Why PBass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Macrocosmcwh, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. I am reading and reading about American made Pbasses / jazz bass. Seems like every "real" bass player owns one. I do not.

    So my question, what makes this bass so mythical? And what is the real difference between a American or Mexican / Asian built one?

    Sorry for the dumb question as I am sure to many of you think it is... But I just want to know your input on it.

    For comparison:

    Basses I own:
    Schecter studio 6 and 5
    Ltd b5n
    Steinberger synapse 4
    And a lightwave VL 5 (on its way to me this week... Not yet in my hands) Thanks John!!
  2. Can of worms, really. Everyone has their own reasons for loving their P-bass, I'm sure you'll get a ton of reasons why. Personally, I can't put it any better than a P-bass just plays and sounds just "right" to me. No more, no less.
    I just want to say that the differences between American, Mexican/Asian basses are not that great, some materials (woods) and hardware and electronics are different and the cost will vary, but in the long run, the differences can be ignored, country of origin does not necessarily indicate a individual bass' overall quality.
    I'd put my Indonesian Squier VM P up against any American or Mexican P bass as far as tone and playability are concerned any day.

  3. I guess I might be a Fender/Squier fanboi with what I'm going to say:

    You don't own a bass yet. Let the bullets fly but that's the way I feel.

    I too tried to deny it for years - even locked my P in a closet for a long long time. Then it hit me that I was missing something special.
  4. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    I think that the P is mythical because it was the first really popular electric bass. There was a time, I'm told, where the electric bass was referred to as a Fender bass. I won't deny loving the sound of a Precision bass, but I can't really tell you why I prefer it to any other bass. It's probably because it's the bass that I associate with songs\bands\genres I like.
  5. I think it's all about the traditional sound & look.
    I've ventured away from them, but always find myself coming back to my Fender P.
    It just does things well with such simplicity. Sits well in a mix, can produce a wide variety of sounds with different play styles, and looks great (if you're into classic styling).
  6. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    It sits in the mix incredibly well in studio or live. That's its claim to fame.

    In addition, so many early records were recorded with the P that our ears have grown accustomed to the sound and many associate that sound as being the sound of an electric bass.

    The younger generation has seen and heard more choices growing up - so they're not locked into one brand. But many are still discovering the qualities that made it so popular in the first place.
  7. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    They sound great and play great. I will only buy MIA Fenders because the materials and consistency are better, but I know several other people who are very happy with their MIM and Squier models. The bottom line is play what you enjoy and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
  8. Mind Eroded

    Mind Eroded Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Brooklyn/Buffalo, NY
    the p bass is like the kix cereal of bass..

    musician-tested, sound-engineer approved...its history doesn't hurt either and the latest upswing in the 'vintage' instrument trend will ensure its spot at the top for a while longer..
  9. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    Well, my personal story is that I started out with a P-Bass, a Squier Affinity series one. It was a very good bass and I could play almost everything on it, but I didn't WANT a P-bass when I started. It was what my father got me cuz it came with an amp, so I had sort of mixed feelings.

    Later I discovered how good a bass it was, but soon after I got a 5 strings Yamaha RBX, great bass, and then I got many, many basses! I had this "trauma" with Fender basses, but one day my teacher told me to try a Jazz Bass, and so I did. Went to the Fender store here in my city and tried an American made Fender Jazz Bass and fell in love with it!, I didn't have much money, so about 2 years later or 3 bought my first J, a Geddy Lee one, great bass too, but strings where sort of stiff and could never fix that, so I decided I needed a new bass and bought a MIA P-Bass, and damn it, it's the best bass I've ever got, lol. I really, really like the tone and the look, also the feel of the neck, strings pacing, the bridge... etc...

    I would add a J near the bridge, but Fender has the American Deluxe series which I hope to get sometime, but there is ONE thing I do not like about all Fender basses and that's the back of the neck in the higher notes of the fretboard, that chunky piece of wood there won't allow me to play comfortably those notes! I wish it had more frets so it wouldn't be as bothersome and I wouldn't mind having even more notes to play, but they made the great decision of cutting the American Deluxe models from 22 frets to 21, so even if I had my Deluxe I'd still have that one little complain.

    Anyway! It's a great bass and 100% of the time I do not really need those extra notes, I use them almost exclusively when jamming by my self.

    So yeah, keeping it simple works so well it hurts, lol. I have an Ibanez that I love too, and sometimes I like having an onboard preamp and EQ, but most of the time the P is the one I like the most.
  10. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    leo got it right with the P.
    it is a flexible, useable tone that seems to work in most situations.
    i like the simplicity as well.
  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I want to love the P bass, but I'm not there (yet?). I hear other people play it and it sounds great. But when I play one, it just doesn't work for me. The necks feels too chunky, I miss the singing highs, a low B is too fat and tubby sounding, etc. I owned a MIA P5 Deluxe and a MIA P5 for a while and neither one was a keeper for me. Flats and a pick did sound great on a Motown-ish gig. I love getting a p-type sound using the neck pickup (big single) on my main bass. But I've never been really satisfied playing a P for more than a couple of gigs...

    Maybe if I can one day a Nordy VP5 that will do it for me. I do like the P design and philosophy but I can't bond with it.
    Why I wonder?
  12. This. Plain and simple. You are no more or less a bass player based on what gear you use, in my opinion. The P-Bass just fits into a live or recorded mix unlike any other bass. Use the gear you like!

    *See signature line*
  13. Simplicity. Plugged it into an SVT last night and it immediately sounded good without messing with any knobs. Also got a ton of compliments on my sound.
  14. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    I forgot to mention that, it just sits so well in the mix on anything, live or studio (though same goes for a J bass). I personally love the tone, how it can have that awesome grain or be the total opposite when playing with a pick
  15. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Sure some of it may be about cosmetics, however it is the tried and true bass. A lot of bassists use a Precision bass because it just works and sounds great to them. A lot of it is personal preference. I have been using Fender Precision basses exclusively since starting to play bass, it's what I know and love.
  16. gcbake

    gcbake Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Former Ampeg Regional Touring Artist
    And on the eighth day, God (Leo) created the P-Bass…and it was good
  17. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    4 string p is all one really needs to play anything. Really, anything
  18. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I love P basses because I can rely on them to sound good no matter what situation I'm in. Through an amp or DI, in a Funk or Metal band, with my fingers or thumb, they will sound like I want to sound. People accomplish this with many other types of basses, it's all personal.
  19. affprod


    Nov 2, 2012
    I think it is a matter of choice. I bring out my P for old Motown sounds and deep rooted blues and my J for rock and pop. I can play the Urge either way but I prefer to bring out the others. Almost all my Fenders are U.S. made, but one of my favorites is my 85 Performer, made in Japan. I don't play professionally anymore, just jam with friends or sit in with others, so I have the luxury of changing guitars after every song if feel like it - it is just personal to me - some sound better for this, or for that.
  20. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    When people ask me to bring a 'Fender bass' they mean, not my upright :)