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Deciding what bass is best for me

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LotusCarsLtd52, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    I posted this in another thread but decided to make it it's own thread. I'm debating which bass (P or Jazz) is best for me.

    See the big thing for me right now is that I'm debating 1) If I like the P bass neck or not, as I recently discovered that I can actually play thick necks without too much trouble and wondering if I should still swap the P neck for a Jazz neck as I had been planning; 2) if I'm okay with the fact that the Standard P has a single P pup or if I want a bass with the PJ setup; and 3) If I should even do a P bass at all or go the Jazz route.

    I'm inspired mainly by the Smashing Pumpkins and Gary Numan and I know both bands used P basses. But with a single pup and all this talk about Jazz basses being more versatile because of the dual pups I'm not sure which is better. I don't foresee myself doing anything other than rock (although I'd do jazz if I was a better bassist) so I don't know if versatility matters or not.

    Luckily I don't have to decide anytime soon so that certainly helps! What does everyone think?
  2. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Hey. Let me say first that the only person who knows what you like best is...YOU!

    With that, I'll give you some of MY impressions. I'm a Jazz guy, but I feel that one killer sound is way better than a dozen mediocre ones. If you like P bass sound, you can get *close* with a Jazz but never truly there. Yes, the Jazz can cop a few more different tones, but if you are a real P fan then the J will never 100% get you there.

    On the other hand, it concerns me that you said you can play thick necks "without too much trouble." If you end up playing a longer than usual set, yes, you will run into trouble. It seems like you want a P bass with a J neck? Those are pretty easy to come by. I know the P bass special is a PJ w/ a J neck.

    I would recommend 2 things:

    1. First and foremost, go out and T R Y these basses. The more you play them, the more you develop a sense of what you like.

    2. Maybe check out the audio gallery at Lakland.com You can get a sense of what each would sound like with all different kinds of music.
  3. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    Haha you're right. For such an important investment I hope to get my money's worth.

    I should take another look then.

    I was thinking of getting a P bass and swapping necks. I'd prefer to stay passive on the electronics.

    Checking the audio now. It should definitely help I think. It can be hard to compare basses, though, solo without any context to see what they sound like.
  4. wideyes


    May 9, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    I think people make too much of a fuss about how 'versatile' the jazz is. Granted, you can get a greater range of sounds out of it, but I'd be willing to bet most guys find a tone they like best and then just 'set and forget'.
    I also think the p-bass tone is versatile in the "sounds good with everything" sense of the word.
    Sounds like you should get yourself a good, simple passive p-bass and just play it for a while. Familiarize yourself. Maybe you'll love it. If you just dislike the neck, switch it for a j-neck. If you dislike the whole bass, sell it on (if you buy used in the first place, you might break even!). Or, if you find you do want more tonal options, you can get it routed for less than you might imagine and just slap a jazz pup in it.
    My guess is that most people who pick up a p-bass and say, "Yeah, I think I like this" will bring it home and not look back. Even if you get a j, it's always nice to have a p around ;)
  5. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    The P might be the way to go (I finally checked-out the Lakland site and listened to those soundclips). I kinda like the idea of doing custom for the ability to do some unique things with the body but that might just be a passing fad for me.

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