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Can the J-Bass make the same sound as a P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by canary, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. canary


    Jun 1, 2004

    I know the J-Bass can make a much bigger variety of sounds as the P-Bass, but what i really want to know is: Can it make the same sound as a P-Bass? and if not can it make similiar sounds?
  2. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Way differnt basses, way different sounds.
  3. Well a parallel/series switch would get you that much closer. New Fenders (MIA) come with the S1 switch that does that for you. Basically, it turns the parallel J pickups into series, which is what the P pickup is. I've tried it out and it does sound pretty P-Bass like, especially if you play with the pickup balance. You can get pretty close, so try it out and see if it does the trick. Because without a switch like that, you're looking at very different sounds.
  4. canary


    Jun 1, 2004
    sounds great, just what i need. What exactly is it? a different bass or some add on or something?
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You can't really get a bonafide P Bass tone from a Jazz. You can try this for a tone that might get you close to it, depending on your strings, setup, and amp settings:

    turn off bridge pickup using the volume control

    turn the neck pickup on full

    turn the tone control on full

    what kind of playing application are you using the bass for? Jamerson-style, funk slapping ala Patrice Rushen's "forget me nots", classic rock, etc. ?
  6. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    You can make it sound kinda P-bass-ish. but generally no, it won't truly sound like a P.
  7. canary


    Jun 1, 2004
    my top five bands are: Led Zeppelin, Joy division, sex pistols, queens of the stoneage, jimi hendrix
  8. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Yes, I've found if you solo the neck pickup on a jazz (works better with flats) and use a light touch, you can get a P-type tone. That is, it sounds similar to a P with flats, using a light touch. But if you dig in, the growl of the J comes out, as would the thump of a P.
  9. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I see where you're coming from now. Try my suggestion (with pick or finger-style); you might like it.

    About a year ago, I actually embarked on a project to mod my jazz to also get a P bass tone. My playing application was different from yours though; I was going for a "P Bass with flatwounds" type of tone like Jamerson and Duck Dunn. I got pretty close once I changed the pickups. I put in a set of SD Basslines Hot P Bass pickups. I went through all that trouble because I didn't want to actually go out and spend the money on buying a P Bass. The funny thing is that after all that trouble of modding my Jazz bass, I ended up buying a P Bass a few months later with the money from playing a few more gigs. You might end up doing the same. It's nice to have both Fender basses!
  10. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    you can also use a growly config:

    Neck pickup 100% volume
    bridge pickup 75-less%(depending on the deepness youre looking for).
    Tone at 50-70%.

    Its more like a crossover beetwen a J and a P.
  11. canary


    Jun 1, 2004
    yeah, i think it probably is one or the other, there is no blending them together. i may start of with one, then get a 2nd hand one of the other later on. which would u advise to start with, bearing in mind i find it very easy to play seeing as i have converted it straight from the cello.
  12. You play cello? You might like the string spacing on the P, it's a little wider. However, I'd say the Jazz is a better choice, because it tends to nail more tones. In the end, though, if you like the P tone, go for it.
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    The neck on a p is a little thicker and rounder, closer to the neck on a cello. I'd toss in a recc. for a P-bass if you're a cellist in general though.

    You can approximate the tone of a P on a J, but even with a series parallel mod, the sound is too...mushy. It doesn't have the hard thump of a genuine p-bass. In canopener's reply, he talked about the growl of a J and the thump of a P. These are the sounds that are absolutely and entirely characteristic of the two basses, and try as one might, it'd take a LOT of work to remove that characteristic from either bass. It seems no matter what strings or pickups you have in 'em, a good J will growl like a tiger and the P will thump like Mike Tyson.
  14. Great post, Govithoy. Just remember that there is no better tone, and that each works well in basically any situation. They are simply different beasts with different innate characteristics.
  15. canary


    Jun 1, 2004
    if i bought both bass`s do you think after a while i would only be playing one of them?
  16. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Mabye, I know if I had both Id definitely play both. But as it stands, I much prefer the tone of a P. I wouldnt spend my money on a jazz, but if I had one, Id certainly play it.

    Ill reccomend the P, common opinion is against me. :D
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I currently own 9 basses & only 2 don't get played.

    Most of the basses I do have on a steady rotation are Jazz styled basses, I'm building a P bass that I plan to play often, also:

    You could go the ...... what's his name... Mark Hoppus(?) route. A P p/u om a Jazz body.
  18. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España

    I've seen your band's site and i cant identify a green bass you have, it looks like a jazz...
  19. cods


    Sep 16, 2003
  20. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Yeah, you really need a p-bass or else it's not happening. It can be mo-town esque but I think it's the highs that really make the two sound different. I j with bar magnets will definately sound closer. It's still not quite the same though.