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J-Bass Neck Vs. P-Bass Neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ninthwondernj, May 19, 2005.


  1. I have a fender P bass...and have never played a jazz one b4, but I have heard that P bass necks are "hell" and jazz bass necks are wonderful. Is this true for the most part? and if so what is the difference between them?
     
  2. P-Bass - thicker, wider neck
    J-Bass - thinner.
    I want to replace my P-Bass copy's neck with a jazz. I have tiny hands and have, after discovering thin necks, fallen in love with them.
     
  3. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Marty's right. P bass necks are wider and, in some cases, thicker as well. I mostly play Jazzes and they have spoiled me for playing my P so I'm considering getting a J neck for it. One thing to consider: Older Jazz necks were not always as stable as P necks because they were thinner. Graphite reinforcement has helped out a lot with that problem.
     
  4. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Quote: "...P bass necks are "hell" and jazz bass necks are wonderful..."

    Different, not better or worse. I have a C width bass, a couple B width basses, and several A width basses. For some reason (probably mostly in my head) the wider the neck, I tend to play things more, er, walking-esque, more root-5; thinner I tend to play busy-er.

    A width has an advantage that I can fret two strings at the same time with one finger (at same fret position), whereas it's a bit tougher on a B, and on a C I have to pick up and move my fretting finger - think of that Jamerson riff on, is it "Can't Help Myself" (lyrics start "Sugarpie honeybunch, you know that I love you...") and how the first two notes, the C and G, can be slurred together more on a A neck, that's what I'm trying to get at.
     
  5. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    USA
    For me, I've never liked Precision necks. They always seemed like tree trunks to me (though not Warwick tree trunk-like; those are the worst necks I've ever played on). It's why I've always preferred the Jazz neck. I can play slow or fast on it, but I've also heard some pretty good players play fast on a Precision as well. I guess it all boils down to what's comfortable and personal preference.

    Now, the P electronics ... I've never liked them at all. One pickup? OK, you can get one sound, but that's about it. The Jazz can pretty much get the P Bass tone, and more. Again, my preference, but I can't understand for the life of me why anyone would want a P Bass with only one pick up. Of course, you could say the same thing about Musicman, but those have active electronics, so there's a difference I think.

    Anyway, to each his own I guess. Yeah, it's cliche, but it's the truth.

    Alan
     
  6. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Both are different beasts - Both are cool in their own way, but there are different neck sizes for both so you have to try each one to see which feels best to you. I used to own a '57 US Vintage P and it was a very nice and good sounding bass, but that huge maple neck just about killed me playing down by the nut, which is where I play most of the time. I've got a cheap MIM P with an active EMG right now that I love. The rosewood neck is much more manageable for me.

    Jazz necks are slimmer and have a taper on them that make the width at the nut much more manageable. Lots of neck to grab on to in the higher register, but it's my favorite neck (next to my Rick 4003S that is...).
     
  7. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I can't be the only person here who actually prefers the P neck!!! I do love a good Jazz neck, but for groove and feel I like my big ol' P...

    -robert
     
    tbplayer59 likes this.
  8. jasonc

    jasonc

    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Just regurgitating what everyone else said:
    P-Bass - Wider/Thicker
    J-Bass - Thinner/Narrower

    Have tiny hands? Get a Geddy. Slim/fast neck - slimmer than reg. Fender J-Bass necks.
     
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Not better or worse, just different. I find P necks a littel big sometimes, but I am still lusting after a good old P for my collection.

    That said, one of the best basses I built was a "60's" P bass with a jazz neck. That was a sweet bass...
     
  10. Exactly. Plus, when comparing nice examples of each it becomes obvious that it's difficult to make one duplicate the other's sound without making it do it.

    I've owned both. A Jazz really wants to just sound like a Jazz and that sound is different than a P. I'm not sure how prominent a role the neck width is in all that (though I'm sure it is a factor).

    Also, I do not get the point about narrower, thinner necks and the implication that in and of themselves that they are better because of it. Is this the consensus? The narrower the better?

    Same goes for the p/u. Do more p/u's make for a better bass? It certainly has the potential for more tonal variety, sure. So is more variety necessarily gonna make for a better bass?

    IMO, comfort comes first because if you're not comfy you won't play long enough to get very far. Obviously this is where neck size is relevant. But this also is where a bunch of crap also begins. Stuff like: Smaller hands need a small neck, smaller necks are "faster", smaller necks sound better, etc.

    No magazine, bass brochure, store salesman, guitarist in the band, KingOfAmps, your Dad, nor your bass hero can tell you if the bass you just played is comfortable for you. The only way to know is to play it for a good while and then think about how you feel afterwards.

    The best advice I received: There are a lot of basses out there and most all of them are not right for you. So choose carefully.
     
  11. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Quote: "I can't be the only person here who actually prefers the P neck!!! I do love a good Jazz neck, but for groove and feel I like my big ol' P..."

    You're not alone. My favorite bass (by far) is a B-neck '73 P.

    Quote: "One pickup? OK, you can get one sound, but that's about it."

    Ah, but what a sound! The tone every bass is measured against.

    Quote: "The Jazz can pretty much get the P Bass tone, and more. "

    Close, but not quite, and the little differences are, well, big differences. But the J tones are great too, vive la differance! (okay, I'm not French...)

    Quote: "Plus, when comparing nice examples of each it becomes obvious that it's difficult to make one duplicate the other's sound without making it do it. I've owned both. A Jazz really wants to just sound like a Jazz and that sound is different than a P."

    Amen.

    Quote: "But this also is where a bunch of crap also begins. Stuff like: Smaller hands need a small neck, smaller necks are "faster", smaller necks sound better, etc."

    Amen again. I still remember seeing John Pattitucci at a small club in the Valley, late 80s. This short guy, small hands, absolutely RIPPING on a wide-spaced 6-string, then absolutely KILLING on an upright.

    Quote: "There are a lot of basses out there and most all of them are not right for you."

    I gotta disagree... I want one of everything!
     
  12. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    I love my jazz bass necks, but two of the most comfortable necks I've played were the 57RI and the Sting. Both are wider than jazzes but they were both on the thinner side in terms of profile. Very comfortable for me as opposed to some late 70s jazz basses with deeper profiles which were not as fun. IME, neck profile maybe makes more of difference than nut width when comparing Precisions and Jazzes.
     
  13. Not sure if it was your thread but in another forum (Set-Up) I asked what A & B necks mean. What can you share?
     
  14. TyKao

    TyKao

    Jun 29, 2003
    A = 1.5" width at the nut
    B = 1 5/8" width at the nut
    C = 1 3/4" width at the nut

    After a fair amount of trying out different kinds of Fender style basses, I think my own preference is based on how low the action can get and whether the bass can be made playable with minimal neck relief. Neither of those seem to depend on neck width.

    I have relatively small hands, but I find it a bit easier to slap on a B width neck (which I think is the same or close to that of a Stingray), and I don't have trouble with getting my left hand fingers on the right notes. However, a well set up "A" neck is very comfortable for me too as long as I don't have to fight the strings.

    As a result, I haven't been able to form a solid opinion on P-bass v. J-bass necks. I'll need to go to a place which has both kinds set up just the way I like it and I have yet to go to a store like that. I think the original poster probably needs to do the same.
     
  15. MCT

    MCT

    Apr 11, 2005
    P-bass necks are the ****. That's only because I have larger hands and I guess ti's what I learned on.
     
  16. KSDbass

    KSDbass

    Mar 25, 2005
    atlanta
    im with rllefebv, I love P-bass necks, and hate J-bass necks. just because I like big necks, because I learned on a rogue. I have normal sized hands too, i just like bigger necks.
     
  17. MovingPitchers

    MovingPitchers Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Vancouver, B.C
    You'd be surprised at how many people are precision bass lovers and not a lot of jazz bass players. I'm a jazz guy and I feel so of the minority among the bass universe.
     
  18. Adienn7

    Adienn7

    Jan 26, 2007
    I like an A neck on a p body. no tone. straight volume. sanded back so no finish in on the back.. 7.25 or rounder radius.. Brass hardware.. and stiffening rods in the neck. the goal is ease of play.. and durability. heavy body- light neck. plus a neoprene strap. neophyte pickup-nicer sound. The main reason for one pickup.. is less is more.. tone is in the hands.. if you need options.. learn how to use your amp.. learn a new playing style.. or just bring few basses.. that are preset to where you like to play it.. the more optiond a bass has-the more potential problems.. some people don't wanna change instruments a lot.. so when you play a set- play all the tunes with the same tuning next to each other.. then when you change the tuning change basses.. plus it gives you breather..
     
  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I have a real love/hate for the P. I play one at the store, love the tone, buy it, then in a few weeks/months realize (yet again) i don't like the bigger neck, and out it goes.

    Regards the neck profile and it's effect on tone. I had a deluxe P for a minute that had a J neck on it and it sounded just like a P bass when the bridge (jazz) pickup was turned all the way down.
     
  20. My very first bass has a p bass neck on it. All but one I have purchased since have had J necks; and I got rid of the 1 p neck bass I purchased; however, I still regularly play my first p bass necked bass and I can play that 1 very effortlessly. On every other bass I've ever handled I prefer J style necks.