Why would someone want a P-Bass over a Jazz bass, or P-Bass Special?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grunge_Rocker, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. Since all you get is limited. Just one split pickup, a volume, and tone. Is it that some people want just a basic bass? Or something along those lines?

    Please educate me. I don't mean this post to be bad, or to knock down the P-bass, just wondering why people would want it over, a two pickup bass, with more accessories?
  2. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    They DO have a different sound my friend!
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Because different people like different things.

    The P Bass is a great bass that is well suited for alot of styles of music. That's why it's been around for 50+ years.
  4. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    P-Bass special,plenty of tone !!!!!
  5. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    One word: THUMP!
  6. I've personally found that you can get a wide range of sounds out of a P bass if you try some different things with strings, technique and EQ. My primary bass is a '78 P, and at this point in my life I'm not spending money on any other basses (wife, kid, house, bills etc. always seem to get first dibs on cash). I also have a Gibson Grabber, but it doesn't offer much tonal variation over my Precision.

    After I got over the GAS pains, I went out in search of ways to get the most out of one axe. There's an old country boy saying that goes, "Beware the man with only one gun, because he's going to know how to shoot it." I personally string up with nickel roundwounds and go from there. I can make rounds sound thumpy, but I haven't found a good way to make flats sound bright.

    If I want more note definition, I pluck just behind the pickup (towards the bridge) and dial in some treble. Pluck close enough to the bridge and you can get a sound something like the bridge pickup bark of a J. Plucking in front of the pickup and cutting the treble will yield more of the "thump" sound usually associated with a P bass. Sliding a piece of foam under the strings at the bridge acts like a mute, and thus yields more thump. My psuedo-upright tone cut treble, cut mids on amp, use foam mute, and pluck over the fingerboard. I can even find a slap tone I like by dialing in the usual "mid-scoop," but it is a little more old school sounding and not up to what most folks call the ideal slap tone.

    To each his or her own -- it's all good! If I had money to blow, I'd go get me several different basses with several different voices. But for now, my P is a good "one size fits most" kind of bass.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I could always play much faster on a Precis than a Jazz and the Precis had much more "edge", tonally, to my ears.
  8. I own one of each!:D

    Sometimes I ask myself the same question, why do I have so many basses, do I need these basses to get my desired tone?

    No, I just like having them to choose my tone and style.

    The necks are different on all three, the pickup configuration is different.

    I mainly use the jazz bass though, it can get a P sound, where the P can't get as bright as the Jazz!

  9. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    I want one of each although I only have a P now. I actually like the more agressive sound of the jazz better but I found a great P bass and I couldnt resist buying it. For years I hated fender basses and couldnt see why they are so popular. Since then my ears have matured and I absolutely love the p bass. I agree with others though... different people like different things.
  10. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Grunge, there's something about a P. I've just gone through a bunch of basses, and ended up with a Precision. It does what I want a bass to do. For a lot of people, it just feels right, plays right, and sounds right.
  11. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    Gorgeous fretless!
  12. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    First of all, the number of pickups should not be your guide to what constitutes a good or bad bass. 2 or even 3 badly placed high-quality pickups won't even come close to the sound of one decent pickup optimally placed.

    As for pots, unless you're buying an active bass--all you get usually is volume and tone--regardless of how many pots are on the bass. Some old basses like the Gibson Ripper had a "mid-range choke" knob but usually volume and tone are the only pots on a passive bass whether it's a P-bass or a J-bass.

    Why pay for more accessories if you don't need them? The P-bass is the most copied bass guitar design for a reason. It gives the most using the least amount possible. It works well for most bassists across the board rather than appealing to a small elite of them.
  13. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I do have a Jazz Bass also, but 90% of the time
    I prefer the sound of the P-Bass.:)
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I haven't seen many limited basses since I started playing, but I've seen many limited bass players.
    If you can't do the job on a P-Bass, the problem is you, not the bass. :)
  15. "If you can't do the job on a P-Bass, the problem is you, not the bass."

    My hat's off to you sir...that's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
  16. Well, i currently own 4 P-basses, and personally i havent found a J-bass yet i liked. I would like to have one one day. But i perfer the THUD and the looks and the feel of the "P"
    I dunno about the Jazz's 'toughness' as i never owned one yet, But i can tell you that a P-bass is damn tough, it can go through hell and it will still will keep kickin. I just love the idea of a bass that will probally outlast me, and probally any nuclear wars :D
  17. stevedeter12


    Mar 10, 2003
    Nashville TN
    I own one of each as well. I love them both. But my P is a hot rod so it has a p/j pup setup and man, talk about the best of both worlds. The P has become my main axe over my jazz. But all in all they're both great in their own ways and you can't go wrong with either one...
  18. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    What Flatwound said. :cool: