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Does my PJ sound like a P, a J, or a PJ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by faulknersj, Dec 3, 2018.


  1. ...a P.

    12 vote(s)
    28.6%
  2. ...a J.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. ...a PJ

    30 vote(s)
    71.4%
  1. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    I’m pretty sure that was both pickups full on...but there is a slight chance that I slightly favored the P pup on that one.
     
    metron likes this.
  2. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Thanks and cheers to you as well!!

    Good luck with that rig. I know what you mean in terms of the potential with the EMG's, etc. Many years ago I actually rented a fretless 5-string Warmoth Jazz with EMG's from a local shop for a month and was blown away with both the instrument's warmth and also a degree of clarity that I didn't expect from a fretless. Those pickups in the right layout can really do a wonderful job of "hearing" everything that the strings are doing.

    My switch to passive pickups here is mostly about my perception of what seems to be an odd response of the EMG's compared with a couple of other basses I've played in recent history having passive electronics. It's hard for me to describe it, but maybe my personal "normal" is just more at home with passive pickups. This switch I'm making will definitely further my education.

    Oh, and sorry for not offering my $0.02 on your sound in that clip. I pictured more of a P-bass as I listened to it - really nice presence in the mix and not obnoxious or angry. Maybe that means that I was hearing a little of the J doing that job of mellowing the P's aggression. Sweet playing!!

    And thanks for the heads-up on the pickup heights. It might be the case that this adjustment is at least as vital in a PJ layout as with any pickup combo for coaxing the best blend to the surface. I have a fretless neck (Modulus!!) that I picked up years ago and need to put that onto its own body instead of sometimes swapping it onto my spare Jazz. If I can find a PJ body to pair with it, those EMG's would probably be the first pickups I'd try in that setup.
     
  3. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    I recorded this at last night’s gig...I know this was pickup blend at the detent...sounds a little more jazz like to me...thoughts?

     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
    metron likes this.
  4. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    I can hear the PJ better there but it might be because you said that's what it is. :) A little jazz-like I suppose. I think the mix helps mask some of the differences. I usually don't get this far into tone dissection, but it's fun. :thumbsup:
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  5. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Keep me posted on how it turns out!
     
  6. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    I own a Mike Lull PJ5 and it sounds fantastic, just like a P. . . because I usually play it with the J switched off!

    I wanted a P5 bass and the guy was selling a PJ. Once I played it, I had to have it, so that's my PJ story.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  7. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    The first clip sounds more P, the second clip more P/J. Great playing!
    Big fan of the Elites.
    I have a 97 US Jazz Deluxe V and 2000 US P Deluxe V and love them. Despite having the same preamp, they sound quite different since one has the cool Suhr J/J pickups and the other has P/JJ (the double J pickup blends really well with a P pickup).
    Gotta love the P/J setup, it really gets some nice tones.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  8. Not sure if the sound is pin pointed at all. But it sounds perfect. A little more like a P I guess. Most PJs lose a lot of the P character when going full on both. Yours sounds perfect.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  9. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia

    Couldn't agree more. I've played primarily boutique basses over the last 20 years. After picking up a new Fender Elite Precision a couple months ago I sold every bass I own except my favorite Roscoe Custom Signature 5 and my Warmoth Gecko fretless 5.
    IMO the new Fender Elite Precision cops a great passive P-bass tone and the great burpy Jazz bridge tone. Those are my 2 favorite sounds and when you add the great tones that you can get blending the P and J pickups (and EQ of the active pre) I've got everything that I need in a 4 string. Also, did I mention how good the compound radius neck feels?!:)

    Great groove playing on the sound clip too! :bassist:
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  10. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Those are sweet Basses!!
     
  11. SpazzTheBassist

    SpazzTheBassist

    Jun 20, 2006
    great playing!......it sounds more "P" to me than anything....I wouldve thought it was a P had you not told me


    edit: listening to blues shuffle above.....that still sounds like a P on your lower register but has a lot of J-isms in articulation when you play higher
     
  12. First of all, I love your playing! You 're grooving, but you add plenty of interest with your fills. Nice job.
    Secondly, most of the time, I thought it sounded like a great P-Bass. But on occasion, you can hear a little bit of Jazz happening. The clarity of the higher notes, in particular, IMO. Generally, I'm discovering that PJs are mostly Ps with the J pup available for a bit more crispness. At least that's my take on them.
     
  13. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Will do.

    That latest sound clip you offered was funny - I couldn't make up my mind. Your tone seemed to hold its own just fine (again). When you were walking around down low, I could picture either a Jazz or a P-bass chugging along like that - maybe because it sounded like the tone (treble) was rolled off a good bit.

    When you played those little fills and accents up higher, most of those gave me a little Jazz vibe. But I could also imagine Duck Dunn making that sort of sound in a quick turnaround, too. I'll bet that playing finger style a little closer to the bridge makes my ear assume J-bass while up toward the neck pickup can trick me into thinking I'm hearing a P-bass.

    Good-Good-Good
     
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  14. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    I actually do adjust tonight hand position a lot depending on what I want! I even pluck the strings over the neck pocket sometimes!
     
  15. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    You're blended in the middle in that clip? To my ears it sounds like you're a little louder on the P than the J. Could be EQ.

    (edit: just listened to the second clip, which does sound more like a P/J. I bet you were leaning on the P pickup in the first clip)

    In any case, you sound great, your drummer sounds great, seems like a really fun band. Your guitarist plays too many notes, but so does mine and everyone else's.

    I love P/J basses. I love the round, funky top end they make on the 50/50 blend, and my camp is the one that thinks that a P/J soloed to the P sounds exactly like a P bass. What's not to like?

    Somebody said above that the people who don't like P/Js are the people who expect them to be just like a P when you want a P, and just like a J when you want a J, or to be a swiss army knife of tone in some way. I agree, and any company that markets them that way is missing the point. P/J is a configuration with a unique sound.

    My '80s St. Blues P/J, passive with Lindy Fralin pickups. It's the least expensive bass I've got, but it sounds great, is fun to play, and I've been taking it out quite a bit lately:

    J_woeregqAzUPCWnPLYsHqEoAiGdP9qnmWH6JbqkTKzQaFUdj7su3sxIYEOtmDDJFZVX5yjpEKdz9BUiVWQ=w672-h896-no.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    faulknersj likes this.
  16. SpazzTheBassist

    SpazzTheBassist

    Jun 20, 2006
    Thats not how I understand it --- It will only sound relatively close to a Jazz that has its bridge pickup soloed is as far close to a Jazz a P/J will sound like if that pickup is soloed.

    The discrepancy is in the P pickup soloing, where (provided its mounted in the typical "P Spot"), folks say soloing the P pickup on a PJ doesn't sound like a typical single pickup Precision. Are they right? under a high-powered microscope, yes.......Is it so far different that If I solo a P pickup on a P/J bass and do a blindfold hearing test that the difference will be obviously heard compared to single pickup Precisions that all have similar components, strings, and setup? Not to me
     
  17. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    That is a really cool bass!
     
  18. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    It sounded more like a P on the recording on the first page, sounds similar to both of my PJs on the recording on this page.
     
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  19. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    I agree on the point about a P/J having the ability to sound unique but I ordered a new American Pro Precision and a new Elite Precision and A/B'd them passive. With the same strings installed I could barely tell them apart. And any differences I'd suspect were due to the American Pro having an alder body and the Elite having an ash body. Plus I compared the bridge J pickup up soloed of the Elite to my Classic 60's Jazz with the bridge P/U soloed. Again, extremely close in sound (and the Jazz had an alder body and the Elite has the ash body). Both so close that in a live gig I don't think anyone would be able to tell which one I was playing. Of course the Jazz sounded different with both p/u's blended together (as did the P/J) but my love is more focused on the traditional P-Bass tone and the burpy bridge p/u tone of a jazz.

    Maybe some of you guys are more tuned in to the authentic sound of a P and J bass than I am but that's my take on it.

    Bottom line, I like both of your recordings. And the beauty of it all is they were produced using the same bass! Totally loving my Elite Precision!:) :bassist::bassist::bassist:
     
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  20. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Yes! Have you played around with the active mode in a live setting? How comfy is the neck to you? Finally, do you find every note to project the same ‘heft’ across the fret board? Any pics of your bass?​
     

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