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P/J that does both basses well

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lotusland9663, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. lotusland9663

    lotusland9663 Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Happy New Years fellow TB'rs - hope you all had a great holiday season!

    I'm wondering if there's a P/J product out there that does both the Precision and Jazz sound really well?

    The only one I've tried in the past was a boutique product that when you dialed in the rear (jazz) pick up the volume dropped considerably. Is this a problem with all of these?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I've found the Fender P-Bass Special to be best of both.
    P body and pickup, Jazz bridge pickup, Jazz neck.
    Mine's passive but they also made an active version.
    It's basically a P with the added J pickup treble capability.
    The Jazz neck is a nice feature on a P too.

  3. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i've had really good luck with the g&l sb-2
  4. Catbuster

    Catbuster Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    P/J basses cop a P tone and a more articulate P tone well. They don't really do a J sound well, in my experience of many, many P/J basses.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    A PJ is a P+, not a P and a J. An aggressive PJ with everything dimed sounds more like a Stingray than a jazz, IMO. It never sounds like a J unless you're talking about the solo'd Jaco bridge tone.
  6. IMG_0295_zps72a3ef8d.
  7. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    The volume drop is a problem with Jazz basses as well. It's that famous mid scoop.

    In general you can't replicate a Jazz exactly with a PJ. The point of the PJ pickup configuration is to mimic some of the functionality. Namely you can brighten up the sound with the bridge pickup and get a mid scoop when both pickup volumes are maxed.

    However the PJ has a thicker sound available thanks to the P. Some Jazz players put a series/parallel switch in thier Jazz bass to get that thickness.

    I don't mean to detract from the Jazz sound as it's great but I'd say embrace the PJ for what it is. It has a wide range of tones available if you blend in the bridge, don't always max the bridge volume.

    That being said I agree the SB-2 does a decent approximation of a Jazz bass when both pickups are at full volume. It's a brighter bass than a typical PJ though.
    Laurent, ctpunk, Clutchcargo and 4 others like this.
  8. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Big +1 on PJ's sounding more like stingrays with both pickups on.

    My Ibanez Talman is very good with both P&J tones solo, and is aggressive and stingray sounding with an even blend.
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'm with this ^ --- it's its own 'animal'.
    SLO Surfer and Antisyzygy like this.
  10. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    My experience as well. Unless you consider a J tone the solo bridge pickup sound.
    Sartori and Antisyzygy like this.
  11. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    Fender PJ Mustang imo , does a good P tone and the J pickup is thicker sounding than most and is actually useable soloed
    JusttheBassics and Antisyzygy like this.
  12. Mickey Mao

    Mickey Mao

    Jun 7, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    To approach it from a different angle----I assert that a J bass with the series/parallel switch can approximate a P. I'll sometimes use the J in series when I'm too lazy to switch basses.
    jklymak, onosson and Sartori like this.
  13. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Yeah, and even then most PJs don't have the bridge pickup in the right spot. It's like 1970s Jazz bridge position.

    I'm not sure if that was for looks or because the P pickup is so warm already but yeah.

    Some PJ builders put the J in the right spot. The only factory one I can think of is that special run Fender MIA Magnificent Seven or whatever PJ Standard.
    Sartori likes this.
  14. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I prefer Dual P over PJ. While the Dual P is not as common, it's a thicker, creamier but very articulate sound than a jazz with both pups on.

  15. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Yeah. A lot of basses have overlap. It's just that there is some flavor in there that makes one prefer an option over another option.

    PJs are used a bit differently than a J. You usually rely on the P pickup and blend J to taste. On a J you might favor one pickup or the other a little, or as you mentioned mod it so you can fatten it up with a switch that changes the wiring.

    A PJ could have a series switch too but it's overkill. However a J has those nice bridge-favored blends you can get since the pickups are matched well. The J often sounds a bit thin on a PJ.
    Onward likes this.
  16. tleebassist11

    tleebassist11 Taylor Lee Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2011
    Endorsing: Fodera, DR Strings
    Just purchased this Bassmods P/J 5 string. It has Reed James vintage pickups and this thing kills every PJ I've ever touched. This is a new company and incredibly affordable. IMHO they are made with a quality and feel similar to Sadowsky with a sound that could be considered even slightly "more" aggressive.
    Love this thing!

    Attached Files:

  17. A Jazz bass has more tones that front PU full on or rear PU full on. The 75:25 blend is a specific tone as well (and being humbucking that way). A P style PU just doesn't sound like a front Jazz PU...so they sound different when blended. If you place a pair of Jazz PU with a P placed between them, then one of the PU's will be in the wrong place and will sound different. If you want a pure Jazz and a pure P...then get two basses. If I was to put a 2nd PU in a P....I would choose a MM to pair with it and also get a Jazz bass. With those two basses you could cover a very wide gamut of bass sounds.
    Eikari, WillieB and Whippet like this.
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Lefty Duke 1.JPG I think this Kramer Duke Special does both pretty well - well enough to make non-bass player listeners wonder, anyway. That one big pick up is actually two DiMarzio Jazz pick ups (Kramer called it a "Twin-J"); and, courtesy of a 3-way switch, I can;
    1. Use both pick ups, which does a fair Jazz bass - considering the pick up's position, and lack of separate tone/volume controls;
    2. Use the "bridge" pickup only, which I think sounds even more like a Jazz bass; or
    3. Use half of each, in a P-Bass configuration. Doesn't sound exactly like my '78 P-Bass, but... it's close.
    The Duke was also made with a Di Marzio humbucker in the same spot, and a coil tap switch. I had one of those, too. They sound OK (with the right strings - I used GHS Boomers on mine), but nobody would ever mistake it for a Jazz or a P-Bass...;)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
    Sartori likes this.
  19. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    These are a great bass, especially the MIJ versions...I built mine and put in a SPB-4 and STK-2J and man it gets the Jazz bass tones very well and when I use both pu's it really sings...
    Great bass!

    Attached Files:

    tangentmusic likes this.
  20. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    I actually built mine too...I am using a SPB-4 & SPB-1 with LQII bridge....LOVE the tones...

    Attached Files:

    lowdownthump likes this.

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