Don't like PJ's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Aug 4, 2021.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Here's why I do and don't care if you don't:

    P Fleet 2021.JPG GF4.JPG GF5F.jpg Yammy1.jpg


    Actually, I just wanted an excuse to post some new glamour shots of some of my basses. But since we're here, I've noticed for the past few years that the venerable PJ combination has been slammed for being neither fish nor fowl, and I am here to say that it is, indeed, both fish and fowl.

    Let's address the most common complaints:

    ---It doesn't sound as good when you solo the P pickup vs not having the J on a straight-up P Bass. 100% myth, poppycock, balderdash, and bovine waste products. If a $100 SX PJ with the P soloed can sound the same as a $100 SX P as long as they have the same strings, then there is no reason every bass in the world can't have PJ's that sound the same as a regular P when the P's soloed. I used to have sonic proof of this, but it got lost in a computer crash a few years ago.

    ---You don't get the best of both worlds with a PJ. OK, so let's assume the sound is so different that you'd rather stick with the J. Fine by me. But the sound is not completely different by any means. I've played plenty of Jazz basses and basses with J pickups in my day and I'm well familiar with what a typical Jazz sounds like. It's close enough for the few times that I go for a J sound that I'm not sweating what little difference there is in a good balanced set of PJ's. Throw pickups in there willy-nilly, sure, it probably won't sound all that great. Just might, though.

    And to reverse the situation, a good J with the neck pickup soloed may not sound identical to a good P, but it will do a convincing job as well. I have a preference for a good split P pickup in that position, but I've heard plenty of convincing P sounds out of J's. The first Precisions are single coils, too, and I never heard anyone complain that they don't sound like P's.

    ---60 cycle hum or whatever frequency it is in your country. Can happen, but only on rare occasions is it an issue you can't do anything about. Many bass and guitar players use single coils with no hum problems all over the world. Granted, I prefer hum-cancelling pickups for both the P and the J, but to say that it can't work because the P's a humbucker and the J is single coil is myth.

    So that's why I made PJ's my jam...preferring the split P neck pickup as my main sound, but needing a more scoopy J sound on occasion. And I get it, too, and any complaints that it doesn't sound like a real J are just nitpicking.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
    starKee, shojii, TH63 and 111 others like this.
  2. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    I don’t get the issue. You can use the Jazz pickup if you want. You can turn it off and go straight P if you wish. Don’t understand why a few really don’t like the PJ, unless they don’t understand wiring real good and feel driven to resolder their harnesses every six months. Yeah. Maybe that’s it.

    That being said, I don’t care for the PJ OR the P, I just never liked the body shape or how it hangs on me. If I gotta wear an FSO, it’ll be a Jazz.
     
    shojii, Dave Neal, Standalone and 4 others like this.
  3. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    My only PJ, is one of the first double J’s ever made.

    it didn’t seem to catch on….

    no matter how many pickups I have, I heavily favor the neck pickup, maybe I’ll blend the bridge in a little.

    A985B826-50E8-4F57-9416-775AAB688D1A.jpeg
     
  4. alack

    alack

    Nov 20, 2000
    Florida
    Yes, but the best of the bunch is missing the J pickup.
     
  5. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    UK
    I like my PJ for sounding exactly what it is: a Yamaha BB. It never sounds like a P, and if it can sound like a J I neither know nor care. Both pickups on full, it sounds like itself and that's wonderful :thumbsup:

    And because it's incapable of sounding remotely like a P, I had an excellent reason for buying one of those, too :woot:
     
  6. elgranluis

    elgranluis

    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    I like the P J combo a lot. Except that , out of the 10 basses I own , none of them is a p+j. And out of the 100+ basses I’ve owned , I’m pretty sure I haven’t owned more than 2 P+Js.

    I like them a lot , however , they’re just not my thing.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  7. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    I’ll tell ya what I want more of; Jazz basses with a P pickup up top. Because the thing I like about the PJ setup is running both pickups together. That’s a sound. I’m considering busting out the router and doing that mod.
     
    J-Mags, dkelley, BSatt and 2 others like this.
  8. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth Nothing to fret over. Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    I love p/js. It is easily my favorite pickup configuration.
     
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Loving P/J’s implies an inherent lack of commitment and overall confidence. They’re mostly played by people who don’t have a preference between pancakes and waffles, drink coffee OR tea and can’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
    :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    In the owner's opinion, the best is a dead heat between the three black ones, with the Hammersmith mostly favored because it only weighs 7 3/8 lbs. The seafoam bass actually weighs slightly less, but it's a cheapo body and neck and kind of feels like it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
    instrumentalist and dkelley like this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yeah....so?

    :D
     
    dkelley, westrock, Geddaric and 3 others like this.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    As a Yamaha endorser, I approve :D What model is it? Mine's a cheapo BB235 that I'm putting in new pickups to make it sound more Fendery. It does have a really good sound as is, but I would prefer it be closer to my others. But EMG refuses to make a 5-string passive PJ set that sounds like Geezers so I'm going with the Duncan SPB1/Apollo combo.
     
    dkelley and Ricky Rioli like this.
  13. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Yeah…..so here’s my highly modified, super rare ‘83 PJ-555. I hate pancake AND waffles, I drink coffee in the morning and sometimes ice tea later on and I don’t drink soda.
    43C5ECF4-6E79-4961-A525-0518E4C9F4AE.jpeg
    09D7AFBF-00C8-4A78-9FE3-64AE8AE3B4E7.jpeg F50EAC9A-5F63-4889-B8A0-02C7989F52F7.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth Nothing to fret over. Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    I suppose I should've provided photographic evidence. How remiss of me. All four basses on this stand are p/js (or, in the case of the red one, a p/j-alike, with emg cs35s in the p and j spots). And I own more than this.
    20210603_133300.jpg
     
    jd56hawk, Dave Neal, GregC and 12 others like this.
  15. Gothic

    Gothic

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greece
    Love the tonal options of a PJ. P goodness with that J burp and high mids is just perfect to my ears. That said, I really don't like the look of a precision with a J in the bridge.
     
    shojii, Mickey666, Whale guy and 2 others like this.
  16. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma

    Sep 12, 2008
    I used to play a Nordy reverse P pickup PJ. I dig them but not a fan of them being active. Still have mine but also have a passive P and a passive J now so the PJ has been retired for now.
     
    Jack and JimmyM like this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    A perfectly valid reason for not doing it, way more valid than the usual reasons people use for bagging on them.
     
  18. Gothic

    Gothic

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greece
    Ah don't get me wrong, I don't care enough about the looks to not do it! :D
    But it can come in some other form...

    tmb100 1.jpg
     
    Glenn Mac, fretlessguy, Xhaxo and 8 others like this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Almost talked myself into a Talman shorty like that, but bailed when I heard the JMJ Mustang was coming out in black. Then I bailed on that when Covid hit.
     
  20. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    :drool:
     
    Mickey666 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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