Will a Fender P bass basically sound like my Fender Jazz

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Swipter, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Swipter

    Swipter Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    I have a 2009/2010 Fender American Standard Jazz bass with Fender 9050l flatwound strings. It totally rocks. I basically use front pickup, very little if any rear pickup and tone off or way down.

    I'm considering a CV 60s P Bass with the same strings. Are they going to sound very similar?

    I was also thinking Labella Deep Talking 104s.

  2. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    Probably not. I gotta say the best sounding bass I’ve run across for flats are Jazz basses.

    And boy am I a fan of those 9050Ls. Great strings.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    While they won't sound identical, I think they would sound pretty similar especially when the tone is all the way down or off.
    Mr Cheese, Nuage420, wncBass and 6 others like this.
  4. I've tried the same strings on my P and J at the same time with a few different sets, including the Fender 9050 flats.

    The answer is no, my P always sounded like a P and my J always sounded like a J.

    By the way, Fender 9050 flats always sounded better on my J than on my P.
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  5. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Using them as you described (bridge pup off or nearly off), the two basses will sound similar, but not identical.
    To my ear, there's something missing in the high mid part of the neck pup of a Jazz bass that accounts for the characteristic P bass grind tone. How similar or dissimilar the two tones are, of course, depend on who you talk to.

    As for me, I own a Jazz style bass and a P style bass for that reason (both Mike Lulls). I don't find them very similar at all. But that's just me.
  6. The La Bella DTF 760FL (43-60-82-104) was the first set of flats I tried on my P when I got it in 2015. They would definitely be a better option than the Fender for bringing out the classic Motown vibe out of a P. I would also suggest the GHS Precision Flats for something more "old-school" than the Fender 9050.

    Fender 9050 on J = semi-modern.
    La Bella/GHS on P = old-school.
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  7. Swipter

    Swipter Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    The last ones I had lasted seven years until the intonation was gone. I do love them.
  8. Swipter

    Swipter Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I think that settles it.
    SC Bassboy likes this.
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Mili, BlueTalon, Digg and 6 others like this.
  10. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Single coil / split coil Jazz bass, split coil 60s pbass and 51 single coil pbass..... They all sound notable difference..
    marchone likes this.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I was about to say go check out a few blind comparisons on YouTube and see if you can tell a difference. Personally, I can always hear a difference but I can’t always tell which is which - depending on setup, string, etc… Sometimes things are very obvious, but if you’re just running the front pup with flats or dead rounds then you’re going to be approximately there, which may or may not be good enough for you. If you’re running things with new strings then it would be worth getting a P, IMO.
    eadg98005 likes this.
  12. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Not exactly, but I suspect that difference in tonal characteristics would be the motivation for buying. If you are wanting them to sound the same, why buy a different bass.

    Let me add, if you really want “difference”, put a set of rounds on one or the other.
    JRA and Swipter like this.
  13. sharpiemarker


    Feb 15, 2013
    I hardly noticed a difference when using the neck pick up on my jazz compared to my p bass with the same strings. Volume and fullness are richer with my P bass. Using IEMs with only my bass I can tell a bit more but I doubt I could tell the difference in a full band mix
    Swipter likes this.
  14. Swipter

    Swipter Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    That is my main concern. If there's not enough then there's no reason to make a purchase. My jazz is very versatile with those strings.
  15. Swipter

    Swipter Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    I used to run rounds on my jazz, Ken Smith medium gauge rock masters, is what I liked but they aren't as versatile as the 9050l strings, IMO. They are great strings but not my flavor anymore. I've tried non steel strings and hated them all, especially Sunbeams.
  16. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The P bass pickup is low and wide. The Jazz bass pickup is high and thin. They were never meant to sound the same. There is a certain presence in the mids that i hear when I play a P bass that is missing when i play a Jazz bass. Sometimes that's a good thing depending on the musical situation.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    P and J are different sounding basses because of the pickups and positions of the pickups. Even with the same strings.
  18. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    I didn’t care for Sunbeams either.
  19. MultiScaleMale

    MultiScaleMale Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Neck on a Jazz versus a P bass will sound different when soloed an in an A/B comparison. In a mix, the difference will be small nuances. The benefit to the P is the simplicity and no noise from the neck pickup. A single coil Jazz neck pickup soloed can hum depending on your lighting / electrical situation. The J has the benefit of a scooped sound with both pickups on and a soloed bridge tone that a P can't do. So it comes down to whether the soloed neck on a J is good enough or if you really want to buy a P bass.
  20. LeFunk Machine

    LeFunk Machine

    Sep 12, 2014
    Some are going to say they sound the same, while others will claim they do not; I think they sound close, if not the same. I personally like the body design of jazz bass, but I don't like the thin neck and the sound of the rear pickup.

    My recommendation is - take your jazz bass and head over to a guitar center. Talk to the staff about trying out their P bass and that you'll be comparing it with your jazz bass. Make sure they see you walk in with your bass so that you're not accused of theft or anything. Good luck!