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P/J - Best of Both or Neither One

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jwsamuel, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. jwsamuel


    Apr 26, 2004
    I am trying to get single bass that will do just about everything I want. The type of music I play is mostly rock or country type of stuff.

    Does a P/J bass like the Fender Precision Special give you the best of both the Precision and Jazz? Or is it a poor combination that does not cover either the Jazz or Precision tone?

    I prefer the Precision tone but I also prefer the narrower Jazz neck.

  2. If you really enjoy the P tone, just get a P bass and stick a jazz neck on it.
  3. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Well I'm sure some people will tell you that if you like the precision tone, then get a P-bass and buy a jazz neck to put on it. I've heard that several people have done that. If it's really about the neck, then you could just go with that.

    I myself have a Spector with PJ pick ups. It gives the precision tone, yes, but the jazz tone is mostly twangy, since that pick up is at the bridge. But in all honesty, I havn't played a J-bass enough to know what they normally sound like.

    But hey, I say go for it. You can get a wide range of sounds out of it.
  4. BSR6P-Bob


    Apr 5, 2005
    I'd recommend just getting a real Precision Bass and adapting to it's neck. I know a lot of players who go back and forth between Jazz and Precision depending on the requirements of the song. Just as many players go back and forth between 4,5 and 6 string basses.

    IME nothing sounds quite like a Precision but a Precision. And you will probably want to audition a few to find the one that will make you happy.

    Just food for thought.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Find yourself an old peavey foundation S. Skinny, yet comfy neck, and the Jazz amd P tones are covered, very well i might add.
  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I have a Precision and I'm putting a Jazz neck on it.

    I am a Precision sound nut...and many basses come close, but none sound exactly like a P-Bass, except a P-Bass. It has to do with the P-Bass pickup and location of that pickup more than anything (though I'm sure others will disagree).

    Either find a real Jazz neck or get a Warmoth Jazz neck and put it on the P-Bass...best of both worlds.
  7. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I look at the P/J as it's own unique instrument. Of course, most of the P/Js that I've tried had regular necks (either a P neck or a standard 5-string P neck). To me, the sound is definatley slanted to the "P" sound, since all you have to do is crank the volume on the bridge pickup down and you're right there in P mode. Very few jazz bass players play with ONLY the bridge pickup on with no neck pickup. While some guys love that classic P tone and don't need a thing more, there is something to be said for the P/J tone...the ability to blend a P and a J together provides tones that neither a jazz or a P (in traditional form) can provide.
  8. fender_mod


    Jun 23, 2005
    i play a p/j and i really enjoy it, IMO it is the best of both worlds if your a fender player. between the neck and the pickups you can do alot with it.
  9. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I remember reading a Bass Player mag review of a Mike Lull P/J bass several years ago where Lull said that a J pickup in typical '60's J-bass bridge position interacted unfavorably with the P
    http://www.mikelull.com/Press/p4_review.htm I don't know if other people agree with that.

    I do remember folks around here saying that the Fender Hot Rod Precision (an American P/J discontinued several years ago) didn't sound quite the same as a plain P, even with the J pickup off. When I tried the Hot Rod side by side with plain Precisions I thought the Ps sounded a bit better.

    I have a Godin SD-4 P/J and I had a Guild Pilot P/J with EMGs. I usually end up using mostly the P pickup (what a sound!) but the J (especially if it's humcancelling) is good for blending in a bit more brightness and edge.

    People who I associate with the P/J sound: Victor Wooten (Fodera w/EMGs), Mike Watt (Minutemen/fIREHOSE era when he played that white bass with EMGs, Tele neck, and claw bridge) and Duff McKagan of Guns & Roses (Fender Jazz Bass Special). As someone posted above, the Spector P/J setup is a modern classic; also the G&L SB-2 is wonderful (as are the P/J Yamaha BBs), and I've heard Pedulla P/Js that sound great.
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    For phase reasons, there are often minor tweaks done, as well as to try to optomize the sound of just the P pickup and the P/J combo tone. You really can't have things both ways....a compromise has to be made. But, P/J fanatics seem to be OK with the small compromises to get a tone that is essentially a P tone (even if not "exactly") a jazz bass influence with the bridge pickup, and the unique combinations you get when blending the two (that are also different from what you'd get by blending two jazz pickups on a jazz bass). ;)
  11. ss81


    May 29, 2005
    So... does anybody have any sound clips of thier P/J bass with both pickups combined? I'm curious to hear how it differs from a regular jazz. (yes, yes, I know I could just go to my local guitar show and try a few basses out... it's just easier this way.)
  12. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    IMO the P/J is neither, but the combination is a good one.:)
  13. Yes! It'll have to wait a few days though, as they are on another computer which is inaccessible at the moment. It's my Warmoth Jazz with Seymour Duncan Basslines. I love the combined sound of a P and a J pickup. I also have clips of the bridge and neck pups soloed.
  14. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Can you measure the distance from the bottom of the P cover to the top of the J cover, and post that along with a description of your bass' sound?

    I'm thinking of routing a '62RI P-bass for a J pickup and I'm trying to decide where to put it. Anybody with a sadowsky PJ, I'd be especially interested in your measurements.
  15. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    IMO, it's it's own beast with both p/u's on full.

    With each recspective pickup soloed, it does a great job of each.
  16. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
  17. ss81


    May 29, 2005
    Hey, thanks for the clips KayCee. I can really hear how the P pickup makes it sound a lot different from a regular jazz bass.
  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Yep. Awesome. Get a Sadowsky PJ and play the heck out of it

  19. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne

    i had a fender mexi P special when they were still passive. really nice neck, thin, and mine could be set up low and fast, i just got a good one maybe.

    i always dug the p and the soloed j pu tone and liked the tone with the pickups together..

    try one out if you can, but i reckon for the money the precision special was really good.
  20. I recently picked up (bad pun intended) a Precision Deluxe with the Jazz pick up and Jazz neck (Mexican made) and am still exploring the sound, but so far, I'm impressed with the instrument - good sound and great feel.

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