1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

P players, do you ever feel limited by one pup?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KayXero, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. KayXero


    Apr 3, 2007
    Just a friendly discussion for veteran P bass players.

    My first bass was the Squier MB 4. I bought it back then because I liked the look of the bass (i was a teenage punk kid at the time) and needed something affordable. As I got older and became more familiar with basses and guitars, I found that I loved the shape of P basses and strats the most.

    But I could never enjoy a regular P bass. I always felt as if I was limited tonally and that a regular P lacked versatility. I really needed a second pickup in any bass id used in order to get more variety. Never mind that I feel the bass looks naked with only 1 pickup.

    So to the P bass players, do you ever feel limited by 1 pickup despite loving your P tone?
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    No, because between technique and that one tone knob I feel I can get as great a range of tones out of it as any bass.
  3. darrenmt


    Dec 15, 2004
    Never. It is that single PU in that sweetspot that gives that lovely tone. The tone knob does it's job well at giving me what i need and lastly, i love that i can vary the feel and tone of what i play just by adjusting right hand position.
  4. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've been happily playing the same P-bass since '73. After I replaced the pickups with Quarter Pounders and pulled the frets, I never looked back.

    The basses I had before I bought the P-bass had two pickups, but I never heard "my sound" until I got my P-bass.

    I have several other basses, but the ones I play the most are my double bass and P-bass.
  5. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    Well, I don't consider myself a veteran player by any means but....I feel like the P bass is unique in that it's inherently sensitive to hand/picking placement. You can get such a variety of tonal changes with even the slightest position change. YMMV, but that's been my experience with P basses.
  6. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I have never felt limited by a Precision. As others have already said, between the tone control and varying your technique there are many tones to be had from this bass. Then there are the other variables to throw in, such as strings and amps, that there is always something more to discover or pull out of a Precision. It is much more than a "one trick pony".
  7. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    P Basses are limited when compared to a two pickup bass, but they do their thing well.
  8. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    pretty much this. I have used my P bass for pretty much every genre except electronica/techno etc (only cause I have never been asked to...) and no one said a (bad) thing....well, about the tone at least. Me playing certain genres is another story :eek: :D
  9. ^^^^ What all these guys said. Nothing sits in the mix so beautifully as a P-Bass. Who needs two pickups?
  10. KayXero


    Apr 3, 2007
    Good stuff so far guys.

    I guess Im just an options kind of guy. I feel like I get a little of both world with a PJ bass. What would be really nice was if I could afford such a bass with a full PJJ configuration.
  11. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I generally prefer one pickup basses. Leo nailed it with the P-bass but then really brought it home with the Stingray!
  12. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I get 'limited' by the lack of practice that others in the band have failed to do.

    I am limited 'cause the drummer is not into playing the songs, nor does he study them as I do.

    The other limits I encounter musically are largely because I lack imagination to feel them. Or, my body wears out before my mind is ready to.

    The instrument isn't half as limiting as my humanness is.

    I never blame the bass. I see the limits in the mirror.
  13. deathsdj


    Sep 18, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    To me a single P pickup is the very best bass sound you can get.
  14. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    It's just a matter of where and how you strum or pick a P bass. Close to the bridge or close to the neck, tonewise it's a broad and rich spectrum.
  15. Not limiting at all.
  16. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    No. As others have noted, hand placement/picking technique variations give me about everything I need tonally.

    And, maybe it's just me, but I hear two-pickup basses as kind of "blurry"... like two people talking in unison, with some frequencies sorta cancelling each other a bit and some being over-emphasized. It just sounds less "clear" to my ears than one single pickup.
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Not for a second, Although I do play my P less these days as I prefer to pluck closer to the bridge than the P allows. I might add a thumbrest.
  18. jake3

    jake3 Guest

    Aug 23, 2013
    These days I only play P's (a Lak 35" P5, a '78 P fretless and an AVRI '62 P). I'm considering a Lull PJ5 but I'm not sure I need the extra pup. Between the tone knob and right hand technique (where you pluck the string, whether you use a pick or not), there is a lot of variation available.
  19. huckleberry1

    huckleberry1 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    I've got flats on my p-5 and am in tonal bliss with this particular bass, little compression, reverb, and it croons just beautiful and sounds great naked too.
  20. And of course, single p/u's don't only apply to P basses.
    Anthony Jackson certainly doesn't regard any of his Foderas limiting because of their single p/u's. In fact, just the opposite - and then they don't have volume or tone pots either!

    Ok, so that's an extreme example, but It all comes down to classic good design. That applies not only to P basses but Stingrays too.