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I'm a P-Bass guy from now on!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by stratovani, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. An observation...

    Just got back from an outdoor gig, and I brought my son's Squier Affinity J-Bass as a backup and to try out on a couple of songs. Now his bass is stock, and, goose it as I might, it simply couldn't cut through the mix. Now my Squier Affinity P-Bass had no problem cutting through the mix, but it's heavily modded, with Fender MIM pickups in it. It was just thundering all through the set. So, until he mods it, I think I'll stick to the P from now on. ;)
  2. Blasto


    May 12, 2009
    I once had an affinity P, with Hot Rail pickups in place of the stock ones. I also modded so I could throw phase. It was actually a good sounding bass set up like that.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    p's are great. j's are great. lately i find myself favoring the p tone again after years of being told it wasn't "classy" enough. but i've heard enough people kill on both to where i know that if i can't find a good tone on either, it ain't the bass' fault ;)
  4. T40Chump


    Jul 12, 2008
    Plano, TX
  5. Amen.

    I don't tend to like P-bass tones, but at the same time, I'll never sell mine. It plays beautifully, and can cut through pretty good in the right situations. (It's a '68 blonde beauty that as a stupid teenager, I modded a whole lot, even added a bridge pickup - God I was stupid!) It doesn't carry the bottom end as well, but I used all night tonight at a gig with a jazz quartet and thought it was both fun to play and sounded good. I never use it live with my reggae/rock band, but did use it frequently on our CD that we put out earlier this year.

    Anyway... I'll never fault someone for playing a P-bass.

  6. I am always skeptical of claims that something is 'cutting thru the mix.' Did you walk off the stage during the gig and listen out in the audience? I do go out front during soundchecks from time to time, and I am usually reminded how different things sound out front compared to the stage mix. How do you know what you sounded like out in the audience thru the front of house mix?
  7. thefruitfarmer


    Feb 25, 2006
    Kent UK
    The sound of the P Bass fills a gap in the mix below the guitars and just sounds natural to me.

    I think it is such an established sound that it seems like a natural starting point in a way.

    That said I believe most of the tone comes from the fingers....
  8. One more thought...you are saying that P-Basses 'cut thru a mix' better and that now you are a 100% P-Bass dude now. That's cool man...but, the J Bass you are referencing is a stock Squire Affinitty J Bass...it's your kids bass...your kids. If you think that a Squire Affinity J Bass is what would someone might bring to a P vs. J bass throwdown...well fire up the Pinto and bring it on down to the Indy 500 dude. The P you played is 'highly modded', right? News flash: both P and J basses can 'cut thru a mix'. Put a Squire P up against a Fender Custom Shop Jazz or a Sadowsky J bass and then let us know what is 'cutting thru the mix.' Neither is better than the other, and there are phenomenal examples of P's and J's and there are utterly atrocious examples of P's and J's. I just think your post and comparisons are a bit absurd based on the gear you used as a comparitive reference. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you found a bass that you love to play, but to assume that those 2 basses represent the whole of what exists in the P and J world is simply rediculous.
  9. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    Used to be if is said "Fender" it was a quality instrument. Now days those "instruments" go for $5K to $20K. Most musicians like me can't afford that so we wade around in the $95 to $300 range. Huge variation in build, quality, hardware, tone. I can usually coax a piercing tone out of any of my 8 basses and half of them are a POS. I have found that a couple rooms seemed to suck the tone out of any bass or amp combo that I tried. Lots of variables out there.
  10. I can only report back based on what I've experienced. You're wrong to think I'm assuming that because I played my son's bass and I'm comparing it to my P, that I think it applies to all J's and P's the world over. Of course it doesn't! And you're right, I didn't check the FOH mix, simply because I was on stage in the middle of a song and so I couldn't go out and check it, could I! But really I don't care about the FOH mix, it's not my problem. All I know is that the J sounded weak, and the P sounded killer.
  11. I guess we'll have to disagree on this one, Jimmy. There are times it IS the bass' fault, and this was one of those times. I'm a good enough player to know the difference! ;)
  12. Actually the FOH mix IS your problem. You are playing to an audience, not the guys on stage. Consistently the way I have my rig set up on stage, and even the way my gui****s have their rigs , it sounds like poo on stage. Out in the house... it's glorious. THAT is that matters.
  13. Disagree! That's why there's a soundman!
  14. THORRR

    THORRR Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Parker, Colorado
    Sorry, I have to go with Jimmy on this one.

    You can coax a do-able sound out of most any bass if you have the right amp and know how to use it with your instrument. There's no substitute for good playing and doing your homework to get the best sound out of what you've got.

    Sure, better equipment makes it easier and better overall, but it's never a substitute for ability & practice.


  15. It is funny how people get different results in different band situations. I am just the opposite of the OP. I have both a P and a J. I find the J has the better tone and fits in with my band better. I have had comments from the others in the band as well as audience members who tell me that the Jazz bass sounds better to them. Last night for example played my P for the first two sets, trying to give it some playing time. Switched to the Jazz for the last two sets and right away could hear a clear difference. I have decided to stick with Jazz basses from now on and am selling the P.
  16. wow... I honestly have no response to such a statement. Letting someone else take the responsibility for YOUR sound? Just wow.
  17. I love my SX jazz bass, I just don't seem to reach for it as often as I reach for the P bass, for the moment anyway. I think it's probably because I decided to switch strings from chromes to prosteels on it, but I just don't dig it sometimes. When it had chromes it got this mwah that sounded dead up like an upright bass and I want it back! I think a new set of chromes and a new wiring harness will throw me back into the honey mooning phase with it.
  18. X
  19. In summation: you were not declaring the P bass victorious over J basses. You were simply saying that your sons Squire Affinity J bass doesn't sound very good compared to your modded P bass. Regarding the mix, your P sounded better ON STAGE through your rig than that sucky J Bass sounded. Boom. Done. Happy playing.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    can i have your son's squire jazz? ;)
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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