P sound in J format

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Dave-shortscale, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Dave-shortscale


    Nov 27, 2019
    My first post here, so please bear with me . I am looking for some advice on how I can get a P type of sound in a jazz bass pup. When I was looking for a new bass, I had been looking at various PJ options. I stumbled onto a Chowny SWB-1 on CL, and for a variety of reasons chose that. I am very pleased with it overall and in most details. However, having a pup (without routing) that could give more of a P sound would be more versatile.

    (I have searched the forum for this topic, but could not find it… If there is a thread out there, a reference to that would be helpful.)
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you want a P bass sound, you are best off getting a P bass. Simple as that. Putting it very simply, a P gives you more, a J doesn't.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  3. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    You can get a set of humbucking J pickups. Most are split coils wired in series just like a P Bass pickup. This kind of pickup will get you closest to a true P sound without modifying the body of the bass.
  4. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    Buy Mark Hopus Signature bass
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Use just the neck pickup. Depending on the type of pickup, a jazz bass can do a very convincing imitation of a precision style bass.
    MBeanBass, BLDavis, db59 and 12 others like this.
  6. Dave-shortscale


    Nov 27, 2019
    Thank you for replies so far. I will tighten my request... how can I get the versatility (and sounds) of PJ with 2 J pups?
  7. Dave-shortscale


    Nov 27, 2019
    @socialleper - thanks. I have done that, and that is more of the sound I would like; I’m just looking for ‘more’ of that.
  8. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I’d put a DiMarzio model J in the neck and leave the single coil jazz bridge alone. The model j does a “not exactly but pretty close” p bass tone; the single coil will give you the tone and bite (and hum) just like in a PJ
  9. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I'm not really tracking what you mean.

    If you mean even closer to a split single coil tone out of a jazz shaped pickup, there are split coil jazz pickups. They are mostly for canceling hum, but do change the tone a little to give it a darker P style tone.
  10. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    This ^^
    The Dimarzio model J is a beefy, noise cancelling pickup with a nice vintage tone.
    grouse789, Jacobfred, FishDub and 6 others like this.
  11. fermata

    fermata Guest

    Nov 10, 2015
    Without replacing pickups, there are two main approaches to getting a P-ish sound. One, as mentioned, is to favor the neck pickup. The second is to wire the two pickups in series (or install a series-parallel switch, if you want both options). There are a number of threads on this, including this large one: Jazz bass wired in series
    BLDavis, Freddy T, Paco Leon and 3 others like this.
  12. lucas303


    Mar 11, 2019
    You might like this video, comparing the P pickup to the J neck pickup:
  13. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Add a series / parallel switch to your jazz and run it in series when you want a P like sound
    BLDavis, dabbler, Hopkins and 7 others like this.
  14. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    What you’re looking for doesn’t exist. If it did, it would probably be the most popular bass pickup ever. ;) This subject has been discussed many times on this forum. The consensus seems to be that the Dimarzio Model J is as close as you’re going to get. :)
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    You could use split J pickups. It's "pretty" close. Fralin and some others make split J pickups that are drop in retrofits for a standard J type pickup. Like the Man says, they're a little fatter than a typical single coil J.

  16. LoTone

    LoTone Clean as an Entwistle... Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Quebec, Canada
    Try this:
    • Max volume on neck pickup
    • 80% on bridge pickup
    By backing off the bridge pickup, you will remove the typical Jazz Bass mid scoop and you will get some mids back.

    See how that goes.
  17. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    In line split is the closest you'll get. It'll have a lot more mids than the single coil, with a different high end frequency. Not quite a P, seeing as how it actually straddles the sweet spot instead of sitting in it, but almost un noticeably different.
  18. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Ain’t gonna happen, you might get close but not close enough, you want a P sound get a P...if you try to do all these modding suggestions your gonna spend a lot of money that could go towards a Pbass...
    Geri O, Meaculpa, BazzaBass and 3 others like this.
  19. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Well, I will concede that a P-bass gives you the P-bass sound far better than a Jazz Bass trying to emulate a P-bass sound. But the Precision-Bass is a one trick pony. It can't give you more than a Jazz can. What it can do is give you the P-Bass sound you are looking for and truly the only way to really get that...is to get a P-bass. Bear in mind, it can't give you nearly the plethora of sounds your Jazz bass can.

    A Jazz Bass can make a passable imitation of a P-bass. A P-bass has no chance of sounding like a Jazz Bass without that second pickup - thus the popularity of P/J basses.

    Takes a bit of experimenting to get something close to a P-bass out of a Jazz. First make sure your neck pickup volume and your tone knobs are set all the way up. Then turn the bridge volume down to 1/2 way. Now play a bit and see what you think.

    If that didn't do it, then drop the tone down to half-way also. And try again. If that still doesn't do it for you, drop the tone all the way down, which effectively cuts all the treble out of the tone. That usually doesn't sound right on most Jazz Basses, but once in a while it does. And be aware, although you can get close, it's not going to be the same as the sound that P-Bass makes...or as the saying goes, "Close, but no cigar!"
  20. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    Add mids to your EQ (bass and amp as needed)
    Favor playing over the neck pickup
    Like mentioned already back off on the volume of the bridge pickup
    No instrument will sound 100% like another
    A 4001 cannot duplicate a 500/1
    And they are not intended to
    You can get close though
    Try the stuff people here are stating that does not cost anything first
    Modify with new pickups or wiring next if you are comfortable with that

    Best of luck to you
    Joebone and Dave-shortscale like this.