Which bass to keep, which to sell? Or not.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chicken Wing, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Chicken Wing

    Chicken Wing

    Mar 26, 2017
    Hi All,

    I play bass in a band in which I provide a decent amount of melody to the songs, in addition to traditional low end duties. It's an instrumental 3 piece rock band. Songs range from mellow to heavy.

    I started with a P Bass, and picked up a J Bass a few months back, which I really love playing and it inspires me to write. But when I play in the band setting, I miss the deep, powerful lows of the P. When I play the P bass, I wish I had the neck of the J bass, and the bridge p/u. The P does the melodies beautifully but the necks are not as fun to play as the J.

    I own 3 basses and really I'd rather just have 2 that I love and play often. I'm not the type of person that wants to have instruments around that I'm not using. I don't have a TRUE #1 bass so come gig time I'm picking between the 3 and spending more mental energy on that decision that I need to be. I love my J bass and plan to keep that. My two P basses I could take or leave., I actually don't really love either of them.

    One idea I am considering is to sell both of my P basses to build either a P Bass that I just adore, or a PJ Bass made to my specs to have the best of both worlds. If I go the PJ route, I am considering having a Series/Parallel switch added to give the P pickup a single coil type range and then achieve more of a J bass sound.

    I love Nash basses. I feel like I'd love playing my P basses more if they were just exactly what I wanted (if "exactly what I want" exists). I also just love the simplicity of a P bass and my band situation might change in the future, where I don't need to have a PJ bass necessarily. I can achieve a decent P sound but just going with the neck pickup on the J bass. I play La Bella Flats for reference and have roundwounds on the 70's bass right now.

    I am hopefully having a second child in the next year so it'd be nice to have a little extra cash from selling two to buy one. I play daily but find myself not playing my P basses other than a local blues jam or occasional live gig. I'm playing the J at band practice each week and at home. I work full time so music is my hobby.

    None of these instruments have a lot of sentimental value to me.

    1. Do nothing and just roll with the J bass as my #1. Turn up the bass a bit on my EQ and rock out. Keep the two P basses for the future and chill out. Bring two basses to gigs if I really want to.
    2. Sell the two P basses and build a Nash P bass that I love.
    3. Sell the two P basses and build a Nash PJ bass.
    4. Add a J pickup to my 70's P bass (already has a route that was filled)

    One issue is that I've never played a PJ in person so that would be a gutsy move. I've heard they sound similar to a stingray with both P/Us on.

    Current Instruments:
    1. Nash JB-75 in black
    2. Fender Am Vintage '58 (I hate the neck. Replaced the p/u's with Lollars and still have the original p/u)
    3. Fender Vintage early 1970's P bass - bought for $1,300 online earlier this year. This bass has seen some S*** over the years and has a lot of mojo. Putting in a bridge pickup might not kill the value and it's already been done before and the route filled. I do enjoy playing this bass, it's heavier than hell though. This is one where if I sell it, I could never buy the same one again.

    I appreciate any thoughts from you guys... Thanks

    Yours in Music,
    Chicken Wing
    jamro217 and MCF like this.
  2. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    Desert, Colorado
    This is like GAS 101...

    If you can afford it, buy a PJ with a J neck
    I always regret getting rid of instruments, even if they were sitting
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    If you like Your Nash you would LOVE a bluesman vintage!
    donk likes this.
  4. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Ohhh so you’re the guy who bought that Blue p on CME lol! If you like the early 70’s P and reissue Jazz, keep those and sell the 58. AVRI 58’s are kinda sought after now since Fender apparently quit selling the pups in it. If you like the P bass pup and the Jazz neck pup, get these Lindy Fralin Split Jazz Bass Pickups: Noiseless Jazz Bass Pickups neck pup with +10% overwind. Jazz neck pups are usually rated around 6-7k, while Precision pups are usually around 10k. I can’t really answer anything about the coil tap doohickey. Hope this helps!
  5. SgtHulka

    SgtHulka Inactive

    Mar 29, 2019
    My experience with this is that you can get much closer tothe stingray sound if you run them in series. Not with a blend or individual volume knobs
    LowActionHero likes this.
  6. MycooLeeyun


    Sep 26, 2009
    Sedona, AZ
    Just put a J neck on one of your P's and sell the other. That's the most cost effective option in my opinion
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Put a series switch on your current J and youll get those big powerful lows.

    You just rewire it now and forget the switch.
    Chicken Wing and alanloomis1980 like this.
  8. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    My advice is to sell any bass you don't love or has "issues" you can't get over. Replace it with one that is just right.
    Chicken Wing and alanloomis1980 like this.
  9. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    P bass with a J neck. Build it or buy it. Its what I play, and I love it!

    You got "simplicity of a P" vs. "Wanting the J pickup live" in there... only you can decide what's more important. Personally, I almost never use the J on my PJ. I find it to be a distraction and adds very little.

    The series/parallel on the P pickup idea is interesting, but seems like you're trying to make your P cover your Js territory. you already stated reasons for liking the J and P basses as is....

    The series on the J idea is pretty cool. It might make the J do everything you want.

    New pickups in the J is another angle to beef it up. Quarter pounder or Model J maybe. But then again, it may take away from why you like it so much!

    I dont buy into the whole "versatility" thing. I just want to plug in and play. The differences are subtle and very few other people will even notice!

    Good luck, chicken wing
  10. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    I also don’t use the j pickup in my p bass. It will never sound like a jazz. My p was my main recording axe but since I got the custom shop 60’s jazz, I’m not so sure anymore. The jazz is thunderous and wonderful.
    As far as sell VS keep, I’m no one to ask. I’m sitting on about 20 basses.
  11. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn My (Adopted) Daughter Supporting Member

    Here are my (2) P

    Here are my (2) P bodies with J necks (& SD QP pickups)... I did buy separate parts & assemble- but could, just as easily, buy a J neck for one of ur P’s. Could sell the P neck or keep for future (sales) purposes, etc. Left neck is an American Special- right one is a Geddy Lee (CIJ).

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sounds like you need to start doing mods on a P bass..... starting with getting a jazz neck for one of yours. If that combination works for you, start messing with electronics. Maybe add a J bridge pickup.

    Or..... sell off everything but your Jazz. Buy a PJ with a Jazz neck on it. Fender has made several over the years.
  13. pappabass

    pappabass Inactive

    May 19, 2006
    Alabama !! Roll Tide
    Keep the black one!!
    Davbassdude, Chicken Wing and JRA like this.
  14. Get a Sire P7, play it and then decide which one(s) to unload.
    Chicken Wing and Bass Man Dan like this.
  15. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Swap necks.
    staurosjohn, Wisebass, RyanOh and 2 others like this.
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    00 images2b2.png
    you could easily do a swap just to see/feel/experience the physical aspects --- and then decide whether you want to pursue the PJ configuration.

    i like PJ's with J necks, too...they're fun and they feel just about right. good luck with your decision(s)! :thumbsup:
    staurosjohn and Chicken Wing like this.
  17. If you can, try an Yamaha BB 424.
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  18. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!! Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    I think you can just get a J neck that fits on the P body from Warmoth or Allparts
  19. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    My recommendation FWIW... Sell the 58 American Vintage. Buy a used PJ. If you like how the PJ sounds, sell it and the 70s P and spec yourself a PJ build with a jazz neck from Nash. At that point, you can decide whether or not to sell the Nash Jazz as well.
    Chicken Wing and jamro217 like this.
  20. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    i know how you feel...Bought a p bass, played for yrs, but wanted more tonal control..Heard so much about j basses and finally bought one of those too..So glad i did, but as you say "that growl of the P" which i accomplished by some SD basslines and a rosewood neck, now it too sounds awesome......SO i was bored and did a parts bass with a PJ body and a maple jazz neck from mighty mite....I can tell you that MF plays sweet AF!...excuse my abbreviated french but i love the thing....You could turn one of your P's into a project P/J if you wanted..I hate selling instruments unless they're extremely poor sounding or off balance etc...I think i'm complete now with my Precision, a Jazz and P/J combo.
    Chicken Wing likes this.