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P-Bass Sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grumpy_dog666, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. just sold my MIM P-Bass Special. I couldn't like the sound it gave me. the bottom end, in particular the E string sounded hollow and really lacked punch. I swapped out the pickups for some DiMarzio's and it helped, but still sounded a bit hollow and really couldn't handle the low e like i wanted.

    now it isn't my amp rig. I run a mark bass 410 cab and little mark II head. my stingray and G&L sound magic. the G&L is tuned to Drop C and sounds better. my cheap cort 5 string (has a bart preamp and MK-1 as stock) sounds fantastic on the low b.

    now is it just the way P basses sound, or what?

    it was a MIM P-Bass, with a maple neck. Was it just a mixture of the maple neck or a MIM lemon.

    i want to make sure my replacement p-bass doesn't sound crap.

    i was looking at replacing it with a MIJ or MIA, depending on what i can afford.
  2. The Special has active electronics, right? I say go for a straight-up, passive MIA Precision. The 2008 and on models are really fantastic. Also strings make a huge difference. Try flats, or some different rounds. Don't give up on the power of the P!!
  3. yes - active electronics.

    and had GHS Bass Boomers.......have some flats at home, but i've used GHS for ages and its tough to get away from them.....they sound fantastic on the stingray and G&L........
  4. and i don't know if i could afford a MIA of that year........

    maybe the highway series......
  5. P's seem best passive IMO.
  6. riker1384


    Jan 2, 2007
    I was about to ask a similar question. As a teenager I was interested in the bass. I got a mid/late 90's MIM Precision (not Special) with the poplar body. I was never really happy with the sound I got, and I think that played a part on me never going very far with it.

    At one point I had a bass teacher who had a neck-through Peavey PJ that had been modified; the neck was Jaco-fied and it had Bartolini passives. It had a much stronger, clearer low end. We'd use the same amp during lessons, and my P-Bass sounded thin and wiry in comparison to his bass. At home, I could never get any kick in the chest unless I turned it up so loud that it sounded obnoxious, and boosting the bass would make it boomy or hooty.

    I was wondering what people think of the MIM P-bass and the poplar body. Would I get a different sound with an American Standard or other Fender-style intsrument, or would I have been better off with a neck-thru or something?
  7. that was exactly the problem i got......unless the volume was LOUD, the bottom end sounded thin......

    so passive is the way for a p-bass eh?
  8. LCW

    LCW Inactive

    Mar 2, 2009
    mim p bass with seymour duncan basslines sound really well the bigger magnets really give a deep bottom in its not thin maybe get a gotoh 201 for 40$ and you got a bass u can play for years
  9. looks like all the MIJ are passive too......

    might get a 62 reissue MIJ over a Highway 1.........
  10. riker1384


    Jan 2, 2007
    My P that I had trouble with was a passive.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Not all active P's sound hollow. My Am Dlx P is anything but, with alot of punch to boot. Used ones are less than a grand, if you want to stick with active and still have a P, it's a good choice, imo.
  12. Martizmo


    Mar 26, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    I noticed from my experience that the MIM P bass had a nice distinctive tone when playing alone but when I played in my band with 2 guitar player's (les paul/marshall & SG/Boggie) it would not hold the bottom very well.

    I ended up throwing EMG's in it. When playing alone it had no real good tonal quality's at all. It actually sounded worse then the stock pickups. But when I played in the band It had backbone, you could hear the distinctiveness over the wall of guitars. This is why your G&L and Stingray Stand out when playing. Just my opinion :)
  13. Martizmo


    Mar 26, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    My point was (if i missed it). If you have a wall of guitars in your band. GO ACTIVE!
  14. :confused:
  15. ghostjs


    Aug 14, 2008
    Unofficially Endorsing: D'Addario, Lakland
    yeah a P bass is best Passive
  16. My MIM P-bass with a Seymour Duncan vintage p-bass pu, Badass II bridge and Hipshot machines sounds great! The biggest problem with the MIM Fenders is finding a good one! They seem to be hit and miss. Plus I think it's a good idea to upgrade the pick ups, bridge and machines.

    Good luck!!!
  17. already bought a Lakland Skyline Glaub.....should do the trick
  18. precision punk

    precision punk

    Mar 15, 2009
    it was the mim's pup... they are lower output so they sound veryyy brittle..not only the pup but the electronics... i would definitely get the highway 1
  19. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    MIMs don't have poplar bodies anymore, they're alder.
  20. My experience with P's (had one since 1991)...I think they sound hollow and weak by themselves...

    put them in a band context, however, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME? is this the same bass?

    That's my experience...I ditched an EMG active in my latest or an inexpensive passive pickup, btw...because a cheap chinese auction P-bass was kickin' it's behind!

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