PJ basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xroads, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    I was wondering about the construction of PJ basses. The Fender specials seem to be P-body, J-neck and PJ PUs.

    Is the P-type PU at the position where it would be for a P-bass?
    How close to a P-sound can one get with such a bass?

    Thanks in advance for you input.
  2. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    I don't have the special with the Jazz neck but I have the P bass deluxe 5 string and you can get a good ACTIVE p bass sound. Pretty dead on. I don't have the one with the passive switch like the newer deluxe models but I would like to try one of those out.
  3. 20YearNoob


    Mar 29, 2012
    I have a squire p-bass special, flatwounds.

    It thumps like mad, great P tone.
  4. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
  5. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    My PJ of choice is J body and P neck.
  6. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    hmmmm....I'd like to try that. That's one thing I dislike about the jazz bass.....it's thin neck!
  7. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    I prefer P/J configurations on a J body and i also like a thicker neck, most people like thin necks on Fender J style instruments so it is tough to find a thicker neck, i have come accross less than a handfull in many years. I decided to have one built for me by Marco Cortez of Marco Basses, Hand wound P/J passive Pick ups, J body, Jazz profile neck but custom cut to be thicker. 3 Piece body with a flamed maple top.

  8. My go to bass is a 1995 fender precision lyte.
    P body(but smaller) jazz neck, active. I can cop a really good P tone. I love my lyte.
  9. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    Beautiful! The paint job almost looks like an illusion. Nice bass!
  10. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Among current Fenders and Squiers only the ones built on a P body put the P pickup in the right spot (half way between the bridge and the 20th fret). The ones built on Jazz and Jaguar bodies depart from this and to varying degrees. I really don't have an opinion on how close any of them will get you to an authentic P sound. Partly that is because the result depends on your ears, not mine, and partly that is because who knows which of the many possible P sounds is "authentic"? Pickups vary, strings vary, tone circuit configurations vary so there really isn't such a thing as the gold standard P bass sound. But, the P body P/J basses from Fender will get you in the ballpark. Other brands do not necessarily put the P pickup in the right spot even on their P body basses.

    Having said all that I have a Fender Reggie Hamilton Standard Jazz bass. It is an active P/J with an active/passive switch and a Hipshot drop tuning key on the E string. The P pickup is close to the right spot so in passive mode it should give you a reasonable approximation of the passive P bass sound, although it lacks a passive tone control. The P pickup is from the American Standard bass line and the J is a dual coil noiseless from the Standard line. The neck is supposedly Mexican but it is one of only a few Standard Mexican necks that adjust at the heel rather than at the nut like the American necks and it is noticeably thicker than standard Jazz necks so it might appeal to the person above who dislikes thin Jazz necks. It also lacks the skunk stripe on the back so it really is made like an American neck. Personally I find the MIM basses to be excellent and the Reggie Hamilton is a clear cut above the standard MIM basses. I can't tell you if it is the bass for you, only that it is well worth a try.

  11. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Both of my vintage PJ's get a great P tone when I roll off the Jazz PU. (they also get a great Jazz tone when I roll off the Split PU). Some people with sonic ears will tell you it's not a TRUE Precision tone because of the circuitry blah blah blah. They might be right, scientifically, but to regular ears, and through an amp, and depending on the strings, setup, fingerboard wood, etc etc you can hear a P bass in there just fine :cool:


  12. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Columbus, OH

    get a P bass on a 3 way toggle. when i wanted all P ton i simply took the J right out of the equation
  13. DaveMurietta


    Jun 18, 2012
    I have a hot-rodded Precision bass and the Tony Franklin fretted model. Both are American made P bass specials with one difference: the hot rodded has V/V/T blend while the TF has a three way switch which is either Precision pickup alone, blended, or jazz pickup alone. They both have P bass necks. I've never played the deluxe P bass with the precision bass body and jazz neck, so I can't give an opinion on those.

    I would agree to an extent that the hot rodded isn't pure precision bass tone when you're blending the jazz bass pickup with it. Even if it's just a little, there is something a little funky about the way it's wired. You lose some of that bottom thump. Running both pickups together on the hot rodded model does have a very unique sound, but it's not a pure mix of precision and jazz. It's a whole new animal. But I also agree with the previous poster that you can still get a precision bass sound if you take out the jazz bass pickup with the volume knob completely and have the right amp settings, especially in a band mix. I'm a believer that 99% percent of the audience couldn't tell the difference (Or care anyways as long as they're enjoying the music as a whole.) I usually use just the p bass pickup or the blend of both with the jazz bass 25% or 50% cranked on. But I'm not that much of a jazz bass guy anyways. I use it for more rock/punk settings

    But the Tony franklin model doesn't have this problem. The three way switch and however it's wired somehow keeps the integrity of the seperate pickups more. I get pure precision bass tone and jazz bass tone when I solo them, and the blend position is a great compromise between the two. There is still bottom end thump and jazz bass attack that pops out in the mix more. You can hear the blended tone and it seems familiar of the two pickups, unlike the hot-rodded which is something unique and different.

    I would look into the hot-rodded precision bass and Tony Franklin fretted with the search function here just so you can get an idea of the differences between a V/V/T setup versus a three way selector. If the deluxe is a V/V/T, then it might suffer the same curse (or blessing?) that others say that particular setup has. Alot of people disagree on it, of course. You either love it or don't. Then again I've never played a deluxe PJ bass so maybe it's not similiar at all to what I've experienced. Hope that helps.
  14. Spinal Tapper, I love that black, rosewood with tort guard. It's perfect. That is exactly the one that I want.

    I went searching for a new Fender PJ with that colour scheme. I played an American Precision Deluxe that I liked very much but I want it in black with a rosewood fretboard but you can only get rosewood with a white body. What's up with that? They can't bolt a rosewood neck onto a black body? Also, I don't care for the active electronics. I want passive all the way.

    So I guess I'm wondering what Fender model precision will get me: American made, PJ pickups, black body, rosewood fretboard, Precision neck (not Jazz - too thin) and passive electronics? I don't think I'm being too demanding, am I?

    The only thing that comes close is the Fender Custom Shop P-bass Pro but the price is a little out of reach.:meh:
  15. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    Is this bass a precision Plus? I wanted to test one of these but they are very scarce. How does this bass hold up in terms of tones? I had an opportunity to get on that looks just like yours.
  16. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Mine is actually a real 1962 Fender. The previous owner had modded it and I got a great deal when I bought it because of that.

    But I imagine you could simply have a skilled tech route a Jazz PU in an existing modern Fender P, wire her up, and you'd be good to go!
  17. I think OP asked, so I'll answer: To the best of my knowledge, if you want it, you can get any combination of P bodies and necks paired with J bodies and necks.

    I'm a Fender fanboi, but the PJ has always thrown me off my game a bit. Now, PJ lovers, don't take offense, if you're getting a tone you like from them, more power to you. But with me it's the Reese's Cup theory. I don't like chocolate mixed with peanut butter. No sir, I don't like it.

    Same with Precisions and Jazz basses. I guess some of my Jazz bass heros made an impression that I can only get with the standard two-rail Jazz configuration, and my Precision bass heros made an impression that I can only get with the standard split-P pickup configuration.

    However, active electronics changes everything. I have one of the MIM P Bass Special Deluxe models. Tone monster. Not really a traditional P or J tone, but massive and versatile.