Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

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ilorametis1

Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by ilorametis1 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:44 am

As of right now I’m rocking a Stingray Sub but want something different I guess. I play punk, rock, a bit of metal & post hardcore but mostly punk stuff. I know many of you will say both are excellent but I guess I’m looking for a WHY for each. I’m leaning towards P but one of my favorite bassist Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms plays a J bass so I dunno! Lemme know what you think!

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Kent » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:49 am

Tough choice. Given that you already have a single pickup bass, might want either:
to stay the same (P)
go for a neck p'up (J)

The tone of a standard Stingray (I don't now much about the "Sub". Same p'ups or no?) is easier to make more nasally like a J. The P covers most rock uses but the J obviously does as well. You really can't go wrong & pickup swaps will make big a difference if you ever wish for a change.

I say that you go and play a boatload of basses and buy the one that grabs you. Let 'feel' slightly overrule tone and you can change p'ups later. An instrument that 'feels right' is more important.

I wouldn't be able to choose based upon what you've written. Just go play a bunch of 'em and let the individual bass factor in.

The J necks are also narrower at the nut.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Technologear? » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:01 am

It's not that simple!
Easier if you break the parts down
J body, J neck, P pickup neck J pickup bridge is my preference. Which is why I've transitioned from Fender to another manufacturer
For you, coming from a stingray clanger, a P bass would be most different and expand your instrument range best as noted by Kent. Those P pickups in the neck position give lovely lows without the genk, especially with flatwound strings.

Edit: listening to your fav band, to get that tone it's far more important to play pick, on roundwound strings, boosting the mids and highs, with minimal to no overdrive (so no unnecessary decay or sustain). If you get a P, get one with a J in the bridge position.

Listen to Fugazi if you don't know them :tu:
Last edited by Technologear? on Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Rigo » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:05 am

For some reason the same question was asked on reddit ...
I am always feeling the need to investigate when brand new users ask questions like this one here, and to my surprise I found the email address at stopforumspam, but with a different ip address. So I deleted the user, but feel free to further discuss the question :hihi:

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by moloque » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:11 am

For me best is Pb body with J-neck. I had couple of Jazz bass and never could keep them for more than couple of months. Main reasons neck dive.
Depends what sound your looking for but me it's P pickup with flat wounds. At least for now, wasn't the same answer if you'd asked last year and won't be next year!

As a side not. Don't care of what your favorite bassist plays the most important is how comfortable your bass will be and therefore how often you want to play it. If it's about the sound pickup and hand technic makes the most of it not its shape...

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Technologear? » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:14 am

I feel a strange sense of post modern violation after taking the time to respond!
I think I like feeling this. The futility of everything....

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by building » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:32 am

if you're playing a lot of punk i'd say get a jazz bass

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by CursedFrogurt » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:49 am

Get totally crazy: PJ Mustang!

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by hawklord2112 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:55 am

neither - dean Edge 5 FTW.
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:19 am

Sit down at a local music store with a P and play it for a solid half hour. Then play a J for the same amount of time in that same sitting. The necks are very different, their differences really begin showing themselves after enough time on either one. Playing either/both for a few minutes won't tell you if one neck or the other will work for you ... you've got to get your forearm muscles involved in the selection ... so it's best to play them for enough time to allow a bit of fatigue to set in (neck hand/arm) so you can tell what either neck will do to you (or for you) after a solid thirty minute "set" (so to speak).

Sound of either bass when in the music store is nearly meaningless ... the sound of a given bass can be changed DRASTICALLY just by using different strings. I usually start with string changes LONG before I start changing pickups. Yes, it can make ~that much~ of a difference. I found a string set that I liked so much that I bought fourteen full sets ... still have ten or eleven I believe. But by only changing strings to different brands my basses can go from modern "scoop" tone to progressive rock midrange honk without ever using a soldering iron or a screwdriver. I always (always) encourage different strings long before I'll suggest pickup changes.

RE; Dean Edge 5 .... that is a neck through bass, and a long scale if I recall (all three of mine were). A neck through bass will never sound like a bolt on neck bass. It's all about that (ahem) "natural gate" that the bolt on neck produces. The envelope of the bolt on neck bass is short, rather "plucky" if you will ... far far better for eighth note/sixteenth note rather staccato notes. This is due to the natural sustain (or better said, the lack of natural sustain) makes notes fade rather quickly, allowing for distinction between notes when played in shorter "gate times". The longer natural sustain of the neck through basses do not work nearly as well for shorter length notes because there is far less "natural gate" effect, and the notes sound as though they're running into one another. Doing bass riffs with short/fast notes that have a bit of "air" between each note created by the fading sustain of the bass notes (such as what you hear in punk music and the like) are far better served with a bolt on neck bass for the reasons I've cited here. The very distinct differences in the natural gates of bolt on neck basses and neck through basses are why I own both types.

To use a synthesizer analogy here ..... It's like the difference between a synth bass sound that has a fast attack and a somewhat fast decay (of both the filter AND the vca) which is great for short/fast notes (think sequencer) ... verses the same sequence played with fast attack, no decay, full sustain, and a bit of a release time ...the individual notes don't have the individual (and very audible) beginning and end, but rather they seem to run into the other notes ... there's little (or zero) audible gap between the notes ... the very gap that is emphasized with a closing filter and/or closing VCA at the end of each note. The lower-sustain model is like the bolt on neck .... the higher sustain model is like the neck through design. It is FAR harder to produce those short, thumpy, bass riffs (that sound good) with a neck through than it is with a bolt on. Same with repetitive 8th/16th note lines.

:tu:
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by hawklord2112 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:26 am

Unless you're Geddy and can make a J bass sound like a Ricky ;)


i never really understood the differences between thru neck and bolt on - thank you!
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Just me » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:29 pm

Or try a Franken Bass. I ended up taking a Gibson Accu-bass 4 and putting a vintage P-bass pick up at the neck and routing in a Bartolini J-Bass on the bridge. No tone control. Two volumes and a phasing switch. Switching between Smith RW medium lights and GHS Brite-Flats I can get the tones "I" want. May not be what "You" want.
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by commodorejohn » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:57 pm

The answer to "this instrument, or that instrument?" is always "yes!" :lol:

But for me, while different designs do lend themselves better to different things, I think it's at least as much about getting a good instrument as it is about the type. I thought for a long time that I just didn't like P-basses, because my first experience with one was the cheapo knockoff my parents bought when I was in high school and they thought I should try playing bass, which was dull to listen to and uncomfortable to play, and my second experience was a $90 Squier I got off Craigslist, which was somehow even worse. (I blame basswood - it's the worst. I've never own a basswood instrument that wasn't complete dead weight.)

But once I tried the real deal in a music store, I started to think that I might want one after all; I ended up buying one from an Asian manufacturer I know makes really decent yet inexpensive bodies and spiffing it up with a decent pickup, bridge, nut, and strings (and yes, Frankenbass it up - I put a Ric-style neck pickup in mine, and it's glorious) and it's now possibly my favorite-sounding bass that I own (maybe tied with my Thunderbird.)
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by plainofjars » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:31 pm

A stingray is much closer to a jazz bass in the musical ground that it covers—bouncy, springy, funkier sorts of sounds. A P bass would be a greater contrast. But go to a music store that has different sorts of P basses; there are many different p-bass lines at this point and within each line, individual basses that just play and feel better and are more inspiring. It's worth driving a ways to such a store if you have to. A p/j is also a good idea, but again you really need to play them first. I wasted a lot of time buying and selling stuff online before finding an instrument I'm happy with.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by JimY » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:15 pm

From a British & historical perspective, the P rules in both punk and prog. While Jazz & Ric had notable players they were not so common.

When it comes to note-off precision and in the studio, if the bass player is having trouble, they'll suggest a string mute; if only a piece of sticky tape over the strings at the bridge. Some players are very good at stop-muting by using every available part of both hands and can make a bass line really pulse.

In my experience. adding a J bridge to P mid is a good idea, but it isn't a given that the J pickup can match the P pickups output - it tends to get swamped.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Gringo Starr » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:24 pm

building wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:32 am
if you're playing a lot of punk i'd say get a jazz bass
For punk I always thought a Rickenbacker 4003 hit the spot.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by plainofjars » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:57 pm

It makes sense to follow what your musical influences use—if most of the players you like use a jazz, get a jazz. If what you listen to is a mix of everything, your MM sub and a good p-bass should cover most of it very well.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Christopher Winkels » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:12 pm

I have both a Squier and a Fender Jazz and I can't see wanting anything else in the four string format, but that's just me.

Clearly there's nothing wrong with a Precision as evidenced by their ubiquity, but the Jazz neck and sound has always worked well for my hands and ears.

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Tofumaster » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:38 pm

I watched the original Ghost in the Shell night, not that it had anything to do P or J basses, but it’s funny that forum members continue offering thoughtful responses to a spam question. Why do I care, except to say my daughters MIM P bass special also has a J bass pickup and active circuitry and, like, It’s the best of both worlds.
I have worked enough to compensate for the unnatural cues that I receive. I am tired. :bang:

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by galanter2 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:13 pm

I went through this a few months back. Just about any reasonably sized studio has a P Bass hanging on the wall. When the bass player's bass isn't working in the studio, they'll pull it down and say "try this." The P Bass is super versatile for all manner of punk and other rock timbres. It's the go-to bass.

The J Bass surpasses the P Bass in two ways. First, it's much better for that slap-bass stuff for jazz and funk. Second, it's a bit easier to play because of a thinner neck.

I ended up getting one of these. But NOT because of the signature! It sounds and plays great, and has an unusually thin neck for a P Bass.

https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/guit ... ass-573229

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:38 am

hawklord2112 wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:26 am
Unless you're Geddy and can make a J bass sound like a Ricky ;)


i never really understood the differences between thru neck and bolt on - thank you!
You're welcome. I reckon few agree with me though. Know that.
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:46 am

Just me wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:29 pm
Or try a Franken Bass. I ended up taking a Gibson Accu-bass 4 and putting a vintage P-bass pick up at the neck and routing in a Bartolini J-Bass on the bridge. No tone control. Two volumes and a phasing switch. Switching between Smith RW medium lights and GHS Brite-Flats I can get the tones "I" want. May not be what "You" want.
This is a Frankenbass.

Four Pickup Jazz Bass - 1.jpg

Just as this is a FrankenTele (otherwise more famously known as the "Shredbilly").

Shredbilly-1.jpg

I don't fuck with it .. a guitar/bass is a tool that serves me .. not the other way around. Those things are all part of a team .. bass, amp, cab, player, other in-line shit = Instrument. The guitar/bass must conform to being team players, prima-donnas and show ponies need not apply.

:tu:
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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by sir stony » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:38 pm

There are a lot more very good bass guitars, just thinking of stuff like gibson thunderbird, the polish "mayones", sandberg california, ... oh boy, if it was my own main instrument instead of synths, I'd have a wall plastered with these... :omg:

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by carbonhazard » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:55 am

PJ, best of both worlds. Honestly tho a p-bass is my favourite for rock and punk, altho I currently play a Jaguar bass with jazz pickups. Id say go for a p-bass, classic tone that sits really well in the mix for rock, punk and hardcore. If you want to be abled to sculpt your tone more, a J is much more tonally versatile. Then again nothing can beat that classic P sound, so do you really need versatility?

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Re: Ahhh... P Bass or J Bass.

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:33 pm

I just remembered something that ended up being very useful on my brother's Precision.

First I installed The Quarter Pounder pickup set .. really wakes up that sleepy sounding bass.

Second was to install a Hipshot "Kickass" bridge. It's a vastly improved version of the old Leo Quan "Badass II" bridge (and an entire universe ahead of the stock stamped steel unit that comes on the Precision). The Hipshot uses removable string saddles that may be swapped out between stainless and brass ... so each string can be sortof fine tuned in regards to each string's brightness and sustain.

Hipshot Kickass bass bridge LINK = https://hipshotproducts.com/products/ki ... ass-bridge

Hipshot saddles for Kickass bass bridge LINK = https://hipshotproducts.com/products/ki ... le-inserts

And this one thing that we did which made a massive improvement when it comes to making that Precision have more tonal range ... installed a "Varitone" type tone cap selector, and found this one to be the duck's nuts ....

LINK = https://stellartone.com/custom-tone-con ... e-knobs-8/

So adding the Quarter Pounder P-Bass set of pickups ... the Hipshot Kickass bass bridge ... and the Stellartone Tonestyler "Bass 10 Short" tone control my brother's Precision can do ~Precision~ as well as an entire pile of other bass sounds, from full-on midrange bark of rock bass, "scoop", woofy, and can even handle slap much better than a stocker. The replaceable bridge saddles of the Kickass bass bridge combined with much (much much!) more mass of the bridge allow you to create very modern sounding bass, almost as if it were a neck through (rather than being a bolt on neck).

Nothing lost, everything gained. We took a $249 Precision bought brand new, and made it into a bass very worthy of recording or punishing live gigs. Everything ya want, and nothing ya don't want.

Total cost came to roughly ... (let's see ... carry the two .. uh) .. $550 buckages, or thereabouts. That includes the cost of the new bass.

:)
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