P sound in J format

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

  1. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    OP - you've perhaps unknowingly stumbled upon a religious topic here. People on this board are so obsessive about purity in P-bass tone that they'll argue that a PJ bass with the P pickup soloed won't sound correct because the J pickup is there and is magnetically affecting the vibration of the string in a way that would not be happening were it absent. It's something to observe.

    As a practical matter, soloing the bridge pickup on a jazz bass and perhaps adding some midrange in the EQ will get you close. Might want to focus on a vintage-designed set of J pickups, as those might be less scooped than something with a modern approach. Like Fender vintage 60s pickups versus Sadowsky humcancelling pickups.

    You won't fool anyone in a recording studio that way, but if you're playing a cover tune at a show (for instance) where the original used a P-bass and you want that chunky sound out of your J, you can get by.
    BLDavis, Dave-shortscale and dwizum like this.
  2. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    A Dimarzio model J in the neck position, soled, will (despite protestations to the contrary) get you within the "P window" - no, it's not exactly the same, but the variations you can get from changing strings will be more difference than the pickup difference.
    squarepeg and Dave-shortscale like this.
  3. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Another vote for the DiMarzio Model J. I've been using them for that exact purpose since they were a new pickup with a "Patent Applied For" sticker on them in 1981.
    squarepeg and Dave-shortscale like this.
  4. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Before you burn a lot of money on pickups, pick up a set of these and see what you think


    These (CALIG B73 & B74) A/B'd very nicely against the Duncan, Dimarzio, Lace, EMG, Sadowsky and various Bartolinis in my big JB pup shootout last year. Big and fat, high output and very low noise. I was pleasantly surprised...
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
  5. Dynacord


    Jan 1, 2005
    I quite like walterw's series wiring. Maintains independent volume control on both pickups (some series wiring does not) and still sounds like a Jazz overall - but I find if using the neck pickup and just dialing in enough of the bridge pickup to kick in the series fatness it starts sounding pretty P-bass like to me. YMMV. And this can be a no cost option (while it recommends 500k pots, I'm using the stock 250k).

    Matthijs, RRWesner, yodedude2 and 2 others like this.
  6. diegom

    diegom Supporting Member

    I don't think many people in here have actually seen the bass the OP is talking about...
    SWB-1 Scott Whitley Signature | Chowny Bass
    It is definitely NOT a Jazz Bass. It is a short-scale with a pair of Jazz single-coil pickups, very close together. I bet this would have a very beefy tone with a series-parallel wiring mod. In fact, it would probably sound bigger than a regular Jazz, given the pickup-spacing.
  7. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    Here ya go ...

    51 Split-J

    ... 50's style Precision pickups housed in J casings requiring no mods to your J-Bass. Check out this video ...

  8. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Yeah, I’d first try series wiring (free).
    Also, try a small loading cap on the neck pickup (very cheap).

    Swapping pups...Model J is a classic and inexpensive choice. Measure dimensions, perhaps you’d need two neck pickups?

    Also, while I’m not sure how string spacing would work out, but Nordstrand makes 51P split coil pickups in jazz cases. Those could work really well too. Or perhaps their blade J pickups, which would sidestep the string spacing issue altogether...
  9. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    ha, beat me to it :)
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
  10. Outbush


    Nov 6, 2016
    Rightly so many people will chime in and tell you you need a P pickup (pup) to achieve that, and its true to a purist and a bunch of bass players.

    However, there are options such as preamps that can help you get really close. The Tech21 Samsamp BDDI (Bass driver direct input - the black and yellow one) is an amazingly versatile tool that can really change the sound of your amp and rig. In the quest for a P sound it can also add a lot of "thump". They have been around for a long time and are solid and reliable so you may find the secondhand too.
    BLDavis, Freddy T and Dave-shortscale like this.
  11. Meaculpa


    May 18, 2019
    This is how I used my old J, it comes close but it is really not the same... Once you play a P there's no turning back if you're really into that kind of sound haha!
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
  12. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I've played everything from Blues to Classic rock to Nortena to Cumbia to Tex Mex to Old School to R&B to Country to top 40 to pop to indie to disco etc. with a Pbass, pretty damn good for a one trick pony if you ask me...
  13. mcrawfordmusic


    Dec 11, 2010
    IMO you won’t get it to sound like a P bass.

    You can get in the ball park by favouring the neck pickup. Bring a little bridge pickup in for a PJ type thing.
    Dave-shortscale and BazzaBass like this.
  14. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Just noticed, I meant to say mids.
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
  15. Shorelinegold

    Shorelinegold Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2017
    All things considered, I'd rather be in Philly
    No one in their right mind would pay me to endorse them....

    I have Model Js on my Jazz and the neck pickup has a great beefy tone when soloed. Not P bass territory quite but close...closer than any other J I've tried.
    Dave-shortscale and Slater like this.
  16. FishDub

    FishDub Stuck in the 80s and happy about it Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    What if twin Dimarzios in a jazz bass were to happen? Just as beefy and nice?
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
  17. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    Is there a PJ sound? I always thought a PJ combo was an attempt to give you a full-on P sound (just neck pu) or a full on J sound (both pups). I am kinda anti-PJ. I prefer to play a P-bass or a J-bass.
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
  18. Maybe put a jazz neck on a P?
  19. DOOMonkee


    Jul 9, 2020
    Model Js are a good suggestion. Just to add my own two cents, I felt the same way, and went with two Model Js. It was a good sound, but I found I lost too much of the Jazz sound for my own taste. It's kind of a gamble, I still favor the responses of getting a P bass because if you have both side by side, the Model J is not going to sound as good as a P bass for "that P bass sound." If you're interested, I have my Model Js and a control plate wired with push-pull pots for split coil parallel options and both pickups in series. I would be willing to sell that at a lower price to save yourself some worry if you choose to go down that path. It also gives you a few options for sounds if you find that standard Model Js are too dark. Having that single coil in the bridge is a cool idea, I haven't tried this but, in my config two Model Js at full volume or in series really shine for deep doom metal tones.
    Dave-shortscale and CallMeAl like this.
  20. Outbush


    Nov 6, 2016
    Would you be willing do us a review when you've had a few weeks with it? Interesting looking bass.
    Dave-shortscale likes this.
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