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PJ vs J Fender Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Uncajohnny, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Uncajohnny


    Dec 24, 2011
    Hi all!
    Pardon my stupid question, but was considering building a PJ to go with my Fender Jazz. I put Bartolini's & an Audere Pre-amp in my standard j bass. I like the sound, but have been told one can get some REALLY cool sounds from a PJ with some good pups & preamp. Is there really that much difference?

    "More equipment than skill"
  2. I own both, and personally, I totally think there is a very noticeable difference. A P pickup has a certain character that a J neck pickup can't reproduce. Not to say it can't get close. I'd go for it.
  3. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    A P/J is the very best (or tryin') and, lemme tell ya, a Jazz bass body with a P neck and front split P pickup is way ahead a "traditional" P special with P body and Jazz neck.

    It's always IMVHO, but it's all the experience I've been thru so far, as long as I'm concerned

  4. slopeshoulder


    Nov 1, 2009
    I have 2 basses:

    - a J -- ash, maple, single coil nordstand 70's NJ4 in 70's position with Sadowsky pre with VTC, hipshot bridge, steel strings

    - a P/J -- alder, rosewood, Fralin P and +5% split coil J, 60's position, Nordstand 3 band pre with passive tone, gotoh bridge, nickel strings

    VERY different basses. Both great. Litte overlap. Designed to be a pair. All I need. Sold Ric, Hofner, Longhorn, Sadowsky, Gibson EB, 60's style J, traditional P, etc.
    Happy happy.
  5. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I'd have to set them up side by side some evening to give you a considered opinion but I have both a Deluxe Active Jazz Bass which is J/J and a Reggie Hamilton Standard Jazz which is P/J. I got the RH because I want to convert the other to fretless and I liked the way the RH is set up, including the P/J format. That said I haven't really noticed a grab-you-by-the-throat difference between them. It may be that with a careful A/B comparison in a single night the differences are easy enough to hear. They are not vast enough to strike me as I play the one on one night and the other the next night though. If you are hankering to build another Jazz then I'd say the P/J format is a good choice because no matter how big or small the difference ultimately seems to you, why have two of the same thing?

  6. If you compare the tone of a P bass next to a Jazz (with the neck pup soloed,) you wont hear much difference. The tone difference is due to pickup location more than the inherent tone of the pup itself. On my custom P/J, my Precision pickup sits 3/4" closer to the neck than the standard position and the tone is much richer and fuller than a regular P bass. The difference is the position, not the pickup.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I have found thatplaying both pickups on full on my P/J sounds fuller, and cuts through better than playing both pickups on full on my Jazz. The addition of the P pickup makes a difference in that blend. Seems the tone is not as mid-scooped like on the Jazz. Both basses sound their best, though, with the pickups biased a little in one direction or the other. I like either with the bridge pickup rolled back a bit while the neck pickup stays up full.

    My P/J is a passive '87 Jazz Bass Special. My other bass is a passive '01 American Jazz. They sound quite different.

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