How's it going guys? I'm fairly new to bass, been playing maybe 3 months, and I really enjoy it. I always see things like the "P-bass tone" or the "Music Man tone", and since I haven't had a chance to play many of these basses, I think it would be kinda cool and helpful to know what kind of tone you guys think of when you think of certain basses and amps.
I once read that describing tones is kind of like describing the taste of vanilla ice cream. That being said you just have to taste each one and really see for yourself.

I know its not exactly what you want to hear but if you truly want to know go sit in guitar center for a couple of hours and just play on everything you can get your hands on.

And the way you're describing it is really referring to the tones that pickups produce which on bass is only really part of the equation. Once you know what to expect from pickups then you can start matching that with the woods that are on the bass and the how an amplifier and eq can work with that.

Anyway somethings to look for when you are testing:
-Musicman (big humbuckers) - anywhere from big fat tone, to really growly

-Jazz (single coil) -probably the most popular pickup in the world, really clean, smooth tone though not limited to it. Depending on eq, can be big, deep tone, and can even add a little raunch to them

Precision (split single coil) - famous for there use in punk bands, the "P" sound is a crisp full bodied tone which will have good attack to it

-Soapbar (smaller humbuckers) - hard to describe because there are so many different windings available that brand to brand , model to model will be very different. They can have characteristics of any of the above types, and anywhere in between them.

And keep in mind, most basses will have some combination of 2 of these pickpus

Like I said go to gc for a few hours and just jam and play around on stuff and go from amp to amp with it.
Just curious to anyone who knows, Where does a 50's single coil p bass sit between a modern p bass and jazz bass tonally?

Also short scales sound thumpy and bumpy, long scales are more agressive naturally and have a raunchy grind when wanted, see P and J