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For 5 string, J or P body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rumblefisher, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. P bass, it's a workhorse and J 5's are overdone

    39 vote(s)
  2. J bass, sleek and stylish, look better

    86 vote(s)
  1. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    I have always loved P bass tone, and so I have owned mostly P basses in the relatively short time I've been playing bass. Now that I am ready to move to 5 strings, though, I find myself liking the J bass style more and more... the new P5 looks a bit...out of place, as if that 5th string was forced in there.

    Don't get me wrong, I definitely want to keep that fat P tone (which, by the way, stays alright on the low B or is does a trebly J tone keep it tighter?). Has anyone else found themselves liking the J shape for 5 more than a P shape for 5? Or is the J shape overdone and more P's are needed?

    Thanks for reading!

    ***If you choose something else, don't vote and let us know what you would pick in a reply. Thanks.
  2. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    I remember seeing the Squier Precision Bass Special many moons ago, which if I remember right also came in a 5-string model which sported a Precision pickup in the neck position and a Jazz pickup at the bridge. I checked out Squier's website and Musicians' Friend but couldn't find them. Are they no longer being made?
  3. Granted, I'm partial to the J pup configuration, but trying to set my bias aside: The 5-string extends your range downwards. You know that, of course. The J allows you to tweak your tone more; it's more versatile. And I believe you are right about the "trebly J tone" keeping the B string sounding "tighter." Although a floppy B string on some cheap bass will sound cruddy no matter what, on a good bass, having a bridge pup certainly gives you more treble options. My Warwick (passive) fiver has the 2 J configuration and, combined with a physically tight B string resulting from good engineering, the fresh B string (vs the dead one) sounds crisp! But then, I haven't tried a P fiver. However, given that the P's strength is in the BIG BOTTOM dept, I'd vote for the J.
  4. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Thanks for the replies :) The poll is more an issue of aesthetics, although I did ask that tone question... In any case, thanks again for those who replied and hopefully will reply.
  5. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Good point. At the end of the day, if you have a B string that flops all over the place, the pickup isn't going to be able to do much there. Some options with your tone as far as treble goes, but you're still going to have a floppy sounding B string.
  6. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    "The P is a workhorse... Js are sleek and stylish..."?

    Way to reinforce silly stereotypes there, pal.

    I'm primarily a J player when I'm playing electric, but every bass that I use is a workhorse, regardless of whether some cost more than others or whether some have more pickups than others. I don't know where the idea arose that J basses are somehow less workable than P basses, but we do ourselves (and Leo) a great disservice when we repeat that nonsense.

    I've seen this unfortunate line of thinking extended to fine instruments like Fodera and Alembic and to six-string basses as well. It's no wonder that some gui****s have so little respect for our craft. We don't have much for it ourselves.
  7. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Sorry man, I was trying to be pithy in the choice department. Basses are what you want them to be, I get it. Just wanted the choices to be separate to see what people really consider of each side. If you tell me how I can change poll choices, I'll fix it. Thanks.

    I don't mean to sound argumentative, but I have A TON of respect for bass players (not because I am trying to be one, but because of the skill set they possess and the work ethic to hone that skill), I would never mean to intentionally slander any one of them.
  8. Altitude

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

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I voted J, according to my preference. But I observe that P basses are coming on really strong again. As we know, Fender just released a passive 5-string P, and they seem to lag demand rather than lead it.
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I answered J, but only because IME they tend to have heavier bodies and neck-dive less. Either shape us cool if it's done right IMO.
  10. I've got that bass -- it has a P-bass body but two Jazz pickups.
  11. My USA P Dlx 5er has a ton of tonal variations and, with a bit of tweaking, nails a P Base tone even on the B string.

    Looks pretty cool too............

  12. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    That IS nice marwady. Very classy looking bass. See, this is why I started this thread... to see if there was a P5 out there that didn't look like a P bass with an oddly wide fretboard. Nope, that bass is symmetric and just... nice :)
  13. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    I've always thought that 5-string and P don't mix, especially with that funny lookin' split coil.
  14. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    Tough choice. I find the Jazz 5 I have is a little "meh". I like the sound of it, just not so much the shape. I find I like the sleeker (imo)/more symmetrical P body.

    P body'd 5 string with jazz pup config = my vote.
  15. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    The P-bass 5 has my vote :hyper:

  16. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    I saw you actually posted a pic of that bass earlier Vinny and, I gotta say, it has this 50's daddio vibe. Good stuff, thanks for voting :)
  17. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    P body with a Jazz neck.
  18. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    I can't help posting pic's of this bass, it's a sickness :D
  19. Totally killin' me.........SWEET bass!
    You should have had the PJ5 (or J/MM5 :D) option. Thats what I would have picked.

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