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P bass J bass comparison

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Amorphous, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Amorphous


    Oct 31, 2003
    Hey everyone, now to start this post - I am a complete bass newbie, I've only ever played my friend's Fender Squier P-Bass.

    With that said, I'm looking for music/sound clips of just jazz or precision basses(to compare the two). It would be great if they were the same brand, like SX J and P or Fender J and P..but just anything would help. I tried searching this forum but came up empty handed. The reason for me doing all this is I'm saving up for my first bass, and it will probably be an Essex from Rondomusic. I fell in love with the look of the SX - SJB 62 QMD Red model, but as it's a jazz bass, I don't really know what kind of sound it's going to produce, nor do I know what sound the Essex P basses will produce. I'm trying to learn all I can before I really need to choose one.

    Many thanks,
    Morph :bassist:
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The best way to learn about a bass is to play it!

    it's unfortunate that essex basses, which are pretty darn good for the money, are not more readily available at big stores like GC, so that beginners, like yourself, could learn more before they buy.

    that said.

    GENERALLY speaking , Precision basses(P) have a fatter tone, fat,deep, and round. though they certainly can be versatile, they usually have a fat underbelly.

    Jazz basses, generally have a sharper, more growly tone, with a lot of PUNCH. Again, there is a lot of room for adjustment, with different playing styles and equipment and what have you, but those are some of the basic characteristics.

    While you are specifically asking for recordings, the overall question in your post is more of a 'which bass is right for me?' post.

    So I'm going to move it to basses, where the basses[BG] goons can help you out.

    TB member vanselus has a webpage www.basstasters.com

    it's a pretty great webpage for sound comparisons, however it's mostly for high-end basses and gear.

    but you might garner some information from it.
  3. Diddo!!!!

    You are about to unleash a deluge of info about P and J basses. Hold on to your hat. Although what you may get will be valuable and good info, the whole "choosing a bass" thing is summed up in what Wrong Robot said. Go out and play as many basses as you can. Set a price limit, and then spend the better part of a day visiting music stores playing the basses. Remember to either take your amp with you, if you can, or play into something very similar as you want to take the amp out of the equation when selecting a bass.

    Now as for P or J basses. Another way to think about the difference in sounds of a P and J is like this. Think of the P as having the classic bass sound of old rock, blues, or that type of sound. The jazz has a modern sound of fusion, pop, etc. (WARNING! I know that P and J can do both.) This is just a possible reference so you can compare it to the type of music you are playing.

    I run both a P and a J. The P has flats (Flat wound strings) for the Motown traditional sound, and the J has the rounds for the punchy attack tunes.

    Good CD examples for you to listen to:
    P bass of Duck Duhn with the Blues Brothers CD.

    J bass of Tommy Shannon with Stevie Ray Vaughn's "In Step"

    I'm sure others here can give you even more CDs to listen to. Check it out and I hope this helps.

  4. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
  5. panazza


    Nov 23, 2003
    what kind of music do you play?this is important when choosing a new bass... what kind of sound would you like the bass to have?
    Just yesterday I setted up and played for a bit a squier precision... damn hell I liked it so much! I have a mexican fender jazz but I liked much the precision kind of sound (even if the sound of my jazz is definitely better) because it has a thicker, fuller sound. I can't obtain the same thickness on my jazz... I play heavy rock so I wish I should've buyed a precision.. but the one I tried at the shop sucked so I chose the Jazz. Anyway I don't know why I hate bridge pickups on fenders. I only use the neck pickup.
    If you find some squiers try them out... you could find a very good bass (together with many crap ones!)... if you find the right one it could be a very nice sounding bass.
    I also tried some music man copies that sounded very very good... If you wanna play aggressive music that's definitely better.
    I also discovered that GSR200 by Ibanez are quite nice basses for a newbie of bass... but I won't buy a bass like that... to me classic-shape basses are just too nice!
  6. Amorphous


    Oct 31, 2003
    Wow, thanks for the replies guys! Very informative.

    As for what kind of music I'd like to play, I'm not sure. I'd like to play along with my friends(they have mostly a rock style) but I'd also like a very mellow classical tune as a higher priority, either to just duo with the drummer(who I play the most with) or to do just some nice solo.

    When I watched a video of the band No Doubt called "Don't Speak" , I noticed the bass player Tony Kanal - looks like he has a bass with P&J pickups. I'm not sure if the tone in that song is more of a P bass sound or J bass, but it's very nice(probably just expensive bass lol).
    (No Doubt video can be seen here for anyone who'd like to see ;).)

    Anyways I was wondering how basses with both P&J pickups stand up? Unfortunately Rondo's music only has the Samick SOYB35F CS 4-String Bass and the SX SB-301 as the only basses with both pickups, and I can't find much feedback on either of them. They both look very nice, I'm just a little concerned with the inability to find out much about them. So any information on any dual pickup basses would be highly appreciated.

    Much obliged,
  7. panazza


    Nov 23, 2003
    If you can find a precision with a jazz pickup at the bridge that's the best choice... squier precision basses have that configuration but I tried two of them and the bridge pickup was s**t
  8. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    P bass: James Jamerson

    J bass: Jaco Pastorius
  9. Essexbass


    Nov 8, 2003
    Reading, U.K.
  10. Amorphous


    Oct 31, 2003
    When I searched for Yamaha BB3000 basses, an interview came up with Tony Kanal in which he states he was using that bass in the "Don't Speak" video. ;)

    It seems neither of those basses are on the Yamaha website though, I guess they aren't made anymore?:meh:

    I don't know if this bass is high quality or not, but does anyone have any experience with it? It looks like the good bet for the $ , considering how highly SX basses are regarded here.

    Much Obliged,
  11. Essexbass


    Nov 8, 2003
    Reading, U.K.
  12. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Seems like everyone have been supplying each other with wrong information.

    The Yamaha BB2004 bass is completely different from the BB3000s. The BB2004 is Nathan East's new signature bass. I have one(awesome bass by the way).

    Tony had(still has) 2 BB3000s and a BB1600s. The one you see in the No Doubt vid is the BB1600s. They were made in Japan in the 80's. Yamaha Japan still produces the Yamaha BB3000s though if you're interested. I'm saving up for one right now.
  13. Amorphous


    Oct 31, 2003
    Heh, I'd love to get one, but right now I don't have ANY bass ( :eek: ) and those are priced at what...$1400? I'll keep it on my wishlist, and maybe one day..

    Thank you for the information though.

    But I think for now my only affordable option is an Essex. ;)
  14. RedBlueFireMan


    Jul 16, 2005
    get an SX bass off rondomusic.net, shipping is a pain in the assm but they are 120 (150 with shipping) and they are about as good a a 3-400 dollar fender. and for an amp just pick up an inexpensive behringer from guitar center or wherever.
    I reccomend the spb 57 tm bass.
  15. Amorphous , this is what you need if you want to compare a Jazz to a P .
    I'm new here to , and I'm addicted to thia site .
    This body was custom made by A guy in Utah , I found him on Ebay . Pickups are EMGs that I bought used .
    I . like you could not decide if I wanted a P or J .
    Same configuration as Fenders Stu Hamm model .

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