PJ pup config vs "straight" P or J

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by kangcore, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. kangcore

    kangcore Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore, the Lion City
    I'm a guitarist who plays bass in a friend's band, and it looks like its slowly becoming a more regular committment. Have been borrowing basses here and there, but am thinking of getting my own bass. I have an affinity for the J bass shape, and am probably looking at getting a partsobass made. Going for an ash/maple body, maple/rosewood neck, and onboard preamp (builder's personal make).

    I've been considering my pickup options and am wondering what the difference between the PJ config and the straight J or P config is. Don't really know anyone with a PJ bass, but i've been reading that a PJ config might be more versatile?

    I play mainly alternative/indierock, and at home i do demo recordings for song arrangements and such - same genre. Looking for a nice growly bass sound that cuts through and shakes the stage a bit live.

    So bass gurus... i bow in deferment to your sage advice.
     
  2. jony2

    jony2 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Hey Marcus, I read this post before I realised it was you.

    For Growl, you have to go for the J style pickup. You mentioned shaking as well. If it is anything to go by, the heaviest sounding P-bass sound you can hear are those on the Iron Maiden songs.

    The PJ is very versatile, but if you want that full-on J style sound, it's not exactly there.

    Have you posted this on talkbass? Potentially more answers.
     
  3. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,885
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    I've also read that there are "phase" issues witha PJ.
    I like to use a J with an amp that allows me to boost a bit at 400hz for that lower mid P-bass "authority." Try it!
     
  4. alanbass1

    alanbass1 Member

    Messages:
    1,167
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    London - Good old Blighty
    Going active I would plump for a J configuration. However, I do love the passive P bass sound
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,569
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    also, be aware that unless the j pickup is a hum-canceling type, you will get single-coil noise, which you wouldn't with either a stock P or with a stock J with both its pickups full up.

    my personal prejudice is for one or the other, so that the bass has an identifiable "character", but lots of pros use and like the P+J setup, especially for heavier styles of music.

    the dimarzio ultra jazz bridge is great as a stand-alone hum-canceling bridge pickup.
     
  6. Cosmic

    Cosmic Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    My Spector Euro is P/J configuration and I love it.

    I primarily leave the P on most of the time and dial in the J when I want a little more, or less, "bite" to the sound.
     
  7. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,189
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe )
    I have both (Sadowsky) and prefer the JJ over the PJ most of the time. But it's like asking if you should get a strat or a tele. You've got to play and see what you like.
     
  8. Rob Sharer

    Rob Sharer Muso-Luthier

    Messages:
    2,824
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    I play a bass with an active PJ setup. I find that I rarely turn the J pickup on, since it sounds to me like the meatiest tone I get is P alone. Adding the J in there gives it a little more "quack," great for certain types of tunes but not for my basic sound. Cheers,

    Rob
     
  9. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,292
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    NYC & the North Fork
    My second bass in the 80's was an Ibanez P/J that I loved dearly. I am jonesing for a P/J. 30th st has a 74 P with a J and an active pre-amp added, that sounds great. The Tony Franklin and Reggie Hamilton Fender P/J's, even the Duff McKagan, have caught me eye. And Sadowsky is calling me from across the river..."Tom, take the F train, come and see, come and see.."

    I used to always go with 60% or so P, 40% J for volume. I love that sound, ballsy but crisp. with the ability to go straight P as needed, very rarely would I ever solo the J pup.
     
  10. gdcx

    gdcx Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    848
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    "I used to always go with 60% or so P, 40% J for volume. I love that sound, ballsy but crisp. with the ability to go straight P as needed, very rarely would I ever solo the J pup"

    +1

    I have owned a few with this configuration over the years...including a beautiful Sadowsky...that i sold :BITCH ...and found that I almost always used the straight P and dialed in the J when I wanted to add a little "flavor" to the traditional sound.
     
  11. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,292
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    NYC & the North Fork
    Well, I satisfied my P/J jones, went over to Sadowsky in Brooklyn today, and bought the used 4 string red NYC P/J they had there. Beautiful bass.

    [​IMG]
     
    PawleeP likes this.
  12. gdcx

    gdcx Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    848
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    Beautiful bass!!!

    I had my eye on that one too...

    Congratulations!
     

Share This Page