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I guess I'm a P bass guy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wvbass, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I'm not normally the "family photo" type, but I've got a big enough P bass collection I decided to post a picture.


    From left to right:

    2003 Highway 1 Precision Bass. Daphne Blue. If I'm being honest with myself, this is the best P bass I own. I bought it used on ebay over ten years ago. It has a lot of dents and dings, the greasebucket circuit has been removed, mismatched knobs, and I added a Jaguar mute. It also plays like a dream and sounds like a P bass should.

    2013 Nate Mendel Precision Bass. Candy Apple Red. These Made In Mexico basses are incredible. I bought this one from Sweetwater, and I picked it because I liked the coloring on the fingerboard. I swapped the SPB-3 for an SPB-1.

    1975 Precision Bass. Natural. This is a parts bass, and I don't remember if I call it a '75 because the body and neckplate date to '75 or if the neck is a '75. There was a girl I knew back in high school whose step father was a bass player. He took the neck from one P and the body from another to make his bass. These are the leftover parts, combined with some hardware from Allparts. I have no idea where I got the pickup from or what it is.

    1970 Precision Bass. Imitation Candy Apple Red. This is my most recent acquisition. It has been heavily modified. The neck and body have been refinished, and all the hardware and electronics have been replaced. I repaired the end of the fretboard and replaced the Dimarzio Model P with an SPB-1.

    1996 American Standard Precision Bass. Sonic Blue. This bass belongs to my father and is on semi-permanent loan to me. It is basically NOS - I don't think there is a blemish on it anywhere.

    Not pictured are my Japanese '51 reissue and my 1989 Jazz Bass Special, which is a P bass with the wrong name on the headstock.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  2. I like the fact that precision pickups are humbucking, but much prefer them in the bridge position:

    Aras, grrg63, BassmanM and 9 others like this.
  3. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I have to admin I've never Sklar'd a bass and put one at the bridge.

    The logo on those - are those old EMG Select pickups? I remember back in the 1980's Selects had a very similar logo. They put them on low end basses, but my memory is that they were excellent pickups. I think I've had a couple basses with an EMG Select P pickup.
    G RICH 5 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  4. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    Nice collection, but where is the P Five string?
    Herrick, el_Bajo_Verde and G RICH 5 like this.
  5. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    It is missing. I do have a '97 American Standard Jazz V - that is my only Fender 5'er.

    Edit: Maybe I should be a traditionalist and say aa 5-string P bass isn't a P bass, even if I don't believe it. ;)
    40Hz and G RICH 5 like this.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    So you have five basses that sound the same? What's the point?

  7. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    You are most definitely a "P-bass kind of guy"! That daphne is a cool shade of blue (like the T-bird logo!). :cool:
  8. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Fair, I guess. In my defense, I have about 30 others that aren't P basses. I just always seem to end up with one of these in my hands. I could also argue that, in the context of a song, all basses sound fundamentally the same, so why should I have more than two (one and a backup)?

    I could also talk about how I used one (the H-1) as a test bed for off-the-wall mods, like the Jaguar mute. I could talk about the work I put in as a teenager reassembling the '75 and making a collection of parts playable again. I could talk about the 1970 P that I had to figure out neck problems and repair a damaged fretboard and generally work with an old, abused bass to get it back into playing shape. Or that 1970 makes it a birth year bass. Or I could talk about the '96 NOS bass that in another 20 years will be a collector's item and at 21, is still factory fresh. I guess its not the basses; its the stories.

    I have no excuse for owning the Mendel P; I just wanted it.
    BassmanM, Alex O, Joe Ty and 8 others like this.
  9. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    I think your collection is awesome and I totally support anyone's decision to buy whatever bass makes them happy and however many of that bass they like, so don't take anything I'm going to say from here on out as criticism.

    I don't understand your collection, but I would like to. Why do you have five P basses? Do you keep them in different tunings? Do they all have particularly different sounds or feels? It just seems like if you have a P bass that "plays like a dream and sounds like a P bass should," what's the purpose of the other four?

    Then there's this bit:

    Are you moding them to make them more similar? It just all seems so antithetical to the idea of owning multiple basses.

    Maybe that's just from my perspective because I need variety it my collection. For example, I've got a Fender P, so the next bass I get won't be a P and won't be a Fender. I've got those boxes checked already. But maybe that's stupid, because I might find a Fender jazz that's really nice, but I wouldn't get it because I've already got a Fender. And a jazz.

    Again, nothing against you or your basses - they are totally sweet. But I do see posts like this and other, where someone has 8 Fender jazz basses, and I wonder why. And so I would be interested to hear your perspective.
    allenhumble and wvbass like this.
  10. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I tried to get along with the SPB-3. It is a very good pickup. I just like the SPB-1 better. I'm sure there are better "vintage" P bass pickups out there, but for the money, I don't see a reason to look any further. As for the Dimarzio, it is P-like in tone, as is the SPB-3, but I find it easier to EQ that "wooliness" in with the SPB-1 and my amp EQ than to dial it out at the amp. Just personal preference, though. Honestly, both the quarter pounder and the Dimarzio don't deserve the anti-P sentiment they sometimes get; they are both decent P pickups. I went with the SPB-1 on the 1970 bass just because it was a known quantity. I considered a Sullivan, after I lost a bid on a Flying Mojo Duck, but both of those, while interesting choices, are not something I can learn much about before buying.

    To answer your question, though...the Highway 1 and the Mendel P have gotten the most of my playing time for a while now. The Mendel P wins in a more modern (rock or country setting) where I want a bright, stainless steel roundwound tone. I have Dunlop SuperBrights on it. The Highway 1 wins when I want a more traditional tone. It has a little bit older nickel roundwounds on it...XL165's, I think. The Highway 1 also has the mute on it, which is a game changer in terms of tone, not to mention the ability to quickly engage/disengage it between songs. The 1970 P is something I just bought from a friend in the past couple weeks...I did put the "same ole" SPB-1 in it, but I also set it up with La Bella Low Tension flats and a more traditional bridge mute.

    All that is splitting hairs, though. The thing I really notice is that the Highway 1 has a thinner neck with a 1.625" nut width and a 9.5" radius. The Mendel P neck is similar to the Highway 1, but has a 1.615" nut width and a 7.25" radius, which, believe it or not, make it feel significantly different. The 1970 P is a 9.5" radius narrow B, which was common at the time, and at 1.56" the nut width is just a little more than a jazz bass.

    They all feel and sound different. Truth be told, I can make the Highway 1 do everything I need, though, so I get it. Why own more than one? The only real answer is "because I want to."

    If I can speak to variety for a minute...I don't currently seem to need it. If I do, I have a Jazz, a Stingray, a Kubicki, a Dingwall, a Thunderbird, a Gretsch Electromatic, an Urge I, a Hofner Ignition, a Lakland 4-94, a Carvin SB5000, a Coronado II, and a bunch of others, all in their cases and ready to give me variety just as soon as I need it. In fact, on the most recent recording I did for a friend, I used the Ignition, but it was a close call between that and the Highway 1.
  11. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    For what it is worth, I have 7 P basses, if you count the '51 and the Jazz Special. 8 Jazz basses though? That's just crazy. :D
    bobyoung53, rodl2005 and Trouztrouz like this.
  12. half my collection is now p basses. 25% Js and 25% Rics.

  13. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    Thanks for the reply, really interesting. I guess it makes a bit more sense for the P bass since it seems like they've gone through a variety of neck profiles over the years. I bet it's nice to have the different string options ready to go too.

    And that's all you need. Cheers!
  14. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    It is a good excuse to own some basses that are fun to play. Truth be told, I can do a fair impression of dead rounds, flats, and bridge mutes via technique and the tone knob. Having the real thing just makes it easier.
  15. I can never get a 'family' shot done. .. but I s'pose I've got 5 also. 2 'real' P basses :woot::nailbiting:

    A 62AVRI Precision with Fender Flats
    A 60s RW-P Fiesta Red which is just terrific to play. ..Light and resonant.
    The others are a Warmoth 51P with a Lollar split single coil - w/ pressure rounds
    A Squier VM P5 -Fender Flats (& one round wound B string- I've not found flat wound a B string I've liked- too flubby- so I use round wound B's on all my 5'ers)
    20160529_000028_zpsz5mjogc3. (on the left here. ..only pic I can find at the mo):cigar:
    & a Squier P body with a maple fretless tele neck & Dimarzio Pups
  16. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Nice Pollection. Funny how my eyes immediately went to the '70.
    Half of my 8 basses are P's
    wvbass likes this.
  17. ThePresident777


    Oct 6, 2013
    And so the P-basses fell out of the wood work.............
    Alex Bass likes this.
  18. Pocket4

    Pocket4 Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    New Hampshire
    A Daphne Blue highway one P Bass is probably my white whale. So envious.
    JJansen likes this.
  19. hermetic

    hermetic Supporting Member

    May 10, 2016
    "because I want to.", and "Because I can."

    Just because you want to doesn't mean you can.

    Nice collection BTW. :smug:
  20. Adienn7


    Jan 26, 2007
    have you tried the geezer butler EMG?

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