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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / P vs J

Next 20 Messages  


When I get older, losing my hair...
Apr 14th, 2019 03:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm sitting in with a new band at bass. As I am looking to upgrade from an old Gibson SB300 its down to a P, or a J. It's like deciding if you like a NY steak or a ribeye better. The video below does a brilliant job showing how good they both are. Being the compromiser I am I'll likely get a PJ Performer series. Comments?

Battle not to be won

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Apr 14th, 2019 03:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like PJs. I've never been able to bond with a J enough to make it a constant companion. Not enough mids, and I always seem to disappear from a mix. I notice it when I hear others play also. With a P, you just turn it up and go, and it fits.

That said, occasionally having that bridge pickup is handy when you want a little more bite.

Go for it.

Contributing Member

Wisconsin, USA

you'll thank me in the end
Apr 14th, 2019 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

P, the bass by which all others are measured. Besides, J's have too many knobs and pickups. ;-)


Forgive your enemies

but never forget their names
Apr 14th, 2019 05:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve played both for 50+ years and either one will do what you want it to do; it’s all in the hands of the player.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 14th, 2019 05:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I built my fretted bass with a P neck, and both a P and a J pickup. No selector switch, just a master volume, a master tone, and a blend knob so I can add some J if I need a bit more treble.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 07:35 PM, Apr 14th, 2019)

Contributing Member


When I get older, losing my hair...
Apr 14th, 2019 05:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've gotta admit there was a spot deep into the vid that the P made me laugh in delight.



Who is E. Sandoval?
Apr 14th, 2019 06:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Fender Precision is the Stradivarius of electric basses.

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Busy doing something close to nothing
Apr 15th, 2019 07:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

At one time I was playing a Rickenbacker 4003S and a J with a beautiful Warmoth body. Then I picked up a MIJ P body, stuck a MIM J neck on it, and it became my #1. The Ric and J were both great for some things, but I could use the P for anything.

I have since switched to medium scale instruments. My #1 is a Warmoth Short Scale PJ body and Warhead neck. The P pickup stays on and the J is rolled in or out as needed.

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

You DESERVE an Ibanez Iceman!
Apr 17th, 2019 12:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

P-J plays nice, as long as you leave the J pickup off. :)
But really, play a couple and let your ears and hands decide. Some like the narrow J necks, it doesn't make much diff to me. Love the P Bass growl.

Contributing Member

New York City

Apr 17th, 2019 03:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

In my admittedly limited experience, the P/J combos don't actually give you the best of both worlds as often claimed. Not that they are bad, but you can't get the feel and sound of a real J or a real P.



Who is E. Sandoval?
Apr 18th, 2019 06:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

I agree digiboy.

Contributing Member


The Plankster of Love
Apr 18th, 2019 08:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

To anyone struggling with a "classic" configuration Jazz bass, and not ready to trade it off or buy something else: I suggest trying this easily-done, cheap modification: wire the thing in Series. Get rid of the second volume control (it just stays there doing nothing). One volume, one tone - You'll have a much fatter output, you'll have NO more issues with hum, and by simply moving your hand between the neck and the bridge, you control the tone. Kind of like a Precision Bass!

Contributing Member


Apr 19th, 2019 05:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have long liked J basses with TI Jazz Flats. I especially love the narrow C neck of the Fender American Pro Jazz and put a Fender S-1 Switch on it for a fatter sound when needed. Don't like them as well with Rounds.I love the neck on a J. Having said that I got a new Player series P bass and put TI Jazz Flats on it and eventually put Quarter Pounder SPB-3 pickups an this increased the output significantly with good fat P bass tone. The Neck is really nice 6.5" that is easier for my small hands to play. Love playing this bass and it "kick's Butt" on sound and playability.



Fender power to the people!
Apr 19th, 2019 09:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

After pondering the eternal P vs J question for a while, I eventually answered 'yes please'.
It's not that much of a stretch to have both.
If I had to only have one, I'd go P because it seems to work first ime, every time.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 19th, 2019 10:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

The Jazz seems to attract players who want to play "lead bass."


Apr 22nd, 2019 03:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

The vid wasn't really a P vs. J, it was essentially 1 pickup vs. 2 pickups. That's the main difference.

You can get a good approximation of a P tone with a J with the neck pickup soloed. If you like the nasal midrangey Jaco tone of a J bridge pickup with the tone slightly rolled off, you want a J or PJ. In general, you can get an almost-P from any decent J, but there are a couple more tones you can get only with a Jazz Bass.

Contributing Member


When I get older, losing my hair...
Apr 23rd, 2019 07:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

So Ilan, you have a multitude of basses. What would be your grab-and-go bass for 60's-80's light rock?

Sure seems that a quality PJ model is the solution, at least for me.

(This message was last edited by Bigfoot at 10:43 PM, Apr 23rd, 2019)

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Apr 24th, 2019 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve had a jazz bass, I couldn’t bond with it, it was my experience with other Js too, but I have noticed they really shine in the mix. I haven’t used my old Precision in a while, it’s a beast, heaviest instrument I own.

Mostly I’m using the the Guild Starfire now a days, like the J, it isn’t my favorite sound when playing alone but in the mix Wow. It’s hard to describe, in the mix it’s like the bottom is there and the mids and highs sit on top and tether to the bottom, getting more of a saturation in the mix rather than just the bottom. I believe that’s what the Jazz bass does too.

Last year when we were doing some studio work, I didn’t have either with me and I really regretted it, next time the P and the Guild will be the two I’ll take. The Studio’s SVT didn’t help, never like the sound of those either. I’ll take the SWR Studio 220 and the Eden (Goliath) 4 X 10.



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Apr 24th, 2019 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

The bass I have is a Mexican PJ bass. I changed the pickups with Seymour Duncan QuarterPounders.

It has a volume and tone controls with a blender pot to roll in the rear pickup to add some treble edge when desired. These pickups on their own stand out nicely for whatever application you want.

They are balsy and full bodied in both positions. So, I never feel like I have compromised to achieve any of the bass tonality once I have decided where that is.
You can get the 'spank and pop' from the rear pickup and all the fullness of the PJ pickup in the neck.
A really flexible option for most styles of music.

Best regards, Woody

Contributing Member


May 5th, 2019 01:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Someone here once said several years ago that the Precision seems to "fill the stage" a lot better than does a Jazz.

I think that's the perfect way to describe the difference.

I have both P's an J's, and I love 'em both, but at least for my style and the music I play... I keep going back to the P.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / P vs J

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