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What can sound like a P bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sam_Bass_Man, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Sam_Bass_Man


    Dec 27, 2017
    So I love the sound that a fender precision bass produces, but I don't think I'd get one just because of the lack in variety of sounds. Sure there are the PJ basses, but personally I would rather buy from something that's got even more variety in tone options like something from a Jazz bass. Which is why I bought a PRS SE Kingfisher, because of the two pickups. Is there a bass guitar out there that can sound like a precision or something similar to it, but also has access to a multitude of tones?

    *this is my first post by the way. Am I doing this right?*
    Novarocker, LowRenzo, BrentD and 3 others like this.
  2. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    G&L L2000

    And that pretty much covers everything for variety too, not just a P
    Pbassmanca, klejst, HolmeBass and 5 others like this.
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Ps are more versatile than most people give them credit for. They have been used in every style of popular music, from the thump of Motown to the heaviest of heavy metal. And everything in between. I played one in a variety band that played all kinds of music from the 50s through today and it worked out great. And I've played them in country bands, hard rock bands, blues, soul, funk, disco, classic rock, punk rock, and probably a few I can't think of right now. The tone knob is your friend, as well as plucking technique (fingerstyle, pick, location, palm muting or foam mute, etc.). Strings also make a big difference, although I get plenty of tones from nickel rounds.

    Sorry I have to disagree a little with mrb327, but I own a G&L L2000 and while it is a great versatile bass and can get similar to a P, and similar to a J, and similar to a MM it doesn't really nail any of them. But if you want versatility and similar is close enough it is a great choice.
    REMBO, dbsfgyd1, 2cooltoolz and 11 others like this.
  4. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    Most versatile bass I've ever owned
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    A jazz bass with the neck soloed.

    It is mostly about pickup placement.
  6. rocu


    Jan 28, 2015
    Missoula, MT
    Welcome to TalkBass
    Rezdog, Session1969, BrentD and 7 others like this.
  7. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Go and listen to JJ Burnell and James Jamerson. Both P basses. Then tell me that there is a lack of variety in their sound.
    Rezdog, REMBO, dbsfgyd1 and 3 others like this.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    OP you're asking yourself the wrong questions.
    A Precision Bass will fit into any setup, any background, any style.
    It is therefore a very versatile instrument. Bells and whistles have nothing to do with this.
    franvarin, REMBO, Pet Sounds and 15 others like this.
  9. Well, a P-bass is a P-bass, and if you want the sound of a P-bass you should get a P-bass.

    With that said there are other instruments that will get close to that sound. P/J-equipped basses ofc. A J-bass with the neck pickup soloed is close but no cigar.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!!!

    I own several P basses. I can play them in pretty much any setting. I use technique to vary the tone. There is a tremendous difference in the tones of using your fingers to pluck over the fretboard vs using a pick near the bridge.

    That being said, I had Hammersmith make me this. P bass pickup in the neck position and a Seymour Duncan NYC at the bridge. The NYC can be wired series, single or parallel.... So I chose all three via a mini switch.

    I now have a P bass tone, three very usable P/J tones, and via a quick stomp on an EQ pedal with a slight bass boost a somewhat-in-the-neighborhood Stingray tone.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
    Nedmundo, Kippo, TinyE and 16 others like this.
  11. Belabor


    Oct 23, 2013
    I can only second this.

    It's all about the position of the pickup. If the pickup is positioned differently to where it would be on a P, it's never going to sound the same.

    I'm thinking of buying a Mustang bass to get that P vibe, but I completely understand that I should never expect a Mustang to perfectly copy the P sound. But it's in the ballpark and gives me the option of using a shortscale when it is more practical than a full-scale bass.

    Ask yourself: isn't it better to just get a P for that sound and get something else entirely for the other sounds that are in your head
  12. HalfManHalfBass


    Jan 21, 2003
    A PJ bass is every bit as versatile tonewise as a Jazz bass -they both have 2 pickups in roughly the same positions. However a front soloed Jazz pickup never sounds as fat as a real split P pickup IMHO.
  13. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    These days a good p bass can be had for not a lot of $. Buy a used Peavey Fury or Squier Classic Vibe 60’s,70’s,or Matt Freeman Precision.

    Having different basses that do different things is better than having one bass that does different things.

    But if you can only have one bass I’d suggest a Sire P7, Fender Mustang P/J, Fender Sea Foam Green P/J, Reverend Marcalli, or my favorites either a MusicMan Caprice or Sandberg VM.
  14. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Any bass with a P pickup and a single trussrod un-reinforced neck.

    It might be worth noting that not all P basses sound exactly alike.

    Also the same P bass played by two different bassists will sound different.

  15. A P bass sounds OK at home/soloed but smashes down walls at gigs. :bassist:

    ^^^ This! I spent 16 years going full circle just to end up back where I started on a P bass.

    I'll take a P bass to Jazz, Rock, Blues, Gospel, Soul/Motown gigs, even Musical Theatre gigs.

    Develop your playing technique(s) and learn how to use EQ. Buy some pedals if you want..... :thumbsup:
  16. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    Peavey T40
  17. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Not a Music Man Stingray.
  18. +1 to this

    The neck PUP on a Jazz with some twicking can get you close, not exactly there but close. If I'm not mistaken Geddy Lee uses a P-bass on the first Rush album and then he moved to Rick and Jazz, and the sound (because of his way of playing and many other factors) remain pretty consistent. It won't be same, don't expect that, but on a recording... you might be surprised

    Although, as many mentioned, a PJ would be the thing. I added a Fender Custom Shop 60's Jazz pickup to my American Standard P-bass and I have no regrets, it's as versatile as a passive bass can be.
    Felken likes this.
  19. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Welcome to Talkbass!

    I had a Roscoe Beck 5-string, and it had a setting that sounded kind of like a Precision. Sure wish I hadn't sold that bass.
    Pbassmanca and Fretless1! like this.
  20. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I have a Carvin LB70 with the MM style bridge humbucker and J style neck. With the right pu blend, boosting the bass and cutting the mid I can get pretty close to a P bass sound.
    BrickBatMansion likes this.

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