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Does a P need a J?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by philthygeezer, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    ...at the bridge?

    Discuss please.
  2. I like P,B & J, myself. On toast.
  3. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    that would be absolutely correct.
  5. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    Only if the J is humbucking/noise canceling. Otherwise it is useless.
  6. :cool: The most correct answer is NO.

    However, cancelling or not, there are times when I like having the ability to add a little J-Bridge-pup to my sound. Consequently, all three of my P-Basses are P/J configuration. The AmDlx by default. The two AmStd's by choice; I had them modified.

    My bands plays rock from the 50's to the 80's, CW from the 40's to the 00's, Blues from every era you can name, a little R&B, a little swing, and even some pop from the 50s-70s. So, I change my tone a little to get some different sounds on some tunes.

    But, no, as is said by many. You don't NEED it. But.......!
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    NEED? No.

    But it's good to have sometimes.
  8. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements

    Unless you just can't go another day without taking a sharp screwdriver and a clawhammer and pounding a big hole in your bass large enough to fit some overpriced aftermarket J pickup more or less in place, then burn holes in yourself and the finish trying to solder with a dirty, cold tip...after which you can just beam with pride at what a great job you did "modding" a perfectly good bass into scrap.

    Don't worry, someone on eBay will buy it for a third of what you put in it.

    Jeeze, will you people ever get a clue?
  9. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I like having the option, and my ESP is P/J, but I rarely engaged the J, only once in awhile.

  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I have one of the pricey "Hot Rodded" Precisions Fender built with this concept.

    The problem with passive P&J is that the Precision pair has a substantially higher output than a bridge Jazz. Fender dealt with this imbalance problem by making a unique set of pickups with a lower-output Precision set and a higher-output Jazz pickup to get a somewhat closer match. Those individual pickups are used on no other Fender bass.

    They don't really work all that wonderfully, which is probably why Fender dropped the bass. It also didn't help that they somehow also managed to screw up the volume/mix circuit on at least the final run of these. :meh:

    The only way these really shine is when both P&J are fairly output-balanced by differential height adjustment and then both left full-on. That's a nice sound, and a unique one.

    Otherwise - as most owners say - the set results in a Precision mode that doesn't sound that much like a Precision should and a Jazz mode that doesn't sound much like a Jazz should.

    People's homebrew abortion/mods in attempts at the same concept work substantially less well and usually look even worse than they sound. :spit:
  11. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I don't think you need to jump down the dude's throat and give 'em heck about doin' a home job - he could be a good woodworker for all you know. On my ESP both pickups have identical output, when I solo the P pickup, it sounds preeeeety close to a Fender P (though not excatly, but I wouldn't expect it to since it's NOT a Fender), and when I solo the J, it sounds very similar to a Fender solo'd bridge J. Of course, IMO, and YMMV.

  12. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    What if you use one of those three-way toggle switches to switch between pickups rather than a volume-volume-tone setup? I heard that can help you reachieve the strict Precision sound if you select "P-only."

    I'm saving up my pennies for an American series P-bass and will probably get a J installed at the bridge to add some versatility for those times when I slap. The bassist from the Mars Volta has a "three way switch + V-V-T" setup that looks like the best of all worlds. He can adjust the pickup levels when he uses both or just go with the neck or the bridge when the situation calls for it.

    Then again, I love the strict P sounds too much to give that up so I'll be a bit conflicted if you just can't get the strict P sound when you have a second pickup.
  13. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    That's excatly what my ESP has;

  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Hmm... let me think about this.

    Attached Files:

  15. I'll never own a PJ again. My experience is that all the J pup does is inject a bunch of 60 cycle hum and, as others have said, the P sound is compromised. This is one of those things that works better in theory than in practice, IMO.
  16. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    When you can have a J, why not?

  17. I fully agree with this. Definately use a noisecancelling J pickup if you are going to put one on a P. I personally like a P/J better than just a P as it is more versatile.
    An avid P user will disagree more times than not though.
    P's put out a good sound but that is just it... A single good sound. J's are more versatile but do not do the P sound unless you get one with an S-1 switch then it is similar but not exact.
    Now I have said it...and stand on this statement
  18. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
  19. :cool: I love all the comments by various individuals that insist that the P/J configuration is a waste of time and doesn't work. Well, that's just not true. If you don't like it, great, don't have one and don't use it. But, to simply state that it doesn't work is not true.

    It's all in the sound that you're looking for. On one of my basses, I installed a SD 1/4# J-bridge pup. The bass runs two volume controls and a master tone. The tone is also a pot/switch that can switch the bridge pup and its volume control in or out depending upon what I'm in the mood for. As for 60 Hz hum, or other problems, none. No, the bridge pup isn't as powerful as the P-pup by itself, even being one strong J-pup. However, I never run it by itself, I don't like the sound. I don't like the sound of the bridge pup soloed on a J-Bass either.

    No, its not a waste of time. It's simply another method to make an instrument more tailored to the individual using it.

    Now, another issue. It does not destroy the value the bass. Who in the blazes are you preserving your precious investment for. Some idiot collector who just might make a few dollars on it years from now? Virtually all of these damn instruments are mass produced at levels which guarantee their NON-rarity. It's a piece of wood, metal, wires, paint, plastic, and laquer! And it only becomes something special in the hands of the musician who poors his/her soul into it and produces the music. Outside of that, it's simply a bass. Yeah, when you sell it, some will get all "hinky" and say that's it's not worth much because it's been "modified". Don't sell it to them. There are many others who will appreciate the instrument, especially if you've had the job done correctly in a professional manner. Do whatever you want to with it and enjoy it while you own it and while you're still able to play it.

    And the beat goes on, and on, and on, and on!
  20. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    i like what sammy camden said.

    i like my p/j basses, and my soapbar pickups wired to be P/Jish (this is correct right?), not because i ever use the bridge J pickup soloed all that much, but sometimes to dial in a sort of that nasal growl to add something to the thumpy P sound

    but will i cry over a P bass with no bridge J? heck no.