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First thoughts on a P bass from a Jazz guy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sigmafloyd, Jan 20, 2012.


  1. sigmafloyd

    sigmafloyd

    May 1, 2011
    Here's a rambling rant:

    So, I've pretty much played Jazz basses the entire time I've played bass (about 15 years). I recently acquired a P bass around Christmas. I played it a for a few days with the rounds it came with, and then put on a 6 month old set of chromes. It's a 2008 American Standard P. Ive never owned a MIA bass before, and it feels much better than my MIM Jazz or my Squier CV Jazz. I ventured into the P with flats world thanks in big part to a lot of the posts here. So far, I can say that the tone I'm getting out of this bass is very close to being my favorite bass tone. It's almost a cliche around here, but it does really fit well in the mix.

    That being said, the Jazz guy in me keeps popping up and saying that if I got a 'nice' jazz bass, I'd probably like it just as much. I don't know why, but I have this internal struggle where I have to decide definitively which one I prefer, even though I own both. I need to categorize myself for some reason. Tonewise, I definitely am very much into the vintage vibe. I'm not much for 5 strings, or active basses, or slapping. I think it's safe to say that I'm probably a lifetime flatwounds convert as well. All of these factors, at least in my mind, put me more in the P bass camp. Also, this is probably blasphemous, but I really don't care for Jaco's style. I respect his talent, but it really irks me that anytime a Jazz bass is mentioned, especially the back pickup, his name gets mentioned. So...I'm either a P bass guy or an against the grain Jazz guy. Probably the #1 reason I would lean back to the Jazz is that I am ultimately on the quest to own only 1 bass. I'd feel comfortable brining a jazz bass into almost any situation. The P bass, while perfect for some styles, might not be as versatile. Anyway, I'm starting to get GAS now for an AVRI jazz with flats. It never ends!
     
  2. You are doing the Fender P versus J Vacillation Dance.

    I own around 5 Precisions and around 5 Jazz basses. Why? Because I keep switching back and forth, sometimes thinking, "Okay, now I'm a P Bass guy, better arm myself with some good P Basses." Then, sometime later, I find myself thinking just the opposite, "Okay, now I'm a J Bass guy, better arm myself with some good J Basses."

    At the moment, I'm playing my Precisions and neglecting the J's. That will change, probably when I least expect it.

    Welcome to the club!
     
  3. bassteve

    bassteve

    Dec 23, 2010
    I'm sort of the same, but I have a P, a Rickenbacker 4001, a Fleabass, and an old Univox Hi-Flyer. I jump between them all regularly and somehow find myself amazed at how good the tone is every time I switch to a different bass.
     
  4. Smallmouth_Bass

    Smallmouth_Bass

    Dec 29, 2005
    Canada
    While I tend to gravitate towards the P, there is no denying the Jazz. They are both great instruments. There's nothing wrong with loving them both.
     
  5. each gig has the right bass.....can't go wrong with having both a p and a j..they are, as the cliche goes, "standards" for a reason......
     
  6. Blonde or brunette, J or P?
     
  7. I can sympathize w/you. I've got a Geddy Lee Jazz and an American Std P-bass and love 'em both... it's like having two beloved pets or children. You can't really favor one over the other.
     
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have a Geddy Lee jazz. Love it. Always been a "J" guy. I want to like a P butler of my stuff seems to work better with a J. One day I may get a P, but for now it's my Geddy.
     
  9. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Does a Jazz with P/J pickup configuration mean you get both basses in one instrument?
    It never ends.
     
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i have 4 jazz basses, 6 split pickup P's, as well as two single coil p's and a single coil tele bass. i love all of them, but to me, the split pickup P's are my favorite, with the single coil p's running a close second.
     
  11. For me, no.

    You will get a P when that pickup is solo'd.

    You will get a J with the bridge solo'd, if that's how you like your J basses (I do not).

    Combined you get some weird hybrid animal that I can't find a good use for.

    YMMV, please save the butthurt replies. It's an opinion.

    I do own and play one PJ hybrid, the MIM Special Deluxe Active, but I can use it because it's active and pretty darn punchy and has onboard EQ, but it's not the same as a passive P or J by any stretch of the imagination.

    So, at best, a passive PJ would only work as a P bass for me, defeating the purpose of mounting the J pickup.
     
  12. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
    A lot of threads out here on TB about the love of the P bass to say the least. But check out this ad from 1972. It really spells it out. The P bass is not "too much" of anything. "not overbearing" :D

    Fender-p-1972.

    There are so many uber-boutique machines with deeper lows, glassier highs, and super cool parametric active EQ. But all that super duper stuff just seems to get in the way of good tone as often as it may help achieve it.
     
  13. Nothing wrong with liking both or having a couple of basses in your arsenal of tools!! If you want "better" why don't you keep your new P, sell the other two and get an American made Fender Jazz? Best of both worlds!! You can play the P while your saving for the J if money is an issue. :)
     
  14. VWbug

    VWbug

    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    +1.
     
  15. BassBob1

    BassBob1

    Dec 21, 2010
    I'm Kind of in the same camp as you. I have an American Standard Jazz. I don't ever go for the jaco sound and if I solo a pick up its the neck one. I also have also had it strung with flats for most of the last year and few months. I love the more vintage kind of sound. I have a P bass copy that sounds and plays great that I love the sound of. However, I'm a jazz guy and I think a jazz will always be home for me even if I had a P that played as nicely as my jazz. I have ventured away into the active bass world but wasn't there for very long. It's a Jazz for me but that doesn't mean you have to pick one. Hell, I could never say I would exclusively play a jazz bass.
     
  16. Basso54

    Basso54

    Jul 22, 2003
    Dalhart, TX
    Got a Frankenstein P, Geddy Jazz, and an upgraded P/J. Love them all, wouldn't sell any of them. Very different tones. Don't buy the hype on the J being useless on the P/J. I rarely solo either pickup on my P/J, but if I do, it's the P. Also, not a Jaco-tone fan, Geddy gets both on full blast all the time. P is the progenitor of modern basses IMO, Jazz is an evolution of that design. Just technology evolving. Just look at all the tech modern basses have.
     
  17. I prefer the P bass for finger style and when using a pick, but I prefer the Jazz for slap.

    I prefer the look of the Jazz but prefer the feel of the P bass.
     
  18. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader" Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    who gives a ****?
    we make too much over these setups, when, in all honesty, its up to the player and combo.
    long live great players who have good equipment.
     
  19. Naw, this is easy. I love my pets more.
     
  20. PJRL

    PJRL

    Mar 27, 2010
    greenfield center NY
    Well, you need both. I think that's the answer : )

    I have been back to playing Bass after playing guitar for a while. I have had some of the other (what I’d consider) great Basses but I never had Fender basses until now. I first picked up an AVRI 62 Jazz, wow what a great sound. I'm not much of a Joco type player but I do like the Bridge P-up sound, as well as the neck. You can get enough of a P like sound out of the neck P-up to be happy with it for the most part. The Jazz Bass, between either one or both P-ups & the tone controls is probably the most versatile of the two. Having said that, there’s nothing like the classic P bass sound. I also have an AVRI 57 P bass, I have had it for a couple months and for a while I couldn’t put it down. The J just sat, you could say the P is a bit of a one trick pony but it does that one trick like no other. The P has that classic deep rumble that a J won’t really do. Lately I have picked up my J bass again and I still really like it. It’s tough choice, two great classic sounds that fit into so many musical styles. Yes like a lot of the above replys, flats are great on both of them.
    Ya gotta have one of each.

    I think I need a Ric to.......Had one years ago and sold it : (

    I know, I was no help............
     

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