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Standard precision pup sound vs PJ setup

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheGreatSealof, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. TheGreatSealof

    TheGreatSealof Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Deptford, NJ
    What is your opinion regarding a standard pbass vs. a pj setup? Sound? Tone? Versatility?
  2. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    I used both my MIA P today and my MIM rewired PJ with SD's into my Marshall VBA 400 over VBC 412 cab.
    Both guitar players using 50w Marshall stacks ans Les Pauls.

    The P has Chromes and the PJ has D'Addario SS Half rounds.

    The P was very uniform in volume and tone across the strings and the PJ a little grittier/growlier especially on the lower notes.

    In the end I liked the P for faster playing where I thought the PJ would be better. For my ear, I felt the P was a little better overall and I have never really been a Fender player and especially the P. Tend to prefer the tone of a jazz which is why I added the stacked humbucker J pup to the MIM version.

    I think the Fenders are better in my Hartke rigs which are cleaner although that is a bad description.

    The Marshall shines with my Gibson, Warwick or Alembic basses.
  3. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    All things being equal, there is no reason why a P would be better than a PJ.

    I still keep my P with a single pickup though, just for the sole reason that it looks more 'classic'
  4. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    All things are seldom equal, however. A whole lot of PJ basses have the P pickup in the "wrong" spot. Small deviations may not vary a whole lot, depends on the listener's tastes, but a lot of them have it pretty far off. I think that among current Fenders only those built on Precision bodies have the P pickup in the right spot. The rest have it anywhere from a little off to significantly off. Other brands also vary a lot. A second problem is that PJ basses generally have a third pot and that changes the electrical loading on the P pickup and changes the tone a bit.

    If you are careful to buy a PJ with the correct pickup placement and are willing to modify the electronics (if needed) to give you just two pots in the P only mode you can certainly get an authentic P sound out of a PJ. And then you also have more tonal range when you use the J pickup.

  5. oldleftybass


    Jan 24, 2013
    So where's the right spot?
  6. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    the spot where the Precision bass has the pickup... leo didnt put it there by accident methinks :)


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