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J-MM or P-J?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jdbutz, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. jdbutz


    Feb 10, 2007
    Indianola, Iowa
    Which set-up is the most versatile? I play in a covers band that plays music ranging from 50's to modern rock. I'm looking for a pick-up set-up that could cover as much ground as possible. Thanks!
  2. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    J-mm is more versitile, but if youre' playing some 50's stuff the P-J will suit you better IMHO.
  3. Depending upon what you are playing, there sometime is no substitute for a P with flats. That situation makes a P-J not much use as a J solo. The P-J blend is an interesting sound, sort of a J on steroids. YMMV.

    My solution is a Stingray5/HH and MIM-P. With both pickups, the SR5 dials in a great J-like tone to my ears. It also has a nice Neck Solo tone.

    However, the SR5 isn't a P, and never will be one. Same as a P or J will never be a 'Ray. You should have at least two basses of separate character. If that isn't possible, I'd do the P-J with rounds. IMO this offers the widest range of usable tones for your specified need.
  4. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    IMHO hardly anyone ever uses the J neck pickup alone. So either an HH or PH or PJ configuration would be most useful (esp if the humbucker is spit type). If PJ is the way, the villex system is by far the most versatile (you can add a preamp but you will hardly ever need it)
  5. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    My vote: Quad MM with reverse P... with the MM having a series/paralell/ single coil swich.
    PawleeP and DEMS854 like this.
  6. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    I think you could safely go with a J+MM, and solo the J for the P-bassy stuff. I used to bring 2+ basses with me for shows, but quickly came to understand that no one really noticed the difference, especially when there's FOH support.
  7. J MM - No doubt about it
  8. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    How about P/MM if the MM has a split coil then you can get a bridge J out of it (kind of.)
  9. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Good to hear, I thought I was crazy for being the only one who liked this combo... well in my head at least.
  10. P and MM physically overlap their respective sweet spots. To get around this, one of the other has to move out of its sweet spot, which changes the tone.
  11. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I like this combo also. But I'll suggest skipping the coil split. It's not that useful, IMHO. I'd suggest going with a series/parallel switch. I like my Nordy P/MM combo. Both pickups sound good by themselves and then combined it takes on the best of both pickups. Highly recommended.
  12. Both versatile. Both surprisingly similar yet different...J/MM leans more towards the Funk and Modern road...P/J more towards the classic and country road...but both can do pretty much everything convincingly...
    PawleeP likes this.
  13. +1 Find a bass that is easy to play, comfortable to carry, and has a tone you can live with. That is about as good as it gets.
  14. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    This is my opinion of course, but I think the sweet spot is a myth for this reason. If it is based on where the pickup is compared to string length, well how about when you fret a note... i.e. the sweet spot for an open string is not the same as say the sweet spot for a string fretted at the 3rd fret... now if the pickup moved it would be different.
  15. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    I'm not sure about the "sweet-spot myth". Although the relative harmonic point on the string may change when a note is fretted, it does seem to me that certain pickup positions do impart certain characteristic "voices" into an instrument - e.g. P, J, MM, Ric, etc....
  16. UBU


    Nov 15, 2006
    Go p/mm. Now were cooking with evil gas!
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I would (and do) go PJ and add in a stompable EQ that will let you dial in a couple of different sounds. I used a Trace SM7 for that for a while. I miss that one ...

    Now of course you need to fidn a well balanced PJ set. My take is either the Aero Type 1 or the Lawrence P46/J45 combination. I could be convinced to give Nordstrand a try as well but I haven't heard those yet. Getting the P&J balanced is critical to how useful that setup is ...

    On a P Bass the sweet spot seems to have more to do with locating the pickup at a strong harmonic. So it's more to do with the psition of the pickup between the bridge and nut. Pickup design isn't going to change that much although diferent designs will obviously sound 'differernt' - that position is just harmonically rich. Note that is about where you find the pickup on a G&L L1K as well. That bass is about as close to a P Bass as you can get w/o the split P in my experience.

    Actually the G&L L2K would be a strong contender for the 1 bass fit's all requirements of the original poster. It does a decent P bass emulation - not perfect but not bad. It will do a great J bass and a passable Stingray. My Tribute L2K is a real sleeper of a bass. It's one that I don't worry about in the bar's and it sounds good enough to record with...
  18. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Besides Joe Osborn? ;)

    I'd go with P-MM. Jazz bridge pickups can be on the thin side. A Jazz neck pickup sounds good, but the P is rounder.

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