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Various P-Basses with Flats - Tonal Differences

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JFN, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. I am curious if anyone has any experience regarding the differences in tone of various P style basses when strung with flats. The reason I ask is I am wondering if the differences between say a MIA P vs MIM P vs 62 RI vs Lakland P vs whatever are as noticeable if all of the basses are strung with flats as opposed to rounds.

    I am looking at adding a P to my arsenal and will string it with flats so this will help me decide which direction to go, since basses in stores generally are not shipped with flats. Also, has anyone put flats on one of the 2008 Fender Precisions and have you been pleased with the results. Thanks for your feedback.

  2. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    If you ask me, a P is a P is a P. They all have the same basic great sound with minor variances.
  3. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Yes there is a basic, classic solid tone happening, but it can vary quite a bit. I currently have 2 P's with flats: a stock early 90's MIA Fender P, and a US Glaub that I had pickups made for at the Duncan custom shop(the Fralins weren't working for me). The Fender is a rosewood board, the Lakland is maple.
    They both have Labella flats of very similar age and wear. They sound VERY different. Both great. The Fender is very smooth and warm (due to the rosewood to a degree I imagine). It's no-nonsense, pure clear P. The Glaub is FAT and loud and capable of grind, so much so that I can use the volume knob almost like a tone control--rolling it back, it's mellower like my Fender, all the way up it's HUGE with no shortage of highs (thanks to the overwound Duncans). They really have very different voices, but both are P through and through.
    So, just because it's the time-tested standard of a P design with flats, doesn't mean it only comes in one flavor. IMHO, they're all good.
    Just play a bunch of them before you buy, regardless of what strings are on it--you'll know when you've found a P that vibes for you, new or old.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    A friend's MIM P sounds very similar to my '71.

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