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Sitting in the mix (P) vs Cutting thru it (Jazz) Whats more important?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mbell75, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    I know, another P vs J thread but a bit different. Has anyone ever played both a P and a Jazz back to back same song in a live band setting? What was your takeaways? 4 piece band with guitar, keyboard, drums and bass with a vocalist. The P sits perfectly in the mix and the Jazz seems to cut thru a bit better but some of the higher notes on the A and D strings seem to compete with the keyboard and guitar a bit much. Im also guessing that an engineer is going to cut those frequencies in a studio session while recording, which is probably why the P is considered to be perfect for the studio. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  2. Wsscal


    Nov 27, 2018
    Sydney, NSW
    It really depends on the music you play and the role you got in the band though.

    I never really like P as I don't quite enjoy the classic thumpy sound, so I cannot really tell you whether it is better or not, but it's really a personal preference. It also depends what amp/pre-amp you use for the purpose. I believe the engineer could easily cut/boost any frequencies to achieve the similar sound.

    I personally just like the jazz sound and flexibility as I tend to change my sound from song to song. (Yes I am a fan of onboard pre-amp) But if P works for you, why not?
  3. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    The engineer, if worth his salt, will sculpt the bass to sit in the mix appropriately for the mix on hand.
  4. Asat77


    Apr 29, 2015
    My expericence with j and p is that the p sits perfectly in the mix and is cutting thru the mix while the jazz bass sounds (too) far away. I’ve played both basses in different band settings.
  5. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Your Amp and EQ tweak are important too.


    Different String choice also the factor.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO you're making way to much of the P VS J thing. The amp/speaker, EQ, strings, and player will have way more impact than the bass. Play whichever one you feel like playing, and consider that perhaps the correct answer might vary with the song more than anything else.
    Jim C, GregC, Jeff Scott and 9 others like this.
  7. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    IMO a P cuts through just fine. It has midrange boost that sits in the mix but can still be heard. It is not muddy, but punchy due to that low mid boost, again IMO. Either P or J can be used for just about anything so just pick the one you like best.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I play an Ibanez Musician PJ that has an active 3 band eq. I keep both pickups full on and use the eq, dead ground rounds, pick or pluck, some palm muting and an always on HPF to beat any rig into submission to fit the song, the stage and the venue.:thumbsup:
    ghostinthemach, stingray69 and JRA like this.
  9. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    At one point, I switched from a Jazz Bass to a Precision. I was playing in a rock top 40 band with two electric guitarists (with Marshall heads and one 412 cab each). The night I switched, my girlfriend at the time said, "I can finally hear you."
    I had been playing the Jazz with both pickups at 100%, and that was part of the problem. That setting gives you a "scooped" tone which is gorgeous in itself, but not always desired. With the same band, at a different venue, I tried using only the neck pickup on the Jazz, and a friend in the audience (a musician) said, "Is that the same bass?! It sounds great!"
    Soloing the bridge pickup would certainly have helped, too, but that sound would have been too "pointy" for me.
    With Precision vs. Jazz, such "real world" experience helps. Both are fantastic, though.
  10. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Those two things aren't mutually exclusive.
    Ewo, Catbuster, n1as and 1 other person like this.
  11. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    Posts 4&9 pretty much sum it up for me.
    When I'm sitting thick and fat in the mix and everything in the band is in its place speaking with equal authority, which includes not being ridiculously loud, it's a transcendent experience for me.
    puff father and bmac314 like this.
  12. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    The idea that a Precision will only and always sit in every mix and a Jazz will only and always cut through every mix is preposterous. It might be easier to bury a Precision in a mix, but tbh that's probably no bad thing. YMMV.
    mdogs, Mantis Tobaggan, JRA and 2 others like this.
  13. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    See, this is why I play humbuckers...just to avoid all these P v J threads ;-)
    Rock on.
  14. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    Yea, Im not a fan of both pickups wide open on a J, you lose that growl. It actually loses some volume too you'll notice. I roll the bridge volume back to around 75-80% with the neck open.
  15. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Far too many variables in play to make a sweeping generalizations. I've found in my hands, for the sound I want to get, a JJ bass just doesn't work as well as a P. I know other guys for whom it works just fine. Playing technique, amp/cab setup, other instrumentation, and most importantly - expectations - all go into the mix (so to speak).
  16. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Because that's all the exists :rollno:

    My answer: both. Double soapbar humbucker.
  17. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    Ive owned dozens of basses including Stingrays and others with humbuckers, don't care for them. So yes, for me only the P and J exists :D
    Moosehead1966 likes this.
  18. My band plays lots of wineries and breweries, with no sound guy, so no tweaking. Played a jazz for about a year. Both the guitarist and I felt the jazz wasnt cutting. He kept using the word "muddy." Switched to P and everything has been Roses. Havent been disappointed in my sound since.

    So IME
    P= cuts thru mix
    J= sits in mix (or gets lost in it)
  19. These are sort of non-facts though. Both can do both. If you own either a P or J I would argue that you have paid to not worry about this.
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  20. Sounds a lot like my experience. Except it was the guitar player not girlfriend :D

    I never liked bridge heavy jazz sound. Neck heavy sounds great in the living room, but always got lost in the band IME.

    Took me forever to come around to a P cause I didnt like the solo sound when I demoed them in the store. Had to take a leap of faith and so glad i did!

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