelmed by #1 I skipped to #3. I've been happy as a clam, I love the simplicity and effectiveness.

    Model J seems like a good middle ground solution though.
  12. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
    I could never get my jazz bass to sound like my P.
  13. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think part of it is that Jazz pickups are narrow and tall and P pickups are low and wide.
    Lance Bunyon likes this.
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    No, but a P pickup can. However, then you lose the "J" sound. P basses are pretty cheap, just get a P and you'll be glad that you did.
    HardNHeavy and Double E like this.
  15. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    If I have Bartolini split coil J pickups with sweepable mid preamp, I can get any sound I want as long as it’s not a traditional J sound.
    InhumanResource likes this.
  16. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    I put Model J’s in everything (most of my basses are J config). If I don’t pick up a P for awhile, I think I get close, but there’s nothing quite like a P.
  17. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    To me it's more than just beef. There's a grit to it, and the mid EQ presence is incredibly effective in a live setting. But it doesn't have to be a Fender; there are plenty of clones out there. Dean, Ibanez, peavey, Yamaha to name a few. Find a neck you like and go from there
  18. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    Turn off your bridge pickup. Roll the tone off. It will trick the drunks in the club.
    lamarjones likes this.
  19. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    I’ve found it is nearly impossible to get a Jazz to sound like a P, no matter what tricks, effects or EQ are used. The Odd thing is, it is possible to get a Jazz sound from a P. When I found out Dave Hope from Kansas played a P, I couldn’t believe it. It just doesn’t seem to work the other way around.