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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by steviecsg, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    Is there any notable difference between PJ sound and JJ sound with the blend at center?

    Is there any advantage of one over the other?
  2. From what I've noticed, PJ sounds a little chunkier. It has the added beef of the P. Check http://www.basstasters.com/ for some comparisons. They compared a few Sadowsky's, among others, including a PJ and a JJ.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I have messed with lots of PJs but only one JJ to date. But I'd bet you'll have a darker, maybe muddier sounding tone as a rule with a PJ. No doubts pups and electronics will make a difference but all things being equal, that'd be my guess. Again limited expereince with JJs but I like PJs. Two different sounds coming from two different kinds of pups (that historically are the most popular) so some more and fairly choice variation in tone. The Bart PJs with a Bart TCT preamp in particular really has a good, broad range of tones, and dead quiet.

    But a stacked HB instead of one of the Js may be a thought. The only stacked HB I have is with a P so not sure with a J. Also you could split the HB with a switch for single coil if you chose to, losing the humbucking in the process - but you'd have more flexibility without routing. A bass player review said something about a Carvin HB making a good jazz tone but not sure if it was split or not. So some of the stacked HBs may not need splitting. My Duncan hotstack in the bridge position has some J tone to it but you may get similar tone from any pup at the bridge. But it's definitely a fatter sound than a J. An MTD MM pup I set at the bridge had a more acceptable jazz tone to it but it was run through a Bart NTBT, the Duncan's thru an OBP 1.

    I'll get around to messing with more Js cause I like the J tone.
  4. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    I find that the PJ config tends to retain more of the P characteristics but tightened up by the J pickup.

    whereas the JJ config tends to be more even sounding- ie comparing JJ full on and JJ neck pickup only.

    i've read somewhere that PJ config may cause some phasing problems, resulting in loss of output or out of phase signal? wonder if anyone can offer their input regarding this.
  5. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I never liked the P J comfiguation.
    P-pickup is just to strong for Jazz pickup.
    They don't blend well together.
    J J style is more even.
    Don't know why more builders never liked the P P configuation.
    Like fender elite II bass,
    More even better blend.
  6. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    ive never heard the PP configuration. how does it sound compared to JJ? how's the slap tone? and hows the bridge P soloed sound like?

    The only basses i've seen offering this configuration is the precision elite, which did not last for very long either.
  7. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Like any bass, the neck pup will be dominant for a given volume. I have a wall of PJs and I find over time that I have naturally vascillated over the entire spectrum and back with volume/pan settings in adjusting sound to the band. Which tells me the tones must be fairly malleable and, at the least, not repugnant - Duncans, Barts, EMG, and others. All are run through preamps, passive basses may be different.

    No phasing issues I could tell. You get that typical "blend experience" with a volume drop (that seems is a result of wave cancellation?) at the detent and it muddies up some. But that I've found plays fine with a band.

    I've never tried a P P. Will get around to it but a P is not my favorite sound by itself. I may think differently once I've tried it. But if the pair of Js I have are reflective, I'll take PJs for flexibility over a broad range of styles, not necessarily for a jazz tone itself. I could see where someone could be a purist and want one tone or the other and not both. But so much gets lost in the band with a bass that I don't know that it really makes that much difference and you could probably get by just fine not matter what you have if you've got decent equipment.
  8. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    My Fodera monarch was shipped to me with two EMG J's instead of the P/J because at the time no P pickups were available. They sent me out the P pickup about a week later.

    I went through an extensive A/B test, switching the pickups back and forth and playing each for awhile. I chose the P pickup in the end. There was no "mud" or "chunkiness" whatsoever with the P/J config, but I suppose this might depend on the quality of the bass. I chose the P pickup because it seemed, to my ears, that there was stronger low end and a sweeter high end, while the J pickup had more of a mid range focus to it. The sound I was going after was attained by using the P pickup. That's my experience with the two.
  9. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    In general, I'd probably agree with what has been said so far. However, I would recommend going with a hum-canceling single coil in the bridge (stakced coil, split coil, etc.) as this tends to match better with the split P, will eliminate the problem of noise and 60 cycle hum if you want to solo the bridge pickup, and will still give you a single coil tone from the bridge. Some of the guys who have recently posted their Nordstrand pickup reviews on this forum have done this and seem to like how it turns out. A trad. single coil is still great, but if you can afford the small bump up in price, and hum-canceling pickup would get a great way to go too. :D
  10. bassmantele


    Jul 22, 2003
    Boston MA USA
    When you order a P and J from Bill Lawrence for one bass, he asks you to let him know because his regular windings of those pickups will not match up well. If people have had a problem with P/J basses, this may have something to do with it.
  11. Arjan


    Apr 18, 2002
    I must agree with Jared, the p/j sure doesn't sound muddy or chunky. I have a bass equiped with rectengular emg's, I have most of the emg's at home so I tried these combos.
    J/J, P/J, J/CS, P/CS (I recorded them to listen back to them after a few days to make a good judgement)
    In the end I sticked with the P/J configuration cause it gives the best punch of them all when playing thumbstyle ala Mr. Wooten. Also, fingerstyle sounds very smooth and warm, and if I want ol'70's funk I'll just dail in the P!
    The J/J configuration still sounds good, but the P/J sounds much warmer when played agressively (snapping, popping).
    To me the P/J is the most versatile configuration, I use it both in rock/funk and jazz/fusion.
  12. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    IME the P/J setup gives that P flavor, and i would personally describe it as having more 'thump' , it can give me that meaty groovy tone... the J/J sound maybe more 'nimble'....
  13. Neat description and I agree. I have two Sadowsky basses: alder PJ and ash JJ. The PJ is not muddy but sounds darker and less open sounding; the JJ definitely has a more open clearer tone. But it has different wood too.

    I'd play both and decide. However, rest assured, if the bass is built well and has good pups, a PJ will not sound muddy.
  14. namraj


    Feb 7, 2008
    how did that work with regards to routing?
  15. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    Great thread.

    When I think about it, it still comes down to the voicing of each individual pickup manufacturer. Over all, I really like this setup. The p adds extra bottom end and the bridge j adds an extra bit of bite where the standalone p usually wouldn't. I find the dynamics of neck j pickups sound more open and have more attack than a p.

    I have to say I'm more fond of active p-j setups because passive setups sound a little too loose. I'm also a big fan of Stu Zenders tone in the early years. Not sure if he used stock P-J Mecs on his streamer lx but his tone is to die for (both for live and mix).

    Here's my p-j vs j-j take on a couple of manfacturers...
    - EMG: The colored and hi-fi sound. The j's always sounded too sizzly for me but the p added some extra bottom to help round things out.
    - Bart: I find this to be one of the most common p-j setups. Thick and syrupy. Their p's I find reach to the lower extremities and the j just adds enough bite to give dub bass lines and thumpin' a really nice vibe.
    - fralin's I find are traditional with a hint of extra burp and can be boosted nice. I use fralin j's with an Agular OPB-1 on my American Dlx. I haven't heard a lindy fralin P but I have a feeling things would get a little wooly.
  16. I like my p/j and my j/j they are unique enough as a p and a j imo

    I find the p/j is a little chunky, a little scoop. personally for the first 5 or 6 years I had mine I used both pups on full. now I tend to lean towards a P sound so I usually shut the J off . . . who know what I'll like next year :D
  17. Scobac


    Feb 4, 2011
    I guess I thought of it more like a "j" sound with added fundamental! It's a cross between the low down of the "p" and the versatility of the "J". Leo made both pickups to sound good by themselves; Goes to reason they would sound good together! I don't remember exactly when everybody started hacking on their Precisions in the seventies, but it sure seemed like the obvious next step! I Love mine!
  18. MarkusBass


    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    +1 I'm more of a P bass guy, but like JJ much better more PJ.
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yes. PJ has more low mids - a bit thicker tone (better for straight rock, imho).

    The only downside to a PJ setup is that if you have the pickups mismatched, the P will be much stronger than the J, so if you want to pan to your J p'up, you'll have a drop off in output (which is why it's important to remember this when you're buying p'ups...
  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    P/Js are cheating :p

    seriously though, the J/J format gives you a range of basically "equal" tones, while the P/J typically ends up being primarily a P-bass, with the weaker J pickup just used to "flavor" it by scooping out some mids as it's dialed in.

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