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P Sound out of a J pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bobbykokinos, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. I have a jazz bass that I would like to put a P "style" pickup in the neck position. The more I play P bass style basses, the more I like the sound.

    Is there a J pickup that emulates a P bass pickup pretty well? If not, is there a way to install a P pickup on a J bass and have it look decent? I have an essex that I wouldnt mind trying this configuration with. Rondo use to have a jazz bass with a P pickup but it looks like its sold out..

    I did a search and couldnt really find anything. If this has been discussed, can someone direct me to the info?
  2. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    You've got several different options available to you...I'm sure many more will chime in on this but:

    Many different Pickup brands have split-coil (P Bass) pickups in a Jazz pickup housing. I don't have a list but I know I've seen several.

    Go that direction if you don't wanna mod your existing bass.

    If you dont mind mod'ing your bass, remove the pickguard, get a P Pickup template from somewhere like Stewmac.com, get a router/dremel tool and shape the existing J cavity into a P cavity (of sorts) and after you mount a different P Pickguard onto the bass, the guard will cover the excess cavity hole.

    Personally, I feel that a good P-J configured bass, has the potential to have the widest variety of tones out there. You can get the warmth of the P bass and the cutting mid's of a Jazz bass.
  3. Although not exactly the same sound, modding your bass with a series/parallel switch should get you pretty close to the P sound while leaving all the normal J sounds, too. I'm very happy with the results on my bass, although I like the series setting so much I will hardwire it in this weekend. Instructions have come up on the forums a few times.
  4. I'll search for this info then.. Just curious, do you know if this switch is only for passive basses, or will it work with active basses also?
  5. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
  6. I know the series/parallel mod will not work with active pickups (like EMGs) but it should not be a problem if you use passive pickups with an active preamp (this is fairly typical). Good luck reading up on this; I am going to sleep.
  7. you think this mod is sweet on a JJ bass...you should try it on a PJ! :hyper:

    since doing this to my cheap Yamaha RBX-170, I don't want to put it down.

    deep, punchy and still fairly defined...not the definition of straight P-bass...but more GUSTO! Fits about 80% of the stuff I play at church better than straight P or PJ combination.
  8. Maybe in my personal opinion, but I think the PJ config sounds GREAT with slap..

    Thanks for the info guys!
  9. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Um... no. A side-by-side J humbucker doesn't sound the same. The aperture is different.


    They sound good. Get one. A P/J doesn't sound the same.
  10. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
  11. No.


    The construction of a P is radically different from a J. The location is also different. These are big factors in the P sound.

    It's ok to have one wife, but only having one bass is simply not generous. Buy a P bass.
  12. I emphatically disagree...

    a P/J with the J dialed out is INDISTINGUISHABLE from a straight P.

    I love P's....I have one and would own more...but, I'm not going to justify my P's existance by making a false claim that it sounds different than a P/J of similar construction...that's just unfounded.
  13. I'm glad to hear you say that, Pilbarabass. My PJ sounds like a P when the Jazz pickup is off.
  14. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    I'll go a step further.
    A P/J with the J dialed out IS a straight P.
  15. Gianni


    Jul 4, 2001
    Palermo - Italia
    The Di Marzio Model J is the J PuP that better emulates the P one, as far as I know.

  16. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    meant to respond to this on the first page but it slipped by.

    Obviously in terms of the pickup, you've got a P bass in a PJ setup with the J cut.

    A split P has flat broad coils in a staggered string arragement and nothing I'm aware of sounds exactly like that. However many J pups will cop a good to quality P tone that will cover P tunes very well. The subtle variations won't be there for the sticklers but most if not all that is lost in the mix depending on the tune. Fact is, I haven't got the clarity I like out of a P pup yet and I prefer the J "P" tone over any P I've had.

    Not familiar with SX's line but I would be suprised if they didn't make a PJ bass or P bass. Obvioulsy a J route does not lend itself to a P mod unless you cover up the gap. Unless you're just nuts about your current bass, it would probably be more practical to just buy a PJ or P bass.
  17. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    True dat, but assuming the bass has a pickguard you'd just need a new one made with a P instead of J cutout. All the fugly rerouting will be hidden under the pickguard anyway. If you're really being anal you can cutout a J shaped piece of hardwood and glue it in there before routing the P, then refinish.

    And there's lots of reasons to reroute a bass instead of dropping $100 on a cheapo SX.
  18. matrok


    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan