J Bass compared to P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pmkelly, Oct 2, 2001.

  1. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    In light of JT's exuberance towards order in this forum, let me preface this by saying that this could probably go in several different cattegories... So fire away and put it where you think it belongs.

    I am interested to see if anyone else has noticed a volume difference between a jazz and a p bass... I have an MIM Jazz, a Geddy Lee, and a MIM P bass. All have badass II bridges, and the j's have dimarzio model j's. The p bass has the stock pickup. All have a similar setup, string height, pickup height, etc... except for the strings, there is very little difference between the three. I have Smith strings (don't remember the specifics) on the p bass and the geedy lee, and I just put Fender originals on the MIM jazz (the nickelwounds I think? they sound cool) Anyway, I don't think there is enough difference between any of the basses to make up for the difference in the volume. I am not sure about all the body woods and all of that, which I am sure would make a difference... Anyone ever notice anything like this? Oh, yeah, I made sure all the amp settings were the same when testing all of this out...
  2. What you may be hearing is a difference noted by the man himself, Leonardius - Fender was having troubles with the Precision beating up their amp speakers. The Precis is designed to have the strings directly above the poles.

    The Jazz was designed to have the strings between the poles. When the string was moving in one direction, it would charge the nearest pole in the direction it was moving. Then when the string recoiled, it would recoil towards the opposite pole, instead of staying over the same pole, so the charged string had less punch. It wasn't so hard on speakers, or as Leo said, "not so percussionized."

    I don't know if this holds true for MIM's. I never tried one.
  3. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    hey rickbass... I liked the theory, and it all made sense to me, until I got home from work and investigated, and found that that on the pbass the strings are also between the polepieces... So I would assume that because both the j and the p pickups have the strings in the same location with respect to the polepieces, I have to think that the string motion would be the same for both...
  4. Maybe one of the owners after Leo left changed it. Mine's pre-CBS.

    If that's how your strings are positioned, I would assume they would be the same as well.
  5. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Pre-CBS? Whoooa, that has gotta be pretty cool...

    This might be one of those things where I just have to suck it up and deal with it.... I would have never thought the output from a MIM pbass pickup would beat out Dimarzios.

    Thanks for the input

  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    so which is louder?
  7. davelowell

    davelowell Guest

    Jan 18, 2001
    stl, mo
    from 1951 to 1956 the p had single pole pieces, then in 57 it was changed to what we commonly know as the p pickup, so that might be the confusion, also, leo sold to cbs in 1965.

  8. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO

    th p-bass.... go figure!

  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    As far as box stock Fenders,imo the P's have always seemed louder than the J's,with the MIM P being louder than the MIA P.

    ..........although I prefer the sound of my MIA P over any other Bass Ive ever owned.........but thats irrelevent to the topic here........
  10. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    i wish i could offer some kind of direction here, but all's i can say is that i've experienced the exact same thing through my experience with the two. i think the quietest was my mia jazz. i had cheap copy p-basses that had double the volume output and i was always puzzled by that. so, you're not the only one that wonders about these things. later
  11. Ps are generally louder than Js as...they have a higher output! A lot of this is to do with the fact that the P bass pup sections are wired in series, whicle jazz basses are wired in parallel. If you wire a J's pickups in series, it will blow a P out of the water. Well, rock it a bit, anyway. I have both my J style basses equipped with a little switch that allows me to choose either a traditional parallel circuit or a punchier series conenction.

    Warning: if you wire your jazz bass in series, it kind of stops sounding like a jazz bass.
  12. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    That sounds like the best answer that I've gotten so far.... I don't want to change how either sounds, I was only curious about the difference in the volumes... and that sounds like a winner to me! Thanks for all the info from everyone!