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Three not so often seen PJ options. Looking for some insights.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by K-2, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. K-2


    Nov 30, 2016
    Vilnius, Lithuania

    Beware, a long post, can't TL;DR, because I want to give a full story, to prevent any questions that can be avoided and to have this thread as informative as possible to might be future searchers with similar questions as mine. I have searched and not found what I want.

    Now to the story:
    So I have been looking to buy a new bass. I am not an impulse buyer, it is almost a year that I have been GASing for a new bass, but I was adding all the dots, a lot of reading and listening involved and thinking of what I want/need.

    Currently my bass is a MIA Fender Jazz 2009 make. A great instrument I can say.
    Just parted my ways with a Stingray - loved the sound, couldn't live with the feel of it. I guess I always missed the front pickup, for added bottom texture, as well as serving me as a thumb rest.

    All in all I came with a decision that my next bass will be a PJ.
    I stems from two factors - I love my Jazz when it is on both pickups as well as when it is only on the neck (apart from the hum, I have several gain stages, so it tends to get out of hand), not so much the bridge pickup.
    I was considering a P bass, to be precise was eyeballing a Squire CV P '70. Still sometimes I tend to look at it. But I am afraid that only P pickup will be not enough. What if I want that 2 pickups sound I get from my Jazz. Then I have to switch basses.

    Then it hit me - there are PJ basses. 2 pickup sound and neck pup without hum. Mmmm, but then I remembered that without a reason really I hate how Fender PJs look. This might be heresy to some, but damn I can't stand even a thought about Fender PJs. Lets not go deeper.

    So I started looking into other brands that make some PJ basses and what are the options for me. Before we go to contenders, please bear in mind - My funds are limited (tops 900 EUR thinking its about 1000USD. Please consider prices differ here and US for some instruments), and there are no options for used instruments in here or nearby (living in Eastern part of Europe... white envy for guys and gals from US, so many great second hand options there).

    About these 3 instruments I have looked for as much info as possible but it is really scarce. Just specifications and some smallish reviews. And I would love to hear some personal experience from you guys, maybe someone even owned 2 out of 3 and could even compare them.

    All of these are PJ, active (2 have option to go passive) with 2/3 band EQ. Please share any experiences,thoughts and opinions. Consider everything - price,quality,tone (both pup on, as well as how it compares to a classic P tone when only on neck pup)

    1. Ibanez SR650. Passive/active, 3 band EQ. Aprox 690 EUR.
    2. Schecter Model T Session. Active, 2 band EQ. Aprox 810 EUR
    3. Yamaha BB734A. Passive/active, 3 band EQ. Aprox 940 EUR.

    Apologies for any grammar or logic mistakes in sentences.
    Thank you in advance for any input.

  2. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Apology not accepted. Your English is pretty much perfect :thumbsup:

    Although I did read it in an 80s movie Soviet bad guy accent :woot:
  3. since these are all pjs and pickups and preamps are easily swapped and you probably have an idea of how you want that to sound, i won't address those differences. either you'll like the way it sounds or change it out. more important factor in your decision would be the neck and body.

    the schecter and yamaha will have a neck dimension that is most similar to your fender jazz
    the ibanez neck is thinner in width and front to back
    the ibanez is most likely to be the lightest of the 3
    bb734a tends to be around 9.5 pounds.
    Roberto Nunez likes this.
  4. I have only played the Ibanez before so i'm not much help but if I could play all three it would simply come down to which one felt better to me. Generally, one of the three would jump out at you and you'll just know.

    If none of them were an obvious winner, or you can't get to test them all out, i'd pick the Ibanez for its looks and because I know that I love the necks on the SR series basses....... and they really do have a reputation for great quality at a great price.

    Lastly, your written English is better than 90% of people these days who were born in English speaking countries.:thumbsup:
    Roberto Nunez likes this.
  5. EdBo


    May 10, 2015
    Springfield, Ohio
    *Peace be with You*
    This may be an option you haven't looked at ; The Schecter Michael Anthony Bass

    Bass : Michael Anthony Bass


    I purchased one 5 months ago and I'm really amazed at the quality and workmanship that went into it at the price.
    I was hesitant on ordering it because I wasn't educated in Monster Tone Pickups but, my friend Jon Willis set me strait on them and I'm so glad I pulled the trigger on ordering it.
    It has a very slim and narrow Jazz style neck and it's a pleasure to play. I do have to admit that my MA is a little heavier than the P Basses I was playing. At 9 lbs 9 oz it's not a problem, just a little surprized. When I plugged it in my heart dropped and I was thinking I wasn't going to like the Monster Tone pickups. Then I remembered that Schecter put the dead sounding Ernie Ball strings on everything. I slapped on a new set of DR Hi-Beams and it came alive. That Monster Tone MA 78 pickups are the best sounding passive pickups I've ever had. The P is wound very hot to a whopping 13 K ohms. It's made me realize that all the pickups I've had over the years that I've really liked, both Active and Passive, have had Ceramic Bar Magnets. I have read threads calling Schecter out on their Quality assurance but I haven't experienced it at all. Besides my 2016 Michael Anthony I purchased a 2015 Schecter dUg Pinnick Baron-H a year ago and it's been perfect except for slight neck dive that is inherent with Tele bodies and I addressed it with a strap extension a few days after receiving it. I've also recently purchased 2 used Schecter Model T's, a 2001 and a 2011. Both are extremely well made instruments. I'm very impressed with these "Diamond Series" instruments that Schecter is having made in South Korea.
    This is a picture of my M.A.. I put a cream pearl pickguard and Chrome hardware on mine. The bridge and tuners are the same as the stock Black hardware that came off a dUg Bass.

    All my Schecters:

    Good luck in getting what you want
  6. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    You will probably be well served by any of those basses. The passive/active switching option is nice to have.
    EdBo likes this.
  7. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Yamaha BB’s are great basses. They don’t look or sound like Fenders. They have a more aggressive tone.
  8. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Most P/J basses will still have a hum because of the single coil jazz pickup near the bridge and not having another to cancel it out. I love P/J basses mind you but that's something to keep in mind. There are basses with a humbucker in the bridge position and a P Bass pickup - Schecter makes the Stealth bass and Ibanez has the Talman bass. I've attached pictures below. The neck on the Talman is a little thicker though, not unlike a P Bass.

    Out of your 3 choices though, the Ibanez and the Yamaha are good options. I like Schecter , I have a Stiletto after all but I think the other two might be better choices overall. Ibanez SR650 has a super slim neck and the Nordstrand pickups are nice.
    The jatoba/bubinga neck of the Ibanez SR650 is a joy to play on.

    stiletto-stealth-4-sbk-bodytilt. Ibanez-TMB300-Bass-Closeup-620x413.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  9. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
  10. Dave Campbell

    Dave Campbell

    Jul 13, 2006
    How about one of these?

    Reverend "Decision" model.

    Reverend make some pretty cool instruments! I don't have one in my arsenal but I have considered a Mercalli.

    decision bass.
  11. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Here's one to consider;
    Fender made very few of these MIJ FSR '75 Jazz Basses, but they occasionally come up on the 'Bay in the $1k price range.
    I love mine (pictured in the center) - its one the best passive P/Js I've ever played.

  12. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I apologize for it not being on your list, but have you considered a Japanese-made Fender Aerodyne? Mind you, I don't know if they're even available out there, nor how much they cost new or used.

    Another possibility would be to find a Jazz bass you like (definitely not your 2009 MIA! :rollno:) and modify it into a P/J. All you need is the bass, a Precision pickup, a pickguard to act as a template and someone with the tools and skill to do a small amount of routing. The great thing about these conversions is, with a little bit of work, you can switch it back from a P/J configuration to a J/J anytime.

    No, no, dude…he's in Vilnius, Lithuania. That's where Captain Marko Ramius comes from.


    Just add a little Scottish brogue to your Soviet-bad-guy-accent and you'll be golden. :D
  13. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    TBF Lithuania was a part of the Soviet Union. So it still counts :D
  14. K-2


    Nov 30, 2016
    Vilnius, Lithuania

    I did see this Signature model, but thought it is just a color that is different. My mistake.
    Can you elaborate on those Monster tone pups? Never heard about them, whats so special about them?

    Any info is appreciated!

  15. K-2


    Nov 30, 2016
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Thank you everyone for your input!

    I probably had to mention that I am playing in a metal band/alt metal, we don't have a specific genre to be honest.
    My playing involves aggressive fingerstyle and slapping.
    But its not about that. I should have mentioned that appearance of the bass do play a role.

    I am into vintage looking instruments, thats fine, but I guess '50s Pbass or Ibanez Talman wouldn't fly for me.

    For the guys that suggested Fenders... They are great ,and although I am positive that Aerodyne or as @superdick2112 mentioned Jazz bass with PJ would rock my socks off, I would like to stay away from Fenders this time. I love my Jazz, and for the time being I would like if it would be the only Fender I have. No offense, its more of a thing that I want to try out something different.

    @Mark76 , @Malak the Mad - Most people from US I have spoken with, think I have a Dutch accent, but.... I easily can do a Soviet villain accent, Comrades! :D And about Marko Ramius, yea, if Scottish accent would be ditched, he would sound pretty close to an average Lithuanian that had lived in Soviet union speaking English :D
  16. K-2


    Nov 30, 2016
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Do you mean that the bridge pup will hum if singled out? Thats not a problem, I wont be using it as a single.
    Or do you meant that neck P pup will hum? I though that P is a split coil, so would cancel the hum if singled out.
    Or P basses always hum? Got pretty confused here.

  17. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    The bridge pickup will always be susceptible to hum when singled out (as a JJ is with either pickup soloed), but it also will be when not, because the other pickup is not another reverse wound, reverse polarity single coil. The split P pickup does cancel its own hum but can do nothing for that of the J. So, basically, it's PJs that always hum.
  18. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Is that because they don't know the words? :woot: :smug:
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  19. EdBo


    May 10, 2015
    Springfield, Ohio
    *Peace be with You*
    The advertised color in there catalog is a lot lighter looking than the actual production models. Mine really looks black unless you get it in certain lighting conditions. There is a lot of fine flake/sparkle in the paint and is a very beautiful finish, but it doesn't look like the catalog photos.

    As you know, pickups all sound different depending on magnet types, number of winds, size of wire ect. What kind of tone that sounds good to your ears my be different to the next guy. It's all about personal taste and what style of music you are into. Lot's of variables though.
    I've always loved the full sound of the original EMG active P's and J's. and they use Ceramic Magnets as do the Monster Tone's. They have that perfect bump in the low mid frequency range that make it easier to get that grind, when pushed.

    Here's what Schecter says about them:
    Michael Anthony is always on the lookout for the most powerful punchy sound available, used to retrofit many of his now legendary instruments with the original Schecter Monster Tone P and J pickups. When these became scarce he had his team search high and low for these original pickups. In later years this same tone was sought after by many leading manufacturers to compliment his instruments. Well, they are back and so is Michael Anthony to the original Schecter Monstertone pickups. Used in his new Signature Schecter basses, these pickups are the real deal reproductions down to the original vendor materials and in-house custom milled brass baseplates. Voiced after Michaels original Schecter Set, these pickups won't leave you bottoms up. A straight hardwired series split P style in the neck and a full power Single J for the bridge are perfectly paired. 16 .25" steel poles in all, energized by custom sintered Ceramic magnets provide punch, power and incredible dexterity when used in conjunction with a standard passive Vol-Tone configuration. Sold in matched pairs with hand signed documentation. This set will unchain even the most modest instrument.

    Bridge 57mm Universal Spacing / Neck Traditional Offset Spacing
    2 Conductor Teflon Coated Wire Harness
    Engraved Brass Baseplate
    Pole Pieces
    8 @ .25" nickel plated carbon steel
    Ceramic 8
    Output at full power
    Bridge 10.7k ohms / Neck 12.6k ohms

    Michael Anthony 78 Signature : Michael Anthony 78 Signature Bass Pickups
    K-2 likes this.
  20. K-2


    Nov 30, 2016
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Damn... Well that just killed my vibe for a PJ bass :(
    As mentioned before my signal goes through several gain stages (Compressor has a boosted level, BDDI with some distortion and B7K with some "tubey" grind). Singling out a J pickup is unbearable. If it is a dense mix then it is fine, but in my band there are a lot of parts where bass is the main weapons and guitar just adds some harmonics. That hum just kills everything.

    Buying a new bass just to find out that I need to upgrade the J pup to hum cancelling immediately is a bummer.
    But I guess there is no other option?

    Though, I really thank you for sharing this with me as I was not aware that is the case.

    PawleeP and HaphAsSard like this.

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