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The joy of the P


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My current Precision hoard is two US Standards (2010 & 2012) and two MiM (50s Classic & 2022 Player). No room for any more unless I completely remodel the room or sell a Jazz bass (not likely at the moment!).

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I am so in love with p basses at the moment.

 

After years not really playing bass, my stingray and thumb had been put into storage until over covid I pulled them out. After falling in love again with bass I fancied a change to a passive bass. I stupidly traded the thumb for a loss to pick up a 2006 MiM jazz bass… which I like but since then went mad and picked up a fretless 1996 US p bass as it was reasonably priced and a shop spoiled 2016 MiM Jaguar bass. Between the two of them I realised I was in love with the passive tone of the p..

 

so I sold the only ‘valuable’ guitar I had to pick up another p bass a 2008 USA which again it seems I overpaid for ( judging from this forum) I had planned to put flats on it as that was what was on the fretless. But when I got it to my rig it just sings with roundwounds on it. It’s strangely light compared to all my other basses. I love it but still want to find another p bass to put flats on it..

 

just a bit annoyed at trading  the thumb for a loss when I could have gone straight to the USA p.

 

So no need to find a way of not losing so much money selling the jazz to pick up another USA p bass!

 

Seemingly being cash poor makes you lose more than I was expecting in deals..

 

just need to find a better paid job!! 

 

 

 

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I find active basses more trouble than they are worth. You don’t use one for ages, leave it unplugged and go back to it and the battery is flat. Over cooked sounds as well. I just prefer a naturally aspirated bass. 

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3 hours ago, ubit said:

I find active basses more trouble than they are worth. You don’t use one for ages, leave it unplugged and go back to it and the battery is flat. Over cooked sounds as well. I just prefer a naturally aspirated bass. 

For me it depends how good the preamp is, a bad preamp can ruin a bass, also I don't get the point of 2 band preamps, why would anyone not want a midrange control on the preamp

 

I don't currently own any active basses

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3 hours ago, ubit said:

I find active basses more trouble than they are worth. You don’t use one for ages, leave it unplugged and go back to it and the battery is flat. Over cooked sounds as well. I just prefer a naturally aspirated bass. 

 

28 minutes ago, shoulderpet said:

For me it depends how good the preamp is, a bad preamp can ruin a bass, also I don't get the point of 2 band preamps, why would anyone not want a midrange control on the preamp

 

I don't currently own any active basses

I’ve been using passive basses exclusively for quite some time now. However, having tried out a few Sadowskys, I  added one of their preamp pedals to my board, it just adds the right magic to lift the sound, without colouring it, which isn’t available in the amp’s eq. It is just 2 band and boost only, but I find that there’s already enough mid range in my basses, so I just need tweaks in the other ranges to achieve what I’m after. YMMV.

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I like the simplicity of the P bass, there's no fuss. Even the look of it is simple and quite minimal. The bridge for example, it's neat, uncomplicated and functional. 

 

And then of course there's the tone which can work for almost anything despite being quite fixed.

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4 hours ago, ubit said:

I find active basses more trouble than they are worth. You don’t use one for ages, leave it unplugged and go back to it and the battery is flat. Over cooked sounds as well. I just prefer a naturally aspirated bass. 

 

I've been mulling over retooling my only active bass to be passive.  Turns out you don't need to be active to sound huge, and I never use the flexibility that the 3 band with mid sweep affords me.  Don't see the point in it - set and forget in the same way as I have passive tone control all the way up.

 

I'm aff it this year, but maybe next year...

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10 minutes ago, Marvin said:

I like the simplicity of the P bass, there's no fuss. Even the look of it is simple and quite minimal. The bridge for example, it's neat, uncomplicated and functional. 

 

And then of course there's the tone which can work for almost anything despite being quite fixed.

The aesthetic of, what is now, the classic P design, just ticks all my boxes. I don’t own a P at the moment and I’m really down the short scale rabbit hole, but can’t stop looking at them, even though my JMJ Mustang nails that P tone. 

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10 minutes ago, ezbass said:

The aesthetic of, what is now, the classic P design, just ticks all my boxes. I don’t own a P at the moment and I’m really down the short scale rabbit hole, but can’t stop looking at them, even though my JMJ Mustang nails that P tone. 

I keep looking at those JMJs, at some point I’m sure I’ll end up with one.

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34 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I keep looking at those JMJs, at some point I’m sure I’ll end up with one.

Agreed. Something about it that is very appealing.

 

The flats felt great on it too.

 

the pure tone of a p does really refresh the experience of just great tone pretty much instantly. There is an immediacy and authenticity, where small changes in position or angle make such a huge difference.

 

I am still searching for the perfect way to get a b-15 sound in a small and affordable unit. My line 6 does a good approximation but to get that tube response it seems maybe that the pf-20 or Nobel is the best route? Anyone tried the origin effects bassrigs? Seems to get the sound all the demos add the compressor!!

 

what’s everyone best experience with a flats p..? Anyone love nash guitars? Are limelight basses not really just MiM with some relicing? What’s the best value for money to get a Motown experience? 

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1 hour ago, Lozz196 said:

I keep looking at those JMJs, at some point I’m sure I’ll end up with one.

I am possibly looking at getting another Mustang, probably the P/J. However, the Sandberg Lionel nails the P aesthetic too, but it's twice the money at least.

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I find getting a good sound out of my active Sadowsky jazz bass to be pretty straightforward and not at all complicated. It's a different range of tones to my passive PJ5 but I love having the choice to play both.

 

I don't understand why unplugging active basses is an issue or a problem. I unplug all my basses when they aren't being played. Trailing leads are a risk to all basses.

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Is it me or does a p bass just look more natural and sit better on a strap than a jazz bass. Whenever I catch myself in a reflection the bass seems to sit so much more naturally on me than any jazz bass. The only other bass I get that does the same thing is my stingray..

 

 

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1 hour ago, thewebow said:

Is it me or does a p bass just look more natural and sit better on a strap than a jazz bass. Whenever I catch myself in a reflection the bass seems to sit so much more naturally on me than any jazz bass. The only other bass I get that does the same thing is my stingray..

 

 

It's the symmetry and the smaller body size, to my eyes at least. The standard J is quite a big beast.

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I haven't tried a MIJ 51 or 55, but I've owned a MIJ 70s and have a Hama Okamoto sig (which is essentially a 60s P body with a J neck) and can't rate the MIJ stuff highly enough. Build quality, fit and finish etc has been excellent and on par with any MIA basses I've tried (which, admittedly, isn't loads!!). I've read that some people find the stock pups/guts to be the weak point, but the models I've owned have been the non export models that come with US hardware/electrics and I've been more than happy with them. I think the 51 comes with the SD Bassline SCPB-1? Or at least a version of it did at some point.

 

 

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I’ve seen a couple in a store in London. Will investigate the pickups further! Thanks for the info on US specs on the non exports. Good to know. 

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On 27/06/2022 at 11:19, ezbass said:

It's the symmetry and the smaller body size, to my eyes at least. The standard J is quite a big beast.

Yeah and I am a shorter average 5’8- the jazz bass sprawls across me. The precision shape just seems more concise and my plucking hand just fits more comfortably in place.

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2 hours ago, thewebow said:

I’ve seen a couple in a store in London. Will investigate the pickups further! Thanks for the info on US specs on the non exports. Good to know. 

 

 

No worries! This site is pretty handy for looking at the different models, though I'm not sure on how up to date it is with newer models etc

 

https://japanfender.wordpress.com/

 

The easiest way to tell (stock) import vs non export is the machine heads. Export will generally have a smaller base:

 

image.png.18c87735606263afcb47b95d32254eff.png

 

 

And non export will be bigger

 

image.png.80939e6da500ef5d94b9badaa862489b.png

 

 

Some non export models will have spiral spring saddles in the bridge too.

 

 

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Ok. Ones I have seen both have smaller tuner plates. So I am guessing will be export ones.. also ones seem new and the other slightly used but both around £1.2 and £1.3k.. which seems pricey for a Japanese model? 
 

I’ve seen the Nordstand do a hum cancelling 51 replacement..

 

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Ah, Fender Fever aren't too far away from me, I bought my current MIJ P from them (in an auction on eBay). They're a good shop and have a nice collection of MIJ basses too. 

 

As for the price, MIJ basses (along with everything else!) seem to be creeping up recently and shops like FF or Bass Bros seem to have them at around the £1k-£1.2k mark for the non export or rarer models. Personally I'd keep an eye out for a second hand private sale and would look at spending £600-£800ish depending on model and condition. 

 

 

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On 26/05/2022 at 16:48, wintoid said:

I learned to play bass in the early 1980s when I was a teenager.  In those days, the only good bass (to me) was active with multiple pickups and preferably headless.  My right hand would always have been close to the bridge, and I was chasing "the honk" as much as possible.

 

I've returned to the bass in recent years, and through GAS ended up with a Jazz, a P, and a PJ.  The P, in particular, has encouraged me to rest my thumb on the single pickup, further from the bridge than I was used to.  What a revelation!  I really feel the feedback I get from the less rigid string at this position makes me enjoy playing more.  Much more.  And the tone seems better there too.  I can't imagine heading back to the bridge now, except on the Jazz, and that makes me want to play the Jazz less.

 

I think I've been seduced by the P.  Teenage me would have turned his nose up at a single pickup passive bass.  Anyone else been through this?

Of course you can get an active P bass like the Schecter P4 Exotic.

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1 hour ago, Jonesy said:

Ah, Fender Fever aren't too far away from me, I bought my current MIJ P from them (in an auction on eBay). They're a good shop and have a nice collection of MIJ basses too. 

 

As for the price, MIJ basses (along with everything else!) seem to be creeping up recently and shops like FF or Bass Bros seem to have them at around the £1k-£1.2k mark for the non export or rarer models. Personally I'd keep an eye out for a second hand private sale and would look at spending £600-£800ish depending on model and condition. 

 

 

So basically the same price as 2010-2016 USA p!! I wonder how long new American pro II’s are going to stay at £1.6k!? 


not been to visit fender fever yet. Had a nice interaction about part exchanging a guitar for a bass earlier this year.  I will look forward to arranging a visit with him once I have cash for a new p! ;) 

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