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Jazz bass tone vs p bass tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wishforbass, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. wishforbass


    Jun 23, 2016
    I know there are a lot of posts about this comparison but after read a lot of them usually people just talk about the difference not compare them .

    I like thick p bass sound ,same time a jazz bass versatility is a great option.

    Jazz bass growl too much ,and doesn't have the thick bass side usually you can hear from humbuckers .
    P can't change shape like jazz and has own style signature sound that can't go away .

    But is there any possible way get the p thick sound from a jazz ?

    Because latley most bass player in my country switch to jazz basses .even metal bands .
    I don't understand how can get ok with lack of heavy thick bass sound and sharp high .

    But maybe there is something that I don't know .
    May I have your idea , experiences over lack of bass on jazz bass and how can player fix this ?

    Only finger and picks style .

    Because I know jazz is a great bass for slap but I don't slap at all .
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Not really, but I understand the series mod (to put both J pickups in series instead of parallel) thickens up the sound considerably. I haven't tried it myself yet though.
  3. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    One question - do you have a Jazz and are looking how to modify it to sound more like a P? Or are you considering buying a different bass that has the sound you want?
  4. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    i have dimarzio model j's in two basses and feel like they offer a nice mix of p and j pickup sounds. mine are individually wired in series. i have not tried them wired in parallel but i imagine they would give more of a single coil vibe.
  5. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008


    Kidding aside, you might just want to look for pickups with different voicing. This thread is a few years old, but might have information you are after.
    J-bass pickups that sound like a P-bass pickup?
  6. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Cary, Il
    I have DiMarzio Area J's in a jazz I just acquired. Didn't think I was a DiMarzio fan, I was clearly wrong, they are completely awesome.

    Being humbuckers, they can cop the P tone pretty well.

  7. wishforbass


    Jun 23, 2016
    I done own it but school have a jazz bass .
    Mim ,
    I have Yamaha pj bass .

    I'm thinking about buying my next bass and kind of most player in my country are jazz user so I don't know is it a good option for me or not .
  8. Felken


    Jun 28, 2016
    Ottawa, CAN
    Yes, you can get the thick p sound with a J. Jazz basses aren't as thin sounding as most people make them out to be. Solo the neck pickup and boost the bass on your amp and you'll get plenty of low end.
  9. DD Gunz

    DD Gunz

    Jun 18, 2015
    Fairly simple mod to place a P Pickup in the neck position. There are models available in this configuration.
    Malak the Mad and wishforbass like this.
  10. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I have the S1 factory mod on my MIA Jazz, makes the two single coils like a big spread out humbucker. Not exactly the same as a P, but much fatter than the standard twin single coil Jazz tone.
    CC088, andruca, bholder and 2 others like this.
  11. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Series/Parallel switch, FTW.
    CC088, M.R. Ogle, onosson and 3 others like this.
  12. No, you can't get a Jazz to put out that big thick bottom that sounds so good in a hard rock band. If you're a rocker I would stick to the Precision, you'll get all the rock gigs from the guys who switched to jazz basses.:D
  13. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    ^^^^This. Depending on the bass, you may also want to roll off a touch of treble.

    Respectfully, I disagree with those who think you can't get a J to sound like a P. I have yet to meet a J that I couldn't make sound like a P.
    Eckie, Felken, Rumble Thunder and 2 others like this.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You can get close with a J. Not exactly the same but close enough for rock and roll.
    Inara, gidbass, Davbassdude and 11 others like this.
  15. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    The magic of the P bass is that the sound is not too bassy, or too trebly. It is right in the mid-bass, above the bass drum and below the rest of the instruments. It can always be heard. Because of pickup placement, a Jazz bass has more bottom and more top end, but less in the middle. Some call it a "scooped" sound. Sounds great when you are practicing, and for certain sounds like slapping and perhaps a jazz trio. There is actually MORE bottom than with a P, but it tends to get covered by the bass drum or just lost. Don't worry about it - stick with the P - it always works. You can also try the series switch with the pickups, but there is always some phase cancellation with 2 pickups, so it won't sound like a P.
  16. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    To me , it's not just the pickups. A P bass body and neck " speaks " differently than a Jazz bass body and neck. For me anyway a P bass plays differently than a Jazz and I will play a little different when I play a Jazz bass vs when I play a P. In one group that I play with I have usually played my Jazz bass but one night on a whim I brought my P bass. Everything fell into place for me with that band on that night.
  17. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    Yes, the J has more lows than a P. I play more P-bass because it has the strong low mids but for Dub Reggae jams I take the J.
    Inara and GBassNorth like this.
  18. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    You can get a thick sound from a Jazz bass if you mainly use the neck pickup and properly adjust your amp's eq. You can also replace the stock pickups with ones that have been over wound which will result in more mids and lows. I installed a set of Lindy Fralin pickups, over wound 8% and they give me a nice tone somewhere in between a traditional Precision and Jazz bass sound. I can still get a great Jazz bass sound. When I want to fatten up the sound, I dial back the bridge pickup and increase the volume of the neck pickup.
    wishforbass likes this.
  19. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    90+% of the folks in the audience will never be able to tell you if its a Jazz or P Bass when played in a mix. Of the remaining 10%, half will spot the visual difference between the two basses and claim they can hear a difference. The other half have truly astute hearing and can pick up the subtle difference or are bass players and know what to listen for.

    So if you're wanting to make a change for your audience, it probably won't be noticed. Your band mates will probably notice and you will definitely notice. Play what inspires you to play your best, if that's a Jazz that's great, likewise if that's a P bass that's great too. If you're playing your best, you, your band mates and your audience will all be happier.

    The obvious has already been pointed out by others - yes there is a difference in sound and neither one will ever sound exactly like the other. The the P bass will be thick and full with a low mid punch to the gut while the Jazz will sound scooped, which may come across as a bit thinner or more nasal sounding in a classic rock type mix. You can EQ the Jazz to get closer to a P Bass sound but it might be a bit harder to EQ a P Bass to get close to a jazz sound. Either one will shine in a solo setting.
    -Asdfgh-, Gasman, veebass and 2 others like this.
  20. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i always install humbucking pickups in my Jazz basses ... either stacked , dual , or split types ...

    read the pickup descriptions ,... pick ones that are warmer ..
    wishforbass likes this.