#1
ive played guitar for 5 years or so and i wanna start playing bass. what are the differences in tone between a jazz and a p bass? or suggest a good bass for the price. im in to all kinds for rock music but not metal.
#2
p bass sound is thicker and more bassy, while the j bass has a thinner sound with more treble. i think the j bass cuts through a little better.
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#3
I find that the Jazz bass has a greater range. It gets about the same with highs, but gets the lows much better too.
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#4
I think there was a topic exactly like this a month or so back. search it.

there's a difference in tone, i think thats about it.. i'm not sure i've played both basses but years apart... as for suggesting other basses, i'm a big fan of gibson T-Birds.
#5
Quote by funkbass369
p bass sound is thicker and more bassy, while the j bass has a thinner sound with more treble. i think the j bass cuts through a little better.


I thought it was this backwards.
#6
Yeah, this topic comes up a hell of a lot.

Long and short has more or less been stated, but it seems there's a (possibly imagined in my case) bias in favour the Jazz so far. The P is very underrated these days.

The Jazz does tend to have a more cutting sound. It cuts through, whle the P bass to me "sinks in". Not disappears, but it seems to merge with the other instruments, which can be considered good or bad depending on the kind of player you are. I also find the P bass much more suited to pick playing than the Jazz, if that's your thing. To my ears a Jazz with a pick sounds just a little too bright and twangy, whereas the P gives a nice chunky percussive sound. The Jazz has a wide tonal range and you can dial a tone in for almost anything, while the P has less tonal scope, but the tone it does have sits well in lots of music without much fiddling. A general (but not absolute) rule of thumb is that if you slap a lot, don't buy the P. The split coil pickup isn't suited to it. The Jazz has a "fast" slim neck, the P has a chunkier one, again more a preference thing. Both are great basses. Try both if you're looking at buying Fenders. You'll know which one you prefer.

Quote by FullMetalBass
I thought it was this backwards.


Nah. I'd say the Precision has more presence in the bass and low mids, meaning it "rumbles", while the J has a more even response over all frequencies, meaning it has more high end on the sound than a P... giving it a bit more "growl", to wax lyrical. Not the kind of growl a Warwick or Rickenbacker gives, but a bit of bite on the high end that makes it sound very crisp, especially with the tone knob and bridge pickup rolled up.

Of course, this is basically my ears talking. When it comes to numbers and technical details, I'm no guitar tech.
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Last edited by Caustic at Sep 9, 2007,
#7
I think the real determining factor is the feel. I believe your amp has a much bigger effect on your sound compared to your instrument. If you prefer the feel of a P, go ahead and slap on it. With some EQ work it will sound great. Course I may be talking out of my ass.
#8
i have a fender american jazz bass and it has the P-1 switching feature, so it has a very wide range
#9
I can sum up the difference between a Jazz and a Precision in two words: SEARCH BAR.

To be honest, you can't go wrong with either for rock. This is a super oversimplification, but early 60's rock was a Precision bass time while late 60's rock was more for the Jazz. Since then, pick your poison.
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#10
Either is good for rock. I do agree with Caustic in that I think picking sounds better with a Precision.

I used to be an avid P fan, but now finding the Jazz palette more appealing. I've gone through 4 different Precisions including MIM, MIJ and US (including vintage 70's) and I still haven't found one that I am in love with yet though I love that precision punch. Anyways, I find the S-1 switching on my Jazz to produce a decent P tone, so I plan to use that whilst I sell my current Precisions.

But honestly, the only way to find out is try A/B them and see which you prefer. They are quite different beasts.