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J/P Bass, or separate dedicated Jazz and Precision basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blueser, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Blueser


    Aug 8, 2009
    I am trying to decide as to whether I want to modify one of my Fender MIA Jazz basses with a P pickup in the neck, or to just buy a Precision Bass to go with my Jazz bass, and have one of each.

    It seems convenient to have both pickups in one bass, but I am not sure which way to go. I really do prefer the Jazz neck, but I don't dislike the Precision neck, so it wouldn't be a show stopper.

    The other thought, was to forgo the whole P idea, and just use the neck pickup on my Jazz with a little bridge pickup added in, and a slight roll off of the tone control, which seems to approximate the P sound pretty well to my ears. I know it's not the same as a dedicated P, but it's probably close enough for Rock and Roll!

    Thoughts, opinions?

  2. MonsterTruck88


    Sep 4, 2008
    In my opinion, the P/J is it's own sound. Even with the J rolled off, it still doesn't sound exactly like a P and to my ears it doesn't like anything like a jazz. I do really like the P/J sound, however... still, if I had a MIA Jazz, I wouldn't do any major mods to it like routing a P pickup... I'd just go to the classifieds and snag a used MIM P or Squier VM P.
  3. In Absentia

    In Absentia

    Jul 5, 2008
    I like separate basses. They don't really ever sound like one or the other.
  4. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    ALL 3! I have a mind blowing P/J and an active Jazz and am currently looking for a passive P that suits my taste.

    My P/J is loaded with barts and gets a great P tone dead bang the i only switch to the J PUP when i need to mellow it out.. in my particular situation i have a 3 way selector switch so i can go all P all J or both with one vol and one tone.Also it has a Jazz neck.

    My Jazz i chose active to get a boomier muddier bass with less growl (though the growl is there if i need it.

    When I pick up a P it will be just to string it with flats for doing thumpier stuff like motown and reggae.

    moral of the story my P/J is my weapon of choice but not every P/J responds this way so choose wisely. the other 2 will be for more specialized "niche" stuff.
  5. I recently upgraded to single-pickup Warmoth Jazz bass to have a P pickup at the neck position.

    It's basically the sound of soloing the bridge pickup on a Jazz bass, or the tone of the P bass.
    The pickups don't really blend well though.


    Do a search in the pickups and electronics section.
    I went into detail on the differences between PJ basses setup for pickup blending, and PJ basses like mine that are setup to solo the pickups only.

    You need to take into account overwinding and underwinding of the pickups, (A matched output set will blend together better, but at the expense of getting authentic tones with the pickups soloed.) placement of the pickups, (PJ pickups sound better when spaced as far apart as possible, but changing the location of either pickup effects the tone of the pickups when soloed.) and your wiring scheme. (People argue with me on the real-world effect versus the theory, but having a second volume pot in the circuit for the J pickup will decrease the output and treble for the P pickup.)
  6. Billy-Bob


    Nov 4, 2005
    So Cal
    I have or have had all three basses, and very much agree with your assessment. Not sure why a P/J won't exactly cop a P or J sound, but it just won't quite get there. It either sounds like a Jazz on 'roids, or a Precision with a little less mud and thump...

  7. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    How about a P in between the two Js? Then the P pickup is in the sweet spot, too.
  8. You mean like a Stu Hamm Urge bass?

    This is what a Jazz bass arrangement looks like superimposed over a P bass:

    As you can see, the J neck pickup and P pickup are right on top of each other.
    Either the P has to move down, compromising the P tone, or the J has to move up, compromising the J neck and neck+bridge tones...
  9. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    If it was up to me I would have 1 of each . I have 1 SX P & 1 SX J bass.
    depends if you have $ & what you want .
  10. I recently picked up a Reggie Hamilton 5 string and I love it and I echo everything in the above post.

    I however love the sound of a J bass on roids, the beauty of a Reggie Hamilton is that it has active or passive, The P bass sound on passive is excellent but if I want to keep it active all gig I can dial in a good P bass sound with a bit of boost in the mids. Apparently the 4 string MIM version of this bass is fantastic and I would suggest trying one out as an option.

  11. I like the idea of owning a convertible and an SUV - one for the summer and the other for the winter. But one thing I don't want is a topless SUV!

    This is why I own a P and a J, not a PJ. ;)
  12. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    I used to own a Fender Hot Rod P with the PJ setup. I agree with others that it had it's own sound and didn't give you an accurate J or P tone even when each pickup was soloed. The problem may be that the J was wound hotter than standard to better match the output of the P so that there wouldn't be a significant volume drop off when switching to the J PUP.

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