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What actually are the differences between Fender Jazzes and Precisions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by yawnsie, Jan 17, 2001.

  1. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Apart from the obvious pickup thing, of couse, are there actually another other differences between the two?


    Sep 10, 2000
    you mean tonal differences?
    p is fatter cuz of humbucker, probably better for some rock and alternative....i wouldn't try slapping it though
    jazz has a little more variation but can't get the fat heavy sound of a p.
    well if you want physical, the p body is more squarish....and the neck is a little fatter...most ppl prefer the slimmer jazz necks. i personally think the jazz has a sexier looking body
  3. basslax


    Apr 20, 2000
    Washington, DC
    if youre looking for sound differences, chech out http://www.fender.com , they have sound samples (and pics) or all their basses/gui*ars
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Maybe I can help confuse you since I don't exactly agree with RETSAMPALS;

    Precision- (This refers to American made. Mine is a pre-CBS and I haven't ever used a MIM. But I haven't heard of anyone noting MIM's characteristics are radically different). The Precis is noted for its tight punch, especially if strung with roundwounds. It's a percussive sound that can cut through drums. It can be sweet, too, properly set up and in the right hands, say, James Jamerson.

    Jazz- (Again, the American made thing). Noted for being rounder, warmer, and fatter than the Precis. This doesn't mean it can't be used for rock. Just listen to Noel Redding with Hendrix.

    If you want to hear the difference, go to http://www.fender.com/electricbasses/allbass.html and click on both models to hear sound samples. Try clicking on "vintage" series where the samples aren't slapped, since that technique really doesn't give you the best idea of the true sound.
  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    In terms of physical differences, there's the body contour thing someone mentioned. The pickups on the jazz are single coil, while the precision has a split humbucker. The nut on the Jazz is about 1-1/2", while the nut end of the Precision is 1-5/8" to 1-3/4". The heel end of both necks is nominally the same width, so there's a lot more taper to the Jazz neck. They use the same bridge. Scale length is the same. I'm speaking here of the "ordinary" P and J, as both have variations. The MIM "Deluxe P-Bass Special", for instance, has a Jazz-style neck, a P pickup, and a J bridge pickup. The MIM Jazz uses two "neck" pickups, while other jazzes use two different size pickups for neck and bridge positions.

    Like basslax and Retsampals1 said, you should check out the Fender web site.
  6. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Note that the Jazz is noticeably heavier than the P (the body is somewhat larger, with a more skewed shape).

    Regarding the comment on slapping: I do a lot of slapping on my early '70s Precision and it sounds quite good. It's different than a Jazz slap sound (the J seems to have a more "nasal-y" slap sound with the neck pickup turned up); but I'm not claiming one is better than the other for slap style.

    - Mike
  7. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    I'm not much of a slapper, but I've had a go on my P-Bass in the past, and I've always thought it sounded good. Well, as good as it can with my slapping. :D

  8. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    ...or Geddy Lee for that matter.

    I would just add my perception that the P-bass has a more "clean" tone, while the jazz has much more "growl".
  9. TitaniumAngel


    Aug 30, 2000
    Pretty much what everybody else said, and one other difference: J-basses are typically better ballenced (if you do not like a neck-heavy bass), for me anyway, they center with the neck up at about a 35-40 degree angle. The P-bass tends to want to revert to a state where the neck is parrallel with the floor, which annoys me greatly. I can play better if I dont have to support the stupid neck.

    theres my $0.02
  10. Part of the P's charm is it's punch and strong fundamental thump. The J's charm is it's growl, less thumpy, less midrange. Both are excellent, and everyone should have one of each :D IMO, YMMV, etc.

    Have a listen :)
  11. Adam Clayton

    Adam Clayton

    Jan 19, 2001
    Slaphappy said it - but I'll say it again:

    Everyone should have one of each & an Amp - what more could you want !!

  12. I love my MIA P-bass, mostly th neck. I do like Jazz basses, but I like the p-bass neck better. Something big to grip and hold on to. I also like the neck on my Jazz Delux 5 string bass. Pretty wide string spacing and good sound for the price. As you can tell, I am pretty much a Fender Fanatic!!!!

    P.S. After getting my new Jazz the P is getting less play, so I restrung it and now I cant put it down. I change my preferances so fast I would need to have many basses to suit how I feel, so I just keep buying them. Soon I will have Thirty or something.....HAhaahahah

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